NOTE: I know it's been awhile since I last updated this story. You know how life is - just gets in the way sometimes. Some thoughts I've had over the past while: 1) People don't really mention all the watches Beetlejuice has on in the film (4 of them). 2) I wonder if there's a crossover with Beetlejuice and Drop Dead Fred. That would be interesting. 3) I'd like to see a support group for all the people having to deal with otherworldly beings: Sarah from Labyrinth, Lydia from Beetlejuice, Elizabeth from Drop Dead Fred, Elwood from Harvey, Dorothy from Wizard of Oz, etc. Might be fun.
Jacques was in the middle of an episode of Posthumous Humors, a Neitherworld tv show featuring humorous deaths, when he heard the sound of locks and a door from the depths of Beetlejuice's home. On the television a man was gored to death during one of the running of the bulls.
"Be-atle-joose?" Jacques called out. His neighbor finally came back into the room looking a little stressed. "Where is Lydia?"
"I think she just needed a little time at her own place" Beetlejuice muttered. He plopped down on the sofa and picked at the Chinese food. "I'll go get her in an hour or something."
"Terrible idea!" Jacques scorned. "I should report you."
"Yeah, but you won't" Beetlejuice grumbled. "Look, her and me, we have a deal worked out. She's just helping me out with a project temporarily, then we both go our own ways."
"You can't have a-" Jacques said, catching himself. He whispered the next part. "-a living person here." Jacques glanced around, as if someone would overhear. "What's gotten into you?"
"Look Jacques" Beetlejuice started between bites of kung pao beef. "It's a mutual thing. She helps me, I help her, we go our separate ways."
"Zen help her and go your separate ways" Jacques insisted.
Beetlejuice leaned back with his food container and chopsticks. "I got hired to do a job and, well actually, Lyds and I snagged a lead earlier down at the Tar Pit." Jacques made a sound between disgust and disbelief. "I'm looking for a stolen book and those two fucking clowns stole it. I'm sure of it."
"What clowns?" Jacques asked.
"Scuzzo and Fuzzo" Beetlejuice told him. He stabbed his chopsticks into the food container and dug around in his pocket. He pulled out a glob of tar that had clown hair and a poker chip stuck to it. "Found that tonight."
Jacques took the sticky glob and read the poker chip. "Zis says zis chip is from the Aztec Casino. You can't take her there. Heads always roll. She is more attached to hers than we are to ours."
"Chill out" Beetlejuice said taking the glob back. "Everyone thinks she's my new dead ghoul-fiend. We could probably hit up Lost Vegas and no one would be the wiser."
"Scuzzo and Fuzzo have a weekly show there" Jacques told him. "I saw it on EEK! TV while I was working out. They promise new unseen marvels of magic."
"Those buffoons couldn't magic water from ice" Beetlejuice said resuming his eating. They fell silent as the television rambled on about an upcoming showcase of deaths caused by people staring at their phones instead of their surroundings. Jacques had his arms crossed and Beetlejuice was shoving beef into his mouth.
"What are your real plans with her?" Jacques finally asked.
"I don't know yet" Beetlejuice grumbled. "She's starting to like me though. My foot's in the proverbial door."
"Well perhaps don't kill her" Jacques replied.
"I only do that stuff when I'm hired as a bio-exorcist" Beetlejuice said. "You know that."
"$50 says she doesn't put up with your merde" Jacques said. If he had skin and more coherent facial features, he would have given Beetlejuice a look that was slightly challenging. "No more zan your handsy attempts. You can't make it with a breather."
"You're on" Beetlejuice stuck out his hand and they shook on it. "Not only will I make it with Lydia, I'll solve this case I'm working on too."
"Well good luck" Jacques said standing up. "I'm going home."
"Say anything and I'll-" Beetlejuice started to threaten.
"No, no. I'm not saying anything" Jacques said as he left.
"What a dick" Beetlejuice said to himself after his friend left. He glanced at his watches. The one he was using for tracking time for Lydia said that it had not been an hour yet.
The first thing Lydia noticed, before she even opened her eyes, was the smell. It smelled almost like her apartment. She shifted to her side and opened her eyes. The room was dark, but it wasn't-
She shot up to a sitting position. Was she home?
"Feeling better?" A gruff voice asked from the armchair. Lydia looked over and found Beetlejuice sitting there, watching her.
"Uh, yeah" Lydia replied automatically. She wiggled her hands and feet a little, running a little self-assessment. She felt a little foggy, but revitalized. "I think I'm okay."
Beetlejuice moved from the chair to the couch and reached out to feel her forehead. He grabbed her face and moved it from side to side to look at her briefly. "Well you look okay."
"You're a doctor now, huh?" Lydia remarked. Beetlejuice opened his hands and leaned back, showing her he meant no harm. "Am I home?"
"I think the Neitherworld was sapping your energy or something" Beetlejuice said. "But, now that you're better, we can get back to work. Remember, we have a deal."
"How much longer do you think it will take?" Lydia asked. Beetlejuice reached into his pocket and pulled out the sticky glob he had shown Jacques.
"Found this after Fuzzo left the Tar Pit" Beetlejuice told her. "I think I know exactly where to find Scuzzo and the Volume of the Cursed Eye."
"Well, then let's go tell the authorities" Lydia said excitedly. Beetlejuice touched her arm to calm her down.
"We need to be absolutely sure. You get me some damning photos, I'll take care of the rest" Beetlejuice replied. "There's just one thing."
"What?" Lydia asked. Beetlejuice pulled her to a standing position, then tugged her along to her bedroom. "Hey! Beej, I'm not gonna-"
"We have to hit up Lost Vegas, babes" Beetlejuice announced. They stopped in front of her closet. "You didn't have a chance to grab anything snazzy before we left the first time. Let's see what you have in here." The closet opened with a point of his finger. "Flashy and trashy."
Lydia stood there while the ghost went through her things. She had that slight foggy feeling that one gets after a long nap, so she stood there watching. Beetlejuice held up a black sequin mini-skirt that Lydia had worn for a holiday party. She watched as he sent it to rest on her bed. He did the same thing with a few more pieces, which Lydia felt were not flashy or trashy. Well, maybe a little flashy, but in a dark way.
"Did you say Las Vegas?" Lydia asked crossing her arms. Beetlejuice had moved on to poking through her dresser.
"LOST Vegas" Beetlejuice emphasized. "I've seen what you breathers have now. Just try to imagine it as being more over the top and flashy and...just pure chaos." He found a red satin halter top and added it to the pile. "That should about do it."
"So we're going to Lost Vegas" Lydia said.
"Under the guise of a romantic, chaotic vacation" Beetlejuice replied. "Tourists always have cameras."
"Well, let's not forget" Lydia said stepping into her closet to pull out an oversized floppy black hat. "The oversized hat."
"Good call" Beetlejuice replied. Lydia dug around at the bottom of her closet and pulled out a pair of heels. She turned and presented the to her ghost. "What are those?"
"A few years ago, Delia teamed up with a fashion designer friend and made these ugly things" Lydia said. The shoes looked like wearable feet sculptures with a snake theme. Along with the sculptural snakes on the shoes, there was green lame, a horde of crystals, and crowns on each snake head. "Flashy and trashy?"
"Works for me" Beetlejuice replied. He grimaced at the shoes, which might have looked interesting for a runway show, but were definitely not practical. They would definitely turn some heads in Lost Vegas.
"Does this mean we're almost done?" Lydia asked throwing her things into a small bag.
"Sure, almost" Beetlejuice said. "I mean, unless you want to hang out afterwards or something."
"Well then let's get to it" Lydia dismissed his last remark. "I can't afford to miss work right now."
"You got it" Beetlejuice replied. Lydia followed him to the nearest mirror. He opened his arms. "Come to papa." Lydia frowned at him. "We have to be touching, babes."
Lydia reached one hand out to him. He held her hand firmly, said something under his breath, and in a flash of blinding light, they were back at his house, in his secret closet with the mirror.
It took almost no time for them to each pack a bag with what they would need. For Lydia, she repacked to include a few things she had brought with her before and her camera equipment. She took her bag and her big floppy hat to the living room while Beetlejuice finished up. From the sound of it, he was searching for something. The Chinese food was still out on the coffee table and Lydia reached for a container that hadn't been opened. She was happy to find that it was some kind of meat and noodle mixture. She found an unwrapped pack of chopsticks and dug in.
"You ready?" Beetlejuice asked as he came into the living room with his bag. He was wearing black slacks, old silver shoes that had seen better days, a short-sleeved button-down shirt with a bold beetle print, and a black trilby hat. He dumped his bag next to hers and put his hands on his hips. "Babes, you can't go looking like that."
"Like what?" Lydia asked looking down at herself. She was still in the clothes she had been in all day. Beetlejuice shot two finger guns at her as if he were drawing from unseen hip holsters. Lydia stood up as her clothes fell off, revealing a purple satin mini-skirt, a top that looked more like black lingerie, and a silver spider jewelry. "Beej!" Lydia crossed her arms. "This is not a top!"
"Sure it is" Beetlejuice replied. He did his best to eyeball her and give her an approving smile. "It's like what Cher wore in that workout video." Lydia glared at him and he glared right back. "This ain't nothing compared to what folks are wearing in Lost Vegas."
"I look like a hooker" Lydia stated. Beetlejuice stepped closer to her and placed his hands on her shoulders.
"Then you're my hooker" Beetlejuice said as if it were a big compliment. He was looking at the marks he had put on her to help her look dead. His marks, his claim, his breather. "Don't worry about other spooks. No one will mess with you while I'm next to you."
"Great" Lydia muttered. She stepped back and put her food down. "So when do we go?"
"Anytime you want" Beetlejuice replied. "We just have to go wait for the bus."
They grabbed their things and trekked out to a bus stop that seemed to be on a lonely stretch of road, next to a field of yellowing grass. The bus stop had clear sides that had been roughed up over time and signs along the roof that read 'Lost Vegas Only'. A lone street light lit up the bus stop. A narrow bench, which barely sat two, was inside the enclosure. There was a red phone hung along the inside with a sign that read 'Out of Order'. Lydia and Beetlejuice shared the bench.
"How often does this bus come around?" Lydia asked. Looking around, there wasn't any foot traffic or regular traffic outside.
"They just know when people are in here" Beetlejuice replied. They sat there waiting in slight discomfort for a while. A blackbird flew into the side of the bus stop, then fell to the ground, making Lydia gasp. "Just a bird."
"I just wasn't expecting that" Lydia said. The bird flopped around on the ground, picked itself up, and flew off in a bumbling fashion.
Beetlejuice cleared his throat and leaned to rest his back against the wall of the bus stop. "We should cover some Vegas basics. What kind of drink do you like?"
"Wine, I guess" Lydia replied. Beetlejuice gave her a look and she rolled her eyes. "Fine. Uh...mai tai's. What about you?"
"Can never go wrong with a whiskey sour" Beetlejuice replied. "I think I can guess food for you. What about floor shows?"
"Like typical Vegas shows?" Lydia asked. She shrugged. "I've never been to Las Vegas and this will be my first time to Lost Vegas. I don't even know what to expect."
"I'll get us some tickets to stuff" Beetlejuice told her.
"Including Scuzzo's show?" Lydia asked. Beetlejuice grumbled about it, but nodded 'yes'. "What time is it?"
"I don't know" Beetlejuice replied. "On this side of things time isn't a super big deal, you know? I mean, you might have to do something for X amount of time, but day to day purposes? Not as big of a thing."
"Then why do you have four watches?" Lydia asked. He looked down at his arm and the four watches that he wore.
"I have a few things I'm keeping track of" Beetlejuice replied.
"You need a different watch for each thing?" Lydia asked.
He shifted so he was leaning in towards her with his arm out displaying his watches. Each watch had a different set up. "They're set for different things."
"These are all different" Lydia realized. One looked like a fancy watch with a standard dial, the date, and even had the moon cycle. Another was simply a weird countdown to something. One simply had a strange symbol on it instead of a watch face. The last one was counting towards something. A lopsided smile graced Beetlejuice's face as Lydia touched his arm to get a good look at the watches. "This one looks like a real watch. What's that one for?"
"Keeping track of this and that" Beetlejuice replied dismissively. He let his hand rest on Lydia's leg. "Keeping an eye on certain people." Lydia tried prying Beetlejuice's hand from her leg. "What kind of casino games do you like playing?"
"I'm not really a gambler" Lydia replied. Beetlejuice snorted and his face contorted, sniffing a lie. "Fine. Sometimes I play card games. I'm not great at poker, but I can play it."
"Poker? Very typical" Beetlejuice muttered. He slid his hand up Lydia's leg a little.
"Remove your hand" Lydia gritted out. She used both hands to push his away. A noise of hydraulic brakes made them both look down the road. A bus covered in paint and glitter with a lit up sign reading 'Lost Vegas' pulled up. The door swung open.
A heavy-set lady with bright red hair and wild glasses peered down at the bus stop. "Lost Vegas or die!"
"This is it!" Beetlejuice said standing up. He pulled Lydia along and they found a space near the back of the bus. Lydia took the window seat and wished that she had sweat pants on. The bus was a little chilly. The bus lurched forward and pulled away from the lonesome bus stop. "We're off babes. You're going to love it."
"How long will this take?" Lydia asked. "It's kind of chilly on this bus."
"Feels like standard coffin temperature to me" Beetlejuice replied. He shrugged and juiced a blanket for her. "Should only be three hours or so."
Three hours later, Lydia was wrapped up in the blanket napping. She was curled up against Beetlejuice's side, lightly snoring. Beetlejuice was reading a trashy novel, getting ready for Lost Vegas. The bus hit a bump and Lydia slowly started to wake up. The bus was entering Lost Vegas. The city lights were so bright that it made Lydia flinch. She stretched and sat upright.
"Hey sleepy" Beetlejuice smiled.
"Are we there?" Lydia asked. She watched out the window as they passed a giant casino with a neon sign of a pouncing tiger along the side.
"Yep" Beetlejuice replied looking out the window with her. He slid a hand over her butt. "Welcome to Lost Vegas, babes."