Chapter 7: And Again…
Before Roger and Jessica went out with their relationship, Jessica has told a few people about them. By the word "few" it means Lena Hyena and Herman's human ex-nanny Mary Poppins.
Lena went nuts at the news over the phone screaming, "Eeeeeeeehhh! You're finally in love! Tell me all the juicy details! Tell me everything!"
She doesn't seem perturbed by the fact that Roger is a rabbit. They agreed to meet up that day and that is why Jessica wonders why she looks so serious when they met at a café.
"Soooo… you've told me about you and him," Lena says, rapidly stirring sugar cubes at her soft drink.
Scratch that. Lena looks uncomfortably serious for a wild and wacky lady. Jessica ignores the rising sugar island inside Lena's glass.
"Lena, what's wrong?" she asks, deciding to get straight to the point.
Every wild red hair in her head quivered at the question as though she got caught doing something dirty –a very out-of-character trait for someone who has always been blatant in her comedic style. Her eyes wander at her drink and she stops as though she just realized what she was doing. Lena heaves her bony shoulders and gave a great big sigh.
Her purple-gloved hands clasp Jessica's purple-gloved hands. "Jessica you do know you're my best friend in the world, right?" she asks.
While many people got repulsed by her looks, Jessica gravitated to her because of her friendly nature and outgoing personality. She acts crazy (well, she is a bit but who isn't?) but just like Jessica, she's been around long enough to see things as it is.
Jessica would coldly defend her against people who'd sneer at her pockmarked face, her scrawny form, and other features they don't bother to describe except to point. Lena in return would divert the attention of men who heaven-knows-what-they-want from her, lure them away and scare them off with a hormonal apespit crazy pursuit. But that's another story.
"And I am really excited for you," Lena continues. "But the more I thought about it, the more I wonder…"
Lena drops her head exaggeratedly that her forehead bangs against the table, making the confectioners jump.
She raises her head, ignoring the throbbing goose egg on her forehead.
"Don't hate me for this but someone has to ask you point blank."
Jessica raises a brow as Lena shifts in her seat so that they are now looking levelly at each other.
"This doesn't have anything to do with your experience with men, does it?"
Her heart suddenly made a thump. Out of what she doesn't know. "What do you mean?"
Lena looks at her steadily, her more-than-homely features showing nervousness at "The Talk". She looks like she is given a hammer and was forced to bludgeon a chick that has just hatched out from the egg.
"I mean, Roger is a guy but he's also a rabbit. He doesn't look like a man –humanoid or human. Because of that you may feel less threatened being with him."
Jessica stares at her silently. She is glad Lena did not avert her gaze no matter how uncomfortable she is because if she did, the irrational part of her would lash at Lena for having the nerve to even think of that. She loves her for not balking. She is going to hate her for what is coming next.
"All I'm saying is, what you feel for Roger might be what you think it is. But are you also with him because of your past experiences with how men treat you?"
But even though she worked up the courage to point it out to Jessica, she dare not continue the words inside her head.
Because if you are… it might not be what you think it is.
Back to the story…
Roger, Herman and Benny hang momentarily in the air they gape at the eternity below them.
A blue glow surrounds them and the pull of gravity weakens as they hang longer.
Both Roger and Herman open their eyes to see that they are not plummeting to their doom. Instead it's worse –much, much worse.
The Blue Fairy is pointing her wand at them, holding them afloat with a levitating glow.
Calmly, she floats them back to the road. They all froze for a minute. They would have felt relief at the sight of her sweet motherly demeanour –if the air around her isn't so forbidding.
Benny lands back to the road as light as a feather. She lowers her wand and looks at them without a word. That look compels Roger and Herman to get out of the cab. They try not to glance at each other as they respectfully look back at her.
The Blue Fairy gives Benny a glance. "You may go."
Benny drives off without another word –a first time for him.
Herman stands rooted at the spot trying not to shake as Roger nervously tugs his collar, gulping. The Blue Fairy is one of the oldest toons drawn with actual powers. What more, you can never tell if a toon is of the same character inside and outside the set. Just like Herman, a grandpa that plays as the baby or Donald who displays the same temperance with cameras around or not.
Roger gives a small "Eep!" when a soft hand takes his wrist and gives it a shake.
"Disney Dust. I should have known," the Blue Fairy said, watching the sparkles come off. She looks at them fully with those realistic blue eyes. She could have passed off as a human if only her hair is colored by individual strand (but that would be too much work for the artists).
"What happened?" she asks.
At the question, Roger bursts into a frantic hyper explanation, waving his gangly human arms while Herman duly fills in the gaps here and there.
The Blue Fairy nods every now and then, taking in their story. After they have finished, she studies them for a while before speaking.
They do not bother to ask how she knows their name. She is the Blue Fairy after all.
"Do you know why you can still see Pinocchio as a puppet even if he became a real boy in the movie?"
Both baby and rabbit-transformed-to-humanoid look at each other.
"Because it's good marketing?" Roger ventures.
The Blue Fairy laughs –a gentle warm sound.
"That too. But Disney spells don't last more than half an hour."
Roger suddenly grabs Herman, covering his mouth as the "Baby" lets out a barrage of expletives that would have made Pete from Disney blush.
"P-p-puh-lease, Blue Fairy!" Roger says looking at her while Herman struggles against the hand on his mouth. "I need to change back! I'm sorry for all the trouble back in the warehouse! I didn't mean to, I swear! One thing led to another then I was a kitten, a mother kangaroo, a bazooka then something angsty! I never intend for any of this to happen like the mess in Disney and the disaster in Toon Town Intersect and –OW!"
Roger draws away his throbbing hand with Herman's bitemark clear through his work glove.
Herman only glares at him. It's typical of Roger to go all "good guy" and put the blame in himself. Even outside the set, he's still the bunny nanny taking the hit for the baby when he's not really a baby. But there is no way he is going to admit that he shares half of the blame.
"Yer hand's dirty!"
"You just bit it!"
The Blue Fair watches their interaction. A soft clearing of throat shuts them up and they both look down like chastised children.
"Admitting one's mistake is the first step to making amends. However, you still have to make up for all the damages you left at your wake," she says, remembering how easy it was to find them by following the trail of destruction. "Toontown can fix itself being toons. However, Disney Studios cannot."
She looks at them carefully. "You two will clean the warehouse of discarded goods and fix the wall you broke through –no toon speed, no toon strength, especially you Roger. You are going to restrain in the level of how humans can repair the damages."
Herman bites down a groan. Being drawn as a humanoid, he doesn't have Roger's crazy stamina. With both of them working at human levels, that is going to take the whole day.
"You will also replace the crate of Acme Portable Holes and apologize to the security toon dogs who are only doing their job."
The Blue Fairy glances at Herman. "And this is not something that any of you can pay through. I will have a talk with Mr. Maroon," she pauses before continuing, "And borrow your time beginning Friday morning."
Herman finally groans out loud. So much for the long weekend.
Roger nods. That does sound fair. If she was Yen Sid, he'd probably have them mop the studio for eternity.
"Now…" the Blue Fairy floats up with a flutter of her wings and reaches over Roger's 6-foot frame to tap him in the head with her wand.
A shower of sparks covers him before the sparks slowly fade away revealing Roger Rabbit.
"WHOO-HOO!" Roger exclaims looking at himself, he tugs his ears bouncing up and down as he examines himself, "I got my fur back! And my ears! And my feet!"
He bounces to the Blue Fairy and momentarily throws his arms around her waist with a "Thankyouthankyouthankyouyou'rethebest!" before bouncing around again. Herman draws in a breath of surprise at such treatment but the Blue Fairy only chuckles at his actions.
"And my hearing! I can hear Maroon Studios from hear again! I –JEEPERS!"
He looks at Herman frantically, "We'll never get to Maroon Studios on time! Raul's going to have a heart attack!"
"Leave that to me," the Blue Fairy said, sweeping her wand. All Roger and Herman can see are sparkles and glitter before it fades away. They stand there blinking as they find themselves back in Maroon Studios.
"Hooray, Baby Herman!" Roger exclaims, lifting Herman up as he spins around happily. "We've got back just in time! And alive! And-"
"Put me down ya stupid rabbit!"
Raul's assistant opens the door of the break room and spots them.
"Raul's been looking for you everywhere!" she points at her wristwatch, "It's time."
Roger and Herman walks out of the room, Herman as grumpy as ever while Roger hums cheerfully.
"What are ya so happy about, rabbit?"
"C'mon Herman! I've just changed back into a rabbit! We avoided a lot of grief for Raul-"
"With a lot of grief in our end."
"-We got new ideas for the next stunts for our show-"
"We could have been roadkill."
"-We get to fix our mess-"
"Yer happy about that?" Herman asks incredulously.
"-and we get to meet the new cast member today!"
Herman grunts, looking around for the lady paid to hand him his cigars. "Still wondering what he… or she…. or it might be?"
Roger shrugs. "After transforming into everything? Nah."
They both stop when they saw long luxurious hair, a slender bare back and a slit that tells of mile long legs.
Roger perks up at the sight of a colourful pinwheel before she puts it inside her purse that mysteriously accommodates it for something so small. She turns around and he sees her face.
"Hey I know her!" he exclaims, beaming at her with a window-washer wave of his hand.
The lady calmly raises a brow at his action before acknowledging his greeting with a slight nod. With a turn, she walks away.
Roger looks down at himself. "Oh… right."
Back to the present…
"So you're that guy."
Roger grins sheepishly, "Yeah and that's how we really first met."
He begins to fold a sheet of paper into a petal of a pinwheel.
"I'm really glad you kept it," he says remembering when he saw the pinwheel in a vase on her dressing room.
"I got a thing for you? Really?" Jessica asks with a dry smile, recalling the few words they have exchanged that first time.
Roger chuckles, rolling his eyes good naturedly. "It's not my fault you didn't take it literally." He blinks at her with staged innocence, "What do you think was I saying?"
Jessica ruffles his ginger hair roughly in retaliation. Roger yelps and ducks away from her hand, his hair sticking out in crazy angles when Jessica speaks out.
"Did you really hug the Blue Fairy?" she asks. Hugging the Blue Fairy is like invading the personal space of the Queen of England –a strongly implied Don't.
Roger shifts awkwardly after smoothing back his hair, "Yeah that was awkward."
Actually the realization just hit him before he went to sleep that night, the weight of embarrassment kept him from getting a wink of sleep.
Speaking of the Blue Fairy, Roger's gut internally clenches when he remembers why he's telling her this.
"Jessica, I told you of how we first met not just because it's part of our story."
She watches his composure shift from embarrassed to serious. Roger takes out a long slim box inside his overalls and opens it. Jessica blinks at a slim wand with a glowing tip.
"Would you want me to be a humanoid?"
Her eyes widen.
"What?" she asks even though she heard him the first time.
"It's a Disney wand. Blue lent to me," he gives her a meaningful look; "It only got one spell on it."
Her heart stops and Jessica tears her gaze from the wand and looks up to him, "What? Why?"
The rabbit presses his lips together. "Jessica, I know what people have been saying about well, about us."
Jessica looks at his long ears. Of course, he would have heard them better than she does.
"The things they say are nasty," he says, his brows furrow in concern. "But they're nastier on you."
Her fists momentarily clench. Just because she's humanoid, they see their relationship as her degradation.
His eyes soften. "I'm not going to let them treat you like that."
He pushes the box into her hands. "If you cast that spell on me, I can have an artist redraw me into a humanoid."
Betty Boop wasn't always a humanoid. She originally was an anthromorph French poodle before her creator decided to make her more human. Mickey Mouse's eyes were also redrawn from black pools to eyes with pupils to make his face more expressive. Even Bugs Bunny went through "revisions" before his looks popularly sold.
"But what about your career, the one you have with Herman?" she knows how much he loves making cartoon shorts.
Roger smiles, "I'll give Mr. Maroon a heads up that I won't be a rabbit anymore."
"What about what you've said about diminished hearing and getting bruised easily and those other things you don't like about being a humanoid toon?" beneath her stoic demeanour, she can feel some sort of panic rising inside her.
He puts a hand over hers that is holding the wand, "It'll be okay."
She looks down at the Disney prop. Her red hair sweeps over her face like a curtain hiding her eyes.
Roger watches her. He knows she's analyzing the situation internally, looking at every possible angle and calculating the pros and cons for each and every person involved. She'd work it out in her head first before she'd let in her heart in the situation. It's who she is.
He looks down at the wand and reaches for it. She needs to see both sides of the situation. Roger raises the wand and taps himself with it.
Jessica draws her eyes away at the blinding shower of sparks before looking back again. In the rabbit's place, a tall humanoid young man stands.
Roger shakes off his floppy red hair away from his blue eyes. He shrugs and gives her a smile that Jessica is all too familiar with.
"I'm still me regardless."
She blinks and stares at him, Lena's words echoing inside her head.
But are you also with him because of how men treat you?
Jessica steps closer to him slowly. She looks up to him, a feat that doesn't usually happen when he's usually short. Roger stays put as she takes one hand encased in a yellow work glove before cupping the side of his smooth whiskerless face with her other hand.
His eyes lit up with an affectionate smile in response as he clasps her hand that is on his cheek. Her heart races at the very reason strangers don't understand in her.
Roger makes decisions with his heart before his head. He thinks first for others before questioning what would be in his end. He's willing to give up his career as Roger Rabbit to stop people from badmouthing her.
"Roger," she finally speaks, "What other people say doesn't matter to me."
"It only bothers me that they can't see what I see in you," she closes in the space between them, "But I can live with that."
If Roger is to change so that they'd both be humanoids, there would be cons but there would also be pros –approval of strangers is not even in her pro list. Ever.
"I know you are trying to make it right with us. Tell me this, Roger," she says looking at him fully with her emerald eyes, "What does it feel when we're together?"
Roger stares at her. What does it feel when they're together? It feels great. It feels-
His eyes widen with realization and she knows he finally understood.
She smiles at him. "Then you have nothing to correct."
Roger stares at her, a happy glow emanating inside his chest. He is down on his knees with this woman. "You're amazing, Jessica."
They smile at each other in that comfortable intimacy before Roger speaks again.
"I guess we'll have to wait for half an hour before the spell wears off."
Jessica puts a hand on his shoulder. "We don't have to," she says before she reaches up and kisses him on the mouth.
A glow can be seen to shine off from the top of the building where they are standing. Sparks shower off from every direction and Jessica can feel Roger the Humanoid transform back into Roger the Rabbit as she still kiss him.
The glow and sparkles fade away and Jessica pulls away her lips to see her rabbit in her arms again, his feet dangling off the floor. Roger looks up to see his rabbit ears waving at him happily.
"Jeepers, Jessica," he exclaims, "How did you know that would work?"
Jessica smiles. Like all Disney magic, not just any kiss can break a spell.
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