( Author's Note )
108 Reviews, The last two chapters were a bit depressing I know. I pushed boundaries farther than they should be pushed. I broke some feels, and that is not always a bad thing. But I guess it's time to put an up in. Now, don't get discouraged, this chapter starts off almost in the same doom and gloom mode. But it has to, so I can progress further into a better place. Some of the first part will deal with flashbacks since this chapter skips forward a couple of months. To make it Christmas. I didn't have a time line for this one, so I just made it Christmas time.
Oh and I still don't own Fairly Odd Parents. Big Shocker right? I about freaked when I found out I didn't own them. I mean like... I just thought I did you know. But seriously, I don't own them, never will unless I hit the lotto... or some of you help donate to allow me to buy them. Imagine if I was writing the scripts for the cartoons... Yeah... you'd love it... consider it. Kidding, read on and enjoy.
( Vicki's PoV )
A couple of months had gone by since she had almost destroyed the relationship that her and Timmy had. Christmas was nearing, and Thanksgiving had passed with no change... for the good or bad. While Timmy didn't seem mad at her anymore, he wasn't happy either. He just seemed empty at times. And more times than she liked, he slept in the other room. Only sleeping with her in her room after a few days, then return to his the next night. She could tell he'd only come to her bed, when he needed to to be able to rest. And she usually knew which night he'd enter her room. It was when he had really dark circles under his eyes from lack of sleep.
She sat on a bench in the mall. Timmy was off with her sister, and their friends. Hopefully they would cheer him up some. Usually when he spent time with them he did come home in a better mood. This time, however, she couldn't wait in the apartment alone. She was tired of sitting there alone. So instead of waiting, she decided to do some Christmas shopping. Tootie and her parents were coming over this year for Christmas, like they had on Thanksgiving. To be honest it was a lot better than she thought. Her parents hadn't pretended like she didn't exist, or that Tootie didn't exist. It was pretty pleasant. The only person that seemed down was Timmy. Oh he acted like he was happy, but it was during the moments that he though no one was looking, his mask faded.
( Vicki's PoV )
( Thanksgiving )
Timmy had prepared most of the food for her parents and Tootie's arrival. He hadn't spoken much, except to ask for help with something or another. She wasn't exactly sure what he was doing half the time, and he no longer seemed interested in teaching her how to cook. He didn't explain that he'd prepared Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, when his parents were alive, most of the time. So it hadn't been any different cooking this time.
Sometimes she was amazed what what he could do in the kitchen, that to him... was nothing more than normal. Considering her basic knowledge of cooking, before Timmy, had been things that were simple, or microwavable. So it was no wonder that she had been amazed at the fact he could cook. Though watching him, only made her wish she had paid more attention to him in his youth. Why had she been so mean to him? Why did she continue to hurt him? Was this just who she was? Could she never break the cycle?
"Vicki! We're here!" Tootie's voice followed the sound of the front door opening. She left Timmy to cooking and went to go and meet Tootie. She had expected Tootie, but had been shocked with her parents presence. When she invited Tootie, she only assumed Tootie would show up.
"Hey Toots... Mom, Dad..." She wasn't sure what to say... maybe they just wanted to make sure Tootie was really coming here, and not to some random person's home. Then again, they never seemed to care what Tootie did before... it just didn't make sense.
"Victoria! We haven't seen you in months... You should stop by more often." Her father said pulling her into a surprising hug, it was true she hadn't seen her parents since Timmy's parent's funeral. Even then it wasn't worth mentioning.
"Yes, you should come visit more often... or we could visit, since we know where you live now." Her mother followed suit, giving her a warm embrace... Where were her parents and who were these people, she wondered and just looked at them confused when she pulled back. She looked to Tootie for an explanation.
"I talked with them, and explained how we felt they ignored us." Tootie whispered as their parents went into the living room. "Seems to have worked, they've actually seemed to care since then. I don't know... but it's a plus right?"
"So Vicki." Her mother called from the couch, she in turn took one of the chairs. "Are you cooking Thanksgiving dinner on your own?"
"No, actually, Timmy is. He knows a lot about cooking. He was showing me some things... but... well there hasn't been much time lately. So he's doing it."
"Timmy... that's the boy that you became Guardian of. I remember him from when you babysat him. He was always a good boy... it's sad about the Turners though. Good people."
Good people? If they only knew how they treated Timmy. Yeah her parents had ignored her, then ignored Tootie's existence... but at least they were there when either of them needed them. Timmy didn't have that, but she wasn't going to ruin a civil moment by telling them that. Not today. She could tell Timmy was on the verge... he hadn't slept in her room in a little over a week. She could tell he wasn't long from breaking down.
"Let me go make sure Timmy knows there are two more people..." Vicki started to get up.
"I know. Tootie sent a text." His voice came through the kitchen door, causing her to sit back down again. He didn't sound happy.
"Is he alright back there?" Her father asked. "He sounded irritated."
"It... just the holidays... You know his parents." Tootie whispered to her parents, who had nodded in understanding. And Vicki silently thanked her for the excuse. How much did she owe Tootie for now? A lot if she remembered right.
Dinner itself went by without incident, Tootie and her parents hung around for a while after. It had been nice connecting with her parents. Something that she was sure she'd never have. Timmy sat with them in the living room. He had made idol conversation with Tootie. And talked with her parents when they asked him something. Finally it came time to say their goodbyes. And no sooner than when they left, Timmy's mask fell back into one of not caring. It broke her heart to see him like that, even had refused her offer to help put everything away. That night she had just about fallen asleep, when Timmy crept quietly into her room and got under the blanket. It hadn't been the best Thanksgiving, but it was one of the best one's she had.
( Vicki's PoV )
( Present )
So here she was a couple days to Christmas sitting on a bench in the mall, resting her leg a bit before continuing. She didn't need the cane anymore, but the muscles still got tense much faster than before. She assumed it was due to Timmy making her use a cane more than she really needed to... but she wouldn't brooch that subject with him now, or any time soon for that matter.
After getting a drink from one of the vending machines, she continued shopping. She'd bought a game she thought Timmy would be interested in based on his collection. Some clothing, because well it was something, and he needed new clothes... she was even starting to think like a girlfriend it seemed. There were many gifts that she could get for him... but there just didn't seem to be anything that would fix this gap that was now between them.
She had been debating between a couple of items when her cell phone started ringing. It was Tootie, she answered.
"What's up Toots?" She asked into the phone, while still looking through potential idea gifts.
"Just wondering where you were, thought it was kinda strange that you wouldn't be here when me and Timmy got back to your place." Had calling been Tootie's idea, or did Timmy wonder where she went? Could he have been worried at her absence? Nothing she could ask.
"Well I figured instead of staying home, I'd do some Christmas shopping away from prying eyes." Usually whenever she left the house Timmy, Tootie, or both of them were with her. So she couldn't really get anything without them seeing. It was annoying... it kind of felt like she was being babysat.
"Oh well we're here. I'll be here when you get back..." her voice lowered a bit. "I don't really want to leave Timmy alone. He's seemed more depressed than usual.
"Yeah I noticed it too." It wasn't hard to figure out what was wrong. It'd been a little more than a week since he'd sought out comfort in her bed with her. So lack of sleep was making him irritable. "I'm picking up one more thing and I'll head home."
( Tootie's PoV )
Tootie ended the call on her cellphone and put it back into her pocket. Okay so Vicki was going to be home shortly. That was good. At least Timmy wouldn't be worried about her. He probably wouldn't admit it to Vicki, but he brought her up a lot. And for someone that was supposed to be angry with her, he sure sounded as if he missed her. A.J., and Chester didn't know about Vicki's and his relationship, it just seemed too complicated to explain. But Timmy had told her about how he had been mostly sleeping in his own room. That it was horrible, and he couldn't sleep.
Tootie understood to a point. The few times Timmy had spent the night at her house, and slept in the same bed, the next night always seemed lonelier. Like something was missing. After months of sleeping in the same bed, albeit non-sexual, seemed to have made it almost impossible to sleep alone. Even when he spent the nights at her house when he was upset at Vicki. Tootie would sometimes awake to him holding her tightly.
"Vicki should be coming back soon," Tootie sat in the recliner across from the couch where Timmy sat.
"Oh." he seemed to perk up for just a moment, before his face when back to a blank look.
"I thought you both had decided it was best to put all that stuff behind you Timmy." It wasn't really any of her business, but her friend was hurting... her sister was hurting, and she wanted to figure out what was wrong. Then hopefully be able to help.
"We did. But deciding that was a lot easier than actually doing it." Timmy sighed then looked to the floor. "I don't understand it sometimes. I forgave her... I did. But I haven't been able to forgive myself."
"Oh..." So that's what this was? He hadn't been mad at Vicki, he'd been mad at himself all this time. Maybe he was abstaining from being in her bed because he didn't trust himself. "So... you're not upset at Vicki?"
"No, I'm not." He never looked up from the floor, table... or whatever had his attention. He sighed, "It's complicated."
"That's an understatement." Tootie muttered. Since when had anything in their friendship ever been easy? For anyone? Him being with Vicki was complicated, mostly for her. But she'd made her choice when she stopped him that morning in bed. She'd made her choice... so now she had to abide by it.
She and Timmy had been immersed in a game when Vicki walked in the door. During the game play, Timmy had seemed like his old self again. The one before the relationship with Vicki, before his parents died... before everything started spinning out of control for the brunette boy. And when Vicki returned it all changed back, now she knew that I wasn't Vicki's fault, that it was the guilt he felt that caused him to clam up. The screen lit up, 'Player One Wins', then Timmy muttered something about starting dinner. Tootie looked at her watch, it was only four in the afternoon.
"Don't let it bother you, he always cooks this early... he does it slowly." Vicki sighed as she sat down and rubbed her knee. It must still be bothering her. "It's my fault anyways."
"Don't say that. He's just... you know... Uh..." She could tell her sister what was really going on. Or she could let her figure it out on her own. The old Vicki deserved to find it out on her own, and have to wallow in self hate. But then again the old Vicki wouldn't have cared if Timmy was depressed. This new Vicki... she did care. And had been kind to her. Even after Tootie had yelled at Vicki about Timmy, treated them both like crap... Vicki still tried to be civil. She didn't deserve to hate herself over something that she didn't do.
"I think this relationship is over Toots. Once Timmy turns eighteen, I think that's it." She sighed leaning back. Tootie had expected tears, though none came. "I've already cried over it, nothing left to do but wait. He hates me. I know we agreed to forgive the other... but I don't think he can forgive me... given my track record, I don't blame him."
"It's not you..." she lowered her voice a bit as her eyes darted to the kitchen door. "It's him. Timmy feels guilty about what almost happened with me and him, he can't forgive himself Vicki."
She watched Vicki turn in her chair and look at the kitchen door. She had no idea what was going through the redheads mind. But she decided no matter what happened tonight, she was going to make herself scarce. "Hey I'm going to head home now. Later sis, later Timmy." And she was out the door.
( Timmy's PoV )
Timmy busied himself with cooking. It was the one thing no matter what he could do while he was thinking. It was like cooking was a subconscious thing with him. As long as everything he needed was on the counter, or within reach he could do it without thinking about it. Which for the past few months had been good. His mind constantly wandered to his biggest blunder. Not only had he jeopardized his relationship with Vicki, he had also risked his friendship with Tootie. Yeah he had, Chester and A.J., but it wasn't the same as having Tootie around. There were things he could talk with Tootie about that he could never talk with his friends about.
He'd actually been distancing himself from Vicki more and more since that night with Tootie. He didn't want to, but he didn't know what else he should do. Yes, he had been mad at the time. But he shouldn't have make such a rash decision. Not one that could have easily destroyed everything that he had left. Pushed everyone that cared about him away. He couldn't forgive himself for that. He couldn't see how Vicki had forgiven him for something that just about cost them everything.
But She had forgiven him. So easily. It was like it didn't actually matter, because he didn't do it. He hadn't actually done it. Sure Tootie had been the one to stop everything... and he knew inside, that he too had made that choice. Because he knew that even though Tootie had stopped them... he could have pressed the issue. She wouldn't have resisted if it had truly been what he wanted. He didn't want to hurt his friend, but he knew that it hadn't been what he truly wanted. He just wanted revenge on Vicki. Which had been wrong, he knew that he should have given her a chance to explain. Deep down he knew that she hadn't meant to do it. Why else had he been sitting in Tootie's room that night, trying desperately to figure out a reason it had happened? Because he knew that Vicki wouldn't do that to him, if he had only just listened to her. He would have found out the reason. But he couldn't see past the shock and pain he felt.
He was ripped from his thoughts at the sound of the fire alarm started going off. He should have realized that what he had been cooking had started burning. He'd been too lost in his own thoughts that he hadn't been paying attention. Just another thing that he had messed up. Why couldn't he do anything right?
"Damn it!" he growled turning the burner off.
"What happened?" Vicki had come in. Of course she'd come in... the fire alarm was still going off, smoke coming from the pan he had been cooking in. And that wasn't even the worst of it. What had been eating him alive inside was even worse now. He ruined everything, and he knew it.
"Everything," he muttered as he opened the window, hoping most of the smoke would leave that way. Sadly not as much smoke went out as he had hoped. He sighed. Yet another thing that didn't work right. He walked out of the kitchen, Vicki following calling after him.
"Timmy, what's wrong." She pleaded with him. Which only ate at him more. This wasn't her fault. This was his fault, all of it.
"I am so tired..." It was true. He was exhausted. He hadn't been sleeping well, he never did when he didn't sleep in her bed. He spent most of the night tossing and turning, just missing her presence. He was pathetic.
"Well you can take a nap, I can order something for dinner... I can wake you when it..."
"Can't." He couldn't... wouldn't be able to sleep. He was never able to sleep.
"You don't have to always cook... it'll be alright. Just lay down, I'll order..."
"No!" He shouted surprising them both. He barely ever yelled, or shouted. He didn't want to continue, he didn't want to explain anything... he didn't want to say it. If he said it, it became real... but it was already a reality... "I won't be able to sleep! I can never sleep!"
( Vicki's PoV )
"I won't be able to sleep! I can never sleep!" Vicki could tell he was on the verge of tears. It was true, it had been a while since he had come into her room at night. He always seemed more relaxed when he slept in the bed with her. But she just assumed it made him happier, she didn't realize that he couldn't actually sleep.
"How about I order dinner, and you lay down on the couch? I'll sit with you." He seemed to debate for a while. At first he perked up, then he sighed then just looked sad.
"I'll go lay in my room." He started towards the hallway.
"I thought you forgave me..." He stopped at her words.
"I did. But..." another internal struggle for him it seemed. "I can't forgive myself."
"Why?" Tootie was right... he didn't forgive himself. Why didn't he? He didn't actually done anything. And she knew that he could have persuaded her if he really had wanted to. "Nothing happened."
"I almost did..." his voice was so low, he hadn't even turned to look at her. "I knew you didn't kiss him because you wanted to. I knew it, but still I almost messed everything up. How can you not hate me?"
"Because..." He finally turned to look to her, after she didn't continue. "Because, I love you, you idiot. And... it's not that you didn't do it. It's not that you wouldn't do it... Timmy, it's because you couldn't."
The look in his eyes didn't break her heart. Watching him crumble an kneel there in the hallways before she made it to him, had though. She hadn't crumbled like that when Timmy had forgiven her, but she knew how he felt. Maybe she didn't, there were things that she'd done to him in the past that she hadn't been able to forgive herself for.
"So..." She said softly as he helped him back up to his feet. And wiped his eyes. "How about I order something, and you come lay down on the couch?"
He didn't say anything, but nodded slightly and followed her to the couch. She pulled out her cell phone and called placing the order for dinner. Her fingers idly ran through his hair. She hadn't expected him to been asleep when she hung up the phone. Hadn't actually seen him that peaceful in a while. Finally everything felt normal... or as normal as they could get.
She stretched and yawned, as best as she could. With Timmy clinging to her side anyways. The last week or so had gotten better. Timmy's room once again remained vacant. He seemed to be more rested and relaxed, and she knew she was happier. At least she was prepared for Christmas. Like Thanksgiving, she was looking forward to this Christmas. This was the first Christmas in her new life. A life not filled with anger, and sadness all the time. There had been sadness this last year... these last months even. But it was something they could get over easily... had gotten over.
"Morning," Timmy just moved closer to her, his eyes hadn't even opened. He did that most mornings since it was cold. Which was one of the reasons she kept it cold in the room.
"Morning." He muttered into her side. They'd lie that for a while until they both decided they needed to get up.
Christmas had been more than she expected. Her parents still attentive, still listening, and asking about how things were. They'd been relieved for her, and Timmy. Since he was obviously happier. They spent the entire day just talking, after opening gifts. She couldn't actually remember the last Christmas where things were this good. Where she was happy. She almost regretted it when was time for her parents and Tootie to leave.
"That was nice," she heard Timmy say from the kitchen, which she went to join him. She walked into the kitchen, and watched him put food away for a moment. So this was going to be their life from now on? It seemed tame, and calm. But after a life filled with chaos and randomness. Tame and calm sounded nice.
"Yeah. I haven't seen mom and dad like that... since I was very young."
"Do you miss that life?" He asked sitting at the table, after he finished putting everything away.
"Yeah..." she grabbed his hand from across the table, after she sat down then smiled. "But I like this life a lot more."
"Me too." He smiled back.
"Well there's one more present for you to unwrap." She'd debated this for a while. There had been a few times they'd come close to it in the past. And it seemed awkward to just talk about... so this seemed the best course of action.
"I didn't see another gift out there." Vicki grinned at his words and took a bow out of her pocket, and stuck it to the front of her shirt.
"Right here." She stood up, as his face turned red, when the meaning finally set in, then walked out of the kitchen, down the hall, and into her room. She waited... she just grinned as she heard the chair in the kitchen hit the floor, and the running footsteps that got louder as they got closer to her room.