Witches, Ghosts and Monsters
"Rawr!" came the sweet, young voice as little hands grabbed their father's shoulders.
Said father turned around and whirled the little boy into the air, catching him securely in his arms…before tickling him, both father and son laughing as the tickle torture went on.
"Dad! Dad! Stop!" the boy gasped, breathless.
His father gave a final laugh and set the boy down, his steely-blue eyes scanning over the black and white paint that covered the boy's face.
"What are you this year, Beck?" Tron asked, even though he knew the answer.
"A Skeleton, duh!" the eight-year old boy chirped, "What are you going as, Dad?"
"Oh…I don't think I'm dressing up this year," Tron told him as he picked Beck up and set him on his shoulder.
"Aw, c'mon, Dad!" Beck whined, "Mom's dressin' up!"
"And what is she going as then?" the former Monitor asked as they walked into the kitchen.
"Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble," sang a familiar voice from the stove.
Tron turned to see Yori in a full witch's costume, stirring a pot on said stove. Her dark blue gaze landed on her son and husband and she grinned.
"Something wicked this way comes," she teased, making Tron roll his eyes.
"You were watching Macbeth again, weren't you?" he asked.
"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban actually," Yori smiled, kissing her husband on the cheek, "Beck enjoyed it,"
"I wanted to be Harry for Halloween," Beck said, "But Mom said I had already picked my costume, so…"
He spread out his arms wide.
"Here I am!" he beamed.
"I take it you don't want to dress up then?" Yori asked, looking at Tron.
He shook his head.
"Aw…c'mon Daddy!" Beck begged, "Please? It'll be fun!"
Tron gave a sigh.
"Oh, alright," he said, "How much time do I have?"
"Halloween isn't until the end of the month, dear," Yori reminded him, "We've got time…but not much,"
"I have an idea!" Beck chimed in, "For all of us!"
"I don't know how you managed to talk me into this," Sam grumbled, glaring heatedly at the door to the conference room.
"Sam…you'll be fine," Quorra chastised, "It's just a meeting,"
"For a Halloween party," Sam growled, nose wrinkling in distaste.
"Saaaammmm…" Quorra groaned, stepping behind him and pushing him towards the door, "Come on!"
Sam stubbornly dug in his heels.
"Users you're worse than trying to get Beck or Tron to get a bath!" she growled.
"I am not!" Sam protested.
"You. Are. Too!" Quorra snapped, giving him a final shove and forcing Sam into the room with a yelp.
She shot him a grin and gave an innocent wave.
"I'll meet you in an hour," she grinned, "I've got to go pick up Kevin from school,"
And she walked out.
Internally, Quorra was cackling insanely, but on the outside, she managed to hold a perfectly still visage…something she'd learned from Tron during all the training sessions she had done with him.
It was something that she and Anon both had perfected…and it seemed that Beck was beginning to perfect it as well.
That…and his mother's begging face.
Tron had fallen for the big, steely blue eyes and long fluttering eyelashes every time Beck threw them his way. The only ones who seemed to be immune were Yori and Lora…maybe it was because it was the two of them who perfected it in the first place!
The ISO walked out the doors and mounted her's/Sam's motorcycle. No doubt Kevin was waiting on her…but she knew that Beck would be with him and refuse to leave unless she came to get him or Yori relented and brought the boy with them.
Quorra shot through the city, driving carefully but quickly through the myriad streets until she pulled up in front of the school. The only two children, an army soldier and a skeleton, in front of the building…were of course Beck and Kevin, with Tron standing sentinel beside them, his own motorcycle parked next to the sidewalk.
"Mom!" Kevin beamed, shooting up to his feet and rushing towards her.
Quorra leaned down and opened her arms as her son embraced her, burying his curly, blond head in her chest.
It almost hurt to look at the boy, seeing as when she looked at him…she saw her own father figure.
"How was your day?" she asked him, pushing away her sadness.
"It was ok," Kevin shrugged as he released her, "We had a Halloween party,"
"And then the lights went out," Beck added, "Kevin screamed like a girl,"
"Yeah well you screamed like a…a…" Kevin sputtered, "Well…"
"I didn't scream," Beck reminded him, "I just jumped,"
"Beck…" Tron warned, making Beck duck his head and then look up at his father.
"Sorry Dad," Beck mumbled, "Sorry Kevin,"
The youngest Flynn waved his hand in dismissal.
"It's ok," he sighed, "But for some reason everyone kept staring at us. Maybe because we had such awesome costumes!"
He gestured down to the army green t-shirt and cargo pants that made up only a little bit of his costume, exposing the white light-lines on his arms and hands.
"But Beck's was convincing," Kevin added, "Aunt Yori did a great job!"
Beck flashed a shy, white smile underneath the black and white paint on his face. Like his cousin, he was in a t-shirt, black instead of green, and it too exposed the sweeping lines that were reminiscent of Yori's circuit marks.
Quorra felt rather than saw Tron's gaze land on her. She looked up at the former Monitor's scarred face, both of them coming to the same conclusion.
It hadn't been the costumes the kids were staring at.
Quorra had seen Kevin's light-lines light up when he was excited, angry or afraid…and in the dark they gave off a faint glow…so barely lit that he didn't see it but Quorra and Sam could.
The same went with Beck.
"So are we going home?" Kevin asked, knocking Quorra and Tron out of their shared thoughts.
Quorra gave her son's blond curls a ruffle.
"We're going to stop and save your father first," she grinned before looking up at a curious Tron, "I kinda forced him into a meeting concerning Encom's Halloween party. They're having a trick or treat for the kids,"
"Can we go?" Beck asked softly, "Please Dad? Mom nearly has the costumes done,"
Tron closed an eye and looked at Quorra.
"Do you know what date?"
"They're planning on having it on Halloween," Quorra replied, "I'm not exactly sure what time though,"
"I don't think they've scheduled me for that day," Tron nodded, "I don't see why we can't go, Beck,"
"YES!" Beck cheered, pumping his fist into the air and making his father laugh.
"Come on my little Knight of Thigred," Tron chuckled, sweeping Beck into his powerful embrace and flipping the boy upside down, making him squeal, "Let's get back home,"
Quorra squeezed Kevin's shoulder before the Half-ISO shot towards the motorcycle and hopped on.
"I want to drive!" Kevin announced, leaning over the handlebars.
"Ah ah, not today," Quorra told him, shaking a finger at him and moving him over so she could sit down, "You're not big enough,"
Kevin gave an exasperated sigh and pressed his head into his mother's back after he donned his helmet.
"Fine," he grumbled.
Yori was woken from her sleep by an accidental kick from Tron. The former Simulations Program sat up, watching as her husband's scarred face twisted in pain and fear, the low, broken purr-growl rumbling darkly through the air as he gave a soft cry of pain, his breaths hitching.
"Easy, Tron…" Yori breathed, putting a hand on said former Monitor's shoulder.
"Mommy?" Beck asked sleepily, his dark, red-brown hair sticking up every-which way.
Yori looked at her son, who was rubbing his eyes. She never noticed that he had climbed into the bed with her and Tron…something he hadn't done in years.
"Bad dreams?" she asked softly, stroking the boy's hair.
"Same one," Beck murmured, "Only it was Daddy getting hurt, not me…he screamed so loud Mom…but the mean men just laughed and kept hitting him!"
His voice pitched upwards at the end as he started crying.
"They wouldn't stop…I tried to make them stop but they didn't…"
Yori gave Beck a warm embrace…right as Tron shot up with a scream, flailing, eyes flaring amber and blue at the same time. Yori released Beck and wrapped her arms around Tron.
"It's ok," she whispered as Tron trembled violently…almost sobbing while his eyes flickered back to blue, "I've got you, you're safe…"
"Daddy?" Beck asked softly as he put a hand on Tron's arm.
The Monitor said nothing, but pulled his son close and held him, the low purr hitching every so often as Tron rocked the boy back and forth.
He then opened his other arm and pulled Yori close. Yori leaned into his chest…
She could feel the soft wetness of tears splashing on her cheeks, and taste their salty sweetness.
They weren't her own.
The next morning, Yori looked up from making breakfast as Tron came in, wearily rubbing at his eyes.
"That had to be a bad one," she told him as he sat down and she sat a mug full of coffee in front of him.
The former Monitor looked up at her tiredly as his long, pale fingers wrapped around the mug, stealing the warmth from the mug.
"Don't ask," he murmured softly…
Right as Beck came in, eyes bright and alight with excitement.
"Why are you so happy?" Yori asked as Beck hopped up in the chair next to his father, his legs swinging as he waited for his breakfast.
"It's Halloween!" Beck cheered, "And it's a Saturday! AND we get to go to the trick or treat thing tonight!"
He looked up at her.
"Are the costumes finished yet?" he asked.
"Just a few more touches on your father's and it will be," Yori promised, tapping Beck on the nose and making him giggle as she set a plate in front of him.
"What…is this?" Beck asked, wrinkling his nose at the breakfast, "Why are the pancakes orange!? And the eggs are green!"
"I added food coloring," Yori shrugged, "It's a pumpkin,"
"And the eggs?" Beck asked, poking said food item with his fork and jerking back as if it was going to bite him.
Yori heard a badly disguised snort of laughter and she glared at her husband, who was hiding his smirk behind a coffee mug.
"Beck, it's just a different color," she deadpanned, "eat,"
"I don't want to…"
"Fine," Yori said, "If you don't eat your breakfast, you're not going to go trick or treating tonight,"
Yori had never seen food get bolted down that fast.
"More?" Beck asked meekly…making Tron abandon the coffee cup and started howling with laughter.
Sam, Kevin and Quorra were waiting outside of the Basics' home. Sam tugged on the getup Quorra had forced him into. He wasn't into the whole pirate thing. How she managed to sucker him into the Jack Sparrow getup, he didn't know.
Quorra put a hand on her sequined hip. With her short black hair and body that most girls would kill for…or so that's what he gathered from hearing the chatter from the secretaries at Encom whenever Quorra was there…Quorra rocked the flapper-style costume. Who knew that green was such a lovely color on her?
Kevin on the other hand…was ecstatic. The boy was dressed up as a ninja…complete with realistic katana, nun-chucks and shurikens.
Sam had also given him a handful of smoke pellets.
Quorra nearly had a fit…but Sam then reminded her what her weapon of choice was on the Grid and she relented.
After she had taken the smoke pellets much to Kevin's annoyance.
"Are they coming or what?" Kevin whined.
"They should be out any second, Kev," Sam tried to placate him.
He heard the doorknob rattling and he turned to face the house.
"Speaking of…" he started, right as Beck leaped out of the house, running towards Kevin in silvery chainmail and black and silver cloth adornments.
"Whaddya think, Uncle Sam?" Beck asked, batting his blue eyes up at his 'uncle', "Mom finished it not too long ago,"
"It looks great, little knight," Sam grinned right as the door opened again and Yori came out, dressed in a beautiful blue and white gown that rippled past her ankles and flowed onto the ground.
She looked the part of a princess or at least a Lady.
"Trevor, you're going to be late!" Yori called as she turned around, "C'mon!"
"I'm coming," came Tron's deeper voice as his shadow fell across the lawn.
Sam's heart nearly stopped and he wasn't in the yard anymore.
Instead, he was back on the Grid, facing down the faceless Enforcer as the Shadow unveiled his twin Disks, lightning them with hellish red fire.
"Sam…" Quorra started, putting a hand on his shoulder and making him come back to reality.
Tron looked every bit a Knight, just like Beck did…the only difference between Tron and Beck's costumes was that there were places where Tron's blue bled into Rinzler's orange…and the twin blades strapped to his sides didn't help either.
"Dad's Sir Trevor, Mom's Lady Yaira, and I'm Sir Beckett!" Beck clarified, "Although…Dad's costume got messed up a bit because I accidently spilled orange dye on the white bits and Mom couldn't get it out,"
"It still looks amazing," Quorra told him before turning to Yori, "You did an amazing job!"
Yori ducked her head, her long, golden waves rippling as she did.
"C'mon, let's go already!" Kevin cried, he and Beck nearly jumping up and down in excitement, "They're gonna eat all the candy if we don't!"
Tron gave a slight smile and ruffled his son's and Kevin's hair.
"Alright then, let's go," he chuckled.
Tron and Yori kept back a little bit with Sam and Quorra while Beck and Kevin raced around, going door to door. It was almost adorable in the way the two would pull their begging faces to get the candy.
"You do know it's going to be a nightmare to get them to sleep," Sam grumbled.
"Beck's no problem to shut down," Tron said with a smug grin.
"You just start humming that song and he's out like a light," Sam noted, "I've never seen a kid do that,"
"Beck's not a User child," Tron said softly, "We all have our weaknesses…ways to shut us down,"
"And Flynn utilized them whenever we started overworking ourselves," Yori deadpanned, while Sam started snickering, "It wasn't fun,"
"That's for…" Tron stopped, the muscles in his neck twitching as he gave a soft growl of pain, eyes flicking amber for a split second.
"Tron?" Yori asked softly before turning to Sam and Quorra, "We'll be right back,"
She took Tron's hand and guided him towards the fountain, making him sit down.
"What happened?" she asked.
"It's getting worse with every year, Yori," Tron sighed, rubbing his chest, "I'm almost afraid I'll lose it this year,"
"Lose…what?" Yori asked.
"Nothing, it's…it's nothing," he said shaking his head.
"Forget it," he insisted.
Yori closed an eye…but she knew that when he clammed up…there was no getting him to talk.
"Fine," she told him, "But I'm going to find out one of these days,"
"I wouldn't put it past you," he nodded, "You go back to Sam Flynn and Quorra, I need to catch my breath,"
Tron watched her go and searing pain split through his skull again, The Monitor held his head, gritting his teeth and trying not to scream.
"Knock it off!" he mentally ordered.
The pain intensified slightly before easing up a bit.
Tron looked up right as a bunch of older boys started pointing at Beck and Kevin, whispering amongst themselves.
"No," Tron told himself firmly, "They're not bothering them so quit it!"
If you say so…
"Everything ok?" Yori asked as Tron came up.
"Yes," he responded, watching as Beck and Kevin finished at the last house…but the cousins didn't come back to their parents, "Why aren't they coming back?"
"There's a little party for the kids," Quorra explained, "they'll be back in about ten minutes,"
The Monitor gave a soft hum and nodded, watching as the boys he had seen earlier followed the kids in.
"What's the matter?" Yori asked, noticing that he had gotten very still.
"Those boys," he replied, "They were pointing at Beck and whispering…"
"They probably were commenting on his costume," Yori reassured him, "You seem to immediately go to suspicions and the bad things,"
"Can you blame me?" he asked, "The whole Coup and everything that happened after could have been avoided if I had just seen the signs,"
"It wasn't your fault,"
"So you say," Tron growled to himself, but Yori didn't hear him.
The family had gotten back to the house and they were sleeping peacefully in their rooms. The night was nearing its darkest when five figures snuck across the yard.
"You have everything?" one asked.
"Eggs, toilet paper, shaving cream…" a second nodded, "Let's do this!"
"Choirboy isn't gonna know what hit him," another cackled, hefting an egg in his hand.
They all five snuck closer to the house…when one of them froze.
"What?" another asked.
"I swear something moved," he stammered.
"It's the middle of the night! They're knocked out!"
"Something moved!" the boy insisted, "There was a flash of red…like glowing red…"
"There's nothing there! You're just paranoid!"
There was a soft, low purring sound and the boy whipped around, trying to find the source.
"Did you hear that?" he asked as the sound stopped.
"Hear what?" the first asked.
"It sounded like a giant cat purring…or a broken coffee maker,"
"N-No!" the boy stammered…right as the purring growl started up again…closer, "There it is again!"
"I hear it too!" the second boy gasped.
"Same here!" the third and fourth chimed in.
"Bradley has two cats," the first boy deadpanned, "You've seen the pictures he brought in for show and tell that one time,"
His four companions gave shaky nods and continued forwards…
They would have carried out with their mission if something hadn't ghosted through their ranks at incredible speed and whipped the toilet paper roll out of the middle boy's hands.
The growl intensified and the boys turned towards the woods…where the growl was coming from…
Right as two points of red-amber light flared in the darkness.
The boys started to backpedal as more and more red points of light started to light, forming skeletal patterns on where a person's hands would be, four tiny red squares blazed right in the hollow of the throat of a 6'3", lean frame of a man. They couldn't see any details...just the coal black silhouette lit with pinpoints of red on its chest and arms.
And to top it all off…two blades, one blue one orange blazed in the man's hands.
"LET'S GET OUTTA HERE!" the boys shrieked, all five of them running towards the road.
The ghostly specter's face creased in a feral smile as he twirled the blades around his fingers, the minimal points of light flickering and dying only to return to a faint blue-white, and walked back to the house.
Beck came into the house after school Monday afternoon and looked up at his parents.
"Mom…Dad…" he started, "Is our house haunted?"
"No one's lived here before us, Beck," Yori explained, "It can't have been haunted….why?"
"A few of the boys at school say it is…they admitted they were going to toilet paper and egg our house when a demon in the woods appeared. They said that it burns with red fire and growls like a lion and has two nasty-looking swords,"
"There's nothing in the woods, Beck," Yori reassured him, "Why don't you get your homework done, ok?"
After Beck left and closed the door…Yori whirled on Tron.
"Did you do something to those boys last night?"
Tron's steel-blue gaze looked up at her innocently.
"I didn't do anything," he told her, "I didn't scare those boys,"
Yori shook her head and turned back to her work.
The double meaning in that statement didn't escape her.