"Come on! Rise and shine!" A middle aged woman walked into a bedroom and opened up curtains as a young man groaned.
"Do I have to?" the young man moaned as he pulled his sheets higher over his head.
"No, unless you want to miss your visit to Disney World. I know how much you've been looking forward to a day in the Magic Kingdom with your friends…" The woman sat down on the young man's bed.
"I'm fine, Hannah." He groaned.
"Come on, Dustin. You need something happy. I know you're hurting after you didn't get that grand slam last night, but moping about it won't help anything."
"I know, Hannah."
"Come on. Tim and Jason are just as upset…"
"They scored last night. I didn't. It was on me and I failed."
"Dustin, it's not the end of the world. You've got another game next week. I can't believe I have to say this to a 17 year old, but would Evan Longoria mope after a loss?" Dustin merely grunted. "No, he wouldn't. He'd get over it and play again the next day or season."
"Evan Longoria hasn't been through what I've been through."
Hannah got up from Dustin's bed. "How do you know?" She asked as she left. Dustin pulled the sheets from over his face and ran his hand through his long brown hair and sighed.
Downstairs, Hannah had just arrived in the kitchen. She sat down at the table next to her husband and on the opposite side of the table to her teenage twin sons who were eating cereal.
"Is Dustin coming down at all today, Mom?" one of them asked.
"Probably not, Tim. He was crying last night, I heard him. He woke me up you know."
"Boys! It's up to Dustin if he wants to get up or stay in bed and mope. Don't push him down further than he already is." Muffled loud rock music suddenly started playing.
"God, not this!" Tim said pushing his cereal bowl in front of him and put his head down on the table in his arms.
"It is." The other boy said. Putting his head in his hands. "Why, oh why, Tim, did I recommend he watch The Departed?"
"Jason, it wasn't you, he just liked them anyway." Tim said without lifting his head.
"But since he watched that movie it's been slightly more… obsessive." Jason said.
"Hang on, what are we talking about here?" Hannah asked her sons.
"Dropkick Murphys." They said in unison.
"Right now it sounds as if he's playing Wheel of Misfortune." Tim said.
"No way. That's Loyal to No One." Jason said.
"Dude, are you deaf? Can you hear a banjo? Five bucks says it's Wheel of Misfortune."
"You're on!" the boys dashed from the kitchen table to their bedroom where Dustin was curled up in fetal position on top of the sheets in his bed.
"Dude, where's my 5 bucks?" Tim asked after realizing he was right about the song. Jason reluctantly reached inside his pocket and gave his brother a crumpled up 5 dollar bill. Tim grinned cockily as he went to turn the music off.
"Get up." Jason said.
"Go away, Tim." Dustin said.
"Dustin, we're not in any way identical." Jason began. "Oh my God, you're not even looking at me, are you?"
"At least show us the courtesy of… You know… Pay attention!" Tim rambled. Jason threw a blue t-shirt, a Tampa Bay Rays jersey and jeans at Dustin before throwing boxers and socks.
"Get dressed. We're going to Disney World today.
"I'm not going." Dustin said moving to lie on his other side.
"Really? What shall I tell Frankie and Pedro?"
"Anything. I don't care."
"Dustin, there's only one thing that can cure you of your funk and that's Disney." Tim pulled the blanket from under Dustin. "I'm sure of it. Now get up." Dustin grunted and Tim and Jason left their bedroom and made their way back into the kitchen.
"Mom, you can't baby someone like Dustin. He needs firm direction." Jason said as he picked his cereal bowl back up and dumped the contents into the garbage disposal.
"He definitely needs that trip down to Disney World and if I have to drag him there or not, he's going." Tim said also tipping his soggy cereal down the garbage disposal.
"I know Dustin's been through a lot…" Hannah began.
"I know you do, Mom. You did kind of adopt him." Jason said. "He was Tim's friend. You didn't have to."
"I felt I did. And I also feel he's much better off with us than with his parents." Dustin walked into the kitchen carrying his Rays jersey. "How are you feeling today, Dustin?"
"You know how I feel." Dustin said, his head hanging down.
"You'll be okay." Tim began. "The Magic of Disney makes everything okay!" he said with a wide grin on his face.
"How can you just… Be happy?" Dustin asked.
"Easily!" Jason said as he turned the radio up. Pharell's song Happy was playing and Tim, Jason and Hannah started dancing around the kitchen and clapping along with the upbeat music.
"Cam, you gonna sort these guys out?" Dustin asked the twins' father.
"I'm quite enjoying the song myself, Dustin." He replied.
"That was Pharell Williams with his infectious song Happy, which is celebrating its fifth week on top of the Billboard Hot 100! Here's Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen with Good Time!" The radio presenter said and Good Time started playing. Tim turned the radio down slightly.
"Come on, Dustin, you can't say you don't feel more happy now." Jason said, folding his arms.
"Slightly." Dustin opened up a cupboard. "Now are we gonna go get Tyler and Pedro or what?" He said pulling out a bag of Funyuns.
"Are you seriously wearing that?" A middle aged man asked his teenage daughter.
"What? It's a Red Sox jersey, you played for the Red Sox, you shouldn't complain." She said in her thick Bostonian accent, twirling around so he could clearly see the name YOUNG and number 52 at the back of the jersey.
"If you're gonna wear a Sox jersey, at least go for Ortiz, Pedroia, Varitek, Wakefield-anyone's but mine." He said sternly.
"Oh come on, Dad."
"Frankie, I mean it. I don't want anyone knowing I played for the Red Sox. I came down here for a fresh start after Bobby Valentine took over…"
"So not because the Grapefruit League comes down here for Spring Training?"
"That's also why the name change. Now go change the jersey, Frankie." Frankie went upstairs grumbling as there was a knock on the door. Her father answered. It was Dustin, Tim and Jason. "Hey boys." He said.
"Hi Mr. Horton." They said in unison.
"Tyler ready yet?" Jason asked.
"I'll go check now, boys. Please, come in." He let the three boys in, but only Jason and Dustin entered.
"I'll wait out here, thanks." Tim said as he sat down on the front step. The girl's father shut the door and went upstairs.
"Frankie?" He asked as he pushed his daughter's bedroom door open.
"Dad, why can't I tell anyone? I mean, I can understand if we were in New York, but this isn't Yankee territory. It isn't Rays territory. It's an NBA city-Magic territory."
"I only want to protect you."
"I'm 18, Dad. I don't need protecting."
"While you're under my roof, you need protecting." He opened his daughter's closet door and pulled out another Red Sox jersey. "What about this one, Jason Varitek? He was your favorite next to me, right?"
"Yeah, Dad." She said in monotone. "Those are some of my best friends down there-well, not Tim-and they don't even know my name!"
"Just roll with it, Frankie. Just like I go by Stan, you go by Tyler. It's not ideal, but there you go."
"God, I wish you'd've listened to Clay!" She snapped as she snatched the jersey from him.
"Buchholz had some crazy theories, like the one where I was wrapping you in cotton wool." She rolled her eyes that her father could really be so oblivious. They both left her bedroom and went downstairs.
"Ready to pick up Pedro?" Dustin asked her.
"Oh yeah." She smiled.
A Hispanic teenager sighed and shook his head as he made his way down the stairs of his house. He found his younger brother asleep in front of the TV. As there was nothing on but static, he figured that his brother fell asleep earlier when there was something on the TV. He pried the remote from his sleeping brother's hands and changed the channel to WESH-2, NBC's Central Florida affiliate. As Jason Guy talked about a car accident on the I-4, the young boy stirred and grunted and a panicked expression flooded the teenager's face.
"Enrique?" The little boy said sleepily, rubbing his eyes. "I thought you were in Texas Tech?"
"I'm not Enrique, Mateo. It's me, Pedro." The teenager said without looking at his brother.
"Pedro? What are you doing up so early?"
"I'm going to Disney World, remember."
"What?!" Mateo almost shouted "Without me?"
"And it's not that early. It's half 8."
Mateo angrily sat on the couch next to Pedro. They both heard their parents come down the stairs and enter the kitchen. A little boy ran from the kitchen and into the front room.
"Santiago!" Pedro hissed. "What are you doing?"
"Hide me! I ate all the bags of chips last night! Mom and Dad will kill me!" He crouched down behind the couch
"For God's sake, Santiago! Own it! I'm not going to be responsible for you and neither will Mateo!"
"Sorry, Pedro. I lost my tooth too." Santiago stood up and produced his tooth to Pedro.
"Both of you, get to your rooms! Mom and Dad are going to blame me for this!" Their parents walked through to the front room.
"Pedro!" His father yelled.
"Dad! Santiago ate the chips! He and Mateo have been up all night!" Pedro turned to his younger brothers. "Own it, guys." The boys looked sheepish. "Santiago!" He called out. The 7 year old boy stepped forward.
"I ate all the chips last night."
Mateo also stepped forward. "Last night, we watched Nightmare on Elm Street, The Thing and The Exorcist-the director's cut."
"I didn't mean to." Both boys looked sheepish.
Their father sighed. "You might as well have breakfast with me, Pedro and your mother. But when you're back from school, you kids are in so much trouble." There was a knock at their front door.
"I'll get it!" Pedro shouted as he ran to the door and opened it.
"Pedro!" Dustin shouted.
"Bro! What's up?!" They pulled each other in for a 'man hug'.
"Not much." Dustin began, but was interrupted by Tim.
"He's been moping over the loss."
"Ah. He just can't let a loss go. He'll never go pro with that attitude." Pedro said, shaking his head.
"Eh." Jason shrugged. "Tom Brady manages."
"Tom Brady has a week to get over losses. If Dustin wants to play pro baseball, he has less than a day..." Jason was interrupted by Dustin.
"Excuse me, I'm right here." Dustin said, raising his arm.
"Yeah, let's go. Disney World might be good for you, Dustin." Pedro said, grabbing his backpack from beside the front door.
"I don't know. I've been so often, I'm starting to get skeptical." Dustin looked at the floor.
"I'll see you later tonight, Mom!" Pedro shouted as he shut his front door. "Come on. It doesn't matter how often you go, the Disney Magic is always there." He said as they all made their way to Cam's car.
"I'm not sold." Dustin said as everyone piled into the car.
"Suit yourself." Pedro shrugged and Cam drove the car away.
After around an hour of driving, Cam let the teenagers go at the Transportation and Ticket Center. They would have to make their own way to the Magic Kingdom by monorail or ferry.
"Alright boys and girl, stay safe. I'll pick you up at 8." Cam said.
"Alright, Dad. I'll call you when I call you." Tim said.
"Dustin, try not to be so cynical."
"I'll try, Cam." Dustin said, slinging his backpack over his shoulders.
"I want you to do more than try."
"Don't worry, Dad, I'll make sure he has a great time." Jason said, glaring at Dustin.
"Thank you, Jason. Be safe kids." Cam said as he drove off. The kids all waved after him and Dustin started walking out of the parking lot.
"Dustin, where are you going?" Jason said, running after him.
"I'm going to the park. I'm gonna get today over with."
"Come on, man. Don't be like this." Pedro begged.
"I'm not doing anything. Well, I'll ride Big Thunder Mountain, but I can't guarantee I'll enjoy it this time."
"Oh, Dustin." Tim shook his head. "You can't ride Big Thunder without liking it."
"How about we take the monorail?" Jason suggested.
"Yeah, that'll save us a bit of time in the park. We can take the ferry back." Tim said. "What do you think, Dustin?"
Dustin jerked his head around. "What?"
"We're going to take the monorail." Pedro said.
"We're taking the monorail?" Dustin asked and Pedro nodded. Everyone made their way to the monorail station. As the monorail was currently in the station, there was no line and they all got straight on the monorail. As the five teenagers boarded, an authoritative voice then said over the intercom "Please stand clear of the doors. Por favour mantenganse alejado de las puertas." And just like that, the exit doors closed.
Guests still entered the monorail, but were told to step back when the monorail pinged again and the authoritative voice again said over the intercom "Please stand clear of the doors. Por favour mantenganse alejado de las puertas" and the doors closed. After a brief break, the intercom voice spoke once more. "This monorail offers express service to the Magic Kingdom. If you're travelling to EPCOT, Disney's Contemporary, Polynesian or Grand Floridian Resorts, please exit at this time. Separate monorails from this station service those locations. For assistance, please ask a monorail host or hostess. As you board, please continue moving all the way across your car to make room for everyone. Please offer available seating to those needing special assistance. If you're standing, please hold into the handrails and stay clear of the doors. The monorail will depart momentarily for the Magic Kingdom. Thank you."
Though most of the teens had heard those words many times before, it still made their spines tingle when they heard them being spoken. Dustin looked around the car, bored as the monorail started to move. He was sharing his seat with Jason, Pedro and Tyler and a family. Tim was sitting opposite Tyler and glaring at her and he shared his seat with another family. It was no secret that Tim and Tyler really hated each other, but were here together for the sake of Dustin, Pedro and Jason. The intercom voice kept talking. "Welcome aboard the Walt Disney World Express Monorail, your 'highway in the sky' to the Magic Kingdom. For those of you standing, please hold onto the hand rails throughout our journey and stay clear of the doors." Nobody was standing in Dustin's car. "For the comfort of others, no smoking please. Thank you." Dustin rolled his eyes. "We're now circling the Disney created 7 Seas Lagoon."
"Actually, Disney Imagineers moved the lake so they could create the Magic Kingdom where the lake was. Technically, not Disney created, but Disney moved, yes." Dustin told the others, making use of the random fact the intercom spouted.
"They moved a whole lake?" Tyler asked incredulously.
"I don't know, I think they drained it-God, I don't know. All I know is that Disney had the lake moved."
Dustin looked outside the window at the lake thinking to himself, 'just how did they move it?' while below him moved speed boats and the ferry boats transporting people to and from the Magic Kingdom. He saw swooping birds and caught a great view of the Polynesian Resort and the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa as well as the unused for years Discovery Island.
"We are now entering Disney's Contemporary Resort." The intercom voice had startled Dustin from his musings. Dustin looked out the window once more and saw they were speeding past a white blur. He looked out the window on the other side and saw what he had expected to see the first time around, a monorail station that they were just speeding by. He saw a sign for Chef Mickey's and just as soon as they were in there, they were out. "We're now passing the newest addition to Disney Vacation Club, Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort." Dustin looked and saw a rather odd shaped circular building with like a tunneled bridge connecting it to the Contemporary Resort. Behind it was a lake. He simply thought how expensive it must be for tourists to stay there and shook his head.
"Great view, right Dusty?" asked Tyler, enthusiastically. Dustin cringed. He hated his nickname of 'Dusty'.
"Glad we're locals! How expensive must that be?" Jason said, gesturing to the grand building.
"God, I don't know and I sure wouldn't like to find out either-unless I were rich!" she said, laughing.
"As you approach the entrance, please keep your party together and have your tickets ready."
Pedro pulled a piece of card and a pen from his bag and marked the card. He then shoved the pen and card back into his bag.
"What-uh... What the hell was that Pedro?" Jason asked inquisitively.
"Monorail watching. We're on Monorail Black, so I ticked it off. There's the other 11 monorails also on my grid. I hope to see them all." Pedro said, shoving the paper back into his bag.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we are approaching our station at the entrance to Main Street USA-gateway to the 6 themed lands of the Magic Kingdom. Smoking is not permitted at the Magic Kingdom, except in designated areas-please consult your guidemap or ask a Cast Member for locations. If you're standing, please hold onto the hand rails and stay clear of the doors until the monorail stops completely and the doors open. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Magic Kingdom Monorail Station."
"Okay guys, everyone got their tickets?" Jason asked, afraid that someone had forgotten and would be denied entry.
"Yeah!" They all yelled back at him.
"Okay, just making sure." He said.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, please collect your belongings, watch your head and step and take small children by the hand. We hope you enjoy your day at the Magic Kingdom." As everyone stood up to leave, Tim offered his hand to Dustin.
"Come on, you heard the PA guy, take small children by the hand!"
Dustin played along weakly and took Tim's hand. "As long as you get a stroller for me in the park!"
As Dustin let go of Tim's hand, everybody laughed and the spiel continued over the intercom. "As you board, please continue moving all the way across your car to make room for everyone. Please offer available seating to those needing special assistance. If you're standing, please hold into the..." The spiel stopped momentarily as the doors opened. "...handrails and stay clear of the automatic doors. They will be closing in a moment. Thank you." Most people on the monorail didn't even stay to hear the rest of the spiel. They darted off to the bottom of the incline before the bag search. Dustin and his friends ran off to the bag check area. Dustin took his bag off his shoulders and opened it ready while he waited for a young family ahead of himself to be searched.
"Thank you! Have a nice day!" The family walked off and Dustin placed his bag on the checking counter. "Hello!" said the bag checker. Dustin noticed her name tag-Muriel.
"Hi!" he said back, not wanting to seem rude.
"You a Rays fan?"
"Who's your favorite player?"
"That's my son's favorite player too. He's a big Devil Rays fan, like you."
"They're not the Devil Rays any more-haven't been since 2008. They're just the Rays now."
"Oh. I didn't know. Well, they'll always be the Devil Rays to me!" The old lady finished searching Dustin's bag. "Thank you-and have a brilliant day!"
"You too Muriel." Dustin could sense the falseness in the old lady's demeanor; however, she worked for the Disney Corporation. He just grabbed his bag and walked over to his friends. "Shall we go in now?" he asked, slinging his bag over his shoulders.
"Yeah, we probably should." Tyler said, holding her ticket against orb like machine with a Mickey Mouse head. The Mickey Mouse head turned green and she ran into the park. "Come on guys! It's Disney World! It doesn't bite!"
Jason was next to cross the invisible portal between the real world and the Magic Kingdom. Tim and Dustin went the same time. Pedro was last through and they all walked to the park. Dustin stopped to pick up a park map from the entrance to Main Street and ran to catch up to his friends, already by the flag pole of Main Street USA.
"My God." Said Tyler, staring at Cinderella Castle. "It's all so... Wicked! It's wicked awesome! Dusty, I love it!" Crowds were moving up and down Main Street USA, Ragtime music was playing and people were coming in and out of shops and away from and into new lands. Tyler looked at Dustin and hugged him-tight. "Dusty, I... I never want to leave!"
"Glad to hear it." Dustin said sarcastically." As he and his friends continued down Main Street USA.
They passed the Emporium and Tyler dived to look at the displays in the windows. "Look! Aladdin!" she screeched excitedly. In the display, Aladdin, Jasmine and Genie were floating happily over Agrabah. Tyler looked at the next display and ran to it excitedly. "Beauty and the Beast!" She pressed her hands against the glass and peered down at Belle dancing with Beast in the famous ballroom dance scene from the film Beauty and the Beast. Lumiere was there as well.
"Come on, let's go!" said Jason after about five minutes had passed. He grabbed her arm and pulled her away. "This ragtime music is killing me." Tyler reluctantly went with him-that was until she caught sight of the next window display.
"Pocahontas! She's my favorite!" She dashed to the Pocahontas window display and reached into her small purse for her camera. She took a few steps back and took a picture of the Pocahontas display. In the display, Pocahontas was in a canoe on the river with Meeko at the front and Flit flying next to them, taken from the famous Just Around the Riverbend sequence. "I just love this display guys! It's the best!" Tyler kept her camera and happily skipped down Main Street USA until she spotted the Starbucks sponsored Main Street Bakery. "Oh my God, guys! We have to go in there!"
"What on Earth for?"
"I've heard about their cinnamon rolls and their chocolate cake and their cupcakes and muffins..."
"Yeah, we get it, just choose one thing or you'll be sick on the rides." Said Jason, cutting her off.
They all entered the bakery and saw a long line. "Damn Starbucks." Pedro muttered as everyone but Tyler exited the store again. The inside of the store was amazing though, it was so elegant with the chandeliers and the tiled floor-okay the fans took away some of the magic, but at least the air con wasn't obvious. They waited outside for five minutes before Tyler ordered a cinnamon roll and a piece of chocolate cake 'for the road'. She left eating the cinnamon roll and saw Casey's Corner.
"What's that?" she asked, pointing at Casey's Corner. "I don't recognize the Disney movie."
"It's from an old Disney cartoon based on the poem Casey at the Bat." Pedro answered.
"It later featured in the Disney cartoon compilation movie Make Mine Music." Added Dustin. "It's one of my favorite old Disney cartoons beside Steamboat Willie."
"What happens? What's it about." She asked, with a mouthful of cinnamon roll.
"It's about a baseball player called Casey and he's a great batter-think Babe Ruth." Tyler scowled at Dustin and he remembered the Curse of the Bambino. "I mean, think... Uh... Think Ted Williams. And in the end, his ego gets the better of him."
"Like A-Rod!" Tyler smiled, shoving the last piece of her cinnamon roll in her mouth.
"Yes, exactly." Dustin nodded, smiling at the analogy.
"They had a sequel." Pedro piped in. "Casey Bats Again, but it isn't as good."
"Essentially, Casey's now retired after his incident at bat. He has a family and they all play baseball because he taught them." Dustin said half-heartedly.
"So, you wanna go to Casey's?" asked Jason.
"Sure. Why not? What do they sell there?"
"Baseball snacks. Hot dogs, fries, nachos, crackerjack-you know, ballpark food!" Pedro said excitedly.
Tyler threw her hands in the air "Let's go then!"
They crossed the road to Casey's and Tyler became fascinated with a statue of a baseball pitcher. She pulled out a baseball and her camera from her purse. She hands the camera to Dustin and said "Take the picture Dusty!" She then formed the exact same pose as the statue and Dustin took the picture. Each of the friends took turns taking pictures with the statue and eventually moved on the other statue, which was one of a batter. Tim pretended he was throwing a pitch to the batter statue and Dustin took the picture with Tim's camera. After a few minutes with each statue, the friends entered Casey's. The inside resembled an old saloon. Mudville pennants were on display. There were hardly any queues and were served immediately. The cashier was wearing a baseball uniform as her work uniform.
"Hey! What can I get you young baseball fans?" she asked, noticing the friends' hats and jerseys.
"Can we get 5 hot dogs and 5 fries?" Dustin asked.
"Sure you can, anything else?" The cashier asked.
"No, thanks." Dustin said as the other four teens all shook their heads.
"Okay, 5 hot dog meals-that'll be $40 please."
Dustin pulled out his wallet and paid the cashier. While they waited to receive their food, Tyler noticed the menu above her.
"Is that Casey?" She asked, pointing to the character on the menu, getting ready to swing the bat from a ball by the pitcher-on the other side of the menu.
"Yup. You can see the arrogance and nonchalance in his face." Pedro, pointing to Casey's face.
As they received their order, the cashier reminded them to have a nice day. They made their way to the condiments table and grabbed salt, pepper, forks-and for Tim, sauerkraut-and went to sit outside and had a good view as they ate of what was around them; Cinderella Castle, the Partners statue, Crystal Palace restaurant, Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, Tomorrowland, the rest of Main Street and the crowds. They ate in silence, enjoying the ragtime music, Tim and Tyler, once again, trying to stare each other down. Dustin got up and grabbed his bag once he was finished.
"Guys, wait me here. I've got my BlackBerry in case we lose each other, but I need to use the bathroom and the nearest one's in Tomorrowland."
"Great Dusty, try not to be so long."
"Don't worry! I won't!" Dustin slung his bag over his shoulder and ran across to Tomorrowland. He crossed the bridge and he heard a futuristic version of Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow as he passed Stitch's Great Escape and Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. He didn't really have to go to the bathroom, he lied, but he wanted to go to Mickey's Star Traders gift shop to buy a present for Tyler, if he didn't do it now, he might never get to do it-or to tell Tyler how much she means to him. The music transitioned from Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow to something more peaceful, yet still futuristic sounding as he turned the corner and passed Merchant of Venus. All of a sudden he saw a young girl of around 9 years old with jet black hair run in front of him. She had candy all stuck in her hair and a Twizzler was holding her hair in a ponytail. She hid behind a corner and it was evident she was scared so Dustin wanted to get the child back to her parents as soon as possible. He looked around the corner to see the child cowering in fear with her mint green hoodie covering her hair. She was also wearing a two layer brown skirt-which reminded Dustin of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup-mismatched leggings that resembled candy canes and black boots. He realized, she was dressed like Vanellope von Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph.
"Are you okay?" asked Dustin, crouching down so he made eye contact with the child.
"Just leave me alone!" the girl sniffled, holding her head down, ensuring they didn't make eye contact
"What's the matter?" he asked, putting his hand on her shoulder. "Did you lose your mom or dad? Do you need help finding them?"
"No." She sniffed. "I'm an orphan. I don't have a mom or dad. The closest I have is Ralph."
"Is Ralph your brother?" Surely she didn't mean... Wreck-It Ralph?
"No. What does it matter to you anyway?" she asked, defensively.
"I want to see you safe and well. How old are you?"
"That's why I need to find your guardian. Nobody under 14 is allowed here alone."
"They'll make an exception for me."
"Why? Because you're dressed like Vanellope von Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph?" Now Dustin was the one getting defensive.
"No!" she yelled pulling down her hood. Dustin gasped and fell back in disbelief at what he was seeing. "Because I am Vanellope von Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph!"
This is just an idea I had, working off an old story of mine. I decided to rewrite that story in favor of this one as a character in that story was based on a friend of mine, who has since died.
This is a Disney Story, but as you can tell from the tags, this isn't exactly a family friendly thing. The absolute main character in this-Dustin-was abused by his family and lives with his friends. He's also a POC-it isn't mentioned because it doesn't really come up, but he's mixed race black/white. The twins and Frankie/Tyler are white and Pedro is (obviously) Hispanic. But it doesn't really matter.
Just there is some violence in this. But there will also be some humor to it as well. And if you choose to enter, then welcome. I hope you're happy with it. And those of you who choose to stay, then you're just as crazy as I am.
Dustin stood up, stared at Vanellope and ran away as the music transitioned to a futuristic version of Strange Things from Toy Story. Vanellope caught up with Dustin by Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin and grabbed his arm.
"This is not happening! You are not a Disney character and I'm just dreaming!" he screamed. Nobody was looking at him or Vanellope, being too engrossed in their own day at the Magic Kingdom.
"This is happening! Listen, you gotta help me!" She sounded urgent. Even though she was an animated Disney character, she was non-animated in this world.
"What's happened, Vanellope?"
"I can't say!" she wailed. "I don't know! I just know that I got curious, jumped through a portal and like I said, it led me from Game Central Station to here in Tomorrowland!"
"Where are Wreck-It Ralph and Fix-It Felix?"
"They don't know where I am. They're in Game Central Station with TRON and the others!" She started wailing louder.
"Stay calm, Vanellope." Dustin said soothingly "It'll be okay. Somebody's coming for you. You'll get back into your movie."
"I don't know how!"
"Well, my name is Dustin, now let's find a cast member." Dustin took her hand and went to the cast member by Stitch's Great Escape.
"Um... This is Vanellope von Schweetz." he said to the cast member.
"Hi." She said, shuffling her feet and looking down.
The cast member looked urgent and took Vanellope by her hand. "Thank you, we'll make sure she gets taken care of. Don't worry." Dustin heard his phone go off, so he checked it and saw a text from Pedro 'we still waitin-does it take dat long 2 go2 da bathroom?'
"I gotta go!" Dustin took off quickly.
Vanellope yelled after him. "Bye Dustin! Thanks for helping me!" Dustin ran back to Casey's, thinking about his weird encounter, so he just tried to force it out of his head, after all, what was the worst that could happen? As he arrived at his friends' table at Casey's Corner, he found his friends had already left. He pulled his cell phone from his pocket and saw another text from Pedro which read 'goin 2 meet tinkerbell-ty insisted. meet us in a-land'.
He put his phone back in his pocket and walked past the Crystal Palace restaurant. He took no notice of its elegance-he was too busy thinking about what just happened. 'Was that really Vanellope and if so, will she be safe? What was that she said about TRON? Why would TRON be involved in Wreck-It Ralph? Is it possible that Disney characters can... Movie hop?' Dustin crossed the bridge from the Crystal Palace restaurant still lost in thought. He crossed the bridge to Adventureland, where he saw Tim waiting for him.
"'Bout time, bro." He said and noticing that Dustin wasn't quite with him he added "What's wrong, bro?"
"Nothing Tim, just miles away. I saw something weird and I..." He paused while he thought of what he was going to say to Tim. "You know what man, forget about it." He noticed the music and decided to change the subject to that, after all, Tim had the memory of a goldfish, except for when it came to Tyler. "This music sounds like it should be in The Lion King, it sounds more African than Hawaiian, Caribbean or Middle Eastern."
"Dude! Tell me about it!" Tim started talking about what irked him about the music while Dustin switched himself off. He was busy thinking about Vanellope. "Don't you think, bro?"
Dustin didn't pay a bit of attention to Tim, but felt inclined to agree with him "Yeah, Tim, I know. It's so frustrating!"
Tim looked at him with a raised eyebrow. "I just asked you 'so how about we go and see the Swiss Family Treehouse and after that we go on the Jungle Cruise. That's a good idea, don't you think, bro?' and you answered me with 'I know, it's frustrating.' Are you okay, Dusty?"
"Never better, Tim, I was watching Ty in the line, she's next to meet Tinkerbell." He looked over at Tyler and she was with Russell and Rob and they were all getting their pictures taken with Tinkerbell. "Well, she was next in line when you were talking anyway Tim."
"Oh my God, Dusty!" Tyler was now running towards Dustin. When she got to Dustin, she put one hand around him and the other into a fist and straight into Tim's stomach which sent him doubled over in pain behind the pair. "That was incredible! Tink was awesome! She likes the Red Sox Dusty!"
"You know it's just an actress, right?"
"It's Tinkerbell!" She said, partly in denial and partly knowing.
Tim, now recovered from the blow to his stomach, grabbed Tyler by the arm and hit her in her stomach
"TIM! What the hell was that for?" Jason yelled, angry at his brother that he could hit a girl-not only a girl, but his friend-with seemingly no warning.
"She hit me first!"
"What did I say guys about no fighting?!" Dustin was past it with his friends constantly arguing. He had told his friends repeatedly in the past about arguing with each other both in school and in public. This wasn't the first time their strained relationship had come to fist fighting. "If you guys really can't be civil, then Tim, act like Tyler isn't here and Tyler, act like Tim isn't here. Don't sit across from each other eating and sit behind each other on rides. Please! Be mature about this!" He begged. "Tim, you're 17 and Tyler, you're 18-so you both should know better!" Dustin put his head in his hands. "Please! Stop acting like you're both 10 years younger!" People walking past looked at Dustin ranting at his friends.
"People are staring Dusty." Pedro was following staring Disney World guests with his eyes.
"I don't care! They're going to get more stares throughout the day if I don't tell them off for being big kids!" Tim and Tyler held their heads down. "Come on. We're going to the Jungle Cruise."
"I wanted to see the Swiss Family Treehouse!" Tim protested.
"Tough!" Dustin snapped back. "You shouldn't have been so childish as to hit back. If one of you hits the other-don't react! Just make like Elsa and let it go!" Dustin carried on walking to the Jungle Cruise and his friends followed.
In Tomorrowland, a few cast members had gathered around Stitch's Great Escape to see Vanellope von Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph. She was sitting on the chain rope of Stitch's Great Escape, swinging gently back and forth with her feet and looking at the ground sadly.
"Sweetie please, tell us where your mom and dad are." A female cast member implored.
"I told you, I don't have a mom or a dad. I'm a princess from the Sugar Rush game."
"No you're not, we just want to get to the bottom of this." A male cast member said and put his hand on Vanellope's shoulder. She brushed it off.
"I already told you everything. I came here from a portal in Game Central Station. Alone." She stood up to leave. "I want Dustin!"
Another male cast member grabbed Vanellope's arm "Who's Dustin? Is he your brother or guardian?"
She broke free from the cast member's grip. "No, he's a real person, just like you. He found me. He made me feel safe."
"What does this 'Dustin' look like?" The female cast member asked.
Vanellope squinted as she read the cast members' name tags. "Well, Denise, he's quite short. I'm almost as tall as him-and he has brown long hair."
"What color is his hair-what was he wearing?" Denise the cast member continued to ask Vanellope questions.
"Brown. His eyes are also brown-like mine." She showed the cast members her big brown eyes. The cast members gasped in astonishment. With eyes that big, she couldn't be human-maybe she was telling the truth. "Now... Jacob, I want to ask you a question. Why don't you believe me when I say that I'm lost from my movie? Well, I am. Believe me, after all, you believe weirder things."
"And you..." She paused and squinted to read the cast member's name tag. "Dalton, you should stop calling me 'sweetie' unless you want my boot in your face." She said cockily. "I have a name-it's Vanellope. Say it after me now-Vanellope."
"Sorry swee-I mean, Vanellope, it's just we've seen these kinds of situations before. I don't know what you think you saw, but we need to get you to your mom and dad."
"I've told you before-I don't have a mom or dad! I am an orphan, I guess-a princess from the Sugar Rush game-President after game hours." She noted, proudly.
"Vanellope, we just want to help."
"I don't need your help! I need you to listen!" Vanellope stamped her foot on the ground and disappeared. She reappeared a few feet away, out the crowd of cast members. She punched her fist in the air triumphantly-she could still glitch in the real world! "See you losers later, I'm off to find Dustin! He's the only one that can helpme!" She ran away from the cast members, over the Tomorrowland bridge and onto Main Street USA, where Vanellope stopped running and looked around. She didn't know where she was. She looked town to the bottom of Main Street USA and saw crowds. Children were running around, teenagers were running around, hell, evenadults were running around! Everyone was babbling excitedly about how great that this day would be. Vanellope looked the other way, towards the castle. "Wow." She said to herself. "If they had a castle that grand in Sugar Rush, I wouldn't mind being the princess!" She looked behind her and a cast member was running after her. She started running straight ahead, past the Partners statue and over the bridge into Adventureland where she became sure she had lost the cast member.
"The Magic Carpets of Aladdin!" shouted Tim excitedly.
"No." Said Dustin adamantly. "We're going on the Jungle Cruise. I am going to torture you until you apologize to Tyler and Tyler, I'm going to torture you until you apologize to Tim. I'm going to torture you both with terrible jokes and 'the backside of water' and you will not enjoy it." He spoke half-jokingly-he knew Tim loved the Jungle Cruise, but Tyler, he knew hadn't been to Disney World before, he was certain she would find it as boring and tacky as much as he did. Tim looked longingly at the Swiss Family Treehouse. It was the one attraction in the park he could never be bothered enough to visit before. Dustin led his friends down the path to the Jungle Cruise.
"Hey, have a nice day!" The cast member pointed them the way. They went with each other and as they walked through the queue it became clear that the ride wasn't very busy that morning. Another cast member at the loading bay noticed them.
"Hey! Guests!" The other cast member said as she noticed them. "We haven't seen many this morning."
"It's March. It should be dead, but it should also be busier?" Dustin said confused.
"Yeah, we found it strange too." The cast member replied "We figure it's because it's still pretty early and it's March. There weren't that many guests yesterday either." She explained and pointed them to the loading gate. Just then, a boat 'docked' and the 'skipper' on the boat helped the friends in.
"You're my only guys? Eh... At least I've got someone to tell the cheesy jokes to. Alright, let's get this thing going." The skipper sighed as she 'steered' the boat away from the dock-where a new short queue formed-and tried to sound enthusiastic. "Welcome to the world famous Jungle Cruise! World famous, for being world famous. I'm Carol and I'm your skipper for the two weeks that our journey will take. Anything else you need me to do for you, I'm more than happy to oblige as I'm the jack of all trades, master of none. I'm also a comedian and if you don't laugh at any of my jokes today then I'll become your swimming instructor, too."
The friends laughed feebly.
"If you look to your right, you'll see the Amazon, where everything is larger than life, just like the creepy butterflies you see on either side of the boat. Very impressive wingspan-it from 12 inches all to way to... One foot."
The friends groaned at the joke, knowing that this would be a long ten minute boat ride.
Vanellope had reached Adventureland at last and to make sure she had lost the cast member, she carried on running and stopped when she arrived at the Swiss Family Treehouse. She hid inside the treehouse for a few minutes before cautiously stepping outside. She looked around and confident that nobody was on her trail, carried on walking. She saw the Aladdin flying carpet ride and walked past it to the Enchanted Tiki Room. "I've got all day to find Dustin, I've only got one chance to be in Walt Disney World, so I might as well enjoy myself." She said to herself as she walked into the entrance of the Enchanted Tiki Room.
She went into the Enchanted Tiki Room and sat down. Once the show started, she was unsure of which bird she was supposed to be focusing on and neither was anyone else in the room. Across from her, a family with confused expressions plastered on their faces slowly inched towards the exit. As soon as they opened the door, the fire alarm went off.
Back at the Jungle Cruise, the teenagers were now halfway through the ride. "We're in head hunter territory-it's not a safe place to be, just ask my last crew over there." Carol the skipper said as she pointed to some fake shrunken heads hanging from the trees. "They didn't like my jokes either." Carol the skipper then pointed to a hut, where some animatronic tribesmen were supposed to be dancing in a circle and chanting-only they weren't there. Dustin had a nagging feeling that maybe Vanellope was right about Disney World being in danger. "That's either a war dance they're doing or they have to go to the men's room..."
"There's nothing there!" Yelled Pedro, slightly nervous.
"Maybe they're at the men's room now then." Carol was curious, especially since she'd been around not ten minutes ago, but didn't question it. Instead, she pointed at another hut, where more animatronic tribesmen were supposed to be playing the bongos-only the bongos were there. "There's nobody there either, maybe they've gone to the men's room also." She tried to muddle her way through. "There they are! Head hunters! Coming from the left! Get down! Get down!" She yelled jokingly. All of a sudden, the tribesmen actually jumped on board the boat.
"What the hell?!" Carol yelled. "Jim! If this is a joke, it's not funny!"
Just then, one of the tribesmen knocked Carol the skipper unconscious with a tree branch.
Seeing how oddly calm Tyler was, Tim said calmly to her so as not to worry her, "Tyler... This isn't part of the ride."
"It's not?" Everybody shook their heads. The tribesmen then knocked everybody else out. Before Dustin was knocked out, the chief tribesman yelled-for some reason-"I love disco!" and personally hit Dustin over the head. Dustin's world went black.
Vanellope exited the Enchanted Tiki Room along with the other guests after the fire alarm went off. As nobody was allowed back in, she made her way to the next attraction that caught her eye-the Jungle Cruise. She decided to go in. A cast member was standing outside the Jungle Cruise, talking into a cell phone presumably to another Jungle Cruise employee.
"Alright, thanks Jim." He muttered. "I gotta go, there's a lost kid." The cast member hung up his phone and put it in his pocket.
"Hey, kid. Are you okay? I didn't know we offered Vanellope von Schweetz packages at the Bibbidi Bobbidy Boutique." The cast member shook his head. "Have you lost your parents?"
"No, I came here alone. And what Bibbidy Bobbidy whatever packages? I am Vanellope von Schweetz, President and former princess of the Sugar Rush game!" She dashed into the line for the ride and hijacked a boat that was docked. She started up the boat while the cast member just stood there shocked. "See you later!" Vanellope drove the boat away and passed the same landmarks as the teenagers passed.
"Okay Vanellope. You can do this." She told herself and carried on. She paused again after the hippo scene, inhaled sharply and pushed past the fake shrunken heads that were hanging from trees in the head hunter territory scene. She went carefully past and the animatronic tribesmen supposed to be dancing and chanting still weren't there. Neither were the animatronic tribesmen were supposed to be playing the bongos. Vanellope went past where the animatronic tribesmen were supposed to be attacking, but they didn't.
"Something doesn't seem right here." Vanellope said stopped the boat. She used her glitching powers once more, this time to get onto land to have a look around. All of a sudden she heard yelling and when she turned around a tribesman hit her on the head and knocked her out.
Dustin awoke tied upright to a pole. He looked around and his friends were also awake and tied to poles. He heard Jason shouting. "Let me go! What do you want me for? I'm a tourist!"
"Let it go Jason, they probably speak Swahili or some shit." Pedro reasoned.
"Oh, so I suppose you speak Swahili?" Jason said arrogantly.
"English, French and Spanish."
"But not Swahili."
"A few words. Just stuff like 'hello' and 'where are you from', not 'please untie me so I can get out of this godforsaken ride', because that just sounds weird!"
"Guys, cut it out!" Tim shouted. "This isn't helping anyone! Pedro, try speaking Spanish…"
"What, because I'm Hispanic, I can automatically speak Spanish?" Pedro protested.
"No, it's just maybe they understand it as it's the language you hear most often here besides English."
"Okay..." Pedro looked at some of the tribesmen who were now trying to start a fire. "Disculpe!" he shouted louder "Disculpe!" Some of the tribesmen looked at Pedro. Pedro looked back at Tim.
"They recognize the language Pedro, tell them to untie us!"
"Perdón, creo que ha habido un error. Somos turistas, no intrusos."
"What are you saying?"
"I said 'there's been a mistake, we're tourists, not intruders.' You should know Tim, you took Spanish."
"Yeah, for like a year. Tell them we mean them no harm."
"Okay... Que queríamos decir nada malo. Por favor, desatar, para que podamos volver a ser turistas." One of the tribesmen walked up to Pedro.
"Por qué dejar que te vayas?"
"He's saying 'why should we let you go?'"
"Tenemos hambre. Usted wll ser nuestra primera comida desde 1971."
"We will be their first meal since... 1971? Really? That's a long time."
Just then, another tribesman arrived with an unconscious Vanellope over his shoulder and he and the chief traded words in Swahili. The chief pointed to another pole and made gestures as he talked that suggested he wanted Vanellope tied up and put with the friends.
"Comer una nina va un poco lejos, no te parece?" Pedro asked the tribesman.
"What did you say?"
I said 'eating a little girl is going a bit far, don't you think?'"
"No. Tenemos hambre."
"We are hungry..." Pedro translated
"Usted esta al lado."
"... You are next." The tribesman walked away. "Oh dear. Tim, there's nothing I can do. They're going to kill us, eat us and hang our heads from the trees."
The chief noticed Dustin was now conscious and walked up to him. "I love Disco!" he shouted.
Dustin cockily replied "Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, Kool and the Gang or Earth, Wind and Fire?"
"I love Disco!" he roared once more and walked away.
"Wait!" Dustin called after him "I have with me a magical device that can play disco music! You need to untie me first!"
Skeptically, the chief untied Dustin and he reached into his pocket for his iPod Touch. He could still access the park's free Wi-Fi. "I'll be 5 minutes!" The chief gestured for the tribesmen to tie Dustin back up.
"No! He needs to prepare!" Pedro protested "que será de cinco minutos, lo que necesita para prepararse!"
The chief told his tribesmen to leave Dustin for 5 minutes as he prepared 'disco'. Dustin quickly logged onto theiTunes store, searched for Gloria Gaynor and downloaded I Will Survive. Then he searched for Earth Wind and Fire and downloaded September. Before he knew it, his time was up.
"Y bien?" a tribesman asked "Tiene la música disco?"
"Dusty, he's asking if you have disco music." Pedro translated again.
"Yeah, almost." Dustin went into the Music app on his iPod, then recently purchased playlist and just as he was about to be tied up, he clicked play on Gloria Gaynor and that familiar sound of the piano played as she sang. The tribesmen all knelt down around Dustin to pray. Dustin heard rustling and spotted a figure in the trees. Relief washed over him as he recognized who it was-Indiana Jones.
Dustin turned the volume louder so the tribesmen wouldn't hear the rustling, while Indiana Jones crept out the trees and cut Tim free. As the tribesmen continued to pray, Indy then moved on to Tyler. When Tyler's eyes widened as she looked like she was about to say something, the figure made a shushing gesture and she nodded in comprehension. Pedro was cut fee next. He and Indy made eye contact and Indy then went to cut Jason free and as Indy cut Jason free, Dustin turned the volume even louder. When Carol was cut free, she hugged Indy, who then ushered everybody into the trees while he freed the still-unconscious Vanellope.
"Here you go Chief, you can hold onto this." Dustin handed over his iPod to the chief as he edged away from the tribesmen. As he walked away he felt spears prodding his back. He turned around and saw some very angry tribesmen. Dustin heard the loud crack of a whip and the tribesmen cowered in fear. He heard a whip crack yet again and this time the tribesmen ran away scared-the chief dropping Dustin's iPod, Gloria Gaynor still playing. Dustin picked it up and turned off the music. He then turned to his rescuer.
"Kid, what possessed you to even go near these head hunters, don't you know how dangerous they are?"
"No-this is all part of a ride at Disney World. What the hell are you doing in this park anyway, Indy? Shouldn't you be in Hollywood Studios?"
"I was wandering around, looking for lost artifacts. I saw a beam of light and suddenly, I'm here."
"That's similar to what Vanellope said."
"The little girl you're carrying. She's from the Wreck-It Ralph movie."
Tyler jumped from the bushes "Oh my God, Dustin! That was wicked! I didn't know Indiana Jones was part of the Jungle Cruise!"
"That's because he's not, Ty."
"What do you mean? He's standing right there!"
"But, Ty, he's not supposed to be here."
"I don't... I don't understand."
"Look, we need to get out of here. I don't understand either, but we can figure it all out once we get out of here."
Everybody picked up their hats and bags and followed Indy's lead. He led them from the jungle and back to the ride, where the boat that Vanellope 'borrowed' was waiting for them. Dustin jumped on the boat first, followed by Tyler, Jason, Pedro, Tim and Carol. Indy gently handed the still-unconscious Vanellope to Carol and jumped in himself. As everyone sat down, Vanellope was put on a bench. Carol then started the boat and they all started to head back towards the dock, on the way, passing the famous 'Backside of Water' and of course, Trader Sam.
By the time they arrived back at the docking bay, Vanellope had regained consciousness and almost no time had passed, meaning the other cast members were none the wiser on everyone's adventures.
"Come on, kid. It' time to go back to Disney World." Indy said, picking Vanellope up as they exited the boat.
"No!" she glitched free from Indy's arms "I don't want to go back! I want to stay here with Dustin!" She ran and hid behind Dustin, grabbing his leg.
"Dude, how on Earth does she know you?" asked Pedro. "We were with you the whole time!"
"I bumped into her in Tomorrowland-when I went to the bathroom." Dustin replied, trying to pry the stubborn child off his leg.
"Okay..." said Tyler. “Now will someone please explain to me what the freakin' hell is going on?!"
"Ty, we don't know. I bumped into Vanellope and she came through a portal to Tomorrowland or something..."
"That's how I came here too." Indy pointed out.
"Yeah, she said something about not knowing the way back?" Dustin said.
"There is a way back."
"But?" asked Tim.
"But we gotta go to the President for that." Indy said, scuffing his shoe on the floor.
"Obama?" Jason asked.
"No! Mickey Mouse! Gadoi!" Vanellope laughed.
"Hey, I got a question." Tim said.
"Well, if this is Disney World, how can you be from Disney World? Vanellope, if you're cartoons, how come you're real? Lastly, can you guys movie hop?"
"Well... Uh... What's your name?" Indy asked.
"Well Tim, this is Walt Disney World, a theme park complex in Central Florida. Disney World is... Disney World is a magical land created by Walt E. Disney. Before we go to Disney World, we live on paper. Once our movies are done, they send us to Disney World." Indy explained.
"Most recently it's been John Lassetter."
"Okay. Now why isn't Vanellope a cartoon?"
"Because I'm in the Real World, gadoi!" Vanellope said sarcastically. "If you went to Disney World, you'd be real too-but if you went to certain areas, you'd be a cartoon. That's just the way it is."
"And the movie hopping...?"
"Yeah, we can do it, Tim!" Vanellope shrieked excitedly. "We both live in different parts of Disney World too."
"Yeah, they're from Tomorrowland and I'm from Adventureland." Indy began. “Though that doesn't mean we don't interact with each other. My favorite bar is in Tomorrowland and just last week I was talking with Palpatine and Vader in the Mos Eisley Cantina. I used to talk to Vader before we became full-on Disney characters anyway though."
"Maybe that was a bad example." Vanellope said, elbowing Indy playfully in the stomach.
"Uh... Just a few short days ago I talked to Mulan and the week before that, I was doing my grocery shopping and bumped into Jim Hawkins and Mary Poppins-in different aisles though."
"I didn't know you had stores in Disney World." Dustin chuckled at the thought of Disney characters in a grocery store.
"Hey, we have to get our Froot Loops, DVDs and ice cream from somewhere." Dustin shrugged, the answer was a little weird, but it was rational. "Yes," Indy began again "And we get them from WaltMart."
"You know, Ralph was reading The Galaxy Gazette yesterday, he said they're having a new WaltMart put in, in A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far Far Away." Vanellope said.
"Ah that's great. Vader's been complaining that he has to travel three hours just to get groceries and that he has to use a lot of coupons to make up the gas for his TIE fighter. He joked that he should make it on the next series of Extreme Couponing."
"You watch Extreme Couponing?"
"I don't. Vader does. I'm more into Breaking Bad."
"Oh, Ralph loves Breaking Bad. He was bummed out when it ended though. We watch Here Comes Honey Boo Boo all the time with the Calhoun-Fix-Its."
Dustin and his friends stood there agog listening to Disney characters talk about Extreme Couponing, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and weirdest of all, Breaking Bad. Disney characters were supposed to be all… Sunshine and rainbows and innocent… Not watching TV shows about a cancer suffering chemistry teacher who decides to make hard drugs. And Darth Vader, the Sith lord, watching Extreme Couponing… It was all a bit too much to take in.
"Oh, sorry. You probably didn't realize that we're just ordinary people, like you. So… Are we going to see Mickey Mouse, or what?" Indy asked.
At the Town Square Theater, Mickey Mouse's assistant burst in on him as he was having his break. "Uh, Mr. Mouse, there's five teenagers here to see you-four boys and a girl. They have Indiana Jones and Vanellope von Schweetz with them."
Mickey Mouse swiveled his office chair around. "Send them in." He said.
"Now? On your break?"
"Yes please, Steven. If they have Disney characters, I want to see them."
"Sure. Whatever you say, boss." Steven shrugged and opened the door to Dustin, his friends and Vanellope and Indy.
Upon seeing who it was, Mickey Mouse jumped from his chair and squealed excitedly. "You're here!"
"Hang on, you know who we are?" Mickey nodded. "Do you work for the NSA?"
"No. Not at all, Dustin."
"You know our names?" Dustin looked taken aback.
"Yes. You're Dustin Williams, the foster son of Cameron and Hannah Edelman and foster brother of Timothy and Jason Edelman. Your friend and is Pedro Ramirez, who has an older brother named Enrique and two younger brothers named Mateo and Santiago and this here is F-Tyler Horton, lives with her single father Stan after her mother ran out on them when she was a young child." Mickey said, making everyone's jaws dropped. "Oh and you all play for the South West Orlando High School baseball team. Nickname: The Hurricanes."
"Wow. That was…" Dustin began.
"… Remarkably thorough." Pedro finished.
"How the hell do you know so much about us?" Tyler asked.
"Recruitment." Was Mickey's one word answer.
"What do you mean?" Tim asked.
"We want you to join our program."
"What program?" Jason demanded.
"The Disney Program. To protect Disney World."
"But… There's nothing wrong with Disney World." Jason said, confused.
"Yes, Walt Disney World is doing absolutely fine, as is Disney World. We're just looking for new Guardians, people who help Disney Characters and work with them, helping defeat villains if necessary. So, mostly security work." Mickey explained.
"Why can't Disney Characters do this?" Dustin asked. "Surely that would be easier than having a bunch of outsiders fill that task."
"We've been using 'outsiders' for years." Mickey explained. He opened a drawer next to him and pulled out five devices that resembled watches. "This guys, is a Wrist Device. It will take you anywhere you need to go, give you anything you need and will even take you between the Real World and the Disney Universe." Mickey explained "You will each receive one-which is disguised as a digital watch. Use them wisely." He warned as he handed each of the five teenagers a Wrist Device. "You all will be able to change worlds, just as long as you believe in the 'Magic of Disney'..."
"Sorry to interrupt you Mr. Mouse" Tyler started "But believing in 'the Magic of Disney', it just sounds a bit-cliché."
"Hmm. It does a bit." Mickey said thoughtfully. But everything in life is full of clichés." Tyler shrugged it off and put on her Wrist Device. As she did, it glowed a faint red color. She looked around and saw everyone else's was glowing the same. "Now when I tell you the transporting spell, there will be no turning back. You will be official Disney Guardians. Does everyone understand?" Everyone nodded in agreement. "The words are 'I leave the world of Today behind, for the world of Yesterday, Tomorrow and Fantasy'. And just like that, you're Disney Guardians. You will all be contacted tomorrow with your first… Project. Stay safe." Mickey said as he sent the teenagers out. "Oh. Enjoy the rest of your day at the park kids."
Everyone looked at each other in confusion. "Space Mountain?" Dustin suggested after a five minute break. Everyone murmured in agreement and the teenagers headed to Tomorrowland together.
"Tim, Jason, Dustin!" Hannah greeted her sons as they walked through the door at the end of the day, all three boys exhausted. "How did you guys enjoy Disney World?"
"Great. It was just great, Mom." Tim smiled
"What about you, Jason?"
"Yeah, I had a great day." He said.
"Dustin, you had a good day too?" Hannah asked
"Yeah, it went fine. Why wouldn't it?" He asked.
"Just making sure. So it was well worth getting up today?"
"Absolutely." Dustin said as he, Tim and Jason started to make their way to their bedroom.
"Goodnight boys." Hannah said.
"Goodnight Mom." "Goodnight Hannah." The three boys said together.
"Oh, man. I'm just so tired." He smiled as he cast his backpack to one side.
"Yeah, we're pretty tired ourselves." Jason yawned. Dustin picked up his over sized Florida Panthers t-shirt and took off his Rays jersey
"I can well imagine." He said pulling off his t-shirt "Still, it's been a baffling few hours though, hasn't it?" Dustin slipped into his Panthers t-shirt.
"My God, yeah. I never imagined that." Tim said.
"Not in a million years." Jason added.
"I'm gonna get some shut eye now, guys." Dustin climbed into his bed.
"Yeah, so are we." Tim and Jason crawled into their respective beds, also.
"Goodnight Dustin." Jason and Tim said in unison.
"Yeah, goodnight Tim. Goodnight Jason." Dustin said. He looked at his Wrist Device and smiled before pulling his sheets over his head, knowing he had only just scratched the surface of Disney characters and that his adventures were just going to carry on coming. And he was fine with that.
I've decided to do the main story arcs as stories. The getting to know the new world and characters arc will last 10 chapters before I move on to another story.
Please let me know if you liked it or not, this is new to me too.
Yes, I DID get the translation from Google Translate, so I know it's not 100% accurate, just pretend that it is.
The next morning Dustin was in his bedroom talking on his cell phone with his friend Pedro. Tim and Jason were lying down on Tim's bed browsing on their iPad, both eating from a large bag of Doritos.
"I know, Pedro. I'm just concerned. Did I hit my head? Was all that a hallucination?"
"Unlikely, bro." A voice said down the phone. "I was there. I saw it too. I experienced it too."
"It's just weirding me out. Why does Mickey Mouse want us to play security?"
"I don't know. Trust me, Dustin. I'm just as weirded out about this as you are."
"I'll see you later, Pedro."
"You too, Dustin." Dustin hung up the phone and sighed.
"What's the matter, Dusty?" Tim asked, moving himself so that he sat on the end of his bed.
"It's nothing. I'm just still weirded out after yesterday."
"Huh. Tell me about it." Jason scoffed, as he looked up from his iPad.
"Yeah. What exactly happened yesterday?" Tim asked.
"Dude, you were there. Mickey Mouse asked us to be security agents for Disney World-which is the dimension the Disney Characters live in. Some of them can cross between their world and the Real World-which is our world-and with these weird wristwatch things, we can too." Dustin recapped. "Then we went to Frontierland and rode Splash Mountain three consecutive times. And at 8pm-missing all the fireworks and shit-your dad Cam comes and picks us all up from the transportation and ticket center." He added.
"Yeah, that's pretty much right." Jason shrugged with one shoulder.
After a brief pause, Tim asks "Do you remember the spell?" Dustin and Jason nodded. Tim inhaled deeply. "Do you think we should go back to the Magic Kingdom today? See what Mickey Mouse meant?"
"Yeah, I guess. We have these things on our wrists and we have no damn idea what to do with them." Jason says as he fiddled with his Wrist Device.
"I'm gonna call Pedro back, then I'm gonna call Tyler. See what they think. Whether we like it or not, we're all a team now." Dustin said as he picked up his cell phone and glared at Tim.
"Whatever. I'm gonna pretend she's not there." Tim said as he threw his hands in the air defensively.
"Somehow I don't believe you, Tim." Dustin put his phone to his ear. "Hello, Pedro?"
"Yeah?" Pedro said down the phone. "Listen, this better be important..."
"Oh it is. "Dustin remarked, interrupting Pedro. "It's Sunday. Do you want to go back to Disney World today?"
"I didn't plan on this." Pedro sighed. "Yeah, let me ask my parents first, man."
"Just tell 'em you didn't realize Tyler hadn't been to Disney World before and now we wanna take her to Epcot. Or some other bullshit story."
"I dunno Dustin..."
"Say that you wanted to go back to Disney World so bad you had to convince us to go." Dustin pleaded.
"My parents will be pretty pissed if I miss Mass…"
"Pedro, come on. You owe me."
"From when?" Pedro snaps.
"From that time that rat got in your backpack last year and I got rid of it for you. Remember that? Damn thing coulda been rabid."
"Fine. But with the shit I'm gonna have to pull... You owe me back."
"That's all I want, Pedro. That's all I want." Dustin smiled and hung up his phone once again.
"So what's happening?" Tim ask.
"Thunderbirds are go." Dustin said with a massive grin plastered on his face.
The teenagers once again made their way down to the Transportation and Ticket Center, having had Tim and Jason's father Cam drop them off for a second time.
"Kids, are you sure again about today?" Cam asked.
"Perfectly. We're gonna catch the monorail to Epcot and take Tyler there." Dustin said, putting his arm around Tyler's waist. She didn't take to this act kindly and ripped his arm from her.
"If y'all are sure…" Cam said with a raised eyebrow. "Have fun guys." He rolled his window up and drove away.
"Are we really gonna go to Epcot?" Tyler asked.
"Hell no." Dustin snorted. "We're gonna catch the monorail again and go to the Magic Kingdom."
"Again?" Tyler asked. "Why?"
"Because some seriously weird shit went down yesterday and I wanna find out what it was." Dustin explained as the teens walked over to the monorail station.
The teens once again found their way on Main Street USA and into the Town Square Theater and stood outside, not doing anything. Just observing.
"Should we go in?" Jason asked.
"What if it was all a dream?" Dustin remarked back.
"And we've all had the same one?" Pedro raised his eyebrow.
"'S Possible." Tim shrugged.
"No! Not possible!" Pedro raised his voice. "Five people don't have the same dream!"
"They did in Inception." Tim reasoned.
"Inception is a movie." Pedro folded his arms.
"Wasn't it the Batman guy who did that?" Jason asked.
"Yeah, he did." Pedro unfolded his arms and put one of his hands into his jeans pocket.
"So what happens now?" Jason asked as the teens stare at Town Square Theater.
"We leave... And come back later." Dustin suggested, slightly on edge.
"How later?" Tyler asked.
"Enough later." Dustin said after a brief pause. "We never did get to go on Space Mountain yesterday..." Dustin looked at Pedro.
"We also didn't do the Tomorrowland Speedway." Pedro replied.
"Or Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin." Tim added.
"So it's settled." Dustin began. "We'll head on over to Tomorrowland and then come back here to see Mickey." Tim hi-fived Jason and everyone began the walk back up Main Street USA.
"Come on Dustin!" A young Tim grabbed a young Dustin's arm and pulled him along Main Street USA.
"I'm not in the mood." Dustin pouted.
"You're never in the mood." A Young Jason said glumly.
"I just don't want to." Dustin pulled his arm away from Tim.
"Cam, do you think it's a good idea to bring Timothy and Jason's friend along? He's not a good influence on the boys." A young woman in jeans and a Mickey Mouse t-shirt said to a young man wearing jeans and a green plaid flannel shirt. Tim and Jason's parents, Cam and Hannah.
"Hannah, this kid has it rough. He's not as lucky as we are. We're annual pass holders. This kid's probably never even been here before." Cam sighed. "The least we can do, babe, is show him some Disney Magic. He needs to know that his dreams can come true, rather than him just having to fend for himself in this big old rough world."
"He's not getting into it, Cam. Maybe we should..."
"Hannah, I'm not bringing him back to those selfish bastards he calls 'Mom and Dad' without him experiencing a little Disney Magic first." Cam glared at Hannah. "Dustin's a great kid and those selfish bastards don't deserve him." Hannah sighed.
"Cam, I get the feeling you know something that I don't." She said.
"I'll tell you later." He whispered in her ear before he turned away and clapped loudly to get the kids' attention. "Alright kids! Where do you wanna go first?" He asked the kids with a big smile plastered on his face, though still deeply haunted by Dustin's family life.
Jason and Tim jumped up and down and shout "Space Mountain! Space Mountain!"
"Space Mountain!" Tim shouts.
"Space Mountain!" Tim shouted, snapping Dustin from his thoughts.
"What?" Dustin said, clearly startled. He looked around and saw the group had walked deeply into Tomorrowland. "Oh. Right." He scratched the back of his neck. "Space Mountain. Well, there it is." He gestured to the instantly recognizable attraction.
"Aren't you coming, Dusty?" Tim asked as the others head towards the entrance.
Dustin cringed. He really hated that nickname. "Nah. I'll wait here. Get an ice cream or some shit."
"Are you sure? You're the one who suggested this." Tim raised an eyebrow. "There's something on your mind, isn't there?" He asked.
"Tim, I'm fine. I'm just..."
"Thinking about Mickey Mouse?" Tim offered, cutting Dustin off.
"Uh... Yeah." Dustin cautiously agreed. "That."
"We'll, not going on Space Mountain won't make your worries go away. In fact you should, your worries aren't going away!" Tim said cheerily and grabbed Dustin's arm.
"Alright!" Dustin shouted, loud enough that other guests look at him. He pulled the rim of his Tampa Bay Rays cap down lower with embarrassment.
"There's something more, isn't there?" Tim put his hands on his hips sternly. Dustin looked around anxiously and cleared his throat.
"What is it?" Tim asked.
"I was just thinking about the first time I came here."
"When we were 10?"
"It's just that it's Tyler's first time and I was remembering my own first time." Dustin offered with a small shrug.
"As I recall, that wasn't a particularly happy time." Tim frowned. "You were quite miserable. It was before my parents took you in, wasn't it?" Dustin nodded. "But then, we didn't really know what was happening with you when we weren't around." Tim sighed. "Come on, let's go on Space Mountain."
"I'm not in the mood. I'll wait here with all your crap if you want though." Dustin smiled.
"I... I'm gonna take you up on that." Tim smiled back and threw to Dustin his Disney backpack. Dustin caught it.
"I'll catch ya later." He called after Tim as he ran to meet the others at the entrance to Space Mountain. Dustin sighed and wandered over to The Lunching Pad before joining the queue for a snack. He pulled out his iPod Touch and checked the time. Half ten. Perfect.
"Can I help you?"
"Wha?" Dustin broke from his trance.
"Can I help you?" The cast member repeated herself.
"Yeah, can I have a Mickey pretzel please? Oh and a slushy-red." Dustin pocketed his iPod and pulled out a ten dollar bill. He watched as the cast member toook a pretzel and handed it to him and again as she poured out a red slushy. The cast member handed Dustin the slushy drink and he handed over the ten dollars.
"That'll be nine dollars and 48 cents... Out of ten." Dustin received his change and walked away taking a bite out of his pretzel.
"Why don't you two go on Space Mountain with your mom and I'll take Dustin for a pretzel." Cam told his young children.
"Okay." Young Tim said glumly.
"Come on Tim!" Young Jason shouted. "You can sit in front!" Tim and Jason ran towards Space Mountain together.
"Wait for me, boys!" Hannah shouted as she chased after them.
"So Dustin, what do you want to eat?" Cam asked as he put a hand on Dustin's shoulder, leading him towards The Lunching Pad.
Dustin finished his food and decided to ride the PeopleMover as he waited for his friends as it's the perfect place for him to let his mind wander.
The four teens came off Space Mountain. "Man, I can't believe Dustin missed that." Tim said.
"Yeah, I can." Jason shrugged. "He doesn't appear to be quite all here today."
"That's for sure." Pedro threw his backpack on.
"I wonder what's up with him." Tyler said as Tim bit his lip.
"Timmy, you know something?" Jason asked.
"No, it's just... Her." He said seething with rage.
"Hey! What've I done now?" She asked.
"You're you." He said as they all stood on the conveyor belt that would bring them back to Tomorrowland.
"I'm me, am I?" Tyler put her hands on her hips aggressively.
"Yeah, you are!" Tim raised his voice. "Your personality grates me almost as much as your stupid accent!"
"At least I don't sound like I'm gonna marry my cousin!" Tyler also raised her voice.
"Guys! Break it up!" Jason hissed urgently.
"Stay out of it, Jason!" The two shouted in unison.
"Seriously, guys, what would Dustin say if he knew what you were doing...?"
"Shut up, Jason!" Tim said. His arm flew out from his side and hit his brother in the face.
"Jeez, Tim!" Jason said, quickly putting his hand to his face.
"Jason, you okay?" Pedro asked as he tried to pry Jason's hand from his face. "Dude, that's gonna leave a mark." He muttered.
"I'm so sorry, Jason, I didn't mean it..." Tim began.
"Dude, you hit... Hard." Jason sayid, still clutching his eye.
"I wasn't even trying..." Tim's voice cracked as if he were about to cry.
"Dude, forget about it." Jason mumbled.
"Dude, it's okay. Just don't get angry for any more stupid reasons." Jason said louder.
"So where d'ya think Dusty is?" Pedro asked after a brief silence.
"I last saw him heading towards The Lunching Pad." Tim offered.
"Why would he be going there?" Pedro asked.
"Food." Tim shrugged. "I dunno."
"Hey, isn't that where Dad took him when we first brought him to the Magic Kingdom?" Jason asked.
Tim frowned and his eyes opened wide in realization. "God, yeah!" He said a little too loudly. "It was. He was saying something about remembering those days."
"Then that's what's getting to him." Jason facepalmed. "He's thinking of his… Less than stellar childhood." The teens arrived at the gift shop.
"I'm gonna get a Coke, you guys want anything?" Tyler asked, walking over to the fridge and taking out a bottle of Coke.
"Yeah, I'll have a chocolate." Jason answered, picking out a simple Mickey Mouse chocolate bar.
"I'll have trail mix." Pedro handed the trail mix he was looking at to Tyler.
"Tim?" Jason asked. Tyler put her Coke bottle and Pedro's trail mix on the counter.
"No. I'm okay." He snapped.
"Suit yourself. But if you're thirsty or hungry you're just cutting off your nose to spite your face." Jason said as he lay his chocolate bar onto the counter.
"Whatever." He snarled, folding his arms. Tyler paid for the items and everyone left the gift shop. Passing the Tomorrowland arcade, Jason took his phone from his pocket to check the time. "C'mon." He said. "Dusty will have been waiting for us forever."
"Why? How long's it been, Jason?" Tim asked.
"Damn near 40 minutes." Jason replied, rolling his eyes.
"Crap, really?" Tyler asked as she opened up her Coke bottle. "I'd've figured half an hour, at best." She shrugged as she took a long swig of her drink.
"I know." Pedro shook his head in shock.
"Dude, I can't see Dusty." Jason mumbled after a brief scan of the vicinity.
"Yeah, where is he?" Pedro asked after only just realizing that Dustin never rode Space Mountain with them.
"I don't know, he said he'd wait right there…" Tim trailed off. "Crap! That bastard has all my stuff!" He shouted loudly.
"Tim, cool it with the swear words." Jason hissed and pulled his brother away from a family whose parents wore disgusted facial expressions.
"Sorry." He said sheepishly. "But you'd be pretty pissed too, if Dustin had your stuff."
"I'll call him, shall I?" Jason pulled out his phone and typed in the password.
"Yeah, you do that." Tyler muttered absentmindedly.
"I mean, this isn't the 1970's. He has a cell phone." Jason put his phone to his ear. "Hello?"
"Jason?" Dustin said cheerily. He was in the line to meet Buzz Lightyear and holding a big bag full of cotton candy.
"Dude, where are you?" Jason asked.
"Around." Dustin replied.
"That's incredibly vague." Jason frowned. "Where are you?"
"Don't you worry your pretty little head over where I am, just meet me by the Carousel of Progress in ooh…" Dustin took his phone away from his ear to check the time. "Around 5 minutes. Love ya!" Dustin hung up and a Cast Member directed him to Buzz Lightyear. He ran to the character gleefully.
"Damn bastard hung up on me." Jason said under his breath as he stared at his phone.
"What'd he say?" Tyler asked.
"He said to meet him at the Carousel of Progress in 5 minutes."
"What's he doing that could take 5 minutes?" Tim asked.
"Well, he could be in the bathroom." Tyler reasoned.
"In which case, he'd be there." Jason pointed to the nearby restrooms. "Not near the Carousel of Progress."
"Maybe he's on the Carousel of Progress." Pedro suggested. "Did you hear Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow?"
"No. I don't know. Let's just go. Maybe we'll get it out of him there." Jason replied. He lead everyone back towards the Carousel of Progress to meet with their friend.
"Thanks Buzz!" Dustin walked away and waved after Buzz Lightyear. He pulled out a big piece of cotton candy from the bag and stuffed it into his mouth as he caught sight of his friends.
"Well, well, well." Jason quirked an eyebrow. "Aren't we a little old for Buzz Lightyear?"
"No, no, we are never too old for Buzz Lightyear." Dustin smiled. "Right. I think we've wasted enough time. Time to go see Mickey Mouse." As the teens walked past Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Dustin could once again hear Tim and Tyler squabbling.
"Come on! Curveball is useless!" Tyler screamed. "If you wanna baffle a hitter-I mean truly baffle a hitter-you use the greatest pitch ever… Knuckleball."
"Come on! Knuckleballs are impossible to throw!" Tim shouted back.
"If you don't know how to do it properly. I was trained." She boasted.
"Oh yeah by who?" Tim folded his arms.
"By…" Tyler trailed off.
"You want to make sure you stand slightly to your side, then raise your leg-hey Bret! Your kid's a natural!" A man yelled out to another man. A little girl was up on the pitcher's mound at Fenway Park, receiving a knuckleball tutorial from Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield. That little girl was Tyler, or Frankie as she is known to everyone outside Orlando.
"Alright kid, grab the ball by the seam-really dig your fingernails in there." Wakefield turned to Frankie's father Bret again. "Dude, I thought you'd be the one to teach your kid how to pitch."
"I have, Wake." Bret replied casually. "I just can't knuckleball and that's the pitch she wants to know!"
"Take her to Schilling and get him to show her his slider!" Wakefield and Bret shared a laugh.
The Red Sox manager comes from the dugout and onto the field. "Tim, Bret, we're going to start practice in 5."
"Sure thing, Tito." Bret replied with a smile.
"Oh and Tim… Don't throw the kid any of your 80 mile an hour knuckleballs. We don't wanna put her off baseball for life." Tito ruffled Frankie's hair.
"Come on kid, let's go." Wakefield picked Frankie up off the pitcher's mound and set her down on the infield grass.
"Dad, why can't I practice baseball with you guys?" She asked.
"Because you're not a Red Sox." Bret explained.
"Dad please let me practice baseball with you!" She begged.
"I already told you Frankie." He turned to face his daughter. "No! You're too young! You're not a Red Sox, you don't have a contract! What if you get hurt? I'm sorry, but no!"
"Tyler? Tyler are you alright?" Dustin asked, waving his hand in front of her face.
"Yeah, yeah I'm fine." She shook her head.
"Good, I was getting worried. I thought Tim had broken you!" Dustin laughed weakly.
"How did we get to Main Street so fast?" She asked, taking in her surroundings.
"We walked. It took around 5 minutes. No longer than usual. But then, you zoned out so time probably passed slower in your brain than in the real world…" Dustin trailed off and cleared his throat. "But I digress." He inhaled deeply.
"I'm ready to go meet Mickey Mouse." Tyler said.
"I hope he has a cure to stop you two from fighting." Dustin said to Tim and Tyler. "You two are my best friends. Along with Jason and Pedro." Dustin added upon noticing the expressions on Jason's and Pedro's faces. They carried on walking.
Bret and Tim Wakefield entered the Red Sox clubhouse and Bret clutched his daughter's-young Frankie/Tyler's-hand. The three entered carefully as their manager-Tito-was holding a team meeting. Bret sat Frankie-holding her baseball-on his knee.
"Right, as you all know, we have a home stand against the Yankees that started yesterday. We lost yesterday's game miserably-thank you Clay Buchholz-so we have to win today's and tomorrow's games or else the Yankees take top place upon the AL East. And I know none of you want that." Tito explained.
"Does it really matter who gets first place? I mean, it's only April. We're second to the Rays and it's not likely the Yankees will even claim it, being in third." Jon Lester reasoned and murmurs of agreement filled the clubhouse.
"Even if the Rays are in first!" Tito shouted over all the talking and the clubhouse went eerily quiet. "Even if the Rays are in first place, do you really want the Yankees-our bitter rivals for a century-to win?" Murmurs filled the clubhouse once again. "Well do we? I can't hear you!"
"No!" Everyone roared.
"Then get out there and win!" Tito yelled and the clubhouse started cheering.
"… Don't you think Tyler?" Dustin asked.
"I'm not sure." She answered, not knowing what Dustin had just said.
"Yeah, it's a difficult one, that's for sure." Dustin sighed.
"I'm a little bit frightened." Jason admitted.
"Hang on, what's difficult and frightening?" Tyler asked.
"Were you not listening?" Tyler shook her head. "Just how we're gonna confront Mickey Mouse about this." Dustin said.
"Okay, where's that damn mouse?" Tyler asked.
"Right in here." Pedro gestured to the Town Square Theater.
"Alright, then. Let's go in." Tyler said.
"I am so not ready for this." Dustin muttered as the teens walked inside.
Inside the Town Square Theater, Mickey Mouse's assistant, Steven, once again knocked on his door and entered his office. "Uh Mr. Mouse? Those teenagers from yesterday are back."
"They are?" Mickey replied, quizzically.
"Uh… Yes sir." Steven clutched tightly to his clipboard.
"Uh… Send them in, Steven. Send them in."
"Will do, Sir." Steven said, exiting Mickey's office. The teenagers once again entered Mickey Mouse's office.
"Dustin, Jason, Tim, Pedro and uh…" Mickey paused. "Tyler or Frankie?" He asked. The boys exchange glances and shrug.
"Tyler." Tyler replied adamantly.
"Huh." Mickey shrugged. "So what brings you here?"
"You were a little too vague yesterday." Dustin said.
"Dustin Ken Williams. Born on 18 August 1997. Living with a foster family since 2005. Captain of the Southwest Orlando High School Hurricanes baseball team. Also prized wide receiver for the football team. The person your friends turn to during crises." Mickey mused. "You'll do nicely."
"Nicely for what? What do you plan on doing to me? How do you know so much about me?" Dustin asked in a mild panic.
Mickey turned to Tim and Jason. "Timothy James Edelman and Jason Matthew Edelman. Twins, though Jason is older by 16 minutes. Tim plays baseball and Jason plays football-as another wide receiver. Jason also plays lacrosse and enjoys that better and Tim has an illegal tattoo of me o his left thigh. Both are foster brothers to Dustin."
"Yeah, but…" Tim protested.
"How do you…?" Jason began.
Mickey then turned to Pedro. "Pedro Miguel Martinez Ortiz. Boy, that sure is a mouthful. Star outfielder for the Hurricanes. One of four children and struggles to get noticed."
"Yeah, but how…?"
Mickey turned to Tyler. "And 'Tyler Horton'." He turned away to face everyone else.
"What? You reveal our secrets, but know nothing about her?" Tim shouted.
"I know more about her than you do at this point, I take it." Mickey remarked.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Jason asked.
"You'll wanna know how I know so much about you? Am I right?" Mickey asked.
"Well… Yeah." Dustin said.
"This is a computer." Mickey flipped the lid open on his laptop.
"No shit, Sherlock." Jason rolled his eyes.
"Promise you won't freak out?" Mickey asked and the teens shook their heads. "We use it to monitor you."
"Wow. That's creepy. I thought it was just the US government's NSA division that was watching me." Dustin backed away a few steps.
"Not only you, other potential Guardians." Mickey clicked through live video of teenagers and other young people. "Like sports teams when they do scouting. This is 12 year old boy Sanjay from India, 8 year old girl Laura from Portugal, 10 year old boy Freddie from Australia, 16 year old girl Sabrina from Laos..."
"Dusty's right. That's super creepy." Pedro said, also taking a step backwards.
"How else are we going to recruit?" Mickey asked.
"From your own characters?" Jason suggested.
"Not possible. The more characters that become part of the Disney Universe, the more Guardians that are needed. Simple as." Mickey shrugged.
"Why us?" Tim asked, full of suspicion
"Because when I find somebody noble, humble and brave I have to hire them. And that is what you all are."
"I'm not." Dustin said. "I've done things I'm not proud of."
"We all do that, Dustin." Mickey looked at his feet. "I've done some pretty terrible things. I haven't always been so squeaky clean."
"He's right Dusty." Tyler began. "We've all done things we're ashamed of."
"Heroes aren't always perfect. Most of the time, they're less than." Mickey began. "A hero isn't defined by his perfection, a hero is defined by his nobility. Did you not watch Hercules?"
"No, no I did. I very much enjoyed it too." Dustin said.
"Then you know what I'm saying. Give it a go. Try it."
"I don't know…"
"I know Walt would approve of you."
"He… He would?"
"He would approve of you all. That's why I want you to become Guardians. You'd just be helping out Disney Characters, like helping Lilo get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to Pudge every Thursday or helping to referee Mighty Ducks of Anaheim games or Sugar Rush random roster races and occasionally defeat the odd villain." Mickey said with a sheepish look, rubbing the back of his neck.
"Mostly harmless?" Dustin asked.
"Uh… Yeah. Mostly." Mickey said quickly.
"You're on Mouse." Dustin offered his hand to Mickey. "If one of us gets hurt…"
"The chances of that happening are astronomical." Mickey shook Dustin's hand.
"When do we start?" Dustin asked, looking over his shoulder at his new team.
"As soon as you want to." Mickey said.
"Now?" Tim asked.
"Why not?" Dustin said.
"I leave the world of today behind for the world of yesterday tomorrow and fantasy." The teens mutter and in a flash, they're gone.
"Where the hell are we?" Jason asked.
"We're in the Disney World." Dustin replied.
"The Disney World?" Tyler asked.
"Oh yeah. This is the Disney World." Dustin said. He looked to his right and saw a 'WaltMart' super store, which seemed to be the Disney World's equivalent of WalMart. Ahead of him is an ordinary street with clothing stores and more and to his left is a discount warehouse, a 'Walty's' and a 'McDisney's'- which Dustin assumed was the Disney World Wendy's and McDonalds. Dustin saw Ralph exit the 'WaltMart' pushing a cart full of shopping for him and Vanellope-who was bouncing next to him.
"Dustin!" Vanellope screamed and ran over to the teenagers.
"Vanellope! Hi! So Mickey sent you back?"
"Yes he did and she's grounded." Ralph said as he walked up to her and picked her up.
"You must be Wreck-It Ralph." Dustin craned his neck to look at Ralph's face. "I loved your movie."
"Wha…?" Ralph caught a glimpse of Dustin's Wrist Device. "You're Guardians. From the Real World?" He asked.
"I gotcha. Would you like to come to my shack for dinner at all…? I mean, I would suggest Vanellope's castle, but I'm sure you'd wanna meet Felix and Tamora. They're just great…"
"Ralph, you're rambling." Vanellope nudged him in the leg.
"Ralph, we'd love to do that, sometime." Tim smiled.
"Uh… Okay. I live in Arcadeland. Follow the signposts and you should find it." Ralph smiled as he picked the plastic bags full of shopping up out of the cart. "Vanellope, help me with these, would ya, kid?"
"Sure thing, Stinkbrain!" She grabbed a bag.
"See you later." Ralph said as he walked away.
"Well, that's one trip and a half." Jason said. "I now firmly believe I'm on acid somehow."
"Jason, I don't think we're on acid. This is real life." Tim said.
"It's a pretty weird 'real life'." Jason shook his head.
"Damn right." Pedro shrugged. "I don't know what the hell this is. It's like I'm in some kind of Cheech and Chong movie."
"Don't exaggerate, Pedro." Tyler shook her head. "It's… Strange though." She said nervously.
"Oh my, are you guys Guardians too?" Dustin turned around and saw a man he doesn't know, yet recognizes, holding a cup of ice cream. "I haven't seen you here at all."
"I don't know you, but I've seen you somewhere." Tim blurted out.
"Oh, where are my manners!" The man said. "I'm Jack. Jack McBrayer and you probably have seen me before, if you like 30 Rock that is."
"Kenneth the Page." Jason rolled his eyes.
"You're a Guardian?" Tim asked. "You've gotta be at least 50."
"No, sir. I've got a decade to go yet." He smileed.
"He means he's 40, Tim…" Tyler began.
"I know what he means!" Tim snapped.
"I was only saying." Tyler put her hands in the air defensively.
"Oh my, I get the feeling you two don't like each other much." McBrayer said. "You should go to 'McDisney's' and share yourselves a 'DisFlurry'! They're like McFlurrys, but way better!"
"Is that what you're eating?" Dustin asked.
"Yes, sir! My third of the day."
"That's insane." Pedro smiled. "Who the hell would eat that much ice cream in a day?"
"A lot of people." McBrayer replied. "Oh, you're new Guardians." He said in realization. "You don't have Disney Dollars yet."
"I have Disney Dollars, I'm an annual pass holder for Walt Disney World…" Jason said.
"Not those Disney Dollars. No, Disney Dollars are the legal tender in Disney World, all over. So those from Frontierland have the same currency as those from Adventureland and Tomorrowland." McBrayer looked at the teens.
"No, we… We don't have those-please stop staring as I feel uncomfortable." Dustin looked at the ground..
"Next time, we go to 'McDisney's'." Dustin heard a woman say loudly. He looked over to his left and saw Calhoun walking away from 'Walty's' with Fix-It Felix.
"I'm sorry, sweetie. I thought you'd like 'Walty's'." Felix said.
"It's not that I don't like 'Walty's', I got nothing against 'Walt Garden' or 'DFC' either, I just prefer 'McDisney's'." She shrugged.
The teens caught the eye of Felix, who walked over to them. "Always nice to meet new Guardians and as I say that, I hope you're new!" Felix chuckled and removed his cap.
"Yeah, we are." Tim smiled. "I'm Tim, that's my twin brother Jason, my foster brother Dustin and his friend Pedro." Tim gestured to each of the teens as he said their names.
"And I'm Tyler." She said. "We don't get on."
"Oh, there's only one cure for that." Felix began. "A caramel 'W&W' and peanut butter 'DisFlurry' from 'McDisneys'!"
"That's what I said!" McBrayer said happily, as if he were fit to burst.
"Thank you for agreeing with me, stranger!" Felix said in the same way. Dustin and Pedro exchanged glances.
"Alright, you've said 'hello', Fix-It, time for us to go home." Calhoun grabbed Felix by his arm.
"Are you new too?" Felix asked Jack McBrayer.
"No, I've been a Guardian for nearly 7 years." He beamed.
"Are they really not noticing?" Tim asked Dustin.
"It seems so." Dustin shrugged.
"Hey, Fix-It!" Tim called out. "You notice anything about this grown-ass man?"
"No, I'm not seeing…" Felix trailed off and stared at Jack McBrayer. "Oh my land..." Felix said as he examined McBrayer. "Why do you look and sound so much like me?"
"Because I am you?" McBrayer offered.
"No way. No way can you be me." Felix backed away.
"I am you, Felix. I have very vivid memories of stepping into that recording booth and bringing you to life." McBrayer said. "A lot of people in the Real World are needed to bring one of you to life. The designer works out what you're gonna look like, the script writers work out your personality, the animators work out your body language and actors-like me-give you your voice and work out what you'll sound like and how you act." Felix simply blinked as he put his cap back on. "And that's where Disney Characters come from." McBrayer finished.
"Okay…" Felix backed away further. "I gotta… Uh… Fix… Stove." Felix dashed away and Calhoun chased after him. McBrayer walked back over to "McDisney's'.
"Hey Guardians!" A voice called out. A man was walking from the 'WaltMart'.
"Do I know you?" Dustin asked.
"Course you do!" The man said. "I'm Hawkeye!" Dustin raised an eyebrow. "Clint Barton...? Avenger...?"
"This is just getting weird." Tim shook his head.
"And I've had enough weird for one day." Jason said.
"Oh yeah." Dustin agreed and everyone teleports back to the Real World.
Back on Main Street, Dustin stared at the Town Square Theater knowing that they would be there frequently in the near future.
"Ready to go?" Pedro asked.
"Totally, Pedro." He replied. "You okay, Tim?"
"Yeah, I just… I need some time to acclimate to the weird." Tim replied.
"Dammit, so do I." Jason added as they all made the extremely short walk to the park exit.
"If this is our lives from now on, I will say one thing." Tyler began.
"What's that, then?" Jason asked.
"It's unique." She said.
"Dammit, even I gotta agree with that one." Tim said, shocking everyone. Nobody saw that agreement or sliver of civility coming.
It won't be quite like this next chapter as this is just setting the tone and getting to know the characters. I felt it was important to have them be flawed and have all of them struggle with something. Whether it's Tim and Jason and their subtle twin rivalry, Dustin's former family life, Pedro struggling for attention or Tyler's moral struggle with lying to her best friends. I can't stress enough that Tyler is Frankie. Like I said, she's lying about who she is and it'll come out later.
A young man looked out of a window at the Boston skyline as dawn was breaking. The young man sighed and turns around. A man lay on his stomach reading from three books and an iPad in his right hand while drawing diagrams on a large piece of paper with his left.
"Branislav, please." The young man sighed again as he sat down next to the man.
"Not now, Marek. I'm very busy." The man Branislav picked up another pencil.
"Branislav..." The young man, Marek began.
"Marek." Branislav said sternly. "I'm busy." He sketched harder.
"Marek!" Branislav threw down his pencil and stood up. His height looks imposing as he stands much taller than the average person. "Do you want us to lose to the Red Wings tonight? Is that what you want?" He shouted. "That's what you're doing! Distracting me from my plans so that we're gonna lose to the Red Wings!"
"You never have any time for me!" Marek shouted as he stood up off the floor. He stands at least six inches taller than Branislav. "You're always training! You've had no time for me since you were traded!" Marek stared down into Branislav's eyes.
"Just be grateful I brought you the hell out of Slovakia." Branislav hissed.
"I hate you so much." Marek didn’t care if Branislav was his brother. All he wanted in that moment was to hit him. And he did.
Branislav was stunned backwards, clutching his jaw. "What was that for, you little shit?" He shouted.
"You're supposed to be my brother! You're supposed to look out for me!" Marek was upset, but refused to back down as his brother looked hard into his eyes, lifted his fist and punched him in the face.
Marek jumped on top of his brother and both landed blows repeatedly on each other as it turned into a hockey type fight. Marek finally pinned Branislav to the ground and punched him in the side of the head. He climbed off his brother panting for breath with a black eye and a split lip and sat down next to him. After the initial shock passed, Marek took a look at Branislav, who was still unconscious.
"Branislav?" Marek said, still out of breath. "Branislav?" Still no answer. Marek started to get worried. "Branislav?" Marek asked, trying to shake his brother awake. After realizing what he did, Marek got off the floor and ran out of the room upset.
Tim shook Dustin who lazily lay in his bed, the sheets pulled over his face. "What is it?" He mumbled.
"Hey, happy Easter, bro." Tim handed Dustin a large box of Peeps.
"Thanks. I got you and Jason eggs." He yawned. "They're under my bed." Dustin pointed at the floor and turned over. Tim crouched down and looked underneath Dustin's bed.
"Dude, all I see is lint." Tim pulled a wrapped parcel from under Dustin's bed. "And an unopened Christmas present addressed to... Me." Tim examined the label. "Dustin, it's from 2012, that's two Christmases ago. How often do you clean under there?"
"I found the eggs, Dustin. Alongside my Christmas present, fireworks-which you shouldn't have-sticky Halloween candy from God knows how long ago, a melted chocolate Easter Bunny, a couple of birthday presents and Valentine's card from Phoebe Lynch... Who moved to Oregon four years ago." Tim quickly glanced back under the bed. "And moldy turkey from last Thanksgiving-God that's gross!" Tim exclaimed with a disgusted look on his face.
"Whatever." Dustin said.
"Whatever?!" Tim shouted.
"Yeah, whatever." Dustin pushed himself out of his bed sheets. "I don't tell you what to do or what to keep under your bed. I'd like the same courtesy extended to me."
"What if you get married?"
"Then I won't be sleeping in this bed. Or probably, the house." Dustin moved to sit at the side of his bed.
"Dustin please." Tim begged.
"Fine. I'll clean under my bed. Sheesh."
"No need to be like that, Dustin. I'm going downstairs, help Mom out with the Easter egg hunt. You can come too, but uh... Get dressed. I'll see you in five." Dustin nodded. Tim left the shared bedroom and closed the door, making his way downstairs.
"No Dustin?" Hannah asked, sitting at the kitchen table painstakingly painting small designs on hard boiled eggs.
"Yeah, he just needs some time to get ready." Tim explained, walking outside.
"Mom didn’t rope you in?” Jason asked.
"Nah." Tim sat down at the table.
"It's just another half hour or so until Mass. Do you think she knows?" Jason asked, taking a seat next to Tim.
"Probably not. I mean, she's so damn caught up in painting those shitty little eggs, she's probably lost all track of time. For all she knows, it's Memorial Day!" Tim and Jason laughed. Dustin walked outside.
"Sunny today, isn't it." He noted.
"Well this is the Sunshine State..." Tim said thoughtfully. "Mom done yet?"
"What? You mean she hasn't just started?"
"Whaddya mean?" Jason asked, picking up the Easter Egg Hunt sign he was painting.
"She's in there now with boxes and boxes of eggs. Like... Ten of them." Dustin shook his head.
"Wow. She's definitely gonna miss Mass." Jason said, shaking his head.
"She hasn't missed a Mass in years." Tim shrugged.
Dustin took his phone from his pocket to check the time. "D'jou think we should tell her?"
"Probably. Hey, where's Dad?" Tim asked.
"Sweet talking the neighbors." Jason replied. Tim rolled his eyes. Every year since the twins were born, Hannah had taken to organizing a neighborhood wide Easter egg hunt, which unfortunately, nobody really wanted, so Cam had the job each year of talking the neighbors into allowing his wife to do it.
Alarms suddenly sounded, startling the three teens. "What's that?" Dustin asked.
"Uh... I think it's possibly the Wrist Device things Mickey Mouse gave us." Jason tapped the screen of his. "Apparently it's some Brother Bear thing." He said, reading his Wrist Device monitor. "I don't get it. Have either of you been bad brothers?" Dustin and Tim shook their heads. "Have I been a bad brother?" Jason's face fell.
"No, Jason. You've been a wonderful brother." Tim put his hand on Jason's shoulder. "Maybe it's Dustin. He's not cleaned his side of the room. I've found years old Valentine's cards and months old Thanksgiving turkey under his bed."
"Gross! I thought I could smell something." Jason shot Dustin a playful look, knowing what a clean freak Tim is.
"Maybe there is no lesson to be leaned." Dustin suggested. “Maybe he's just the character of the day or something."
"What is this? Some kind of restaurant?" Jason joked. "These are sentient Disney Characters, not specialty meals, catch of the day, soup of the day... C'mon man."
"So how are we going to get around this?" Dustin asked.
Tim snapped his fingers "We're going to Pedro's!" He said loudly. "But... Not really. That's just what we tell Mom and Dad."
"But nothing, Dustin, it's just easier." Tim opened the door to back into the kitchen. "Hey Mom, you're gonna miss Mass. And Dustin, Jason and I are going to Pedro's." Tim said nonchalantly.
"Sure boys, whatever." Hannah dropped her paintbrush and egg in shock. "I'll see you boys for the egg hunt!" She shouted as she rushed out of the kitchen. Tim walked back outside.
"Hey guys. Simple as that." He smiled. "Shall we go?"
"I leave the world of today behind for the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy." The three brothers said and disappeard in a flash.
"Where are we?" Dustin asked, looking around. "Why is it so cold?"
"I think we're in the ice age? Or something?" Tim replied.
"No way! There's people!" Jason argued.
"When else in history were there woolly mammoths?!" Tim shouted, pointing to a woolly mammoth.
"I don't know, do I?!" Tim shouted back.
"Do you mind?" A young man shouted in a Canadian accent. "Trying to mope here."
"Where are you?" Dustin shouted.
"I'm the tall guy, sitting on a log." The young man shouted back. Tim, Jason and Dustin walk toward him.
"So... Why are you moping?" Tim asked.
"Had an argument with my brother. He's playing the Red Wings today and doesn't want to lose like a few nights ago." The young man stood up, towering over the three teens.
"Holy crap, you're tall!" Dustin blurted out. "I mean, is your brother Zdeno Chara?"
"No." The young man replied sadly. "My name is Marek. Marek Kováč. Most people call me Rick though." He shrugged. "My brother is a tall, Slovak defenseman, but he's not Big Zee. He's Branislav Kováč."
Dustin stared at the young man in disbelief. "Okay. Fine. What did you fall out about?"
"He neglects me. Always has done. I mean… When he was with Edmonton, he spent time with me, but when he was traded to Boston... That's when the neglect started. And I punched him out cold this morning about two hours ago."
"Why?" Dustin asked. "I know we just met and I'm sorry for being intrusive..."
"He has no time for me. He doesn't look out for me like he used to. I'm 19 and he's had no time for me for the past decade. I got annoyed and punched him in the face. I didn't mean to knock him out, but that's what happened." Marek's voice started to quiver.
Tim pulled Jason and Dustin aside. "He's the one who's been the bad brother. We need to help him by being good brothers!" He whispered excitedly.
"But we are good brothers." Dustin whispered back.
"Yeah, I know. So we just be ourselves?" Jason asked quietly.
"Yeah. We just be ourselves." Tim replied quietly
"But it's not just this Marek guy who's been the bad brother, it's the Bruins guy." Jason said.
"So, you recognize anything yet, or can't you see past my fat head?" Someone asked and then there was laughter. Everyone whipped their heads around to look. It was Kenai and Koda.
“It’s Brother Bear.” Tim said dismissively.
"It's Brother Bear!" Dustin blurted out. "A bruin is the type of bear-the type of bear that Kenai and Koda are-"
"I thought they were grizzly bears?" Tim asked.
"A bruin is just any type of brown bear. Both Kenai and Koda are brown bears. So they're having brother problems. The brother of a Boston Bruin ended up here…"
"His brother is brother bear." Tim said in realization.
"We're not here to help Kenai or Koda, we're here to help Marek!" Dustin shouted. He ran up to the two bears, forcing the others to chase after him.
“Can I help you?” Koda asked. Dustin’s Wrist Device caught his eye. “You’re Guardians. You can help us get to the Salmon Run?”
“Yes we can.” Dustin said with a smile. “I’m Dustin, these are Tim and Jason…”
“I’m Rick.” Marek added.
“We can totally help you.”
“What are you on about Dustin, of course we can’t.” Tim said.
"Alright." Koda said, gesturing a paw to a pair of rams. "Maybe they can give us directions."
"Hey!" Kenai shouted. "Excuse me!"
"What do you want?" The first ram shouted. "What is that? Who is that?" The ram asked, confused at hearing his echo.
"Just a minute, bear." The second ram called out. "Hey, shut up!" He yelled to the first ram's echo, causing his own echo. "No you shut up!" He yelled back to it.
"No you shut up!" The first ram yelled to the echo.
"Hey, will you shut up?!" The second ram yelled, again to the echo. "Just shut up!" He yelled.
"I think their horns are screwed on too tight." Koda chuckled. "Hey... Wait a second!" Koda says. "I know this place!"
"You do?" Kenai asked.
"Yeah! The Salmon Run's not far!" Koda said excitedly. "We just have to go through here." Koda gestured to a land mass of hot springs, with steam blowing through the rocks. Kenai exchanged a worried look to Koda’s happy look. The group also exchanged worried glances. "What?" Koda asked incredulously. He jumped down from a ledge into the geyser pit and Kenai and the teenagers followed.
"Koda, are you sure you know where you're going?" Kenai asked.
"Yeah! Yeah! Follow me!" Koda bounced happily. Kenai took a step and a jet of steam rising up where he stood startled him. Kenai looked back cautiously.
"Koda!" He shouted, running after the bear cub.
"Oh God. Oh God. Oh God." Tim muttered to himself.
"It won't burn if you're careful, Tim." Jason put a reassuring hand on his twin brother's shoulder.
"I know. I know. It's still damn terrifying, though."
"Just don't lose your cool, you'll be okay." Dustin said. "Look at Rick. He's tall as shit, but he's still moving around here with elegance and poise."
"I'm not Rick, though." Tim said as a jet of steam in front of him scared him and causes him to scream. Jason, Marek and Dustin burst out laughing.
"Just stay calm, Tim. It'll be alright." Everyone stopped for a second as they heard approaching footsteps.
"Denahi!" Marek breathed. "Run!" He shouted and everyone started to run. "Koda!" Marek yelled. "Koda!"
"Kenai! Look out!" Koda yelled as a spear landed right next to Kenai. Denahi jumped down from a ledge and Marek and the brothers follow.
"Run!" Dustin yelled.
"Come on!" Koda shouted. Kenai roared and broke the ground, causing a jet of steam to knock Denahi down, allowing him, Koda and the teens to escape. Kenai found a log to cross to the other side of the ravine-the safer side.
"Kenai!" Koda shouted. "Kenai, where are you?"
"I got him!" Dustin yelled. “On your left!” He scooped up the bear cub as he ran past.
"Left!" Koda yelled and Dustin narrowly avoided getting hit by a jet of steam. "No! Other left!" Koda yelled
"You mean right!" Dustin shouted as the teens made it to the log. Jason and Marek safely cross. Dustin quickly crossed with Koda and they both made it safely.
"I can't do it!" Tim yelled.
"Of course you can, Tim!" Dustin shouted. "Just don't look down!"
"I'll take you!" Kenai said, urgently. "Just get on, quickly." Tim climbed onto Kenai's back and buried his face in Kenai's fur. Tim looked down once Kenai was around half way across. Seeing how far the fall down is, he cries out. Looking back, he sees Denahi fast approaching.
"Kenai! Hurry!" Tim wailed. Kenai looked back and saw Denahi. Kenai quickly moved further along the log, but Denahi's attempt to dislodge the log knocked Tim off Kenai's back.
"Tim!" Jason screamed. Kenai bit onto Tim's shirt, enabling Tim to climb back onto the log and hurriedly crawl off. Denahi's spear broke as he further tried to dislodge the log, though Kenai was able to jump safely off.
"NO!" Denahi shouted and paced back and forth as Kenai looked on.
"What are you doing?!" Koda panicked. "We have to get out of here!" Denahi threw a rock and collapsed to the ground. All Kenai could do is watch on helplessly. Kenai turned away in defeat and everyone began walking away. Kenai turned around again when he heard his brother yell out. Kenai ran over to the log and tried to lift it up when he saw Denahi just hanging on by his broken spear, however the weight was too much and both the log and Denahi fell into the river below. Denahi emerged from the water and grabbed onto the log as the current carried it away. Kenai again, looked on sadly and everyone gathered around.
"It's okay, Kenai. At least he's alive." Dustin said and they walk away.
"Why do they hate us, Kenai?" Koda asked.
"We're bears." Kenai said, glumly.
"So?" Koda asked, jumping in front of him.
"So... You know how they are. They're-they're killers."
"Wait a minute?" Koda said. "Who's the killers?"
"Bears." Kenai responded.
"Which bears? I'm not like that and you're not like that."
"Well, obviously not all bears."
"I think what Kenai means is that there have been some instances of some bears-in need of anger management-who attack humans." Marek sighed.
"But he attacked us." Koda said emphatically.
"You... You're just a cub. When you're older, you'll understand."
"Fish! Fish! Fish! Fish! Fish!" Birds chanted overhead. Everyone stopped in their tracks to look, ducking as the birds swooped over them.
"We made it!" Koda laughed. "We made it! We're here! Come on!" Koda ran ahead.
"What? Koda...!" Kenai paused and a flock of birds knocked him down. The teens ducked down. "Come on! Get away! Shoo" Kenai tried to swat the birds away. The teens just laugh at him and run after the bears. Kenai landed in a pool of water and emerged, grabbing what he thought was a rock, but is actually another bear. Kenai panicked seeing the amount of bears around him and screamed, when in front of him stood a big brown grizzly bear.
"Hey. You're stirring up the water, dude." A light colored brown bear said. He was sitting near a log..
"Yeah, Try not to scare off the fish there, buddy." The grizzly bear said.
"Tug!" Koda shouted.
"Hey! Koda, come here!" The grizzly bear lay on his back and Koda climbed on top of him. Tug the grizzly bear threw Koda in the air playfully. "Look at you!" The bears shared a laugh.
"Hey, Tug, have you seen my mom yet?" Koda asked, looking around.
"No, as a matter of fact, I haven't seen her." Tug said thoughtfully.
Koda laughed. "Me and my friend Kenai beat her!" Koda turned to Kenai, surrounded by bears.
"He's with you?" Tug asked.
"Uh... Hi?" Kenai said awkwardly as the light colored bear sniffed him. Kenai cried out in panic.
"Huh. I've never seen you at the run before." Tug said. "Where are you from?" He asked, putting a paw around Kenai.
"Uh... I... I mean..." Kenai stammered.
"You see, Kenai. There's the mountain, just like I promised!" Koda smiled happily. "The lights touch the top, every single night. It’s gonna be a lot harder getting up there than it was riding those mammoths." Koda chuckled.
"Mammoths?" The other bears began whispering. Kenai gestured for Koda to be quiet.
"Are you kidding me?" One bear said.
"That's... Kinda weird." Tug agreed.
"Yea, he does a lot of weird stuff. Like the way he drinks water with a leaf. He never sharpens his claws on a tree. He's never hibernated before..."
"Koda!" Kenai hissed as Tug begins to sniff him. "Koda!" Kenai put his paw over Koda's mouth. "Can I talk to you for a second? Excuse us." Kenai smiled awkwardly.
"Hmm. He's kind of jumpy... Isn't he?" Tug asked.
"How long before we go?" Dustin asked. The teens sat down at water’s edge, dipping their feet in.
"Hmm... Until when they tell their stories?" Marek asked.
"You're leaving?" Tug asked loudly.
"Won't be long now, then." Tim snorted.
"Tim, just relax, would ya?" Jason said. "It's fine! Look, the bears can be happy, why can't you?" Jason gestured to two young bear cubs playing in the water as their parents look on. Another young bear gets involved in the splash fight and the bears all laugh.
"Look at Mommy Bear there, Tim." Dustin pointed to a bear gently dipping her cub into the water and picking it up to cuddle it. "She's relaxing and having fun with her cub. And Boyfriend and Girlfriend Bear." Dustin pointed to a male bear sharing a salmon with a female bear. "They're relaxing with each other. What's making you so on edge?"
"I'm not on edge." Tim said.
"Says you." Marek says.
"Yo, I nearly died earlier."
"That was your fear of heights ruling your life so much that it nearly killed you." Jason pointed out.
"And now you see why I'm scared of heights." Tim scoffed. A bear jumped into the water near the teens and splashed them.
"Sorry, Guardians." The bear said. "I didn't mean..."
"It's fine, honestly, we'll dry off." Dustin smiled at the bear, who plodded off.
A group of bears laughed and Dustin and the teens stood up to take a look. Kenai sat in the water holding Koda who in turn held a large salmon aloft.
In the evening, all the bears-and the Guardians-gathered together in a circle.
"Alright, alright. Settle down everyone. Settle down" Tug said, tossing back and forth a headless fish. "Hey, don't throw your fish bones over there, somebody could choke on that. Look okay, I'll go first. Okay, let's see... The most interesting thing that happened to me this year... Hmm... I... Oh! I know! I know! Listen to this! I'd say it was when I finally knocked down that tree that was blocking the view from my cave. Now I got a family of chipmunks staying at my place!" Tug laughed along with the other bears, while the chipmunks looked on, unimpressed. "Alright, alright everybody! Come on! Let me see some paws in the air! Who's gonna be next?!"
"Tug! Tug! I got one!" Koda yelled over all the other bears with their paws up in the air.
"Watch me! Watch me!" Tug pretended to throw the fish to Koda, but threw it over to an old lady bear. "Hey, Gotcha!"
"This year, I lost my dear husband, Edgar."
"Quit telling everyone I'm dead!" Edgar yelled from somewhere. Everyone looked around in confusion.
"Sometimes, I can still hear his voice!" The old lady started sobbing and threw the fish away.
The bear who caught it, began speaking aggressively in an East European language, leaving everyone confused. He then started laughing, prompting all the other bears to laugh along half-heartedly and in confusion. The bear tossed the fish away as he laughed harder.
The male bear and his girlfriend from earlier picked it up. "I guess it's our turn." The male bear said. "This is the year I met the most gorgeous..."
"No you're gorgeous!" The female bear rubbed her head into his fur.
"You're gorgeouser!" The male bear said.
"Get a cave!" Tug yelled playfully. The East European bear said something in his native language and rolled his eyes.
"Kind of like you and Tyler if you'd ask her out!" Tim nudged Dustin, who also rolled his eyes.
"Shut up." Dustin shook his head.
"If only Edgar was alive!" The old lady bear said.
"I told you, woman! I'm right here!" Edgar shouted, again prompting the bears to look around.
"I love you buttercup!" The male bear threw his arms out-in the process letting go of the decapitated fish-and the female bear flung herself onto him.
"This has got to be it!" Koda shouted.
Kenai caught the fish. "Here you go, Koda." He offered the fish to Koda.
"You gotta tell it, Kenai." Koda said, dejectedly.
"That's right, Kenai." Tug agreed. "You caught it, you tell it!"
"Didn't you play this game when you were a cub?" Koda ased.
"Come on Keno!" The old lady bear said and all the other bears shouted encouragement.
"Okay! Alright, already! Alright!" Kenai said. "You wanna know what I did this year?" He asks. All the other bears, and the Guardians cheered him on. "Alright. I'll tell you what I did... I went on the longest, hardest, most exhausting journey I have ever been on with the biggest pain in the neck I have ever met!" Kenai glanced at Koda who looked hurt. "But hey. What else do you expect from a little brother?" Kenai wrapped a paw around Koda and gave him a noogie. Tim and Jason looked on happily. Kenai chuckled before tossing the fish over to Koda. "Okay, buddy. Your turn."
"Let's hear it, Koda." Tug chuckled.
"Okay, here we go." Koda began. "This year I watched my mom in a life or death struggle against all odds battling possibly the most fiercest creature on the face of the Earth. Okay, who's next?" He grinned.
"Whoa, what?" Kenai asked.
"Wait, wait a minute! I think we all want to hear the rest of that one, Koda!" Tug smiled.
"I thought you might say that..." Koda said thoughtfully, tapping the tail of the fish on his chin. "Hmm... Let's see... It was probably the fifth of sixth most coldest day of my entire life. Me and mom were eating fish, having a great time, when all of a sudden, she pushes me into the bushes and tells me to be real quiet. She says 'I smell something', so I started sniffing." Koda emphasized. "There was something in the woods running right towards us, getting closer and closer. And then, out the trees, jumps the hunter!" The other bears looked at Koda, scared.
"And now there's nowhere for Mama to go, the monster has her backed up against this giant glacier! The monster attacks! Pop! But Mom's too quick for him and before he can do it again, she stands up real big and yells 'go away'! Then Mom smells more of them! There's a whole pack, coming right at us! So she runs out to stop them before they could get to me and they're all around her, poking her with sticks. The whole thing broke and they fell into the water-there was ice everywhere! She couldn't hold her breath any longer before-Pow! She bursts out of the water! I've never been so scared in my life."
"Whoa. Fell off a glacier?" Tug shook his head. "I've never seen anything like that... Can you imagine?"
"Koda, what happened next?" A bear asked.
"Was she okay?" Another bear asked. Kenai backed into Tug.
"Hey, Kenai? What's wrong? Where are you going?" Tug asked as Kenai ran away.
"She got out of the water okay, but that's how we got separated." Koda said.. "Right after that, I met Kenai." Koda looked for Kenai, but he wasn’t there. "Kenai?" Koda pursued Kenai. The teens decided to stay.
When all the bears were asleep that night, the teens snuck off, walking through the snow looking for Koda.
"Koda!" Dustin shouted.
"Koda! Where are you, little bear?" Tim yelled with his hands cupped to his mouth.
"Guys, I can't see anything." Marek said. "Only those two mooses. Moose? Mooses? Meese? The hell's the plural, dude?"
“It’s just Rutt and Tuke.” Tim sighed.
"Look, I am sorry, eh." Tuke said.
"If I was driving, this never would have happened, eh." Rutt said defiantly.
"Just stop it." Tuke said.
"Good." Jason said as the two moose are arguing with each other. "They can take us to Koda."
"Trample off, eh. I said I was sorry, let it go." Tuke said, angrily.
"Guess Elsa wasn't the first Disney Character to say that." Tim muttered.
"I can't believe you totaled a mammoth, eh." Rutt turned to face his brother revealing half his antler has been knocked off.
"That mountain came out of nowhere!"
"I'm afraid I cannot accept your apology."
"It was in my blind spot...!" Tuke was interrupted by Rutt.
"Hey look. It's that little cub. Gee, eh. Something's bugging him." The moose trudged up to Koda and the teens followed.
"Nothing." Koda said sadly. "I'm fine."
"Oh good!" Rutt said. "Now where were we? You're a big, selfish..." Rutt pushes his face into Tuke's.
"Rutt! Rutt!" Dustin called. "RUTT"
"What, eh?" Rutt turned around and angrily glared at Dustin.
"There's something wrong with him, like really wrong. He's really sad because of something. Aren't you gonna find out what it is?"
"He said he's fine, eh. Where was I? You're a big, selfish reckless hoofer and you're never gonna change!" Rutt said angrily.
"What?" Tuke said in surprise.
"I'm fed up with it, eh. From now on, he's my new brother." Rutt gestured to Koda.
"You can't do that!" Tuke said indignantly.
"Sorry." Rutt didn't sound sorry at all. "You've been replaced by my dear brother..." He paused. "Gee, I forget your name. What's your name again, little bear?" He asked, putting his head on Koda.
"I don't want any more brothers!" Koda moped, pushing Rutt off him.
"See? He's had enough of you too, eh!" Rutt said angrily to Tuke.
"Come on! I promise I'll change." Tuke plead.
"Trample off! You'll never change. Being a brother means nothing to you." Rutt sadly turned away.
"Of course it does, eh."
"Like what?" Rutt demanded.
"What about that time your hooves froze in the pond?" Tuke began. "Who sat with you all winter, eh?"
"And who showed you where all the good grazing is? I mean the really tender stuff, all covered in dew?" Tuke asked. "Now why do you think I did that, eh? Because I..." He paused. "Because I love... Dew."
"Excuse me?" Rutt shook his head. "I don't believe I heard what you just said."
"I said I love... Dew." Tuke said.
"I love dew too, eh." Rutt said back, almost in tears.
"Hey. I can change." Tuke nudged Rutt.
"Go away, eh."
"Come on, I can change." Tuke nudged Rutt again.
"Go away, eh. Don't touch me." Rutt said.
"I can change!" Tuke said and Rutt started to laugh.
"Hey! Not there! That's the spot!" Rutt fell to the ground as Tuke tickled him with his antler. They both got up off the ground and walked away.
"Like, we'll see you later, Guardians and smallish bear." Tuke tousled Koda's fur with his hoof.
"Yeah, good day, eh." Rutt said. "Hey, you know what this calls for? A pile of delicious barley and amber weed on a cool bed of malted hops, eh?" He said and he and his brother walked away.
"Koda." Dustin crouched down to the small bear cub's eye level. "Listen to me. I know you want to see Kenai, but it's important that you hear what I have to say." Dustin looked up at Marek. "You too, Rick."
"What is it, Dustin?" Koda asked.
"Tim and Jason aren't my only brothers. In fact-biologically, they're not my brothers at all."
"What do you mean?" Koda asked.
"I had an older brother." Dustin said calmly. "I should say 'have', he's… Still alive. Name’s David." Dustin inhaled deeply. "David is 4 years older than me-he's 22. He was the golden boy, I was always cast aside." Tim put his hand on Dustin's shoulder. "My brother could do no wrong, while I always got punished-even when it was David's wrongdoing. I got hit all the time and starved. Countless times I was thrown in my bedroom without food. My brother just let it happen. He would go so far as to break or steal something and blame me for it. He liked seeing me being abused by our parents..." Dustin choked up.
"My parents filed a suit to become Dustin's legal guardians after that.” Tim said, stepping in. “They saw how much he was suffering at home. It was a trip to the Disney World theme park that changed it all. Now Jason and I are twin brothers, but Dustin is also our brother. We consider him our brother, anyway."
Dustin stood up and smiled weakly at Tim. "Yeah. They're my brothers. They're my brothers and I love them." Dustin wrapped his arm around Tim. Koda looked down.
"I don't know what to say to that. At least although Branislav ignores me, he makes sure I'm fed and clothed. So he doesn't really neglect me after all?"
"Probably not, Rick. There's a good chance he's just preoccupied in something else." Jason pointed out.
"Wow. That's really made me think." Marek looked down at his hands. His knuckles were bruised from his and his brother's earlier fight. "I feel awful for punching him now. I'm gonna go back home and support him in his hockey game." Marek fiddled with his Wrist Device and disappeared into the light.
"Where's he gone?" Koda looked around for Marek.
"He's gone back to the Real World. Where we have to go." Jason said.
"Go on, go to Kenai." Tim said.
"Thanks guys." Koda said softly before heading towards the nearby mountain.
"Did we just to the right thing?" Jason asked.
"Sure we did. This is a Disney Story. Nothing bad ever happens in a Disney Story." Dustin paused. “Mostly. Now come on, let's go home."
Marek arrived in Boston in the darkness, outside the TD Garden-the stadium of the Boston Bruins. In his pocket, he found a game ticket and rushed inside. It was the middle of the second period and the Bruins lead the Red Wings 2-1. Milan Lucic scored another goal after 3 minutes and brought the score up to 3-1.
At the end of the period, Branislav skated to the stands, where he saw his brother Marek behind the Plexiglas.
"You made it then." Branislav raised an eyebrow.
"I wouldn't miss this for the world." Marek said.
"You missed this whole season." Branislav folded his arms.
"Well this is a game I wouldn't want to miss."
"You know I only want what's best for you."
"I know." Marek said. "But why the coldness towards me? The preference of hockey?"
"You don't know what it's like here in Boston. It's hard. There's so much to memorize, to learn, to... You know." Branislav turned to the benches. "Hey Zee! Tuke! Come here!" Zdeno Chara and Tuukka Rask exchanged confused glances, and skated over to their teammate. "Guys, you know my brother, Marek. Marek, you know Zee and Tuke, right?"
"What's this about?" Chara asked.
"Yeah, we got a period three plan to memorize..." Rask began.
"Exactly. I want my brother to know how much time you have to spend learning game plans and crap, so he understands why I don't spend much time with him..."
"You don't spend any time with me! All you do is-is... Freeze me out!" Marek shouted.
"Dude, if someone's important, you make the time. I make time for my wife and daughter." Chara shook his head disapprovingly.
"I also make time for my girlfriend and my kid-imagine if I ignored that!" Rask said incredulously. "You clearly love your brother. And Rick wants to repair the relationship. For that you have to put in effort."
"Make time for your brother. If you love him, you will. C'mon, Tuke." Chara and Rask skated back to the benches leaving Branislav dismayed.
"So where do we go now?" Marek asked dubiously.
"After the game, I can take you to Dunkin' Donuts?" Branislav offered.
"Sounds like a plan." Marek smiled. "Now get off the ice, unless you want the Zamboni to ice you over." Branislav hurriedly skated off the ice and Marek smiled to himself. He likes Dunkin' Donuts and a trip with his brother is sure to be pretty good.
I didn't intend for it to follow so close to the movie. It just kind of happened.
The song that goes with this chapter is Hey Brother by Avicii.
"Edelman! Get your head in the game!" A Hispanic man with a red windbreaker and a baseball cap shouted. In a baseball game, a member of the opposing team walked to first base, leaving runners at second and third with nobody out. Another walk would mean a run. Tim scuffed his feet on the pitcher's mound. He took a deep breath and threw the ball. The opposing team member hit it and it was called foul.
Dustin, also playing in the game, shook his head. Tim threw the ball again and the opposing player batted it. Dustin caught it and threw it over to Felix on second base to turn a double play.
"Good one, Williams!" The man yelled again. Dustin shook his head and ignored the comment made by his coach. He knew he did well because he got two players out. As soon as Tim saw who he was facing next, he began to walk off the mound. The catcher, Kelly Pierce, ran after him.
"Yo, what the hell, man?" Kelly said, grabbing Tim's arm to stop him from going any further.
"I've had it, I'm done." Tim said. "I'm shit out here tonight."
"You're usually good, you're just having an off couple of innings." Kelly said.
"What if I have an off couple more innings? It's been two innings Kelly, and already we're down by 7. I'm taking myself out before we get down by 17." Tim wriggled his arm free of Kelly's grasp. Kelly ran out in front of him and lifted his catcher's mask.
"Come on, man! Finish the inning!" Kelly plead.
"There something wrong, boys?" The coach asked, exiting the dugout.
"No, Coach Ramirez. There's nothing wrong." Kelly said. "Except for the fact that Tim's too scared to face Marco Herrera over there." He added, pointing at the not very muscular and short in stature opposing team member, standing in the batter's box.
"Edelman, get your head in the game. Williams and Hernandez turned an excellent double play and now you've only got to get one out to finish the inning. When I think you can't pitch any more, I'm putting Myers in." Tim nodded. He considered himself to be friends with Lester Myers and respected him fully. "Now I wholeheartedly believe you can pitch tonight, but do you?" Coach Ramirez said, putting his arm around Tim. "Get out there and finish this inning." He said, somewhat more sternly. Tim and Kelly returned to their respective positions.
"Let's go Hurricanes!" Tim shouted from the pitcher's mound and threw the ball.
After the game, Tim and Dustin stood in the locker room with their teammates and Tim toweled his hair off. "I sucked back there." He said, discarding the towel and picking up a new one. "It's alright you can say it. Because I did suck. Big time." He sighed.
"Come on, don't beat yourself up. You did your best." Dustin said.
"If that was my best, I'd hate to see my worst. We lost by 17. I had one out left to go and let three walk, and let them get four home runs and a single. Damn the Tigers." Tim threw his towel on the tiled floor in frustration.
"Yes, damn the Tigers, but you can't blame yourself. Besides, it was just a loss, nobody died." Felix put his hand on Tim's bare shoulder.
"Felix, damn. Put on some underpants or something." Tim shielded his eyes from Felix, who was wearing just a towel around his hips. Felix dropped the towel, revealing a blue pair of boxer shorts. "Oh, you are wearing something." Tim shrugged.
"You just had an off-day." Jake-the outfielder-said
"Yeah!" Jake's twin brother Finn said. "We still care about you." He put his arm around Tim's shoulders.
"And we still support you." Russell-the third baseman-said. "Okay, Tyler might get to the strike zone easier..."
"Dude!" Rob-the first baseman-nudged Russell.
"You don't compare a dude to his rival!" Rob shouted.
"Thanks guys, but I just need some time alone." Everyone walked away from Tim, except from Jake and Finn. "You too, Adventure Time." Tim said sternly and Jake and Finn walk away. Tim sat down on the bench and sighed.
Tim lay awake in his bed that night, staring at the ceiling in the pitch black of night. He looked over at Dustin who was sleeping soundly. He then looked over at his twin brother, Jason, sleeping on his left side. Tim sighed quietly, got out of bed and opened the door quietly to not disturb either brother. He creept downstairs to not wake his brothers or parents and slipped into the kitchen to open the back door. Once in the back yard, he heard the droning noise of the chirruping cicadas. Tim looked over at the rabbit hutch in the corner of the garden and made his way over to it.
"Hey Roger." Tim said to the rabbit that was sucking the water bottle at the side of the hutch. "Tell Dustin and Jason I'm sorry about today." Tim looked at his Wrist Device and sighed. "I leave the world of today behind for the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy." There was a flash of light and Tim vanished.
Back in the bedroom, Dustin saw the flash and crawled over to Jason. "Jason." He said, shaking him. "Jason."
"What?" Jason said groggily.
"I think Tim's gone." Dustin said worriedly.
"Where?" Jason mumbled.
"I don't know." Dustin said. But he's not there and I just saw light."
"Then he's gone to the Disney World." Jason pulled his sheets higher up over his head. "Don't worry about him and just leave me alone."
"He hasn't ran away, Dustin. We'll talk about it later Not at..." Jason pushed his arm from the sheets and reached out for his alarm clock on his bedside table. "Half 3 in the morning."
"Okay. Whatever." Dustin crawled back onto his own bed and buried himself under his sheets.
"The hell am I?" Tim asked himself under his breath as he looked around this strange new place. It looked just like... Home. Except there was something different.
"Tim?" A voice called out making Tim turns around in shock. He noticed Marek Kováč, holding a hockey stick. Tim walked up to him.
"Rick? What the hell are you doing here?" Tim asked in surprise. "And where are we?"
"We're in Anaheim. Home of the Mighty Ducks!" Marek flashed a wry smile.
"The Anaheim Ducks? Weren't they just kicked out of the playoffs by the LA Kings?" Tim asked.
"Yeah, they were." Marek chuckled. "But these are the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The fictional hockey team."
"What? Like, Charlie Conway and Coach Bombay...?"
"No." Marek said swiftly. "Wildwing, Nosedive, Mallory..." Marek paused and noticed Tim's puzzled expression. "You have no idea what I'm talking about, do you?" Tim shook his head. "Come on, folow me." Marek grabbed Tim's wrist and pulled him away.
After a few minutes walking, Marek had led Tim to a hockey rink. Tim looked at it in confusion. "We're at a hockey rink." He said as if Marek had lost his mind.
"Yes, we are." Marek smiled. "I come here all the time."
"You play hockey?" Tim asked.
Marek raised an eyebrow. "Tim, my brother's a defenseman for the Boston Bruins and you're asking me if I play hockey?"
"Yeah, I guess it sounds kind of stupid." Tim replied, awkwardly rubbing the back of his neck.
"Come on, I'll show you the back entrance." Marek ran towards the building and Tim followed. Marek stops at a small door-well, small for Marek, but very Tim sized. "We go through here." Marek opened the door and gave a little nod to Tim. "Dude, you can go in, I'm not stopping you."
Tim rubbed his arm as he walked through. Marek followed. "Cold in here, isn't it?" Tim remarked, getting no answer. "Rick?" Still no answer. "RICK?!" Tim shouted in panic
"Chill out, dude, it's okay." Tim looked ahead and saw a large anthropomorphic duck and screamed.
"Fu...!" Tim shouted. Marek put his hand over Tim's mouth.
"Calm down, Tim... Calm down." Marek whispered gently in Tim's ear. "Don't worry."
"Duck!" Tim said, muffled.
"Yes, he's a duck. Tim, this is Nosedive Flashblade. He plays left wing." Marek said. "Now if I take my hand off, do you promise not to shout?" Marek asked. Tim nodded. "Alright." Marek removed his hand from Tim's mouth.
"Duck!" He squealed.
Hey, what is going on back here?" A teenage boy asked. He had pin straight brown hair that flopped over his left eye. He was accompanied by a teenage girl with long, braided ginger hair. Both about equal in height, the boy being slightly taller. The pair are are walking on ice skates and wearing Mighty Ducks jerseys.
"Nothing, Patty, it's fine." Marek tried to wave them off.
"Sure sounds like 'nothing', Rick." The girl said. "What's going on?"
"Tim, these are my hockey friends, Patrice Thomas and Renèe Bergeron. They're both French Canadian. Well, Patrice is Acadie and Renèe is Québécois. They're not the same." Tim stared at the two. "Patty, Renèe, this is Timothy..." Marek paused as he looked puzzled at Tim. "I didn't catch your name, eh." Marek commented, his Canadian accent coming out.
"As in Julian Edelman?" Renèe asked.
"We share a last name, yes." Tim said. "We aren't related."
"So have you ever played hockey before?" Patrice asked Tim as they walked through the tunnel to the rink.
"Uh... Probably. I've tried every sport at least once." Tim rubbed his arm.
"Cool." Patrice and Renee nodded their heads in approval.
"So do you play any sport now?" Renèe asked.
"Uh... Baseball?" Tim said nervously.
"Question or statement?"
"Then don't phrase it like it's a question then." Renèe narrowed her eyes and Tim lowered his head.
"I'm gonna go skate, you guys wanna come with?" Marek asked.
"I'm gonna get to know this guy a little better." Renèe said. Marek shrugged and stepped onto the ice before skating away.
"You used to play hockey?" Nosedive commented.
"I think I stopped when I was like... 6 or something, I dunno..." Tim was interrupted.
"Let's see what you can do then." Another duck said as he entered the player's bench were everyone was now crowded.
"That's Wildwing Flashblade-Nosedive's older brother." Renèe explained. Tim nodded in comprehension. "You're gonna see a few ducks, the one eyed one is Duke L'Orange-not 'Duck Nick Fury'-the ginger girl is Mallory McMallard, the blonde girl is Tanya Vanderflock and the big guy that looks like the Hulk, that's Check Hardwing or just Grin. I don't know if you've been told this already, but they're from an alternate dimension."
"How do you know this shit?" Tim asked in shock.
"I spend a lot of time around these ducks improving my hockey skills." Renèe replied with a small chuckle.
"And speaking of hockey skills, show me what you've got." Wildwing threw a hockey stick to Tim.
"I don't play hockey Mr. Interdimensional Alien Duck." Tim dropped the stick on the ground.
"You can try."
"But I'd never beat you."
"Hockey isn't about winning or losing. It's about the love of the game."
"But I don't love hockey, I'm Floridian-from Florida-you know, where it's always sunny. There's no ice. I play baseball."
"Do you like baseball, Tim?"
"I love it-it's all I want to do!"
"Really, Tim? I sensed something in your voice, something that suggested maybe-just maybe-you don't love baseball as much as you say you do." Tim sighed and looked down at his feet, scuffing them on the ground. "I'm right aren't I?" Tim said nothing and Wildwing sighed. "Maybe, it's time to try something new." He picked up the hockey stick from the floor and handed it to Tim again only this time Tim accepted it.
"I don't have skates."
"We'll get you some-what size do you wear?"
"Uh... 7 and a half."
After some searching, Wildwing gave Tim some skates. "These should be your size."
"I don't think you understand-I can't skate."
"Just put the skates on and get out there. It won't be a total disaster. Can you use inline roller skates?"
"It's the same thing. Just on ice. Your friend gets it." As Tim put the skates on and tied them up, Wildwing gestured to Mallory and Marek skating on the ice. Marek took control of the puck and did a slapshot right into the net. He skated over to the bench, took another puck and repeated his actions.
"That's Rick Kováč." Tim scoffed. "He was born on the ice. For God's sake, his brother is a pro hockey player!"
"I said it before, but hockey isn't about winning or losing. It's about fun. Come on-show us what you can do!" Wildwing slapped Tim's back which pushed him on the ice.
"Wildwing!" Tim screeched with limbs flailing as he tried to gain balance on the ice. Marek fired another puck, this time it hit Tim in the groin and he cried out in agony.
"I'm sorry Tim! I didn't mean to hit you!" Marek shouted as he and Mallory skated over to Tim. Renèe and Patrice also dropped what they were doing to skate over to Tim, who was now kneeling on the ice clutching his groin area and moaning in agony.
"Tim, are you okay?" Renèe asked.
"I'm fine!" Tim said in a high pitch, desperately fighting back pain tears. "Just fine!"
"Do you need any help to get up, Tim?" Patrice asked, grabbing Tim's shoulders.
"Patrice, get off me." Tim squeaked.
"Okay, whatever you want!" Patrice flung his arms up in surrender, skating a few inches backwards.
"Tim, come on. Get up." Wildwing urged. "You're 17. Take a puck to the balls like a man."
"You never mentioned this part of hockey!" Tim panted, still in pain.
"If I said that, I would have never gotten you out on the ice, would I?" Wildwing picked Tim back up and helped steady his balance. "Come on, you'll be okay."
"Yeah Tim, you'll be okay." Renèe grasped Tim's hand.
"Easy for you to say, you've got nothing down there!" Tim wheezed.
"Yes, I do have stuff down there, but that's beside the point. Now come on, skate for a bit, get some confidence."
"Me and Branislav used to skate with each other, then he let of of me-It's just like learning to ride a bike. That's how I got confident skating. Should I do the same with you?" Marek grabbed Tim's other hand.
"No, I-I'm fine, Rick." Tim regained his breath. "You can let go of my hands now guys."
"Are you sure you don't want one of us to skate with you? Rick might be right-it might make you more confident not to skate on your own."
"No Renèe, I'm fine. I don't need babying."
"But it is not babying if you do not know how to skate." Patrice rubbed the back of his neck.
"Patrice, just-just leave it now. He doesn't want help." Patrice shook his head and shrugged before skating off. Marek inhaled deeply and followed.
"You sure you don't need help?"
"Yes Renèe, I can manage." Renee skated away. "You two ducks can go as well." He said to Duke and Mallory.
"We're just trying to help." Duke said.
"I know and I don't care. I can manage myself. It's just a hit to my man parts. I'll be okay."
Duke skated to the benches with Mallory and they leaned against the Plexiglas watching Tim try to skate and looking like Bambi in the process.
"Hey, Wildwing!" Everyone stopped to look. A human girl of around 20-wearing an Anaheim Ducks full hockey uniform-waved at Wildwing as she walked over to the ice.
"Peyton! I didn't expect to see you so soon!" Wildwing said excitedly as he skated over to the benches to greet the girl.
"Oh, you know me Wing; I just can't stay off the ice!" She chuckled.
"Guys," Wildwing turned around "You remember Peyton Drew, right? Oh, the guy clutching his groin is Tim. We've only just met him, so you wouldn't know him yet." Wildiwing noted.
"Hey Wildwing, If we can get another Guardian, how about... You know?" Peyton grinned suggestively.
"Great idea, Peyton! A friendly hockey game. Guys, you up for that?"
"So I can get whacked in my family jewels again? Forget it!" Tim tripped up trying to walk over to the benches.
"Tim, you don't walk on skates, you glide!" Peyton grabbed her hockey stick, stepped on the ice and moved gracefully around the rink. She reached into a pouch, dropped a puck onto the ice and hit it into the net. She skated back to the benches. "That is how you skate around a hockey rink!"
"But I can't do that!" Tim exclaimed.
"Oh, Tim!" She laughed, putting a hand on Tim's shoulder. "Of course you can! Think positive, keep your head up!" Peyton grabbed Tim's upper arm and dragged him to center ice and despite his protesting, she let him go and pushed him forward. Tim's limbs flailed as he tried to gain balance. "Tim! Stop screaming!" She yelled. "And don't lean back, you're guaranteed to lose your balance! Lean forward!" She skated up to him backwards to face him and grabbed his back and chest.
"And feel this? That's gliding. It's what you should do out there. Not try to run on the ice-which is a sure-fire way for a sore ass. Need to propel yourself forward? Imagine you're on a skateboard-use one foot at a time to push yourself forward-only push yourself if you feel your momentum slowing." She let go of Tim. "Your go, buddy." She skated to the benches where everyone gathered. Tim hesitantly put one foot on the ice and pushed himself forward. He chuckled in disbelief, doing the same thing with his other foot and started skating expertly around the rink.
"Guys!" He yelled, panicked. "How do I stop?"
"Just tilt your skates abruptly in the direction you're going in-like you're sliding in the kitchen with socks on!" Tim followed Peyton's directions and immediately stopped.
"Oh my god! That was... Terrifying."
"Can you do it with a stick?" Wildwing asked, handing Tim's stick back to him.
"God no! How do I do it?" He asked curiously.
"Just keep control of this puck." He dropped a hockey puck on the ice. "Not with your skates, Tim. With the stick."
Tim skated forward onto the ice, keeping the puck well under his control.
"Try and hit the puck into the net!" Peyton shouted once Tim had skated with the puck for long enough. Tim turned to face a net, lifted his stick up high and hit the puck as hard as he could. The puck soared nicely into the net. Wildwing skated up to Tim and dropped another puck onto the ice.
"Do it again." Tim did the same thing and again the puck went into the net.
"Wildwing, get in goal!" Peyton screamed excitedly. Wildwing skated over to the net ready to block Tim's next shot. Peyton dropped a puck on the ice. "Good luck, Tim. Nobody can ever get a goal past Wildwing."
"Thank-what?" Tim shook his head in disbelief.
"Hit the puck!"
Tim whimpered as he raised his stick and slammed it down hard on the puck. The puck flew up to Wildwing who dove on it. The lights flashed behind his goal net and he looked underneath his glove-he missed the puck. He looked behind him and saw the puck at the back of the net. "Impossible." He growled. "Nothing gets past me."
"So Tim," Peyton said cheerfully as she skated with Tim back to the bench. "How do you feel about a Guardian vs. Alien Duck hockey game now?"
"You can be right wing. You'd really excel there."
"Sure! And Rick, you can play defense with me, Patrice can be in center with Renèe in goal. That leaves a left wing spot available." Peyton turned to the stands. "Anyone wanna play right wing?" he shouted. A lone man raised his hand. "You!" She pointed. "Your name?"
"Milan. Milan Lucic." He said, standing up.
"Wow. you play left wing anyway." Peyton shrugged in disbelief. "Alright, come on down, Looch!"
"Don't call me that, Peyton." Lucic said loudly. "You're a Winnipeg Jets fan and I'm a Boston Bruin." Lucic climbed over the Plexiglas and into the players bench. "You know what?" He folded his arms. "Why don't we make things more interesting? Rick, you in defense?" Marek nodded. "Good, stay there, I know you and I've seen what you're capable of. You." He pointed at Tim. "What's your name?"
"You sure? Only, you don't sound sure."
"Okay then, Tim, you'll be sharing shifts with Ovi." Lucic gestured to Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals who was climbing over the Plexiglas. "You." He pointed at Renèe. "Your name."
"Renèe Bergeron, Mr. Lucic, sir."
"No need for that. Renèe, you're in goal right?" Renèe nodded. "Not any more. Time to play ref, you're being replaced by Henrik Lundqvist." Renèe gazed at Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers jumping down from the Plexiglas. "You." He pointed at Patrice. "Name?"
"Patrice Thomas." He replied.
"Alright, since your first name is Patrice but your last name isn't Bergeron, you'll be sharing shifts with Sidney Crosby."
"Hi." Crosby said with a wave. Patrice turned behind him and screamed in fright, causing everyone to laugh. "Yeah, I have that effect on people. Mostly opposing teams." Crosby chuckled.
"You'll be starting though. I'm not starting on any line with Crosby." Lucic said. "Just thought I'd make it more professional." He shrugged. "Now, you up for that, guys?" The teens broke into a chorus of 'yeahs' 'sures' and 'why nots'. "Great! Suit up and let's go!"
Patrice aligned himself with Duke on center ice. He looked up and met Duke's eye for a brief second before glancing nervously to either side of him. Ovechkin and Mallory glared at each other on one side, while Nosedive took no interest in Lucic, rather Nosedive was in his own little world. Grin and Tanya stood either side of Duke and Patrice trusted that Marek and Peyton did the same for him. Patrice wiggled his fingers on his hockey stick as he hunched over it. Duke narrowed his eye at Patrice, who narrowed his eyes in return and inhaled deeply in preparation for the puck drop.
Renee skated out to center ice with the game puck in hand. "You know the rules, but I'm just here to drop the puck. The game will last 20 minutes-or one period." Renee held the puck over Duke's and Patrice's hockey sticks. "Let the best team win." She dropped the puck and blew her whistle. Patrice and Duke wrestled for the puck with their sticks but Patrice who won the faceoff as he was able to kick the puck to Ovechkin with his skates. Ovechkin expertly kept the puck under his control and passed to Lucic. However the puck was intercepted by Tanya.
"Lucic! What the hell! I called out to you and you let the puck get intercepted?!"
"Terribly sorry!" Lucic looked sheepish as he skated rapidly down the rink. Peyton skated to where Tanya was and looked in her eyes. She skated forwards to intercept the puck from Tanya to Nosedive and immediately passed the puck to Patrice.
Tanya cried out in frustration. "No!"
"Relax Tanya, it's not, you know, like a real game." Nosedive said, relaxed as ever and didn't notice Tim slam into him, which sent them both to the ice.
Renèe blew her whistle. "Sorry Tim! That's two minutes in the penalty box for interference."
"What?! I just forgot how to stop!" Tim protested, but Renèe escorted him to the penalty box and flashed him an apologetic look. Tim sat down and went wild, banging his stick on the Plexiglas, swearing and hurling general abuse at Renèe, just like any other hockey player. She blew her whistle and again play resumed with a faceoff which Patrice took nervously. After all, the ducks were on the power play and they were on the penalty kill-trying to penalty kill super hero alien interdimensional ducks. Oh shit.
Patrice looked over to Lucic who nodded confidently. Patrice's eyes met Duke's. "Kid, you haven't got a chance. Give it up now."
"Never. I will die before I give up." Saying that made Patrice feel uneasy.
"Ooh. Spunky! I like that."
"Think fast!" The puck dropped and Patrice swept it from Duke and passed it to Lucic. Patrice saluted Duke as he skated down the ice.
Lucic stopped abruptly so he didn't skate into either Grin or Tanya who blocked his way to the net. Marek and Patrice skated behind and Lucic passed to Marek before Grin snatched the puck from him. Marek hit the puck to the goal and it bounced off the metal frame.
"Missed!" Wildwing gloated.
"I did not miss." He said confidently. Just then, the lights went off behind Wildwing's goal and an alarm blared. Wildwing looked behind him to see the puck in the side of the net. He looked ahead. The ducks were a mix of confused and angry while Marek high-fived Patrice who had come behind the goal to retrieve Marek's deliberate miss for a rebound and dumped the puck in the net, thus scoring a goal.
"Ridiculous." Wildwing groaned.
Once again, the players aligned themselves up on the ice, this time with Tim as his penalty had concluded.
"Still think I haven't got a chance?" A smirk spread across Patrice's face as once again he swiped the puck from Duke.
"What the hell are you thinking?" Mallory yelled as she hit Duke around the head. Renèe's whistle blew again.
"Intent to injure! Mallory, five minutes in the penalty box!"
"He's on my team!"
Mallory groaned and muttered obscenities under her breath as Renèe lead her to the penalty box.
Though Tim's Guardian team ended up losing the game 3-4, everyone was still in high spirits. Mostly pleasant surprise at how good at hockey Tim was.
"Kid, if anyone tells you you're terrible at hockey, don't listen to 'em. You got the makings of a natural." Crosby said as he put his arm around Tim. "Just come to the Penguins."
"Eh, no Sidney, he won't! Because he's coming to the Bruins!" Lucic put his hand on Tim's shoulder and smiled at him.
"What drugs are you on? He's going to be a Capital!" Ovechkin grinned.
Tim smiled. "I'm probably not going to play hockey, guys. Sorry to disappoint."
"Come on, you could be a really good player. I'd be really scared to face you if you weren't to be on the Rangers." Lundqvist looked down into Tim's eyes.
"Seriously" Wildwing began. "You have talent in hockey. You should pursue it, even if it's a hobby."
Tim checked the time on his phone and glanced worriedly at his Wrist Device. "Dammit, I should be heading home! My brothers, see, they'll be worried about me!"
"Keep the stick, the pads and the skates. They'll get you started in your hockey career." Wildwing said. "Come back and practice with us soon." Wildwing waved at Tim as he disappeared in a light beam.
Tim arrived in his back garden just as dawn broke. He sneaked into his kitchen, opened up a cupboard and pulled out a glass. He sighed as he turned on the tap and filled the glass with water.
He made his way up the stairs and crept into his bedroom, taking care not to wake his brothers. Tim sat down on his bed and set the glass of water down onto his bedside table, before pulling his bed sheets up onto himself and closing his eyes.
Tim sat at his computer desk in his bedroom the next evening, messing around on Facebook. He received a message and checked who it was from. It was from his teammate Lester Myers.
'Hows it going?'
It read. Tim typed a message back.
'I dont wanna talk about it, dude.'
Lester typed back. Tim sighed and receives another message.
'What DO you wanna talk about?'
Tim inhaled deeply.
'I don't want to talk about ANYTHING.' He typed. 'I just wanna play Farmville.'
'Whatever dude.' Lester typed. 'You're a good pitcher, but if shit like this keeps getting to you, you might as well give up baseball.'
Tim stared at those words before he was alerted to another message. 'Good night, Tim. Have a good weekend-I will. I'm taking my niece to Animal Kingdom in the morning.'
Tim carried on staring at the words 'give up baseball'. He thought further about it. Sure he loved baseball at one time, but baseball was becoming increasingly unfulfilling to him now. He would much rather play hockey, now that he'd tried it. Tim heard the door open and he jumped in fright, scowling when he realized it was just Dustin.
"You feeling better, Tim?" Dustin asked.
"Much. Thanks, Bro." He replied, wondering if he should tell Dustin his plan to quit baseball.
"I'm coming to bed now. Tired after that rough evening." Dustin sat on his bed. Tim swiveled his chair around to face Dustin.
"Have you...?" Tim began.
"Yeah. I left fresh water out for Roger and Jessica." Dustin said as he pulled his Doctor Who t-shirt off.
"They aren't gonna...?"
"No. They're both neutered. We go through this every night." Dustin fumbled on the floor looking for his over-sized Florida Panthers t-shirt he uses to sleep in. Tim saw it on the floor and picks it up and threw it to Dustin."Thanks, dude." He mumbled, slipping the t-shirt over his head. "You'll do better next week." Dustin said, crawling under his bed sheets.
"I don't want to play baseball anymore!" Tim blurted out.
"What?" Dustin sat bolt upright and stared at Tim as if Tim had just admitted he was the Joker.
"I don't wanna play baseball any more." Tim said quieter. "I wanna quit."
"Dude, you're so great at baseball! Come on! What can I say to get you to reconsider?" Dustin asked, knocking his bed sheets off
"Nothing, Dustin. I'm quitting baseball. It's just not fun any more."
"Baseball's never fun, Tim. It's not supposed to be."
"Yes it is. Dude, that's all it's supposed to be."
"Yeah, if you're a Little League player. Come on, at our level and beyond, it's not supposed to be fun."
"I thought Longoria, Price, Myers, Loney, I thought they all liked playing baseball."
"Well, yeah, but..." Dustin paused. "They must like the stress too."
"I've made up my mind, Dustin. I'm quitting." Tim said defiantly.
"I wish you would reconsider." Dustin said, lying back down and pulling his sheets back over himself.
"I'm going to start looking for hockey teams that will take me in the morning."
"You did go to the Disney World, didn't you?" Suspicion was evident in Dustin's voice.
"You met the Mighty Ducks, didn't you?"
"I did." Tim repeated. "But the cartoon ducks. I didn't even know there were cartoon alien ducks from another dimension that played hockey in the Disney canon."
"I did. David used to like them and had them all recorded on VCR. I'll admit though, I thought you'd be playing hockey under Coach Bombay... But if that's what you want, Tim." Dustin paused. "To play hockey..." He shook his head. "Then there's not much I can do to persuade your opinion. I support you-as a brother-and wish you well."
"Thanks bro." A barely noticeable smile passed over Tim's lips for a brief second. "It means a lot."
"Night, Tim." Dustin pulled his sheets over his head.
"Night, Dustin." Tim smiled peacefully as he turned out their bedroom light.
So I thought I'd tackle some lesser known/forgotten Disney characters. Let's face it, there's a reason this cartoon lasted for as long as it did. But it's still quite cult. I mean, my friend likes it and practically begged me to do it on the Mighty Ducks TV series. It was supposed to be on the movies. But doing it on the TV series still made the story move the way I wanted it to. And Finn and Jake in the early scene are named after identical twins I know on my American football team who are in their 20's. Yes, we call them Adventure Time too.
The song for this chapter is Time to Go by Dropkick Murphys.
Dustin, his brothers and his friends were in the Magic Kingdom, walking down Main Street USA. They seemed not to have a care in the world. Tim ate an ice cream sandwich, while his twin brother Jason ate an ice cream cone. Pedro had a full hot dog in his hand that he seemed disinterested in eating, while Tyler had a bag of Lays chips in her hand, sporadically fishing one out and eating it.
"So, the championship draws closer." Tyler said. "D'ya think we're gonna make it?"
"Who have we got next week?" Jason asked.
"Timber Creek Wolves. Week after it's the West Orange Warriors and that's it. If we beat those, we've got a good shot at making the championship."
"So long as Adventure Time don't fall out." Dustin muttered, rubbing the stubble on his cheek.
"Speaking of falling out, you really shouldn't have dropped out of the baseball team, Tim." Pedro said.
"You're winning more without me." Tim took a bite out of his rapidly melting ice cream sandwich.
"Winning doesn't matter, we want you." Pedro looked at Tim with pleading eyes. Tim playfully punched Pedro in the arm.
"Hey, he and Tyler are getting along better since he quit." Dustin said. "I'm just happy that all my friends and my family are getting along."
"I still hate him."
"I still hate her." Tim glared at Tyler, who glared back at him.
"Whatever." Dustin rolled his eyes. As he walked, a piece of paper on the sidewalk caught his eye. He picked it up, noticing his name was on it. He unfolded the paper to reveal a note.
Dustin K. Williams, Tyler Horton is not what she seems. Confront her with the name 'Frankie Young'. Sincerely, KC
Dustin wondered who 'KC' was and more importantly, how this mysterious 'KC' knew him and Tyler. He had an urge though, to do as the letter said and confront Tyler.
"Hey, Ty. I really need to speak with you."
"Oh… Okay, Dusty, what is it about?"
"Maybe we do this in private." Dustin walked with his hands in his jeans pockets and his head held down. Tyler followed him past Cinderella Castle and into a quiet area of Fantasyland
"Ty," Dustin began. "You're from Boston, right?"
"No shit, Sherlock!" Tyler scoffed sarcastically.
"Where's your dad from?"
"Arizona." She replied.
"Left when I was a kid."
"Does the name..." Dustin paused for dramatic effect. "'Frankie Young' mean anything to you?"
Tyler's eyes widened. "No." she says quickly. "Why?"
"You sure?" Dustin narrowed his eyes. "That's not what this note says." He thrust the note he found into Tyler's hand. She read over it, shocked. "Is it true? Are you Frankie Young?" Tyler/Frankie nodded. "Why did you lie?!" Dustin shouted.
"You don't know what it's like living with a father who's so overprotective!" Frankie's eyes welled up with rage. "It was dad's idea! He had a childhood friend-or something-whose last name was Horton. He chose Stan and I chose Tyler because, like Frankie, it's ambiguous." She looked ashamed. "I could have gone for Alex, but that that made me think of A-Rod." She said quietly.
"Because of Bobby Valentine!" She said. "Dad quit the Red Sox along with Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield. My mom left when I was a baby. I don't know where she is." Dustin frowned.
"My dad's actually Bret Young-2 year Montreal Expo, 1 year Dodger and 15 year Red Sox." Frankie admitted. "Because he's a single father, I grew up around the Red Sox. I was there for the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees, the sweep of the Cardinals, the sweep of the the Rockies-everything! A lot of important moments were spent around them."
"Why leave?" Dustin asked.
"Dad wanted to take away from the pain of retirement, so he dragged me down here to Florida. Sure, I miss Boston with all my heart, but I have a new place now. It's with you and the guys, here in Florida."
Dustin clenched his fists in hurt and ran back past Cinderella Castle to the Partners statue, where Tim, Pedro and Jason waited. He felt hurt, embarrassed and upset-why did she feel she couldn't tell him? What else was she hiding? Is what she even said the full truth? He stopped at the Partners statue looking upset.
"Dustin, are you okay?" Tim asked.
"Dustin? Has something happened?" Jason asked.
Dustin didn't take any of it in, instead focusing on his own hurt. Tyler pursued Dustin but before she could catch up, he pressed a button on his Wrist Device and quietly recited the spell that would get him back into the Disney World and disappeared in front of his friends.
"Tyler, what's going on?" Jason asked.
"Not now, Jason." Tyler warned.
"Yes, now." Tim said aggressively. "What's going on?!"
"Dustin!" Tim yelled.
"Where are you?" Jason shouted.
"We're not going to find him." Pedro said. "He doesn't want to be found or else he wouldn't have come to this... Forest?" Pedro looked around. It was quiet and peaceful in an overgrown forest, in what appeared to be autumn, as there were golden leaves on the trees and falling on the ground.
"Yeah, where are we?" Jason stopped to ask.
"Sleeping Beauty?" Tim suggested. "She was brought up in a forest. Or Maleficent, perhaps?"
"Could be Bambi." Pedro offered
"Or Robin Hood." Jason noted the arrows in the trees and on targets hanging from the trees.
"What do we even call her?" Tim asked venomously.
"You call me by my name." She said, sourly.
"Which is?" Tim asked.
"Frankie. Frankie is what I want to be known as from now on. It's my name, after all." Frankie said.
"Sure that's your name?" Pedro asked.
"Yes." Frankie snapped curtly.
"Guys! Shh!" Tim said. "Come here. I think I know where we are..." Tim beckoned for the others and they crowd around him. "That's a Will O The Wisp. We're in Brave."
"So we follow it?" Pedro asked.
"That's exactly what we do." Tim cautiously stepped forward. The wisp flashed away, leading way for another wisp. They followed the trail. After some time walking, they come across the stone circle. They look around and see a stone on the ground with a rotting bear underneath.
"So that's what that smell is." Jason covered his nose. "It's Mor'du."
"You'd think they'd have cleaned him the hell up." Pedro remarked.
"Maybe they can't." Tim suggested.
"More like can't be bothered." Pedro said.
"So... Where's Dustin?" Jason asked after a brief pause
"I don't know." Frankie said. "I thought the wisps were supposed to lead us to him." She shrugged. "Or something." She muttered under her breath.
Tim? Pedro? Jason? Frankie?" A woman's voice called out.
"How the hell do you know our names?!" Pedro shouted, startled.
"More to the point..." Tim began. "Show yourself!"
A young woman and a middle aged man emerged from behind the rock. The young woman wore a Winnie the Pooh t-shirt and was obviously heavily tattooed, with a tattoo of the Philadelphia Phillies logo on her right forearm, Vanellope von Schweetz wearing a Philadelphia Eagles jersey and Wreck-It Ralph wearing a Philadelphia 76ers jersey on her right upper arm and on her left arm, an intricate half sleeve tattoo of Claude Giroux beating up Sidney Crosby.
The man wore a Bobby Orr Boston Bruins jersey with the sleeves partly rolled up. He had tattoos as well, but because they were only partly showing, they were harder to make out.
"Uh... Hi." The girl said, flicking her auburn bangs from her eyes.
"What's going on?" The man asked in a thick Boston accent.
Frankie walked over to him. "Long time no see." She said casually.
"Same to you." He replied.
"Frankie, you know this man?" Pedro asked in surprise.
"Of course I do." She said as if it's obvious.
"Well, you both are from Boston..." Tim narrowed his eyes.
"That's not how we know each other." The man nodded over to the young girl he was with.
"I'm Ken O'Brien." She said.
"And I'm Ken Casey." He said.
"The Dropkick Murphys dude?" Jason raised an eyebrow..
Casey inhaled deeply. "Yeah.".
"If I wasn't so pissed off, I'd be laughing." Tim said, sour faced. "So how do you know us?"
"We're your bosses." O'Brien replied.
"Yeah, legally we have to know who you are. We're responsible for your safety." Casey pulled down his jersey sleeves.
"So telling Dustin who I am is a matter of 'safety' now, is it?" Frankie made air quotes.
"Yeah Casey, you didn't have to burst the kid's bubble." O'Brien nudged Casey's arm. "Or cause him to go missing." She muttered.
"And that's why I'm trying to find him." Casey said in matter of fact tone of voice. "Besides, I gotta go meet up with some of the other Dropkick Murphys later on, as we're playing a gig at the House of Mouse..."
"For God's sake Casey, nobody cares about you or your shitty band!" O'Brien as she punched Ken Casey playfully in the arm.
"Yeah, says the girl with the Dropkick Murphys tattoo on her chest." Casey raised an eyebrow and O'Brien walks away. "Yeah, too damn right." He muttered.
"Are we going to look for Dustin or what?" She called.
"So how do you know each other?" Tim asked to Casey as they walked after O'Brien.
"She not told you?" Casey asked.
"Told us what?" Tim scoffed. "She said she's Frankie Young and that's it."
"You know how the Dropkick Murphys are associated with the Red Sox?" Tim nodded. "Well that's how."
"What?" Tim said in surprise.
Casey nodded. "Oh yeah. She's the daughter of Bret Young. Good friend of mine." Casey gave a little smile. "What are your names?" He asked.
"I'm Tim, the guy that looks vaguely like me is my twin brother Jason and the other guy is Pedro." Tim explained.
"Like Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek and Pedro Martinez?" Casey asked.
"Uh... I guess..." Tim paused. "But we're not named after Red Sox. None of us. Pedro is Hispanic and it's a common Spanish name. I'm named after our grandfather and Jason is named after our other grandfather."
"I have a band mate named Tim. I ain't gonna forget your name so easy!" Casey chuckled as he clapped Tim on the back. He ran in front to O'Brien.
"Casey." O'Brien raised her eyebrow.
"I'm assuming you have a plan." He said.
"Of course I have a plan..."
"It's just your last one didn't work out so good." Casey interrupted.
"I know that, Casey, give me some credit!" She hissed.
"So where are we going?" Casey pulled O'Brien aside.
"Where are we now?" She asked.
"Medieval Scotland." He replied. O'Brien raised an eyebrow and Casey's eyes open wide. "Oh no." O'Brien smirked and carried on walking.
"So... We just follow you then?" Jason gave a small shrug.
"Oh yeah!" O'Brien called back.
"What about the wisps?" Jason asked as he ran up to O'Brien.
"Shh!" She held him back with her outstretched arm. "The wisps." She whispered.
"Dinnae these wisps think they caused enough trouble in mah life...?" A voice muttered. Out from the trees Merida appeared with behind her, Angus, her horse. "Oh... Uh... Hi." She said awkwardly.
"Merida." Jason looked down at his feet.
"Aye. An' you are?" She raised an eyebrow.
"Jason." He replied loudly.
"An' the rest o' yeh?"
"Tim, Pedro and Frankie."
"What about th' lassies?"
"What the hell's a "lassie"?" Jason whispered to Tim, who shrugged.
"Lassie's a film dog, right?"
"That's what I thought too?"
"Lassie is what Scottish people sometimes call a 'girl'." Casey offered.
"I'm Ken and that's Frankie-her name's already been said. He is also Ken." O'Brien said.
"Ken? That's not a gud name fer a lassie to have. Or Frankie." Merida said accusingly.
"Well, we're Guardians..."
"Say na more!" Merida put her hand up. "So, why hae the wisps led meh tah you?"
"Our friend's gone missing." Pedro said.
"Your friend. Our brother." Tim corrected.
"And the Kens are his boss or something like that." Frankie added and the teens all glared at her.
"Alright. I'm feeling a wee bit of tension here. What happened?"
"She lied!" Tim, Jason and Pedro shouted in unison, pointing at Frankie.
"Abou' what, exactly?"
"Her identity." Jason glared at Frankie.
"She said she was someone else and lied. I knew there was something off about her!" Tim shouted triumphantly.
"And then our friend Dustin ran off and came here and now we don't know where he is." Pedro finished.
"Well... That's awkward." Merida scratches her head. "I coul' help you find him if yeh want?"
Pedro nodded enthusiastically "Would you? Thank you so much!" He grabbed Merida's hand and shook it rapidly.
"Alright, but uh... Yer nae coming wi' me. You're way too..."
"Enthusiastic?" Tim offered and Merida nodded. "Yep. That's Pedro. Likes to jump in head first." Tim gave a small smile.
"I'd like fer yeh all to stay behind." Merida began. Everyone looked at her in disbelief. "Everyone except from the lassie tha' caused tha trouble."
"Why me?" Frankie asked.
"Cause you caused the trouble, aye? You know this Dustin, aye? An' you're tha one who needs tah explain yerself... Aye?" Merida raised an eyebrow. Frankie nodded.
"But I don't see..." Frankie protested.
"You lot an' Dustin are all friends-am I righ'?" The teens all nodded. "An' now yeh've been torn apart by an act o'... I wanna say betrayal, but that dinnae seem right. Thoughtlessness is a better word." Merida muttered. "You-Frankie-are directly responsible fer this. You need teh mend tha bond yeh broke wi' Dustin. An' Ah'm gonna help ya."
"For a Disney Princess, Merida sure is wise." Tim whispered to Jason, who nodded.
"Ah heard tha'!" Merida said loudly, causing Tim to blush. "Now, are we going, or what?" She said to Frankie, who gave a small nod. "Climb on Angus then, heh won't bite!"
"Uh... I've never ridden a horse before." Frankie said.
"Yeh never..." Merida shook her head disapprovingly. "Wha' in tha name o' Disney goes on in tha Real World?" She interlocked her fingers and bent down. "Step on."
"But you're a Disney Princess..."
"Step on." She repeats but harsher and more like an order.
"You're the boss, Princess." Frankie muttered as she stepped into Merida's hands. She slipped slightly and grabs Angus' mane, causing him to neigh loudly.
"Oh, hush now!" Merida said as she finished helping Frankie onto her horse.
"Are you sure you don't need any extra help...?" O'Brien began as Merida climbed expertly onto Angus.
"Ah'm fine, yeh ken." Merida laughed. "Dinnae worry abou' us."
"Yeah, I am Ken, but..." As O'Brien was talking, Merida already began to ride Angus into the forest.
"O'Brien, "yeh ken" is Scots for "you know"." Casey laughed. Tim and Jason simply exchanged worried glances.
Merida grabbed hold of her bow and drew an arrow, which hit the intended target. She whooped and laughed. "Do you want a go?" She asked, offering her bow up to Frankie.
"No thanks." Frankie said.
"There something wrong?" Merida drew another bow.
"No, it's just..."
"Just...?" Merida repeated, letting the arrow loose, again it hit the target.
Frankie sighed. "Nothing."
"Yeh dinnae feel free, do yeh?"
"How do you...?" Frankie let out a breath of air, surprised that the princess could read her so well with her back turned from her.
"Ah used to feel the same way. Mah mother, always so controlling. Telling meh wha' Ah can and cannae do as a princess. A jus' wan'ed tae get on wi' mah life." Merida explained. "So Ah did. Ah would take Angus out riding whenever Ah could. Shooting arrows, singing..."
"You sing?" Frankie says, incredulously.
"Yes. Ah sing. Ah also play th' harp an' th' lute."
"But you don't sing in your movie!"
"Yes, I do. Ah sing a lullaby song called A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal."
"O Noble Maiden Fair."
"So you sing. Huh."
"Yeah, Ah'm not as sing-y as Rapunzel, Snow White, Cinderella or Elsa, bu' o' course I sing. Ah'm a Disney Princess!" Merida said like it should be obvious. She drew another bow and let it loose. Once again it hits the target.
"You're just like Katniss." Frankie commented.
"Hmm? Who's this... This 'Katniss'?" Merida asked.
"Oh uh... The Hunger Games. Check the books out, you might like them." Frankie said casually.
"Great." Merida swiftly grabbed an arrow and shot it. When it hit the target, she gave a small fist pump.
"Do you not have stories here other than your own?"
"O' course weh do!" Merida chuckled. "Cinderella likes 50 Shades o' Grey."
"Okay. Now I'm weirded out."
"An' weh have other music too." Merida added. "Anna, Ariel an' Snow White are madly in love wi' One Direction an' Th' Wanted. Ah cannae be doing wi' that shit." Frankie's jaw dropped at the sound of hearing a Disney Princess swear. "Matter o' fact, Ah'm going tae th' big Dropkick Murphys gig at th' House o' Mouse this evening. It'll be mah third."
"Where is the House of Mouse, exactly?" Frankie asked once her shock has worn off.
"Main Street USA." Merida replied with a shrug.
"Any other music you listen to?" Frankie asked.
"Oh yeah. Jus' last week Ah went tae mah fi'th Ducky Boys gig. They were there a' th' Mos Eisley Cantina. Th' Cantina Band are nae always there, yeh know!" Merida laughed. "Ah also wen' to a Mighty Mighty Bosstones gig abou'... 6 weeks ago? Pro'bly. Tha' were in End O' Line Club."
"Wicked." Frankie nodded approvingly. "You're into bands from my hometown."
"DKM, Ducky Boys, the Bosstones, they're all from my hometown, Boston USA. Coincidentally..."
"A Ducky Boys song." Merida finished. "It's one o' my favorites. Mah boyfriend is nae much in tae them, so Ah tend tae go alone."
"You have a boyfriend?" Frankie asked in shock. "I thought your whole movie was that you didn't want to get married."
"An' Ah don't!" Merida hollered defensively. "Ah'm nae ready fer marriage!"
"Having a boyfriend is a normal part of being a teenage girl, Merida." Frankie chuckled. "Doesn't mean you're gonna be immediately ready to marry him!"
"Oh, Ah see. Ah s'pose yeh're right.
"So tell me about this boyfriend of yours." Frankie said with a wry smile.
"He's kind, brave an'... A lot older than Ah am." Merida shrugged.
"How much older?" Frankie asked.
"Uh.. He's prob'ly... Ihn his thirties." Merida said sheepishly
"Holy crap!" Frankie brought her hand to her mouth. "You're just 15!"
"An' accordin' tae mah mother, old enuf fer marriage." Merida said. "And Ah'm actually 16. Snow White is married an' she's jus' 14!" She stopped her horse. "Ah wanted tae choose mah own fate. Tha' included meetin' mah own boyfriend."
"Okay, I respect that." Frankie nodded. "Tell me more about this mystery man."
"He does archery too."
"Does he now?" Frankie asked.
"His name's Clint."
"Clint?" Frankie asked, unsure of what to say next.
"Aye." Merida nodded. "He helps fight th' villains wi' naught bu' a bow an' arrow." She sighed longingly. "They call him Hawkeye."
"Hawkeye?!" Frankie was so surprised with Merida's announcement, she tried to back up, but ended up falling off the horse.
"Aye, sorry." Merida slid off her horse and offered her hand to Frankie. "Need a hand?"
"Thanks." Frankie took Merida's hand and Merida helped Frankie up off the ground. "I can't believe you're dating an Avenger."
"Aye. Clint is mah life." Merida smiled. "Ah cannae imagine life wi'out him now."
"This is pretty weird." Frankie muttered to herself. "A Disney Princess and an Avenger."
"Ah prob'ly shud text Clint, Ah'm s'posed tae meet him t'day." Merida pulled a phone from a pocket sewn into her dress.
"No need, Merida. I'm here."
"Clint!" Merida squealed excitedly, running up to her superhero archer boyfriend. Clint extended his arms and hugged her and the pair of them shared a kiss.
"No. This is weird." Frankie covered her eyes. "And it goes against the point of your movie."
"Actu'ly, it does nae." Merida said. "The point o' mah film were that' Ah wan'ed tae marry fer love. Nae have it be dica'ed tae meh who Ah should or should nae love. An' Ah love Clint."
"And I love you too, Merida." Clint answered.
"Doesn't this make you a pedophile?" Frankie asked.
"No." Clint said with a frown. "The age of consent is 16. Merida is 16."
"How old are you?"
"I'm 36." Clint replied.
"There's a 20 year age gap!" Frankie cried out.
"Love ha' nae age." Merida said as she interlocked her fingers with Clint's.
"I think I'm going to be sick."
"You won't though." Clint said. "This is true love. Even truer than Belle and her prince that was never named."
Frankie frowned. "Was he never named?"
"No. But everyone just called him Adam."
"An' Snow White's prince we called Florian. Now we call him David after Once Upon a Time."
"Cool." Frankie said. "But I gotta go find my friend, so if you'll excuse me..." Frankie pushed past the two archers and began to walk away. Merida fired an arrow to catch Frankie's attention. It hit a tree and startled her.
Merida whipped out her last arrow and shot it. It went soaring through the air and out of sight. "I did nae see where tha' went." Merida said sheepishly.
"It doesn't matter, Baby, you're usually a good shot." Clint cupped Merida's chin in his hand and they both giggled.
"Ow!" A voice called out. "The hell was that for?"
"I know that voice." Frankie said urgently. "Dustin." Dustin emerged from the trees with an arrow sticking out of his left shoulder. Clint and Merida stopped what they were doing and stared on in shock.
"Tyler." He said sourly. "First you hurt my feelings and then you hurt me." He looked at her angrily.
"Nae, actu'ly, tha' were me." Merida walked toward him, clasping her bow. "See I were shooting arrows tae get yer..."
"I do not want to hear this." He glared angrily at princess.
"Yeh need tae hear me out." Merida pleads.
"I don't need to hear anyone out." Dustin snarled. "Just leave me the hell alone." Dustin grabbed the arrow in his shoulder and Clint rushed over to him.
"No!" Clint cried out. "Don't pull it out! If you do, you will bleed and the pain will be excruciating-trust me. I'm an Avenger."
"At least let me help you then, Dustin." Frankie approached Dustin, who gingerly moved his injured arm out the way of Frankie.
"No. I'm not interested." He winced in pain. "You shot me with a goddamn arrow!" He said loudly, just stopping short of shouting.
"Weh already established it were me, an' Ah'm sae sorry..." Merida grovelled.
"Can it, princess!" Dustin shouted.
"Don't tell my girlfriend to 'can it'!" Clint shouted angrily. "We can get you help but you have to be nice to us. After all, we didn't do anything."
"Dustin, you're really hurt. Let me help you." Dustin sighed, knowing that Frankie was fully trained in first aid.
"Fine." He relented. Frankie moved Dustin's hand from his injury so she could see it. Blood seeped around the arrowhead buried in Dustin's shoulder.
"Oh Dusty..." Frankie shook her head.
"You don't have the right to call me that." Dustin said sourly.
"It doesn't look too deep..." Frankie said, gently pulling the skin from around the arrow. "Merida, do you have any spare rags or anything? Clean, of course."
"Uh... No. I don't think so."
"What about you, Clint?"
"I just thought I could wipe the blood from his wound and look at it further." Frankie stood up tall. "But it doesn't really matter. We still need to get him help though."
"I'm a Disney Princess! I can't kill a Guardian! I-I can't!" Merida begins to hyperventilate.
"Merida! Calm down!" Frankie sais sternly. "I can't give aid to both of you, so deep breaths. Come on. Deep breaths." Merida inhaled deeply and exhaled as Clint wrapped his arm around her and she began to calm down. "Good girl. And Dustin, you're not going to die. But we should bring you back to the others."
"What others?" Dustin asked.
"Tim, Jason and Pedro are here too. And Ken Casey, but I'll explain that later."
"Of course... K.C. It's Ken Casey!" Dustin said in realization.
"Merida, get on your horse." Frankie said firmly. "Help Dustin on." Merida hauled herself onto her horse. Clint lifted Dustin up and Merida pulled him up by his good arm. "Get him back to the others and lead the way for us." Merida rode off with Dustin on Angus, leaving Clint and Frankie to chase after them.
"So you know Ken Casey." Clint said.
"Yeah, I do. I met him when the Dropkick Murphys did Tessie. He gave me candy, so I liked him."
"Like a pedophile." Clint asked with a raised eyebrow, a call back to when Frankie accused him of being one.
"No, not quite like that. He had his own kid."
"Alright, guys. Listen up." The Red Sox team and an 8 year old Frankie gathered in their dugout as the manager Terry Francona-or Tito-lead a team meeting. "We've got the Yankees now. Bronson, I want you to kick their asses. I want nothing left of them. Well, at least score more runs than them."
"What's the point, Tito?" Bill Mueller mused.
"Yeah." Kevin Millar agreed. "They're just gonna win the World Series. This will be the 87th year that we haven't won anything."
"So why not us this year?" Curt Schilling asked.
"You know what? I agree with Curt." Frankie's father Bret Young stood up. "So we're losers. I'll tell you what we're gonna do. We're gonna turn around that mentality and and say we were losers. We were losers, but we're gonna stop being losers when we win the goddamned World Series this October."
"Bold prediction, Bret." Tim Wakefield chuckled.
"Heard it off that guy over there." Bret pointed at a nervous looking Dropkick Murphys standing at the edge of the dugout. "Holding the bass guitar."
"Who the hell are they?" Mueller asked.
"I don't... I don't know." Bret admitted. "But they seem confident in our ability to win the World Series this year, if only because of their new song."
"Yeah, Kick Drop something or other, they're called right?" Jason Varitek asked. "They're probably here to do the National Anthem or some shit." As Jason Varitek talked, Frankie stood up off the bench and wandered over to the band.
"Hey, Mr Bass Guitar Man?" She asked. A tall young man holding a guitar, nudged the man holding the bass guitar. He turned to look at her.
"Hey, Sweetie." He smiled as he kneels down to her. "My name's Ken. You can call me that. What's your name?"
"Frankie." She smiled sweetly at him.
"Frankie." Ken smiled at the child. "What do you wanna ask me, Frankie?"
"Do you really believe that daddy and his friends will win the World Series this year?" Upon hearing that, Bret rushed over to his daughter.
"What did I tell you about Stranger Danger?" He picked her up and scolded her.
"But Ken isn't a stranger. I know his name." She turned to Ken who stood up. "Answer the question."
Ken chuckled Frankie's assertiveness. "She's gonna give you a lot of hassle as a teenager, mark my words!" He said to Bret before turning to Frankie. "You know what...? Yes." He said confidently. "And it's all because of our new song. This song will finally win your father and his teammates the World Series."
"And now, please welcome to perform their new song, straight off their latest world tour, the Dropkick Murphys!" A voice on the intercom said. Fenway Park went quiet, like you could hear a pin drop.
"I guess that's our cue to leave." Ken said to his band mates. "Before I go, I was saving this lollipop for myself, but you can have it, Frankie." He reached into his jean pocket and pulled out an orange lollipop. "It's from all the way in Germany." He handed it to Frankie, who took it. "Take care, now. Maybe I'll see you again, if your dad doesn't get traded."
Frankie gave Ken a small wave as he took the field with the rest of his band.
"That's some story, Frankie." Clint said. "I bet you got many like that. You should tell them to more people."
"I can't. Dad forbids me." Frankie sighed.
"Why would he do that?"
"Because he doesn't like people knowing who we are."
"Is he weird?"
"Most definitely." Frankie nodded. "Merida?" She called. "Are we almost there?"
"Yes! There's nae tha' long tae go now!" Merida shouted back. "In fac'... Ah think Ah see yer friends."
"Merida?" Someone shouted. Frankie ran towards the vocice and saw it belonged to Pedro.
"Pedro! Thank God!" She said in relief. "I need you to help me help Dustin."
"Why?" Pedro asked. He found out when he saw the arrow sticking out of Dustin's shoulder. "Ugh! Arrow!" He shouted.
"Yeah, Merida... Uh... Shot me with her bow." Dustin grunted as he slid off from Merida's horse. Clint, again, held him.
"Get him back to Orlando." Frankie instructed the boys. They nodded and disappeared with Dustin in a flash of light as Frankie walked over to Casey.
"I just told Clint of how we met, when you gave me that candy." Frankie smiled and pushed her growing bangs from her face.
"Yeah. That was a good day. Jason Varitek punched the ever cocky A-Rod in the face." Casey smirked.
"Yeah, I told him to." Casey looked at her in surprise. "Not on that day, just any given day. I was angry that he signed with the Yankees after wanting to be a Red Sox."
"Can't say I blame ya, Frankie." Casey sighed.
"I thought he could help reverse the curse. But it turns out, you did." Casey raised an eyebrow. "Yeah. Babe Ruth was sold in 1920. How could it have been the Curse of the Bambino if the curse was going on since 1918?" Casey nodded. "What happened in 2004 that supposedly broke that curse anyway?"
"Beating the Yankees in the House that Ruth Built?" Casey offered.
"But the Sox did that many times before. Wouldn't the curse have been broken then?"
"But not in the playoffs." Casey said smugly.
"We haven't played them since either." Casey looked at her, puzzled.
"What could have happened between 1918 and 2004? Or rather, what didn't happen between 1918 and 2004?" She asked. Casey looked at her with understanding. "You broke the curse that day, old friend. And it's an absolute honor to have met you that day. I just can't believe it's been almost 10 years." Frankie sighed and shook her head with a grin plastered on her face. "Take care of yourself, Ken."
"Oh, I'll probably be seeing you in the future, Frankie!" Casey called after her as she too, disappeared in a flash of light.
The next day, Frankie walked past her locker in the school hallway and saw Dustin had his left arm resting in a sling.
"You okay?" She asked.
"Doing better." He rubbed the back of his neck. "Pedro took me to the hospital yesterday. I had stitches and a strict order to rest my left arm. I'll just have to learn to be a righty for a while, but other than that, I'm okay."
"Good." She gave him a small smile. "I'll be seeing you in maths, with Mr Brady, then." Frankie began to walk away. Dustin grabbed her arm.
"Wait!" He called out and she turned around. "Thanks for helping me... Frankie." Dustin gave her a nod of acknowledgement.
"Don't mention it."
"Seriously, I want us to still be friends. But I feel like a major trust has been breached. It'll take some time to mend, but yesterday... Helped a lot." Dustin explains. "Do you want us to still be friends?" He asked.
"I'd like nothing more." Frankie smiled.
"Good." Dustin smiled back. "I'll meet you back here at recess. Tim, Jason and Pedro are gonna be here too."
"I'll see you then." Frankie said. The bell rang and each went their separate ways to their own classes, knowing that they'd still be friends. For now...
A raven circled around a tower before flying in and perching on the top of a staff. Maleficent's staff. The raven squawked.
"There, there, Diablo." Maleficent said, stroking the bird's feathers gently. "I know there are tales of The One arriving in Disney World, but they have been wrong before." The raven Diablo, squawked again. "This time, I fear they might be right about this one." Maleficent pulled her hand away from Diablo. "We have to call everyone and reassemble... The Disney Villains Association." Maleficent smirked wickedly as her raved crowed happily.
From here on in, "Tyler" will be known as Frankie. This chapter is a major turning point in Frankie and Dustin's relationship-they're starting to fall for each other. Merida is indeed dating Clint Barton-AKA Hawkeye. And Maleficent will be a major antagonist going forward now.
The song for this chapter is Deeds Not Words by Dropkick Murphys.
"I can do it! I can do it!" Dustin screamed as he adjusted the finger picks on his fingers. He stood on a stage with an Irish tenor banjo strapped on. He tried the picks again before grunting in frustration and throwing them to the ground.
"Don't you 'listen kid' me!" Dustin shouted. "This is my banjo! Just because you play every instrument under the sun, doesn't give you the right to tell me what to do!" Dustin's face went red with anger.
"I just tried to help..."
"Well don't!" Dustin shouted.
"Jeez, Helms. This is one angry kid." The men that Dustin was shouting at were Dropkick Murphys banjoist Jeff DaRosa and comedian Ed Helms. They sat at a table along with WESH 2 morning news anchor, Aixa Diaz.
"Leave him alone, DaRosa. He's just a little frustrated and embarrassed." She said as Dustin picked up a plectrum and tried to play the banjo riff again.
"Kid, what are you trying to play?" DaRosa asked.
"My banjo." He hissed.
DaRosa threw his arms up in surrender. "I just asked!"
"Kid, we're trying to help..." Helms began, but was cut off by a raging Dustin.
"You! Shut up! There's nothing funny about The Office!" Dustin threw his plectrum at Helms. "And Jeffrey, I don't need you or your stupid band." Dustin tried to play the riff again, but missed another note. "Why does this keep happening?!" He ripped off his banjo and hurled it behind him.
"Kid, take it easy!" Diaz stood up out of her seat gently.
"Don't tell me to take it easy!" Dustin picked up his banjo and smashed it on the ground.
"Kid, don't destroy such a wonderful instrument-you're not Pete Townshend..." Helms plead.
"I know I'm not!" Dustin screamed. "All I wanted was to play my banjo but my damn fingers won't even let me do that right!" Dustin punched the wall repeatedly and everybody watched in shock as flakes of drywall fell to the ground. When he finished, he was out of breath. He screamed before running out of the auditorium in tears.
Dustin ran, still crying. He stopped to catch his breath at a wall and slid down it sobbing. He examined his knuckles which were bloody and bruised. He put his head in his hands, still sobbing. He stopped sobbing abruptly to examine his right wrist-the Wrist Device which could take him out of this world. "I leave the world of today behind for the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy." He recited shakily and disappeared in a flash of light.
He arrived on a snow covered mountain, freezing cold. He stood up to look around, shivering. All he saw was endless snow in all directions. And a figure trudging through the snow. The figure came closer and he realized it was Queen Elsa of Arendelle-he was on the North Mountain.
As Elsa sang Let it Go, it seemed like she'd resigned herself to defeat, looking like she was about to burst into tears at any point. Dustin ran to her and Elsa didn't realize he was there until she turned around and bumped into him.
"Uh... Hi." He said awkwardly.
"Hi yourself. What are you doing here? The North Mountain is really dangerous, kid." Elsa raised an eyebrow.
"I don't really want to be found." Dustin hung his head.
"You and me both, kid. You know who I am?" She asked.
"Duh. You're Queen Elsa of Arendelle. And you reject that title while you're singing this song." Dustin said casually. "I've seen Frozen." He added quickly.
"Yes... Well..." She cleared her throat. "I didn't see you at my coronation." Elsa noted.
"Oh, no. I'm Dustin, a Guardian." Noticing Elsa's puzzled expression, he added "From the Real World?" Elsa shrugged.
"As long as you're not here to convince me to come back to Arendelle, I could care less who or what you are." Elsa began to play with her ice powers by sending small flurries of snow into the air and making a snowman with her powers. Dustin raised an eyebrow and stared at the snowman, knowing that it would become Olaf.
"You know that that snowman you just build will become sentient, right?" Dustin said casually and Elsa stared at him as if he had grown another head.
"Don't be ridiculous, kid. Snowmen don't just become self aware."
"They do when they're made by 21 year old queens with magical ice powers." Elsa shook her head and beamed as she took confident strides.
"It's funny how some distance makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me can't get to me at all" She started singing.
"It's time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through" Dustin gaped on in awe as Elsa created a staircase of ice in front of him.
"No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I'm free" She stepped on the ice staircase and all the frost disappeared from it, making it just clear ice.
Dustin watched as Elsa made an entire staircase out of ice, while belting out a song suspiciously like Defying Gravity from Wicked. He followed Elsa up the steps where she was still singing.
"Here I stand and here I'll stay!" Elsa stamped her foot into the snow and a huge snowflake made of ice appeared on the ground. Dustin ran up to Elsa, alarmed.
"Let the storm rage on" Elsa sang as she constructed pillars to hold the ice snowflake aloft. The two raised up and a startled Dustin clung onto Elsa tightly.
"I don't feel like this is safe." Dustin mumbled.
"You don't like it, then you can buzz off." Elsa remarked with a shrug.
"You don't like me." Dustin said, letting go of the queen.
"I'm indifferent to you. Keep holding onto me or telling me how I build my ice palace and I won't like you." Elsa said, glaring at him. "Now I have a song to finish."
"Okay." Dustin put his hands in the air defensively.
As Elsa carried on making her ice castle, Dustin walked around in awe and touched one of the walls. Though it was ice cold, he continued to stroke it in amazement. Elsa ripped off her tiara ad cast it aside defiantly. It landed by Dustin, who kicked it away discreetly.
"Let it go, let it go
And I'll rise like the break of dawn" Elsa unfastened the braid in her hair and-rather than it being pinned up-let it hang on her shoulder
"Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone" Elsa's conservative black and teal dress transformed into a beautiful light blue dress made out of ice along with an ice cape.
"Here I stand in the light of day" Elsa sang victoriously as she strode confidently out onto the balcony she constructed. Dustin followed her out.
"Let the storm rage on!" Elsa belted out and held the note out for as long as she could.
"The cold never bothered me anyway!" With a flick of her cape, she confidently walked back inside and-accidentally-locked Dustin out. He knocked on the door.
"Uh... Elsa?" No answer. He tried knocking again. "Elsa!" He shouted. The door opened.
"What?" Elsa asked.
"You locked me out." Dustin shrugged.
"I didn't know you were coming back in." She put her arm on her hip.
"Yeah. Sorry." Dustin sighed. "Anyway, this is one beautiful place you just built." Dustin was unable to process what he just witnessed in the past few minutes. Sure, he'd seen Frozen before, but building the ice palace had taken the animators weeks while it had literally taken Elsa two and a half minutes. He was right there as she constructed it. Dustin stared at Elsa's hair and noticed it had little icy snowflakes running through.
"Yeah, I guess." Elsa looked around as the ice glistened in the rising sun.
"Soo..." Dustin began. "Where do you plan on getting food from?"
"I... Honestly hadn't thought of that." Elsa frowned.
"Where do you think he went?" Tim asked.
"I don't know. I hope we find him soon." Jason replied. They had managed to track Dustin down to Arendelle and were traipsing through the snow on the mountains.
"All footprints would have gone by now, covered with snow." Tim whined.
"Why did he have to do this?!" Jason moaned.
"Because he's Dustin." Tim scoffs. "You remember how off the rails he went the other week when we found out about Ty-Frankie."
"True." Jason sighed. "Where the hell are we, even?"
"Hi!" Tim squealed at the sound of the voice behind them and cowered behind his brother.
"Monster!" He squeaked. "You take care of it!"
"Oh, I didn't mean to scare you." A figure waddled out from behind the snow covered foliage-Olaf the snowman. Tim continued to cower, while Jason laughed. "I'm Olaf and I like warm hugs." Olaf opened his stick arms wide, to receive a hug.
"Oh no. No, we don't do that." Jason chuckled.
"No!" Tim whined. "Monster!" Olaf waddled over to Tim and hugged his leg. Tim cautiously opened an eye and looked down. Olaf gave him a warm smile.
"O-O-Olaf..." Tim stammered. "It-it's just Olaf!" He laughed nervously.
"You know me, but do I know you?" Olaf asked.
"Uh... I'm Tim and this is my twin brother, Jason" Tim replied.
"Olaf..." Jason began. "Have you seen this boy?" He took out his iPhone from his jeans pocket.
"I'm not seeing any boy." Olaf said.
"No." Jason said as he fiddled with his device. "This boy?" Jason showed Olaf his iPhone and pointed at a picture of Dustin.
"Yeah. Why?" Olaf replied, nonchalantly.
"You've definitely seen him?" Tim chimed in.
"So you know where he is?" Jason asked.
"So you can take us to him?" Tim asked.
"Uh... Yeah. Why?"
"I'll tell you why." Tim said. "Because this guy's our brother and we care deeply about him."
"He's had an outburst. And we need to make sure he's okay because when he gets angry, he really gets angry." Jason added.
"Okay. I can take you guys to him while I'm helping these guys bring back Summer!" Olaf said happily as he gestured to Anna, Kristoff and Sven, coming closer to the three.
"Summer?" Tim asked "I've always loved the idea of summer!" Olaf smiled widely. "And Sun! And all things hot!" He added. Tim and Jason exchanged glances. They knew what was coming. "I like to close my eyes and imagine what it's like when summer does come!"
"He gonna sing again?" Kristoff asked the twins.
"Yep." Jason nodded.
"That's the fourth time today." Kristoff sighed.
"I think it's sweet." Anna said.
"Whatever. It's annoying." Tim grunted.
"Thank you!" Kristoff smiled, putting his arm around Tim.
"I can't imagine how annoying it must be to listen to other people's singing." Tim rolled his eyes.
"You have no idea." Kristoff rolled his eyes "It's the fourth time today he's sang that damn song and God only knows how many times before that!" He sighed. "I mean it, Anna. I'm gonna tell him."
"You dare, Kristoff." Anna said, slightly irritated. "Everyone has to have a dream."
"If he can experience summer without melting and dying, he should let us know." Tim said cynically. "And Snowman, no singing!"
"Alright!" Olaf said happily. "Elsa's this way!" He waved one of his twig arms in front of him.
"Yeah, okay Olaf. We're coming!" Tim sighed and shook his head. Jason shrugged and they both walked after Anna, Kristoff, Sven and Olaf, who started humming In Summer.
"Hey, Elsa!" Dustin shouted upon entering her ice palace. "I'm back! And I brought apples!" He shut the door and Elsa appeared on her grand staircase. "And a bar of chocolate for you."
"Oh wow, thanks!" Elsa smiled. "I've been craving a bar of chocolate since the coronation. I didn't get a chance to get any then because Anna..." She paused. "Well, you know what she did." Elsa sighed.
"Think fast!" Dustin shouted and threw the chocolate bar at Elsa.
"You know, with you being able to get food for me, I think I can live up here happily for the rest of my life." Elsa opened the chocolate bar and took a bite. "I mean... You can get chocolate! Nothing is better than that." She said with her mouth full.
"Yeah, but it's not like we want to repopulate the North Mountain with the pitter-patter of short tempered ice powered babies!"
"Good God, no!" Elsa said, horrified. "That would be terrible!" She played with her hair with her other arm. "I just wanna co-habit in this castle made of ice with anyone who can bring me food and not pressure me to go back to Arendelle and you fill those criteria."
"So... Where's the john?" Dustin asked.
"Uh..." Elsa giggled nervously.
"You didn't build a toilet, did you?" Dustin sighed.
"Sorry." She blushed.
"It doesn't matter." Dustin waved her off. "You can just build a working, flushing toilet out of ice. I mean, you built this." Dustin gestured all around him. "That can't be a problem for you." He smiled. "Hey, we could call it... The "throne room."
"I think you and I are gonna get along just fine." Elsa muttered and took another bite of the chocolate.
Olaf, Sven, Kristoff, Anna and the twins began walking through a dangerous area filled with icicles. "So how do you plan on stopping this weather?" Kristoff asked Anna.
"I'll talk to my sister." Anna said with a shrug.
"That's your big plan?" Kristoff said, incredulously. "My ice business rides on you talking to your sister?" Anna nodded and as Kristoff didn't look where he was going, one of the icicles poked him in the face. "You're not at all afraid of her?" He said, a slight hint of fear in his voice.
"No. Why would I be?" Anna asked indifferently.
"Yeah!" Olaf said as he turned back to look at the rest of his party. "I bet she's the nicest, gentlest, most warmest person ever!" Olaf said as he walked backwards into a horizontal ice shard. "Oh would you look at that." Olaf touched the icicle that pierced his body. "I've been impaled!" He chuckled.
"Come on, Olaf." Tim walked up to the snowman. "Jason, hold his head." Jason nodded as he ran over and pickedup Olaf's head. "Alright, Olaf. I'm gonna pull your shoulders free. Ready? One, two, three!" Tim violently yanked Olaf's shoulders free of the icicle.
"I think we're gonna need to pack more snow into that hole." Jason looked straight through Olaf's body. "Hold this, Kristoff!" Jason threw Olaf's head to Kristoff who just about caught it.
"Hey, watch my head!" Olaf said, annoyed. Jason scooped up some snow from the ground and packed it into the hole in Olaf's body. Tim picked up the rest of Olaf's body and Jason forced Olaf's shoulders onto it.
"There you go, buddy." Tim said proudly as Kristoff put Olaf's head gently onto his now fixed body.
"Oops." Jason noticed one of Olaf's buttons lying in the snow, so he put it on where his body was pierced. "All better."
As they walked out of the area, they ended up at a cliff edge. "So what now?" Anna asked, looking up.
"It's too steep." Kristoff said. "I've only got one rope and you don't know how to climb mountains."
"Says who?" Anna asked. Sven hit Kristoff with his antlers to make him look at Anna trying to climb the mountain. Tim and Jason tried to stifle their laughter.
"What are you doing?" He asked.
"I'm going to see my sister." Anna said, determined.
"But you're gonna kill yourself." Kristoff said sternly. "I wouldn't put my foot there." Anna put her foot on a small ledge and it immediately crumbled away.
"You're distracting me!"
"Or there." Kristoff said and the same thing happened."How do you know Elsa wants to see you?"
"Alright, I'm just blocking you out, I gotta concentrate, here." Anna said.
"Most people who disappear into the mountains want to be alone."
"Nobody wants to be alone." Anna countered.
"And Dustin can't be alone. He's capable of being really destructive if nobody can calm him down." Tim said.
"Please tell me I'm almost there." Anna panted as she grabbed onto two ledges with one of her legs stretched over another, only around three foot off the ground. "Does the air seem a bit thin up here to you?" Everyone chuckled.
"Hang on." Kristoff said, walking over to Anna.
"Hey Sven?" Olaf called out from behind the cliff. Everyone looked at him with surprise, thinking he was with them. "Not sure if this is gonna solve your problem, but I found a staircase that leads exactly where you wanted to go."
"Oh, thank goodness!" Anna exclaimed. "Catch!" She shouted to Kristoff as she let herself fall-Kristoff did catch her. "Thanks!" She jumped from his arms. "That was like a crazy trust exercise!" She called out and ran after Olaf, everyone following behind. They got to Elsa's ice palace and saw the staircase she made earlier. Olaf giggled as he ran up it.
"Whoa. Now that's ice!" Kristoff was in awe of Elsa's ice creations. "I might cry."
"Go ahead. I won't judge." Anna was also in awe. Sven tried to run up the staircase after Olaf, but slipped. He kept trying and slipping.
"Take it easy, boy! Come here!" Kristoff pulled Sven down the stairs. "Alright buddy. You stay right here." Kristoff patted the reindeer. "You coming, guys?"
"No." Tim replied. "This is your thing. We're gonna wait here and keep Sven company and wait for Olaf to bring us to our brother." Kristoff shrugged and he and Anna walked up the staircase.
"Flawless." Kristoff muttered. Anna walked up to the doors of the ice palace with her hand ready to knock.
"Knock." Olaf said encouragingly. "Just knock." He repeats. "Why isn't she knocking?" He asked Kristoff. "Do you think she knows how to knock?" Anna knocked the door of the ice palace and the doors open. Anna gasped in surprise
"Hah! It opened!" She said excitedly. "That's a first." She muttered to herself. "Oh. You should probably wait here."
"The last time I introduced her to a guy, she ended up freezing everything."
"But-but... Come on!" Kristoff protested. "It's a palace made of ice! Ice is my life!"
"Bye Sven!" Olaf sauntered off, but Anna pulled him back.
"You too, Olaf."
"Me?" He said sadly.
"Just... Give us a minute."
"Okay." Olaf and Kristoff sit down on the ice staircase as Anna walked inside and the doors closed. She looked in awe at the grand staircase made of ice and the fountain made of ice. She studied the detail in everything.
"Whoa." She said to herself. "Elsa?" She calls out. "It's me, Anna!" She stepped on a chocolate bar wrapper and picked it up. "Where did this come from?" She wondered.
"Anna." Elsa emerged onto the staircase. Anna gasped at Elsa's less than conservative figure and ice dress. "Wow, Elsa, you look... Different." She smiled. "It's a good different. And this place..." Anna paused to look around again. "It's amazing!"
"Thank you." Elsa replied. "I never knew what I was capable of."
"I'm so sorry about what happened. If I'd have known..." Anna began to climb the staircase and Elsa backed away defensively.
"No, no, no. It's okay." She said fearfully. "You don't have to apologize. You should probably go." Elsa turned away. "Please."
"But I just got here."
"You belong down in Arendelle."
"So do you."
"No, Anna. I belong here." She paused. "Where I can be who I am."
"Actually, about that..." Anna began.
"Sixty!" Olaf squealed and burst through the doors.
"What was that?"
"Hi! I'm Olaf and I like warm hugs!" Olaf shouted happily to Elsa.
"Olaf?" Elsa asked.
"You built me!" Olaf stood on the last step of the grand staircase. "Remember that?" He asked sadly.
"And you're alive?"
"I think so?" Olaf wiggled his tree branch arms and fingers.
"He's just like the one we built as kids!" Anna crouched down to hold around Olaf. Elsa smiled and gazes at her hands.
"Yeah." She agreed.
"Elsa, we were so close. We can be like that again." Anna said. Elsa's eyes filled up with fear again.
"No. We can't. Goodbye, Anna." She said abruptly.
"Elsa wait!" Anna stood up.
"No!" Elsa shouted. "I'm just trying to protect you!"
"You don't have to protect me, I'm not afraid!" Anna shouted back. Dustin emerged onto the balcony.
"What's going on out here, ladies?" He asked.
"Elsa. Who's this?" Anna asked accusingly.
"Dustin, please!" Elsa begged
"Elsa." Anna said sternly. "Who is this?" Elsa didn't answer. "You go mad at me for getting with a guy I just met and you do the same thing?!" Anna shouted.
"No Anna!" Elsa shouted back. "It's not like that!"
"Dustin, go." Elsa pointed upstairs. "Go!" Dustin headed up the stairs followed by Elsa.
"What's that about?" He asked.
"Nothing. Just go." She said.
"Elsa! Come on!" Anna shouted after them. "Please don't shut me out again! Please don't slam the door
You don't have to keep your distance any more" Anna began singing
"Cause for the first time in forever, I finally understand
For the first time in forever, we can fix this hand in hand" She carried on singing and running up the staircase after Elsa and Dustin.
"We can head down the mountain together, you don't have to live in fear
For the first time in forever, I will be right here." Anna leaned on the door to the main room of the ice palace.
"Anna. Please go back home. Your life awaits.
Go enjoy the sun and open up the gates." Elsa began singing.
"Great. Singing." Dustin rolled his eyes and walked out onto the balcony. He leaned against the ice and ran his fingers along it as he felt the cold of it almost threatening to stick his fingers to it.
"I can't!" Elsa shouted. Dustin ran from the balcony and to check what was happening and saw Anna struck by an ice blast and fall to her knees. Dustin runs over to Anna. Elsa filled with dread as Dustin assisted her sister up.
"Anna!" Kristoff called out. He and Olaf run over to Anna and Dustin. "Are you okay?"
"I'm okay." Anna insisted. "I'm fine."
"Who's this?" Elsa asked.
"You never told me who this guy is." Anna shook Dustin off her arm. "Why should I tell you who that guy is?"
"It doesn't matter, that's why." Elsa said.
"It matters!" Anna shouted. "You froze everything when I met and got engaged to Hans and now you've moved in with a guy that you've just met and expect me to just be... Okay with it?" Anna shouted, getting angrier. "After you froze everything? That's really..." Anna paused. "I don't think there's a word for what that is."
"Hypocritical?" Olaf offered.
"Yes, that. Thanks, Olaf." Anna didn't drop her angry tone.
"You have to go." Elsa said.
"No!" Anna barked. "I know we can figure this out together. Boyfriends aside."
"How?" Elsa shouted fearfully. "What power do you have that can stop this winter? To stop me?"
"I think we should go." Kristoff said.
"I'm not leaving without you, Elsa." Anna said. "Or your boyfriend." She added, throwing Dustin a look of disgust.
"Yes. You are. And Dustin is not my boyfriend." Elsa conjured up another snowman, this time, it was big, unfriendly and threw Anna and Kristoff out of her ice palace.
"Go away!" The monster roared.
"Elsa, are you okay?" Dustin asked.
"Dustin, did you tell them where we were?" Elsa asked.
"When you went out for supplies, even?"
"No, Elsa, I would never..."
"Get out." Elsa said. "Get out!" She screamed. "And take the snowman with you!"
Dustin walked sadly down the grand staircase with Olaf by his side. "So you're Dustin." Olaf said.
"There's two guys outside looking for you." Olaf said.
"Yeah right." Dustin scoffed.
"No really." Olaf insisted. "They say they're your brothers..."
"Tim and Jason?"
"Yeah. That's it!" Olaf smiled.
"They're not my brothers." Dustin said glumly.
"They're my friends."
"Do you not have any brothers?"
"No, I do..." Dustin said. "But he isn't with me any more."
"He died?" Olaf asked bluntly.
"No!" Dustin replied. "I live in Florida and he lives in San Diego."
"Oh." Olaf nodded his head in understanding. "Where's San Diego?" He asked.
"The Real World, Olaf." Dustin sighed. The two left the ice palace and saw the vicious snow monster chasing Anna, Kristoff, Sven, Tim and Jason.
"What's going on here?" Olaf wondered aloud.
"I don't know. But I'm gonna find out." Dustin picked the snowman up and started running. They reached the trees and panting, Dustin put Olaf down.
"Hey Anna! Sven!" Olaf called. "We totally lost Marshmallow back there!"
"Marshmallow?" Dustin raised his eyebrow. The snow monster was behind them and Olaf turned around.
"Hey, we were just talking about you!" Olaf said. "All good things, all good things."
"Olaf!" Dustin grabbed the little snowman again and jumped off the cliff. They tumbled down past Anna, Kristoff, Tim and Jason, who abseiled down the cliff.
"Olaf!" Anna called out.
"Dustin?!" The twins said in unison.
"Faster!" Anna said. Realizing that they were being pulled up, Anna snatched Kristoff's knife and cut the rope and everyone fell down into the snow below.
"Is everyone okay?" Anna asked, waist deep in snow.
"Fine!" Tim pushed himself out of the snow.
"I'm okay too." Jason said, up to his neck in snow. "Suffocating a little." Tim helped Jason out.
"I can't feel my legs! I can't feel my legs!" A panicked Olaf said. Kristoff rose from the snow.
"Those are my legs." Kristoff said. Olaf's legs walked past.
"Do me a favor-grab my butt!" Kristoff put Olaf's head and shoulders on the rest of his body. "That feels better."
"Where's Dustin?" Jason brushed the snow off his clothes. Sven sniffed the snow, near where Olaf and Kristoff landed.
"Dustin?" Tim asked, panicked.
"He landed face first." Kristoff picked him up. He lay Dustin down on the snow, before helping Anna out. "Are you okay?" He asked Anna.
"Thank you." She said. "How's your head?" She touched it.
"Ow!" Kristoff said."No, it's good." He smiled. "I got a thick skull."
"I don't have a skull." Olaf said. He paused before adding: "Or bones."
"So... Now what?" Kristoff asked.
"Now what." Anna repeated. "Now what?" She panicked. "Oh... What am I gonna do? She threw me out! I can't go back to Arendelle with the weather like this-and then there's your ice business..."
"I'm sorry, Anna." Tim said.
"You're gonna have to go the rest of the journey alone. We only came here for our brother." Jason added.
"What?!" Anna shouted. "But-but you can't go! The story hasn't been resolved yet!"
"We have to take him back." Jason tapped his Wrist Device and left in a flash of light. Tim grabbed Dustin's arm they also left in a flash of light. Suddenly, Anna collapsed into Kristoff's arms, her hair turning white. A panicked Kristoff looked around, but nobody was there, except Sven the reindeer and Olaf the snowman.
"They're not there. Nobody is." Olaf said. "What now?"
"I'm gonna take her to my friends."
"The love experts?" Anna raised an eyebrow.
"Yeah. The love experts." They all walked away.
"What the hell did you do that for?" Dustin fumed. He, Tim and Jason stood in the parking lot of their school in the dark. Tim's hand was firmly clasped around Dustin's wrist.
"Hey, Elsa threw you out. And now you're back here." Jason shrugged. "End of."
"But I've got to go back!" Dustin protested.
"No you don't. You're staying here with me and Jason until the next adventure."
"But this one isn't over yet!" Dustin got more and more agitated. "I have to make up with Elsa!"
"Why do you care so much about her anyway?" Tim asked.
"Because we spent two days in each other's company. We got to know each other. We became friends. Now let me go!"
"No!" Tim barked. "I'm not letting you go! Not until you calm down!"
"Let me go!" Dustin shouted, trying to pull his arm free. "You're hurting me! That's my arm Merida shot the week before!"
"Stop struggling then." Jason said sternly.
"Let me go!" Dustin repeated.
"We're not going to-why should we?" Tim asked loudly.
"I'm just going to hurt you!" Dustin shouted and immediately stopped pulling against Tim. Tim let Dustin go briefly, full of shock, but it was enough time for Dustin to fiddle with his Wrist Device and quickly leave.
"You let him go!" Jason shouted.
"I didn't try!" Tim shouted back.
"Stay here!" Jason tapped his Wrist Device.
"Why the hell should I?" Tim asked angrily
"Because I can't trust you with anything." Jason glared at Tim as he flashed away. Tim growled as he teleported himself into the Disney World.
"I can guess where we are." Jason said. They had arrived in a snowstorm with varying voices calling around them.
"We're too late!" Tim said, about to burst into tears.
"You idiot!" Jason hit Tim over the head. "Anna's turning into ice, not Dustin!"
"I can't watch this!" Tim wailed and put his hands over his ears. Jason rolled his eyes. He had forgotten what a baby Tim was watching Frozen and now that he was living it, it would make it worse.
"I tried to save her, but it was too late!" Hans shouted. "Her skin was ice, her hair turned white. Your sister is dead! Because of you!"
Tim let out a cry and fell to the ground on his knees with his hands still covering his ears. Jason raised an eyebrow. "Come on, man, stop being a baby." He nudged Tim with his foot. The snow storm stopped abruptly and Jason caught a glimpse of Dustin on the other side of the fjord, near Elsa and Hans. Jason ran over to them both as Hans drew his sword to Elsa. However, a nearly frozen Anna got there first.
"No!" She cried, putting her hand up in an attempt to stop the sword. She frose completely to ice, shattering Hans' sword and knocking him back. Jason and Dustin shielded their eyes.
"Anna!" Elsa shouted, standing up and examining her now frozen sister.
"Dustin!" Jason shouted. Dustin looked down.
"Anna! No!" Elsa put her hands on Anna's face. "No! Please, no!"
Jason dashed over to Dustin and grabbed his arm. Tim stood up and rushed over to everyone as Elsa cried over Anna. Kristoff, Sven and Olaf wandered over to frozen Anna and crying Elsa too. "Anna?" Olaf inquired.
"Dustin, are you alright?" Jason asked in concern. Dustin refused to answer, instead averting his gaze. As Elsa cried, hugging Anna, Anna began to unfreeze.
"Anna?" Elsa asked happily.
"Oh Elsa!" Anna said as the two sisters shared a warm embrace.
"You sacrificed yourself... For me?" Elsa asked incredulously.
"I love you." Anna replied.
"An act of true love will thaw a frozen heart!" Olaf said excitedly.
"Love will thaw..." Elsa mused. "Love! Of course!" Elsa said in realization.
"Elsa?" Anna asked.
"Love!" Elsa shouted happily as everywhere rapidly begins to defrost. Everyone was left standing on a ship in the now thawed fjord.
"I knew you could do it." Anna said smugly.
"Hands down, this is the best day of my life!" Olaf said as he melted. "And quite possibly the last."
"Oh, Olaf!" Elsa realizing about the snowman. "Hang on little guy!" She rebuilds him and a snow cloud appears above him.
"Oh! My own personal flurry!" Olaf giggled. Hans stood up and Kristoff began to walk up to him. Anna held him back and walked over to Hans herself.
"Anna?" He said, confused. "But she froze your heart?"
"The only frozen heart around here is yours." She turned around to walk away, but turned back around to punch him in the face. He fell over and landed in the fjord. Anna walked back to Elsa and they hugged.
"See, Dustin. It's okay." Jason said. "Frozen ended well, why can't our relationship?"
Anna and Elsa broke off the embrace. "Dustin, see it's important that you be with these guys, who clearly love you." She explained.
"Yeah, didn't you learn anything?" Anna asked.
"I just don't want to hurt anyone." He whispered.
"You won't. You have people who love you. And it's true love." Elsa said. "They wouldn't have gone out in my snowstorm if they didn't love you."
"You can let everything go and still love your... Friends?" Anna asked.
"Brothers." Dustin said. "They're my brothers." He repeated more confidently.
"You need each other." Anna said. "They love you despite your flaws."
"And when you have love... You can't help but not be afraid." Elsa smiled over to her sister. "You need to go back home, to the Real World, to your family. You can't isolate yourself here anymore." She nodded to Dustin, who nodded back.
"Okay." He said confidently. "I'll go back home."
"Goodbye, Dustin. I'll see you again, someday." Elsa and Anna waved as the three brothers flashed away.
Once again they stood in the parking lot of their school and it's still night
"I'm going to go in there. Apologize for my outburst." Dustin walked inside the school with Tim and Jason closely behind. The three walked into the auditorium and the heads of Ed Helms, Aixa Diaz and Jeff DaRosa quickly turned.
"Guys, I want to apologize so much for my outburst earlier." Dustin said, genuinely. "Ms. Diaz, I watch WESH2 morning news every single day and I consider myself a big fan of you and Mr. Guy. Mr. Helms, I hate The Office." Tim let out a small gasp. "I'm sorry, but I do. But that said, I'm still a huge fan of the Hangover movies." Dustin turned to Jeff DaRosa. "Mr. DaRosa, I'm going to see your gig in Downtown Disney at the House of Blues tomorrow..."
"It's true, he is." Jason interjected.
"Yes. Well... I acted shamefully in front of all of you and I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me." Dustin hung his head. "Well... I better be off now..." He began to walk away.
"Kid, don't freak out, just because you miss a few notes." Helms said. "Be proud because you got most of it right."
Diaz handed Dustin's smashed up banjo to DaRosa "Yeah, only don't smash up your banjo next time." DaRosa handed Dustin his smashed up banjo. "Banjos have feelings too."
"You were pretty good, kid." Diaz added. "Just try not to explode next time."
Here's the number of my banjo repair guy. He's great. He's based in Boston, but tell him Jeff DaRosa recommended him, I'm sure he'll be able to sort something out." DaRosa nodded.
"Good luck, Kid." Helms added and the three brothers walked out of the school.
"I just wanna go home now." Dustin sighed. "This evening's almost killed me."
"You can say that again." Jason shook his head and everyone begins the walk back home.
Love truly does conquer all. I thought I'd tackle Frozen here. Maleficent isn't in this one, but it doesn't matter. The Big Bad doesn't have to appear all the time.
The song for this chapter is obviously Let it Go by Adele Dazeem. I mean Idina Menzel.
"You take the high roads and I'll take the low roads
And I'll be in Scotland before you
Me and my true love, we'll never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond..." Jason sang on stage. It was the last day of school for everyone and thus a bittersweet time. Dustin sat in the audience and pulled his phone from his pocket. He sighed upon seeing the time.
"What is it, Dustin?" Frankie whispered as Dustin pocketed his phone.
"Half past 10. I wish Jason would hurry it up. Dammit, he couldn't've sung an Irish song, could he? They're all upbeat because they're all about getting shitfaced. As the Irish do." He added.
"By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes
The sun shines brightly on Loch Lomond..." Jason continued singing. Dustin looked over to his left and saw Tim with his head in his hand, desperately trying not to fall asleep and Pedro yawning.
"This is impossible." Frankie whispered.
"Tell me about it." Dustin whispered back with a sigh. Maybe it wouldn't hurt for him to close his eyes for a few seconds.
"Dustin! Wake up!" Frankie nudged him violently. There was a smattering of polite applause as Jason finished his speech.
"Wha...?" Dustin mumbled. "Crap." He sat up in his seat and clapped. He looked over at Tim, who was clearly holding in a yawn, but smiling so his brother didn't see.
"Thank you, all. I hope to see you all in a few years during a reunion organized over Facebook!" Jason said before leaving the stage. A female teacher took to the podium.
"And that was your Class of 2014 valedictorian, Jason Edelman." She said. "Now, I would like to show you this picture presentation of your time in high school." The lights dimmed and projected onto the sheet were the words "Class of 2014!" written in what the teachers thought was a 'wacky' font. Dustin rolled his eyes and slunk back down into his chair. All he wanted was to graduate and get the hell out. Dustin again pulled his phone from his pocket and checked the time. 10:37. He put his head in his hand exasperatedly on what was going to be a very long day.
In the late afternoon, Dustin, Pedro, Frankie, Tim and Jason sat in a Starbucks wearing their normal clothes rather than the graduation gowns they wore before.
"I still can't believe you accepted your high school diploma underneath your pseudonym." Pedro said taking another sip of his coffee.
"Yeah, how are you going to go to college?" Jason asked.
"That wasn't the real diploma, you knuckleheads." Frankie glared at the two. "I'm collecting my real diploma in private, under my real name."
"Yeah, I did wonder about that." Pedro scratched the back of his neck. "And why we were calling you by a different name."
"Well she shouldn't have lied!" Tim shouted, standing up and slamming the palms of his hands onto the table.
"Tim!" Dustin tugged on Tim's hoodie. "No!" He mouthed and shook his head. Tim scowled and sat back down in a huff.
"Still don't like me, Tim?" Frankie asked. Tim glared at her.
"I think his glare says it all." Jason replied.
"Shut up!" Tim barked and everyone jumped in fright. "Nobody-and I mean nobody speaks for me!"
"Not even..." Jason began.
"Especially not!" Tim shouted in Jason's face. "I am my own person." He hissed.
"So... Where are you going to study next year?" Dustin asked. "Frankie and I are going to Arizona State." He said proudly.
"And I'm going to the University of Arizona." Pedro added.
"Yeah, you know I'm going to Ole Miss." Jason said. Tim mumbled something unintelligible.
"Pardon?" Dustin asked.
"University of Colorado." Tim grunted.
"He's disappointed he didn't get into Ole Miss with me." Jason said.
"You're all going different places." Frankie noted.
"Yeah." Dustin nodded. "You and I are going to Arizona State as I said earlier, Pedro will be a short drive away at the University of Arizona, Jason's going to Mississippi and Tim will be in Colorado." He paused thoughtfully. "But we're brothers. Surely we should be together."
"At least you're gonna be with your girlfriend!" Tim said mockingly.
"Shut up!" Dustin shouted. "We're not dating!" He sighed. "Now are we going to go to Epcot, or what?"
"I'm gonna skip out." Frankie pushed her chair out from the table. "See you guys later." She stared hard at Tim as she walked out the door, pulling her braces up over her shoulders.
"I'm going out for a meal with my family." Pedro shrugged. "Enrique's coming down from Texas to be with us." Pedro scraped his chair out from the table. "See you guys tomorrow. We'll celebrate then." He said as h.e left
"So it's just us?" Dustin asked Tim and Jason.
"No, not me, sorry." Jason said. "I gotta sort through my junk to figure out what I'm taking to Ole Miss with me."
"Again with the Ole Miss!" Dustin threw his hands into the air. "Shut up! Just shut up!" He shouted. "I'm going to Arizona State! So stop it!"
"Dustin, did you have to...?" Tim began.
"Yes, Tim. I did. I've had enough of his bragging. It's annoying." Dustin glared at Jason.
"I'll give you that." Tim rolled his eyes and shook his head at his twin brother.
"You know what, Jason?" Dustin asked. "You're not invited to Epcot any more. It'll be just me and Tim." Dustin scraped his chair back violently and Jason covered his ears.
'Sorry, Jason.' Tim mouthed as he slid off his chair and followed Dustin out the door, leaving Jason on his own.
"Where to first, bro?" Dustin asks. He and Tim were in Epcot, walking past Spaceship Earth and Tim was holding a park map.
"I really wish they hadn't flipped damn sides on these." Tim muttered to himself as he turned the map upside down and right side up repeatedly.
"Tim!" Dustin said louder.
"Uh... Soarin'?" He suggested. "It's like 5 in the afternoon and pretty crowded."
"But we'll waste all our time on that one ride." Dustin says. "I doubt there'll be any FastPass+ options this late in the day."
"Living With the Land never has any queues." Tim shrugged
"And for good reason, too." Dustin groaned. "It's boring as hell."
"I doubt hell is really that boring. I mean, you could talk to Hitler, Stalin, Bin Laden..."
"Yeah, you could..." Dustin began. "But would you really want to?"
"I guess." Tim shrugged.
"So where to then, Timbo?"
"Let's just clear Future World East." Tim said. "Do Figment, Nemo, Living With the Land and then Soarin' and with any luck, we'll come out in time for Illuminations."
"Eh." Dustin gave a small shrug. "Why not?" The two boys turned right at the fountain. "I really wish they hadn't made that ice cream place a Starbucks though." Dustin muttered.
"We just went to a Starbucks. They're everywhere." Tim pointed out.
"Yeah, but in Disney World they just look out of place. Like the one on Main Street."
"Yeah." Tim nodded. "I'm inclined to agree with you on that one."
"Because I'm right." Dustin smirked.
As they walked past Innoventions and under the short covered area, they entered Future World East and pass an automated display for wait times. "In the Magic Kingdom, that would look reallyout of place." Tim chuckled.
"Come on, let's check the wait times." Dustin nudged Tim toward it.
"The Seas With Nemo and Friends-God, that's a long ride name, I usually just call it Finding Nemo, but..."
"Wait times, Tim."
"Five minutes." He said sheepishly.
"Journey into Imagination with Figment-there's another one! Why don't they give their rides shorter names..."
"Tim." Dustin said warningly.
"Ten minutes, which is probably the longest wait time it's been in ages."
Tim sucked through his teeth. "A hour and fifteen minutes."
"I don't know." Tim shook his head. "It doesn't say 'all distributed'."
"Then we can probably get a FastPass+ for it." Dustin shrugged and walks over toward The Land pavilion.
"Living With the Land is zero minutes, by the way." Tim replied and followed Dustin back through Innoventions to go get the FastPass+ for Soarin'.
Once in The Land pavilion, the boys walked down the ramp without saying a word. "We forgot about The Circle of Life uh-Lion King thingy." Tim said after a while, noticing the signs for the Circle of Life attraction as they walked down.
"Yeah, well it's pretty shit anyway." Dustin sighed.
"Can't deny that, yo." Tim glared at the attraction entrance as they passed it.
"Down the escalator, Tim." Dustin said, knocking Tim from his trance. "We're going to do the quick rides first and that means..." Dustin groaned. "Living With the Land." Tim laughed as the boys reached the bottom of the escalator.
"Can we at least get some food first?" Tim gestured to the Sunshine Seasons food court.
"Uh... Fine." Dustin shrugged. "I guess it won't hurt." The two walked over to the food court and Tim grabbed a tray.
"I'm going over to the dessert section for like... A cake or something." Tim says. "Are you gonna be here by the drinks?" He asked.
"Nah, I'll go to the quick food." Dustin said, pointing over to the salads and sandwiches. Tim shrugged and runs over to the desserts. Dustin sighed and walked over to the Grab and Go counter. Though Tim was older than Dustin by six months and Jason by 16 minutes, he was always the most childish of the three brothers. Dustin was examining a Cesar Salad when he heard an excited shriek come from Tim and rolled his eyes. He looked over to Tim at the Dessert counter and Tim pointed manically at an unimpressed looking, tall, brown haired teenager standing next to him. Dustin put the salad back and went to see what had his brother so excited.
"Dustin! Dustin! Dustin!" Tim shouted quickly. "Duuuustiiin!" He held the vowels in Dustin's name for as long as he possibly could before Dustin shouted at him.
"DustinthisismyfriendPatricehesFrenchCanadianfromQuebecandheplayshockeyandhessoawesome!" Tim smiled and panted for breath.
"I... Didn't catch that." Dustin shook his head. "Speak slower, Tim."
"I shall speak for him." The brown haired teenager said in a slightly French accent. "My name is Patrice Thomas. I am from Quebec City. I play hockey-and I support the Montreal Canadiens." He said a lot more slow than Tim. "You are Dustin Williams, yes?" Dustin nodded.
"But how...?" Dustin asked.
"I met your brother Tim before." Patrice said with a small smile. "Tim, this is my father, Marc." He said, noticing the man who was walking over to them. Patrice's father addressed him in French. Patrice's father pointed at Dustin and the two began conversing in French. Patrice shrugged and this gained an understanding nod from Marc.
"It's an absolute pleasure to meet you boys." Marc smiled, sticking his hand out to Tim, who shook it. "I don't know how or where Patrice met you, but uh... It's nice to meet you all the same." Marc put his hand out to Dustin, who looked at it. "I haven't got Ebola, I'm just Canadian." Marc chuckled. Dustin gingerly put his hand out back and shakes Marc's hand.
Marc again addressed his son in French. Patrice replied back in French and the two carried on their conversation. Marc wrapped his arms around his son. Tim and Dustin exchanged puzzled glances. Marc let his son go and smiles superficially at him, looking as if he were about to cry. Patrice waved to his father and his father left. The three teens were left in Sunshine Seasons alone. Dustin walked away and the other two boys followed.
"How come your dad..." Dustin began to ask. He was nudged by Tim. "Talks differently than you do?"
"What do you mean by 'talks differently'?" Patrice asked.
"He contracts his words-like he says 'it's' while you say 'it is'."
"We all talk differently." Patrice shrugged. "If we all talked the same, the world... Well, it would be boring."
"True." Dustin smiled. "I guess there's that factor." Dustin began laughing. "Hey, Tim!" Dustin turned his head back but Tim wasn't there. "Tim?" Dustin asked curiously. "Tim?!" He began to panic. "Patrice?!" Dustin asked in mid-panic.
"Oui!" Patrice put his hand on Dustin's shoulder. "Yes, I am right here, Dustin, do not panic."
"Tim's missing!" He blurted out.
"How can that be? He was just behind us." Patrice said. "He might be playing a joke on you."
"Tim, seriously! This isn't funny anymore!" Dustin shouted worriedly, getting looks from all the diners at Farmer's Market. "Wait... Farmer's Market?" He turned to Patrice. "Patrice, where did we just come from?"
"The food court-uh... Sunshine Seasons."
"Does that look like Sunshine Seasons to you?" Dustin asked, pointing to where Sunshine Seasons was. Dustin's eyes widened in fear and Patrice shook his head and turned away. He did a double take when something caught his eye.
"Dustin..." Patrice nudged Dustin and pointed to what was in front of them.
"What the... 'Kitchen Kabaret'? What the what?" Dustin looked fearfully ahead. "No. I'm losing my mind. That's Soarin'. It's never been Kitchen Kabaret as long as I've known it. In fact, I've never even heard of Kitchen Kabaret!" He ran around the escalator, towards the Living With the Land ride. "Listen to the Land?!" He shouted in disbelief. Patrice ran after Dustin and caught him as he fell to his knees. "I'm lost, Patrice. I don't know where I am."
"We are in Epcot, Dustin." Patrice said. "But when is the big question now."
"'When'? What do you mean 'when'?" Dustin asked.
"I know a lot of Epcot's history. Listen to the Land closed in 1993, so we are in any time between 1981 and 1992." Dustin stands up. "Judging by the loop music, I estimate we are between 1988-1992." Patrice turned to some passing tourists. "Is Margaret Thatcher out of office yet?" He asked.
"Yeah, for about seven months." The man replied in a strong Scottish accent.
"And good riddance too." The woman added with an equally thick accent.
"What is the date?" Patrice asked.
"June 13th." The man said.
"Year too, please."
"Uh... 1991?" The woman replied.
"Merci. Thank you." Patrice said. The tourists continued to stare at him. "That is all." The tourists walked away in confusion.
"Oh God... June 13th 1991!" Dustin wailed. "I've not even been born yet!"
"Dustin, do not worry. We will find a way to get back." Patrice said. "Please stop shouting. You are causing a scene." He said calmly.
"You're right." Dustin inhaled deeply. "You're right."
"They disappeared!" Tim shouted as he looked around. He saw Soarin', Sunshine Seasons, Living With the Land and many tourists staring at him, but no Dustin and Patrice. "Where did they go?" He wondered aloud.
Patrice and Dustin sat at the wall of the pavilion. "Why not share information about each other, you know, since we are possibly going to be stuck here for a while." Patrice suggested.
"I'd really prefer you didn't." Dustin said.
"Come on! It will be fun!" Patrice urged.
Dustin sighed and brought his knees into his body. "Fine." He said flatly. "You go first."
"Where do I start?" Patrice said to himself. "Well, I am an only child." He turned to Dustin. "My mother died when I was young and my father never remarried. What about you?" He asked cheerfully.
"I don't talk about my past." Dustin said coldly.
"Why not give background information?" Patrice raised an eyebrow.
"Patrice, come on. I said I don't wanna talk about it." Dustin said louder.
"Dustin, come on. I know you are Tim's foster brother." Patrice said quickly.
"I'm not orphaned!" Dustin snapped.
"I never said you were" Patrice replied. "I will make it easier for you. I shall ask a question and you answer."
"Fine." Dustin said.
"How long ago did you become Tim's foster brother?"
"I was 12." Dustin sighed
"My parents weren't very good people-now Patrice, can we stop with the Twenty Questions?" Dustin asked uncomfortably.
"Not until you say what happened." Patrice said adamantly.
"I said 'no', Patrice, now drop it!" Dustin shouted. Tourists turned to look and Dustin lowered his head.
There was a few seconds of silence before Patrice narrowed his eyes. "Did they kill a guy?"
"Would they kill me?" He asked.
"For God's sake, Patrice! They didn't kill anyone!" Dustin said agitatedly.
"What did they do then?" Patrice pushed Dustin for an answer.
"You won't let this go, will you?" Dustin said through gritted teeth.
"They neglected me. They abused me physically. They beat me, starved me, broke my spirit and did basically everything they could to hurt me. Happy?" Dustin rose to his feet.
"Why?" Patrice stood up.
Dustin sighed. "My brother is ten years older than me. He was always the golden child. I was the accident. My parents invested all their time into him and I was kind of thrown to the wayside." Dustin looks over at Patrice.
"Carry on." Patrice put a hand on Dustin's shoulder and eased him back onto the floor.
"My parents were ultra-lenient with David and were ultra-strict with me. They pushed me and pushed me and pushed me to be like my brother until one day..." Dustin paused. "The Edelmans noticed what was going on in my family life and... Pulled me out of there really. Tim and Jason's parents are now my legal guardians and have been for the past five years. I'm... pretty happy, I guess. So... You?" Dustin asked.
Patrice inhaled deeply. "My mother was from Ottawa. She didn't speak French, but married a French Canadian guy and divorced him only to marry my dad-who also happened to be a French Canadian guy." He shrugged. "She died when I was 6-in a car accident." Patrice rubbed his right thigh and Dustin nodded. "My dad never remarried. I also have-had..." Patrice paused for a few seconds. "Had a brother. He was five years younger than me-Julien. God I..." Patrice put his hand over his eyes.
"Are you okay Patrice?" Dustin asked gently. "We don't have to do this, you know."
"Yeah. I-I am fine." He said quickly, clearing his throat. "I have a friend back in Quebec-Samuel-and we took our little brothers out-Julien was 6 and Samuel's brother Zack was 8. Samuel brought a ball-a baseball-and I brought the bat. We all supported the Montreal Expos at that point and wanted to pretend we were our heroes. We got into the game, but lost the ball out the park..." Patrice inhaled deeply. "Julien ran out after it. Samuel and I kept calling him to come back, but he said he would be okay. I ran after him just as a car was coming..." Patrice turned his head away.
"I'm so sorry." Dustin said.
"Yeah, well..." Patrice sighed. "My father does not blame anyone. Says 'it is just one of those things' but the driver is in jail now for reckless driving." Patrice looked up. "Outside my father, Samuel, Zack and my friend André... You are the only person who knows."
"Why trust me?" Dustin stood up once again.
"It just seems like I can trust you. I sense humility, nobility and a strong sense of justice within you. You will go far with this kind of attitude." Patrice stood up and put his arm around Dustin.
"God, Patrice! You speak better English than I do!" Dustin pushed Patrice's arm off his shoulder.
"Flattery gets you nowhere!" Patrice jokingly punched Dustin in the arm.
"You still have that sort of-French accent though." Dustin smiled.
"I would. I have lived in Quebec my whole life." Patrice reasoned.
"So where do we go from here?" Dustin asked. "I mean, we have to get back to Tim."
"We could always ride Listen to the Land while we figure out a plan." Patrice suggested. "Or go to see Kitchen Kabaret."
"Listen to the Land." Dustin nodded. "Living With the Land is Tim's favorite Epcot ride."
They began the walk to Listen to the Land but when they got there, they saw the line. "Holy crap." Dustin muttered to himself. He turned to Patrice. "There's a line." He said in disbelief. "There's. A. Line!" He said loudly.
"Yes, I see it, there is a line. So?" Patrice shrugged.
"There's never a line!" Dustin hissed.
"Then we wait." Patrice smiled. Dustin rolled his eyes and shook his head.
Tim-meanwhile-was still in the present day and looking around frantically for his friends. "Dustin?!" He shouted. "Where are you?" His iPhone rang and he reached into his pocket to answer it.
"Yo." Jason said down the phone. "Enjoying Epcot?"
"Dustin's missing." Tim blurted out without hesitation.
"Chill out, he could just be in the bathroom." Jason laughed. "Did you check the bathroom?"
"He was right in front of me with another friend and then I blinked and in less than a split second they were freaking gone! Vanished quicker than a deadbeat dad near Christmas!"
"Wait, what?" Jason asked, sounding worried.
"They were in front of me and they disappeared into thin air-like the Malaysian Airlines plane." Tim grabbed his head with his free hand. "I-I dunno what to do, man."
"Where are you and where did he vanish?" Jason asked.
"I'm in The Land." Tim replied. "Next to Soarin'-that's where they disappeared, Jason, I don't know what to do!" He began pacing frantically. "I'm freaking out here-I know how the Cleveland Browns front office feels now!" He started to hyperventilate. "Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!"
"Calm down!" Jason bellowed into the receiver, startling Tim. "How far are you away from Soarin'?"
Tim gestured ahead "It's just there..." He stopped when he noticed his forearm had vanished. "My arm's gone." He said calmly. "My arm's gone!" He shouted and pulled his arm to his face to examine it, but when he did, it reappeared.
"Tim?" Jason asked. "Are you okay?"
"I don't know." Tim said. "My forearm disappeared when I held it out and then came back when I went to look at it."
"Now that's weird." Jason frowned. "Do it again-stick your arm out again." Tim complied and his forearm disappeared again.
"It's just done it again!" Tim shouted. "I'm gonna..." He took a step forward and reached out further. "Whoa!" He exclaimed.
"What's going on?" Jason asked.
"My whole arm! It-it's gone!" Tim said. He pulled his arm back, still intact. "Freaky. It's back now. What if I...?" Tim stepped forward and put his head out. "Whoa." He looked around the past version of Epcot before stepping into it. "Jason, I..." Tim said before realizing Jason was no longer on the line. "Wow." Tim said, putting his phone in his pocket.
"Just make believe, you're a tiny little seed
A tiny little seed that's reaching up to meet your need
"This is still pretty boring." Dustin sat in a ride boat with his legs crossed at the ankles and the palms of his hands flat on the bench.
"It is definitely whimsical." Patrice muttered. His arms were folded, and he was looking around at the vegetation growing around them.
"Only because of that song." Dustin sighed exasperatedly
"Let's listen to the land we all love
Nature's plan will shine above
Listen to the land, listen to the land!" Guests sang along to the ride music. Dustin scowled.
"I want to yell at them to shut up." He said through gritted teeth. Patrice leaned in.
"I know how you feel." He whispered.
Dustin sighed and took his iPod Touch from his pocket to check the time. "Why am I doing this, Patrice? I don't even know if that's the right time!" His shoulders fell and he pocketed his iPod Touch. The song continued. "This is torture. Plain and simple. Torture." Dustin said, strangely calmly as he folded his arms.
"It is not that bad, Dustin.
"No, Patrice, it really is." Dustin closed his eyes and screwed up his face, willing the song to stop. He opened his eyes again and saw more crops surrounding him. It took a few seconds to register that the song was still playing and that other Guests were still singing it.
"I gotta get off this godforsaken ride vehicle!" Dustin whispered loudly to Patrice.
"I know you do, Dustin but please, try to calm down." Patrice urged quietly. "You have an iPod, listen to that."
"It's 1991, Patrice. iPods don't get invented for another ten whole years."
"Well, actually a little over that, considering it is currently June 1991 and the iPod did not get invented until October 2001."
"Kill me now." Dustin mumbled.
"Well then you would never see Tim again."
"I'm already not going to see Tim until I'm 40. It's gonna be like Rip Van Winkle but without the sleep or with Tim ageing."
"How do you know that?"
"Because it's 199-freaking-1!" Dustin hissed.
"Come winter time, the rain must fall
'Till once again the new year and the springtime call"
"It's May back home." Dustin moaned
"You are still home, Dustin." Dustin groaned and Patrice continued. "It just happens to be 23 years earlier."
"If a German from Berlin in our year-2014-went back in time to Berlin 1938, would that German still be home?" Dustin asked. Patrice's eyebrows knitted together as he thought about the answer. "Home is where you live. And I don't live in 1991-I live in 2014."
"Let's listen to the land we all love
Nature's plan will shine above
Listen to the land, listen to the land" Everyone on the boat was too busy singing to notice what Patrice and Dustin were talking about.
"How do you know that we will not find a way home?" Patrice asked.
"I'm not optimistic." Dustin folded his arms.
"I am. When you are in my circumstance, you just have to be." Patrice shrugged. "The Mouse will not leave us trapped here forever."
Dustin snorted. "We'll see."
"Well, he will not leave you trapped here anyway." Patrice muttered under his breath.
"What was that?" Dustin asked.
"The earth and man, can be good friends
Let's listen so our harvest time will never end" Patrice began to sing along.
"Shut up, shut up, shut up!" Dustin shouted and covered his ears with his hands.
"I thought you liked this song." Patrice said teasingly.
"I hate your guts right now, you sick bastard." Dustin replied in monotone.
"I know." Patrice says smugly.
"Thank God for that." Dustin sighed as the song appeared to have ended.
"Just make believe, you're a tiny little seed
A tiny little seed that's reaching up to meet your need"
"Oh God! It'll never end!" Dustin shook his head. "It's on a bastard loop! Get me off this thing!" He shouted.
Tim wandered around The Land before ending up at Kitchen Kabaret, which he left with a confused look on his face. What had he just seen? Singing food? Too weird. He wandered over to the Farmer's Market in search of water. He took a bottle out of the chiller and sighed. Will he ever see his twin brother again? Will he see his friends again? Go to university?
"That'll be two dollars, and 17 cents." The cashier said, snapping Tim from his trance.
"Oh, sorry." He took out his wallet and noticing the Breaking Bad logo, he quickly concealed it as he took out two dollar bills and then fished out some change from his pocket, taking great care not to move his iPhone around too much for fear that the cashier will ask about it. "Here." He said absently, grabbing his bottled water by the neck and he hurriedly walked away.
"Never again." Dustin whined. "Never again."
"It was not that bad."
"Oh yes it freaking well was."
The two walked over to Farmer's Market as Dustin continued to complain about the ride and Patrice trying to see the best of it. Dustin bumped into someone, knocking them to the ground.
"Watch where you're..." The person began as they picked themselves up off the floor.
"I'm so sorry, here, let me help..." Dustin helped the person to their feet, not realizing it was Tim.
"Dustin?" Tim looked into his brother's eyes.
"Tim?" Dustin said in a state of disbelief.
"It's really you!" Dustin hugged his brother. "I didn't think I'd ever see you again!"
"Dustin?" Tim repeated.
"Yes, it's me! It's really me!"
"Yes, it's me!" Dustin said, slightly agitated. Tim raised his hand and slapped Dustin across the face. Dustin put his hand to his face, running his fingers over the stinging sensation in his cheek. "Tim... Why?"
"That's for making me worry." Tim sighed. "Do you have any idea how worried I was for you? You're my brother. I'd never forgive myself if anything ever happened to you."
"Same here." Dustin nodded. "Now how do we get home?"
"Guys?" Patrice waved his arm. "I think I found it." Patrice plunged his arm into the air and half of it disappeared. "Well? Are you coming?" He asked before pushing himself through the portal. Tim and Dustin shrugged before following.
All Dustin saw was a bright light, before his eyes come into focus.
"Dustin? What are you doing here?" A voice asked. He looked around and saw Frankie standing in the woods with Pedro and Renee Bergeron.
"Frankie?" Dustin asked.
"Patrice?" Renee asked.
"What the hell is going on here?" Tim shouted.
"We appear to have come to... I think Pocahontas." Patrice shrugged. "But what are you doing here, Renee?"
"You two know each other?" Frankie asked, pointing to Patrice and Renee, who nodded.
"Yeah we play ice hockey together." Renee shrugged.
"This is really weird." Tim shook his head.
"We play with Tim too." Renee gestured to Tim whose eyes widen as everyone stared at him. He laughed nervously.
"Well... You two are in love!" Tim blurted out, pointing to Frankie and Dustin and immediately regretting what he said.
With this one, I wanted to try doing an episode without having any Disney Characters in it. But the movie Pocahontas is mentioned. Let me know how I did.
The song for this chapter is the Listen to the Land song from the old Listen to the Land attraction at Epcot. You can find it on YouTube somewhere.
"I can't!" Dustin said as he rushed away. "I'm sorry."
"Where are you going?" Frankie asked.
"Away from you." Dustin called back.
"Why? What have I done?" She shouted, clearly offended.
"Nothing. Everything. Nothing." Dustin sighed. "I shouldn't have done anything." He said sheepishly. "I'd like us to be friends."
"I'd like that too." Frankie smiled.
"Look at them." Pedro groaned.
"I know." Tim rolled his eyes.
"It's so obvious that they have feelings for each other." Renée gestured to the couple.
"It makes you wonder what they are so afraid of." Patrice raised an eyebrow.
"They perhaps are uncertain of their path." Pocahontas pointed out.
"I just don't understand all this dancing around their feelings." Pedro remarked. "They can't hide it, so why bother even trying."
"They both feel the same towards each other?" Pocahontas asked.
"Yes!" Everyone shouted.
"Then they need help to understand their feelings." Pocahontas smiled as she walked over to the two hugging friends."Are you okay?"
"Uh... Yeah. Pocahontas, we're fine." Dustin said.
"Are you sure? You seem to be hiding behind something." Pocahontas looked at the two teens in concern. Frankie rubbed the back of her neck.
"We're fine. Thank you, we can find our own way."
"Since you are so fine, would you like some berries?" Pocahontas gestured to the berry plant near them.
"Those will poison and kill us right?" Dustin asked with a slight look of disgust on his face.
"No, they are blackberries, you moron." Frankie hit Dustin playfully.
"I see this insulting and hitting serving no purpose than masking your true feelings." Pocahontas looked at the teens, who looked back at her, puzzled. "Come on, try some berries. You know, we are all one with the earth. If you respect the earth, the earth will respect you back." Pocahontas explained. "I am my raccoon friend Meeko, just as Meeko is me and you."
"Is Meeko John Smith and Ratcliffe?" Dustin asked, confused.
"Why yes. And so are you, Frankie, Pedro, Tim, Renée, Patrice and I."
"And Iron Man?" Dustin asked.
"Yes, even Iron Man!" Pocahontas smiled.
"I'm not quite so sure about that." Dustin folded his arms skeptically.
"I'll show you then, if you don't believe me." Pocahontas walked away with her head hung low. "You think I'm an ignorant savage
And you've been so many places,
I guess it must be so"
"Oh no." Dustin shook his head. "Colors of the Wind."
"I hate this song so much." Pedro said with a look of disgust on his face.
"I know." Patrice rolled his eyes.
Frankie's eyes grew wide as Pocahontas knelt down to the ground. Frankie ran up to her excitedly.
"You think you own whatever land you land on
The earth is just a dead thing you can claim"
"Now she's at it." Dustin muttered sourly.
"Your girlfriend?" Pedro asked.
"Pedro, she's not my girlfriend and you know it." Dustin said.
"But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name" Frankie sang, causing Pocahontas to smile. Dustin rolled his eyes and walked over to Frankie. Pocahontas beckoned for the other teens to join them. Dustin groaned and walked away.
Pocahontas grabbed Frankie and Renée's arms and ran into the forest, Frankie and Renée were smiling with ecstasy. Dustin looked on with disgust and left. Tim and Pedro followed.
"Come run the hidden pine trails of the forest
Come taste the sun-sweet berries of the earth" Pocahontas sang in the distance.
"Leave the princesses to the girls." Tim said.
"Patrice is with them." Dustin pointed out.
"Leave him with them then, if he's happy." Pedro said. "Stop putting the girls down."
"When do I ever?" Tim asked. "It's always Frankie-"
"Who is a girl.." Pedro finished. "You seriously need to get along. For Dustin's sake."
"Thank you. Pocahontas was my favorite Disney movie growing up." Frankie beamed.
"You would be a good in a job with nature. Have you ever considered that?" Pocahontas asked.
Frankie blushed. "No, I want to play baseball. Like my father and his father before him and my great-granddaddy. They all played for the same team too, the Boston Red Sox. Imagine that, four generations of the same family on one team?" Frankie cocked her head and smiled longingly.
"I wish you good luck in your endeavor."
"Wow... Thanks!" Frankie was unsure of what to say next..
"Frankie, you must choose your path." Pocahontas said gently. "Do you remember my story?"
"Yeah. Your father said you must marry Kocoum, but you refused and went to see Grandmother Willow about a dream you had about a spinning arrow you believed was telling you about a coming change. You met John Smith from England and fell in love, but he was captured when one of the crew members shot and killed Kocoum. You realized that John Smith's compass was the spinning arrow from your dream and pointed you to your path-which was John Smith-and you both successfully prevented war between the English and the Native Americans, but Ratcliffe shot John Smith and he had to go back to England and you chose to stay. Sad." Frankie shrugged.
"Yes, Frankie." Pocahontas chuckled. "My path was not Kocoum, it was John Smith. What you need to figure out is what or who is your 'Kocoum' and your 'John Smith'. Follow your path." Pocahontas slipped John Smith's compass into Frankie's hand.
"My path was chosen for me. I'm a Guardian." She gave the compass back to Pocahontas without so much as even looking at it.
"If that's what you believe. I cannot tell you what your path is, you must find out what it is for yourself."
"You said you want to play baseball. Is that not your path?" Patrice asked.
"Patrice!" Renée shouted. "Pocahontas already said Frankie should choose her own path!"
"I only pointed out that Frankie already did choose her own path."
Frankie spaced out as Pocahontas gave her John Smith's compass again. Frankie looked down at it deep in thought. Is playing baseball more important to her than the love of her life? Is Dustin really the love of her life, or will there be others? What about her education? She really is all her dad has left? Can she let him down? Baseball is something she had always wanted since she was a kid, but is it really? She watched the needle flickering and wondered if it really was pointing her to her destiny-her path?
"I-I can't. I'm sorry Pocahontas, I-I can't." Frankie thrust the compass back into Pocahontas' hand and ran away. Pocahontas and Renée pursue her.
"Frankie! Frankie!" Pocahontas grabs her arm gently. "Frankie, please."
"You don't know what's happened in my life-what I'm going through! Renée, Patrice, Pocahontas, just leave me alone!"
"I may not know what you're going through, but I'm sure I know somebody who does." Pocahontas said.
"I'm sure you do." Frankie replied sarcastically.
"I do. As a matter of fact, she's coming over now."
"Poca! Nice to see you, it's been way too long!" A girl of about 19 called over to Pocahontas.
"Megara." Frankie scoffed in disbelief and shook her head. "Why do people always turn up whenever they're needed?"
"I saw Meg approaching. She was already on her way." Pocahontas shrugged. "Indeed it has been way too long, Meg. How is everything?"
"Wonder Boy's just counting down the days until the new football season-can't go a day without mentioning Andrew Luck!" Meg and Pocahontas shared a laugh. "Guardians, how are you doing?" She asked. Frankie grunted in reply.
"Meg, this is Frankie Patrice and Renée-Frankie, Patrice and Renée, this is a good friend of mine, Meg." Pocahontas introduced the girls to one another "Frankie is finding it hard to follow her path." Pocahontas whispered in Meg's ear.
"Oh. Well, I had trouble following my path too. My path was love. Let it all out girl. Let it all out." Meg said empathetically.
"If there's a prize for rotten judgement
I guess I've already won that" Frankie sang defeatedly.
"No man is worth the aggravation
That's ancient history, been there, done that!" Frankie walked away from Pocahontas and Meg.
"Is that how you feel?" Meg asked.
"Yeah. Nobody ever seems to understand." Frankie said. "I'm at a crossroads with my life and this boy's interfering with my emotions."
"It's happened before." Renée noted.
"Yeah." Frankie sighed. "There was a boy back in Boston-the son of a Fenway Park tour guide."
"And I'm guessing it didn't go too well." Renée raised an eyebrow.
"No. My father interfered too much. The boy got creeped out and bolted."
"How wold were you?" Renée asked. "If you were around-"
"I was 16."
"What's wrong with your father?"
"Well, my father coddles me..." Patrice pointed out.
"You're sick." Renée shrugged.
"How do you know Frankie is well?"
"Because I am." Frankie replied. "It's more a case of Finding Nemo. My mom ran away from my dad when I was a baby. I'm all my dad has so he wrapped me in cotton wool. Doesn't wanna let me go or grow up."
"So where do we find the boys?" Renée asked
"I know!" Megara said eagerly. "Avengers assemble!" She shouted. Renée and Pocahontas exchanged puzzled glances.
"I'll just call around on my dPhone." Pocahontas took a phone closely reminiscent of an iPhone out of a pocket in her dress that nobody noticed she had.
"What plan you with?" Megara asked
"W-E & D." Pocahontas replied
"Nice. I'm with D-Mobile." Megara smiled. Pocahontas fiddled with her phone.
Dustin and Tim had wandered away from the girls and sat on a bench in Central Park in New York. Dustin looked around and could see everything from the Empire State Building to Avengers Tower. He didn't know what to make that the World Trade Center was still there, but figured that they had to be there if Disney needed to set a movie in another time period. He sighed.
"Wanna play a game?" Tim asked
"I'm a thrill ride..." Dustin began.
"Uh... Space Mountain!" Tim shouted
"Take a trip through time..." Dustin added.
"Spaceship Earth!" Tim shouted out again.
"I said thrill ride, not chill ride!" Dustin shook his head.
"Oh uh... Maelstrom!"
"Same ride, Tim. I'm describing the same ride."
"I'm not saying."
"Uh... Expedition Everest?"
"Uh... Oh! Dinosaur!" Tim shouted excitedly.
"Boy, you are just super mellow. Nothing irks you, does it?" Dustin asked sarcastically.
"Nothing, except for her." Tim pointed at Giselle, who was skipping about in Central Park.
"Oh yeah." Dustin agreed. "She's pretty irritating. And I'm gonna go before she starts singing that damn That's How You Know song." He stood up and began to walk away.
"You love Frankie!" Tim shouted. "The sooner you see it, the better your life will be!"
"Wow." Dustin said. "I'm leaving." He started to walk away.
"Dustin wait!" Tim shouted. "Dustin!" He grunted when he was unsuccessful in calling his friend back. "What happens now?" Tim shook his head and asked himself.
"Tim!" Patrice shouted, running to him.
"Patrice!" Tim said.
"Where is Dustin?" He asked.
"Bastard walked off." Tim grunted. "What am I supposed to do?"
"Go and find him."
"How?" Tim asks.
"There is a way and we will find it."
"The Empire State Building!" Patrice said after they had been wandering around for a bit.
"This is New York City! Of course it's the Empire State Building."
"Do you think we could see somebody?" Patrice frowned.
"Probably. I mean, this is the Disney World." Tim shrugged nonchalantly.
"Hey kids, you lost?" A voice came from behind. They turned to see who it was.
"Matt Harvey?!" Tim shouted. "No way is that Matt Harvey-starting pitcher of the New York Mets... Hover boarding!"
"That's my name!" He chuckled as he jumped down from his hover board. "And yes I am!"
"So who's pitching for the Mets tonight?" Tim asked with suspicion. Matt Harvey however, laughed it off.
"Jon Niese. And we already won 4-3 over the Atlanta Braves." Harvey replied, before Tim could ask another question.
"Why are you here?" Patrice asked.
"Teenagers aren't the only Guardians."
"We know that, but wait! you-Matt Harvey of the New York Mets-are a Guardian?" Tim asked, trying to make sense of it all.
"Yeah. Why, aren't I allowed to be?"
"I don't know... I don't know." Tim shook his head in disbelief. "Shouldn't you be resting your arm after that Tommy John surgery?"
Harvey dropped his hoverboard onto the ground and jumped back on. " That was ages ago. I'm getting better." Harvey shook his head. "You need hover boards? Check your Wrist Device, they have everything!"
"How do we work it?" Patrice asked.
"Like an iPod Nano. Tap the hovercraft app!" They followed Harvey's directions and two hoverboards appeared. "From here on out, it's like a skateboard! Only you tilt up to go up and tilt down to go down and tilt to go left and tight-you get the idea. Come on, follow me!"
Tim and Patrice shrugged and hopped onto their hover boards, following Harvey around New York City. "Down here!" Harvey pointed to a building site where a white dog with a red neckerchief and a string of sausages around his neck was prancing around the site, taunting a little orange kitten. Harvey dove down and the teens followed suit. "Yo Dodger!" Harvey chuckled. "What's up my man?"
"Matt Harvey! I've not seen you in ages! Glad to see you're alright! What're you doing these days?"
"I pitch for the Mets." Harvey said, matter of factly.
"How's that going for you?"
"I nearly had a no-hitter once, then I tore my UCL in my elbow and had to have Tommy John surgery."
"Ouch. So, who are these guys?" Dodger gestured to Patrice and Tim.
"Dodger, these are Guardians. I don't know their names. Sorry guys."
"I'm Tim. This is Patice and that's Pedro."
"Well, I'm Dodger the streetwise leader of Fagin's Dogs! Well, when Fagin's not around, that is." He added. "So what do you guys do?"
"We're in school." Tim replied. "I guess Patrice is too."
Patrice nodded. "In Canada."
"Wow." Tim began. "A dog telling us to stay. Ironic."
"Hey Dodger, want a ride?" Harvey asked, offering Dodger a place on his hover board. Dodger jumpedon.
"Don't mind if I do!"
"Tim, why don't you take Oliver?"
"Can I, please?" The ginger cat looked at him with big eyes.
Tim sighed. "Hop on." The kitten struggled onto the hover board, Tim bent down to pick the cat up and followed Harvey and Patrice.
Harvey suddenly started some impromptu singing with Dodger.
"One minute I'm in Central Park" Harvey sang as they swerved past some skyscrapers.
"Then I'm down on Delancey Street" Dodger sang.
"From the Bow'ry to St Marks,
There's a syncopated beat" They sang together, passing Rockefeller Plaza.
"Oh no!" Tim shouted. "It's Why Should I Worry!"
I can improvise" Dodger snaped the string of hot dogs around Harvey's leg.
I'm street smart
I've got New York City heart" Harvey dove low to the ground near Times Square. He and Dodger leapt off the hover board. Tim and Patrice followed.
"Why should I worry?
Why should I care?
I may not have a dime
But I got street savoire faire" Dodger jumped on the roofs of cars as he sang.
"Why should I worry?
Why should I care?
It's just bebopulation
And I got street savoire faire" Harvey sang and weaved through the traffic.
"For God's sake! Be careful!" Tim screamed at Harvey, "You play baseball! You're gonna hurt yourself!" Harvey took no notice and climbed onto the roof of a cab.
"The rhythm of the city
But once you get it down
Then you can own this town
You can wear the crown" Harvey and Dodger sang together from the cab roof.
"Matt!" Tim yelled in panic.
"Why should I worry?
Tell me-w hy should I care?
I say, I may not have a dime
Oh, but I got street savoire faire" Dodger jumped down from the cab and made his way across the road.
"Why should I worry?
Why should I care?
It's just doobopulation
And I got street saviore faire" Harvey jumped down and danced though the traffic once more. Dodger whipped on a pair of sunglasses.
Everything fits" Harvey put on a Mets baseball cap.
"They love me at the Chelsea
They adore me at the Ritz!" Dodger leapt back onto the hover board, which Patrice had brought to the other side of the road. Tim put the ginger cat on the hoverboard next to Dodger.
"Why should I worry?
Why should I care?
And even when I cross that line
I got street savoire faire" Dodger sang with Harvey as Harvey jumped back onto the hoverboard and flew off.
"Wow. Matt Harvey is crazy. Like... Crazy bad." Patrice's eyes widened in disbelief.
"You're telling me." Tim rolled his eyes. "So where do we go from here?"
"Maybe the Empire State Building would actually be a good idea." Patrice suggested. "I have been to New York before, with my father. We visited the Empire Stare Building before and it is a good area for tourists with some good places to think. Perhaps Dustin is thinking."
"That's actually a good idea, Patrice." Tim said. "We're going to the Empire State!"
The boys took out their hover boards and started the journey towards the Empire State Building.
"Oh my God!" Tim swerved to avoid a bird, but spinned out of control and crashed through a glass office window. Patrice followed to check out the damage.
"Tim, are you alright?" Patrice asked, hopping down from his hoverboard into the office building.
"I'm fine Patrice. Don't worry." Tim stood up and brushed himself off. "Lucky there's nobody here, really. Let's go."
"Are you sure?"
"Uh... Patrice, honestly, I'm fine! Now come on! Let's go before someone finds out we were here!" Tim jumped back onto his hover board, while Patrice climbed back onto his and the two teens flew away from the building.
Tim looked back and realized which office building he had just broken a window of. His eyes widened and his cheeks went bright red with embarrassment. "Yo Patrice, I think I'm gonna be the cause of clear baggies, security agents and long lines at airports in Disney World."
"What do you mean?"
"Look behind you." Patrice glanced over his shoulder and sees which building they had just sped away from.
"Wow. That is pretty funny." Patrice smirked.
"It's not funny!" Tim cried out. "Shit. Shitting shitty shit balls!"
"Yes, Tim, I believe 'shit' is the correct word to use in this occasion."
"Most definitely." Patrice nodded.
Tim looked back again. "Cock and balls, Patrice. What the hell did I do?"
"You did not try to do it-it was a bird!" Patrice shrugged.
"Don't try and pin this on birds!" Tim shouted. "It was me."
"Well you are not gonna cause the TSA in this world and neither will birds. So stop worrying."
"I guess." Tim sighed. "After all, it's just a broken window. Kind of like when I was just a kid and I was playing Whiffle Ball with my friends and I threw the ball hard to Pedro and he hit the ball so hard, that it just went through Mrs. Cabrera's front window. It's nothing to worry about." Tim glanced back and then at Patrice. "That said... We should probably get the hell out of here. Like... Pronto." The friends flew away from the scene of the crime as quickly as their hoverboards would let them.
Frankie and Renee were walking through Central Park.
"Oh god. It's Giselle." Frankie groaned.
"Hey Giselle!" Renee called.
"Renèe!" Giselle shouted excitedly. "What brings you here in New York?"
"We are... Looking for a boy." Renèe said.
"A boy?" Giselle frowned.
"Yeah." Renèe shrugged. "A specific teenage boy of about-18's right, yeah?" Frankie nodded. "So an adult man of 18."
Frankie took her phone out from her pocket. "This one." She showed Giselle her lock screen-a photo of her and Dustin after a baseball game.
"I have seen this boy." Giselle answered cheerfully. "It must have been around half an hour ago."
"Where did he go?" Frankie asked.
"He stormed off angrily and now I don't know where he went, I'm so sorry." Giselle replied.
"That's okay. We'll find him." Renèe nodded.
"You mean I'll find him." Everyone looked puzzled at Frankie. "He's my friend. I have to do this alone."
"If you're sure..." Renee said uncertainly.
"This is the Disney World's New York. The safest one in the multiverse." Frankie shrugged. "I'll be fine here. Besides, I know my way around a little bit, from when my dad took me around before games against the Mets and the Yankees."
"What do you mean?" Renee asked.
"Well, I'd come here several times a year when my dad had to throw against the Yankees. And although I hate the Yankees, New York is definitely one of my favorite places." Frankie replied. "I remember once going to Central Park with only Jason Varitek back in 2007. I liked Jason Varitek, he was fun. Back in 2004, when we lost A-Rod to the Yankees-thank God-I remember being so ticked off I said to Jason 'it would be fun if somebody punched A-Rod in his ugly face'. The next Yankees series, Varitek actually punched A-Rod in his ugly face. He got suspended, but we all found it funny-even the manager, Tito."
"Wow. You've got a lot of cool stories, Frankie." Renee smiled.
"I guess I do. Now... I'll see you soon. I gotta find my friend."
"If you're sure..."
"I am." Frankie said adamantly. "This is something I have to do."
"Good luck." Giselle said.
"Yeah. To find one person in all of New York City, you're gonna need it." Renee shook her head.
"Thanks girls." Frankie sighed. "When I find him, I'll let you know." She walked away into the concrete jungle of New York City.
"I'd better go after her." Renèe nodded. "She said she'd be safe, but whatever." Renee began to walk after Frankie, leaving Giselle alone, wondering what just happened.
I love Oliver and Company. But the song for this chapter is Can't Fight this Feeling by REO Speedwagon.
Dustin had been wandering around for a while before he sat down and curled up on the pavement. It was stupid of him to wander off on his own away from Tim and the others and he was starting to realise it.
"Need some help?" Someone asked from somewhere. Dustin looked around and saw Spider Man, just literally standing on the sidewalk.
He grunted. "Well, if it isn't my friendly neighborhood Spider Man." He said mockingly. "Why are you here?"
"You seem lost." Spider Man replied. "I know some people who can help."
"I honestly doubt that." Dustin snorted and stood up.
"Welcome to Avengers Tower!" Spider Man took off his mask and revealed himself as Peter Parker. "You're a Guardian, right? Come on! Have a look around!" He urged and gestured around the room. "We're on down-time right now."
"Holy shit, is this what you do all day?" Dustin looked around Avengers Tower. Thor was sitting down on a couch playing video games with Loki and Dustin could hear their petty bickering.
"I killed you, Loki."
"No you didn't!"
"Yes, I damn well did and well you know it."
"How come I'm still alive then?"
Dustin looked over to a small table on the other side of the room. Tony and Steve were playing Battleship. Tony's left hand was wrapped in bandages and a he had a shiner around his right eye.
"You sunk my battleship." Tony put a peg into one of the battleships.
"Oh yeah! Cap's got it!" Steve fist pumped the air.
"Miss." Steve inhaled. "A4"
"Miss." Tony fidgeted with his bandage. "D5."
"Hit. You sunk my battleship."
Dustin's eyes deviated to the low down table in the corner of the room. Natasha and Clint were engaged in a particularly enthralling game of Connect 4 in which neither wanted to make the next move.
At the kitchenette, Coulson and Fury sat opposite each other at a table, both eating meals, while Hill stood behind them both, preparing a sandwich. Bruce walked over to the kitchenette and opened one of the cupboards to take out a cup and then filled it with water before walking away.
"Yeah, pretty much." Peter lead Dustin to a free couch.
"What happened to Tony, do you mind me asking?"
"Oh, the black eye!" Peter laughed. "Well, it's simple really. Pepper caught him copulating... With a hooker."
"She punched him in the face?" Peter nodded. "So why the bandaged hand?"
"Before she punched him, she jammed a fork in his hand."
"In fairness, he did kind of deserve it." Dustin shuddered, imagining the pain of being stabbed in the hand with a fork.
"Tony and Pepper, they're still together." Peter folded his arms.
Dustin rolled his eyes and glanced over at the kitchenette once again. "I thought Coulson died in the movie?" Dustin's head quickly snaps to where Thor and Loki are still playing Halo. "And Loki's the bad guy, so why's he here?"
"Like Wreck-It Ralph. Loki is the bad guy... But he's not a bad... Guy?" Peter's face screwed up in thought.
"And why are you here? You're not even Disney property!" Dustin prodded Peter in the chest.
"Actually, I am. Disney own my comic book, video game and TV rights and also some merchandising rights."
"Where's Falcon?" Dustin asked challengingly with narrowed eyes. "And Bucky, May, Fitz and Simmons, Ward, Skye, Agent Carter and War Machine?"
"I dunno." Peter shrugged. "Out shopping? Tony!" He called out. "Hey, Tony!"
Tony looked over at Peter and Dustin. "Yeah?" He answered. Dustin noticed small scratches on Tony's face and neck, almost as if he had been attacked by a house cat.
"Come over here." Peter beckoned Tony over to them. Tony stood up and pushed his chair out, limping-or maybe staggering-towards Peter and Dustin's couch.
"What's going on, guys?" Tony chuckled before throwing himself down onto the couch and putting his arm around Peter.
"Tony, are you... Drunk?" Peter asked.
"No!" Tony said in mock offense. Peter raised an eyebrow. "Well, I mean... Possibly. But it's also possible that I have a brain tumor simulating the effects of being drunk. But yeah, I've been drinking so... Option "A" please."
"Hmm..." Peter grunted. "I thought something was up when you willingly played Battleship with Cap."
"So I'm not fun to play board games with, is that it?" Steve asked as he turned around on his chair.
"Sorry, my comrade." Thor began. "But you do not take losing well"
"Or winning well." Clint snickered. Natasha threw one of the Connect 4 discs at him. "Ow." He said. Not because it hurt, but to let everyone in the room know that Natasha threw something at him. Clint picked up another disc and threw it right back at Natasha.
Almost immediately, there were Connect 4 discs, Battleship parts and video game accessories flying about the room. Tony went to the center of the room-where Steve was standing-and swung his non bandaged hand in Steve's face. Steve saw the swing coming and grabbed Tony's arm, twisting it behind his back. Tony cried out in pain. One of the Connect 4 discs hit Bruce in the head. Bruce turned around with an angry expression plastered on his face. He growled in anger and both Natasha and Clint each point at the other. "Enough!" A voice boomed from across the room before Bruce could turn into the Hulk-an unmistakable voice that could only belong to Nick Fury. He commanded the attention of the Avengers and he sure got it, as everyone stopped what they were doing. In absentmindedness and shock, Steve bent Tony's arm and everyone heard a sudden snapping and popping noise. There was an awkward pause for a few seconds before Tony let out a bloodcurdling scream. Steve threw Tony's arm away in shock.
"What the hell, man?!" Tony shouted.
"I didn't mean it..." Steve said, looking into Tony's eyes. Steve wasn't sure if he saw hurt, anger or pain in Tony's eyes, or perhaps it was a mixture of all three.
"You bastard!" Tony screamed in Steve's face. "You broke my arm!"
Peter rushed to Tony's side, pulling gently at his non-broken arm. "Tony, calm down."
"You..." Tony bit his lip. "I knew you hated me, but I didn't know you hated me that much."
"I don't hate you, Tony." Steve said. "I just don't respect you." Tony opened his mouth to speak. "And before you say it, yes, Stark, there is a difference."
"I'll be in a cast for months!" Tony hissed, staring Steve down.
"Relax, Tony. It can be fixed." Peter grabbed Tony's non-injured arm and the shoulder of his injured arm, leading him away from Steve and out of the room.
"This is why I said "enough"-because I knew one of you dumbasses would get yourselves hurt." Fury shook his head in disgust. "Now we've got no Iron Man!" He shouted and everyone looked at their feet, sheepishly. "Now get back to your games before Barton here, loses a one of his goddamned hawk eyes!" Everyone looked nervous as Fury turned his back to them. "Not that there's anything wrong with eye patches." He muttered
Sam walked into the room carrying a bag full of groceries and immediately sensed the tension. "What happened here?" He asked. When nobody answered him, he turned to the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. "Come on, you can cut the tension in here with a knife, guys, now tell me what happened."
"There was a fight between all the Avengers and, well... Rogers accidentally broke Stark's arm." Phil spooned a forkful of broccoli into his mouth.
"Wait... What?" Sam dropped the bag. "Is Tony okay?"
"It's a broken arm, Wilson." Phil put his fork down. "It's not like Rogers forcibly removed Stark's Arc Reactor."
"I didn't mean to do it either, Sam, it was an accident." Steve said icily.
"Right." Sam rolled his eyes. "Sure it was, Cap."
"We are all aware of Steve's disdain for Tony. However, I don't believe he would deliberately injure a member of his own team." Thor picked his video game controller up off the floor.
"I agree with Thor." Clint said.
"Thank you, Friend Archer!" Thor sat back down.
"I mean... He and Tony are on the same side now. He has no reason to hurt him." Clint shrugged. "Other than the fact that he doesn't like Tony."
"Respect." Steve said sternly. "I don't respect Tony."
"Yeah, I know. You say that a lot, man." Sam shrugged. "I'm still a little skeptical though." He walked over to Steve's table. "Battleship. Fun!"
"Yeah, I was halfway through a game with Tony when Peter called him over and then all hell broke out." Steve looked down at his unfinished game. He turned the board around to look at Tony's side. "Dammit."
"What? Steve, is everything okay?" Sam stood over Tony's vacant chair.
"Bastard was beating me." Steve said exasperatedly, causing everyone in the room to chuckle. Everyone knew just how competitive Steve was.
"How about we have a game?" Sam asked, sitting down.
"Oh, it's on, buddy." Steve smirked as he reset the game board.
An hour later, Steve still refused to let Sam stop playing until he won a game. Natasha and Clint abandoned their stalemate game of Connect 4 in favor of playing Monopoly with Phil, Peter, Bruce and Loki, while Dustin began playing video games with Thor-this time, Grand Theft Auto V. Nick and Maria patrolled the room, ensuring no chaos broke out again as Tony walked into the room.
"Hey Tony." Steve said, noticing Tony enter. "Feeling better?" He looked up at Tony. He had a new bandage around his left hand, this time looking like his hand was bandaged by a professional, instead of crudely by Tony himself. He was also wearing a baggy hoodie and a sour expression on his face.
"Tony, come join us, friend!" Thor said happily.
"Sorry, Thor. I can't exactly hold a video game controller right now." Tony shot a bitter glare at Steve.
"Come on, Tony." Steve sighed. "You can't be mad at me forever."
"Can someone tell Steve that I can be mad at him for however long I want because he broke. My. ARM!" Tony shouted in Steve's face.
"It can't be that bad, Tony. You don't even have a..." Tony lifts his over sized hoodie up to reveal a sling. "A cast." Steve finished and stands up. "See, that's not a cast, that's a sling." Tony glared icily at Steve as he gently tapped his injured arm causing Tony to wince in pain. Steve chuckled sheepishly. Tony took his hoodie off over his head and calmly took the strap off his sling, letting it fall to the ground. Steve inhales sharply at what he saw. Tony's right arm-from his wrist up to his elbow-was covered by a bright purple bruise and a lot of swelling. "Shit. Tony, I'm sosorry. I'm so, so, so sorry!"
"Shove it, Cap." Tony bent down to pick his sling up.
"I got it." Steve picked up Tony's sling and handed it to him. Tony snatched it with a huff. Thor's eyes tracked Tony across the room as he sat down next to Clint and rested his head on the wall behind him.
"Thor?" Dustin asked. "Thor?" Dustin asked, louder. This time, he caught the attention of the God of thunder.
"Yes, my young comrade? Is something troubling you?"
"Well, yeah." Dustin rubbed the back of his neck. "My girlfriend and my brother don't get along." He sighed. "Well, he's not my brother, he's more what you and Loki are to each other, but without the evil. Tim does like pranks though."
"And your girlfriend?"
"Hates Tim like Cap and Tony."
"I don't hate Tony." Steve said, tired of repeating himself.
"That's right." Sam chimed in. "He just doesn't respect him."
"Yeah, because breaking my arm really screams "I don't hate you." Tony said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "You broke my arm and you took away my ability to become Iron Man." Tony pulled a pair of sunglasses out of his pocket and put them on. "We don't all have super soldier serum injected into us, you know?"
"Can't you build something to help speed up your healing?"
"Yeah, of course I can!" Tony said sarcastically. "I can really build shit when my arm is all swollen and I can't move my elbow." He lowers his glasses. "Oh yeah. That's right." He inhaled calmly. "I CAN'T!" He shouted angrily.
"I'm sorry, I..."
"Cram it, Spangles. 'I'm sorry! I'm sorry!'" Tony said in a mocking voice. "Well, I'm sorry, but there's nothing you can say or do to make it up to me." Tony rubbed his arm. "NOTHING!" He shouted again before pushing his glasses up and holding his arm protectively.
"Wow. Issues." Dustin rolled his eyes.
"Is this how your friends act toward each other?" Thor raised an eyebrow.
"Without the arm breaking, yeah." Dustin nodded sadly. "I have other friends too and they're forced to just put up with it."
"How many friends are in your group?"
"Well, there's me, Tim and Jason-my brothers-my girlfriend Frankie and Pedro." Dustin reeled off a list. "Sometimes, there's Patrice, Renee and Rick, too." He sighed. "Before you ask, yes, we try to stop them getting at each other's throats, but it's hard. And..." He pauses, eyebrows knitting together. "Wait, why am I telling you this?"
"Because I asked." Thor replied with a smile.
Frankie was walking through New York. She kept calling Dustin's phone and he kept not answering.
"You look upset." Frankie turned around to see who had just addressed her.
"Hey, War Machine." She sighed. "How's everything?"
"How do you know who I am without my armor?" Frankie held up her Wrist Device. "You're a Guardian." He nodded. "Right, let me get you back to Avengers Tower, it's the least I can do."
"I don't want to be a bother..."
"Nah, Tony would love to meet some more Guardians-especially if you're super powered." Rhodey grinned.
"I'm not super powered." Frankie frowned. "Nor is any Guardian I know."
"Interesting." Rhodey raised an eyebrow. "Come on." He said as he carried on walking. Frankie shrugged and followed him.
Tim saw Frankie and Rhodey walking and decided to follow them. When they arrived at Avengers Tower, that was when Tim made himself seen.
"What the hell are you doing with her?" Tim shouted.
"Excuse me?" Rhodey narrowed his eyes. "I don't think I like your tone. Are you implying that War Machine is a rapist or something?"
"I'm not implying anything of the sort." Tim growled, casting a glare at Frankie.
"Then what is it you have against me?"
"I have nothing against you." Tim growled louder. "It's her." He pointed at Frankie.
"Frankie?" Rhodey looked over at Frankie. "She's real nice. A lot nicer than you."
"I think I've met the first Disney Character I don't like."
"Well, I don't know but maybe you could have made a better first impression and not-you know-been an asshole."
"Tony Stark's an asshole."
"Tony Stark has a sensitive side. That almost never comes out."
"And he's an alcoholic."
"He knows how to have fun. Now stop insulting my best friend."
"This is absolutely entertaining." Frankie smirked. "Finally, someone who hates Tim as much as I do!"
"JARVIS, take us up to the rec room." Rhodey snarled.
"As you wish, Colonel Rhodes." JARVIS responded.
The elevator stopped at the rec room and Rhodey stepped out. "Hey, Tony, there's been a couple of stow aways." He said, pointing to Tim and Frankie.
"Two more kids, just what I need around my tower." Tony shook his head and used his good arm to push himself up.
"Two more?" Rhodey asked, walking over to him. "What do you mean? And what happened to your arm?"
"Well, I got one already here." Tony pointed over to Dustin, who was talking with Phil. "And as for the second question, ask Cap."
"Dustin!" Frankie shouted. "Come on, we've found you now."
"Actually, I found him." Tim narrowed his eyes.
"Like hell you did." Frankie hissed. "I was the one who found War Machine. You just spied on us and followed us."
"Cry me a river." Tim rolled his eyes. "You just can't get over the fact that I was looking for him before you were."
"Well, you..." Frankie began.
"Shut up!" Nick shouted over the arguing. "See, this is the second time today, I've had to yell at you to stop." He growled. "You think this is fun? Y'all are gonna give me a damn heart attack!"
"Director Fury's right." Phil said. "Thor and Loki have managed to work out their differences. Cap and Tony, you need to do the same." He turned to the teens. "You too."
"Thor?" Dustin called out.
"Yes, my young comrade?" Thor responded.
"How did you and Loki sort out your differences?" Dustin asked. Thor walked over to them.
"It was easy." Thor replied. "We focused on what we had in common, rather than what set us apart."
"And it ranged from video games like Grand Theft Auto, Halo, Call of Duty." Loki replied smoothly. "To our friends, Fandral, Hogun, Volstagg and Sif and the home we share on Asgard."
"Do you two young people share a common activity?" Thor asked.
"Yeah, they both love Disney. And baseball." Dustin said.
"This is something you can bond over. And you have the same friend in Dustin?" Thor raised an eyebrow. Frankie and Tim nodded. "So what makes you different?"
"I'm a boy. She's a girl." Tim replied.
"Also, I'm from Boston and he's from Orlando." Frankie shrugged.
"She lied about who she is!" Tim shouted. "And it's to get into my brother's pants!" Everyone stared at Tim.
"Awkward." Loki said in sing-song.
"Is that how you feel?" Dustin asked. Tim said nothing. "Alright, fine. Frankie, will you go out on a date with me this Friday?"
Silence. Frankie nodded. "Sure. 8pm sound good?"
"Why not?" Dustin said.
"I can't believe you." Tim shook his head in disgust. "You're my brother and you don't listen to me about my concerns..."
Over on the other side of the room, Rhodey was standing by Tony and a sitting Steve.
"Can you believe that?" Rhodey scoffed.
"They're teenagers. They're supposed to act petty." Tony said.
"Yeah. Teenagers are." Steve agreed. "But we're in our 20s and our 40s, Tony, and we've acted that way too."
"How did you figure that out?" Rhodey asked, sarcastically.
"We've just been fighting for the sake of fighting." Steve sighed. "We can't hope to be good Avengers if we can't work together. So I don't know about you, but I'm calling a truce."
"I can see why you'd say that Steve." Tony agreed. "We've had this civil war going on for ages between us. And I can tell you this, it wasn't worth it."
"Truce?" Steve asked, putting his hand out.
"Truce." Tony shook Steve's hand.
"Sorry I broke your arm, Tony." Steve said sheepishly. Tony nodded.
"And now we haven't got an Iron Man." Tony said.
"I could be Iron Man." Rhodey suggested. "Until you get better, I could be Iron Man. I'm already War Machine with my own armor, why can't I wear yours?"
"It's a good a suggestion as any." Tony sighed. "I'll think about it."
"Those kids are really going at it." Rhodey shook his head.
"Taking any sides?" Steve asked.
"No. Find them all pretty unlikable." Rhodey shrugged. "Especially the taller boy."
Back on the other side of the room, Natasha, Clint Sam and the other S.H.I.E.L.D agents were having to restrain the three teenagers, while Thor and Loki looked on.
"Brother, I believe they have more issues than we did." Loki said.
"Indeed." Thor agreed. "And you killed Son of Coul and tried to kill me."
"And Odin." Loki muttered. Thor quirked a blond eyebrow.
"She's a hurricane who will destroy everything in her path!" Tim yelled.
"Bruce, you gonna help?" Clint asked, struggling to hold back Tim's arm.
"I think it's best I don't." Bruce replied. "Last thing you guys need is a code green." Clint nodded and Tim's arm broke free of his grasp, heading straight for Dustin's face.
"Think you're going to need some ice though." Bruce said.
"Yeah." Clint panted. "Duly noted."
Natasha-who was trying to hold back Dustin's arm-was knocked out of the way by Maria. "Stop it!" She shouted. "All of you, stop it!" Everyone stopped to look at the senior S.H.I.E.L.D agent. "All this arguing, you're doing more damage than not."
Natasha nodded in agreement. "Look around kid." She said to Tim. "She's not the hurricane. It's you."
Phil let go of Dustin's other arm. "All of you." He sighed. "Just calm down. We can mediate this." He nodded for everyone to let go of the teens. "Why don't you like the girl?"
"Frankie Young." She corrected. "And that's Tim Edelman."
"Okay, Tim. Why don't you like Frankie?" Phil raised an eyebrow and put his hand on his hip. "Has to be something more than 'she's from Boston'. I think it's jealousy. She can do something better than you can. A 'boys thing'. And not only does it make you jealous, but your masculinity feels threatened. Am I somewhere in the ballpark?" Tim gazed down at his shoes. "I am, aren't I? And given that she's from Boston and who-I assume-her father is, I'm going to warrant a guess that it's baseball or maybe it could be some other sport." He shrugged. "You look like a hockey player? Do you play hockey? She doesn't though. It's probably baseball."
"How did you...?" Tim asked in shock.
"I have sources." Phil replied before turning to Frankie. "I'm guessing that he was hostile to you and you were hostile back. You don't really hate him, it's just that he hates you and you're not sure how to react. Sure, this rivalry started out healthy, but it turned into what it is today and you have little to no idea how to break the cycle. But you do want to. For your boyfriend."
"That's... Are you sure you're not Sherlock Holmes?" Frankie asked.
"As sure as my name is actually Phil Coulson." Phil replied. "Now you're both, what-17? 18? You can choose to move past it like the adults that you are. Or you can stay petty children forever. The choice is yours."
Tim and Frankie simply looked at each other, not knowing what to say.
So I'm ending Season 1 on this note. Season 2 shall begin next week.
The song for this chapter is Highway to Hell by AC/DC.
Here's a preview of the first episode of Season 2:
In the Disney World, Launchpad McQuack was flying his trusty old biplane-Joyrider. As he flew over Sleeping Beauty's castle, he received an incoming transmission. He hit the button on his transmitter and carried on flying.
"Launchpad McQuack!" A voice with a thick Scottish accent shouted down the other end.
"How's it going, Mr McDee?" Launchpad asked. "Need me to fly you anywhere?"
"You know I do, Launchpad." Scrooge said.
"I don't know why you don't just call me on my cell phone, Mr McDee."
"Because I dinnae want a cell phone. What I do want is fer yeh tae fly me from Toon Town over tae Frontierland!" Scrooge said agitatedly.
"Well... Sure." Launchpad said. "But first I have to deliver something to Mary Poppins on Main Street."
"Well when you're done, pick me up at me Money Bin. And dinnae mention that weird duck you used tae hang around with."
"Yes, him." Scrooge clarified. "An' I expect you here in no less than half an hour."
"Will do, Mr McDee!" Launchpad chuckled. "Now if you'll excuse me, I..." Launchpad paused as a huge dragon appeared in front of him. "Oh no." He pushed up on his plane's joystick to try to get below the dragon.
"Launchpad, are you there? What's going on?" Scrooge shouted.
"I'm fine-just a little uh... Dragon!" Launchpad shouted back desperately as he did a barrel roll trying to avoid the dragon's fire breath.
"Dragon?" Scrooge groaned. "Launchpad, grow up."
"Mr McDee, I'm in my 20s. I'm grown up plenty!" Launchpad shouted and panicked as the dragon breathed fire on the wing of his plane and his plane began to fall down in a tail spin. "Oh God, Mr McDee, I'm gonna die!" He wailed.
"Calm down, Launchpad!" Scrooge shouted. Launchpad grabbed a bomber jacket from the bottom of his plane. "It's not like you have nae crashed before."
"Mayday! Mayday! Mr McDee-I..." Launchpad cried out in pain as his plane crashed into the ground.
"Launchpad?" Scrooge asked, sounding genuinely worried. "Launchpad?!"