Disclaimer: I don't own NMBC. It belongs to Tim Burton. The only people I own are Seritta, Joseph, Suzie, Jake, and Adam.

~*A Few Years Later*~

Seritta Skellington, the ten-year-old oldest child of Jack and Sally, sat on the couch of Lock, Shock, and Barrel's tree house reading a preteen magazine. Joseph and Suzie, the eight-year-old twins, sat in the middle of the floor playing "Spidey-Bitey," Lock, Shock, and Barrel's favorite video game. Jake sat in a high-chair eating a bowlful of soup that Shock fed him. The little three-year-old wasn't quite old enough to handle spoons very well. Lock sat as the third player in "Spidey-Bitey." Barrel sat next to Seritta reading his own teen magazine. Jack and Sally were out on an expedition and the terrible threesome had to baby-sit their four kids.

"I win!" Joseph announced.

"No, you didn't!" Suzie fought back. "We'd tied!"

"No, we didn't." Joseph tried to defend himself. "I won. Get used to it!"

"You little cheating sore loser!" Suzie shouted. "That's such a lie!"

"Who are you calling a little cheating sore loser?" Joseph shouted back.

"QUIET!!!" Lock commanded. "Joseph, Suzie's right. You tied."

"DARN IT!!!" Joseph screamed. Jake wailed.

"Now look what you've done!" Shock scolded. She turned towards the tiny skeleton boy. "It's okay." She said to him. "Calm down."

"Having twins and another brother for siblings sucks." Seritta announced in a monotone voice.

"Oh no. Being stuck with the same boy and girl for the past twelve years," Barrel began correcting her. "Now that sucks."

"Agreed." Seritta said, and she went back to her magazine.

"Stupid video games." Shock slightly cursed under her breath and picked Jake up in her arms. She hopped in one of the lamp elevators and rode to the next level to set him down for a nap.

Lock gave the twins the death-stare.

"I think that's enough video games for one day." He announced.

"I guess what Mama and Papi said about video games was right." Seritta began. "They turn you into zombies."

"Jack and Sally told you that?" Barrel asked.

"No," Seritta answered simply. "I guess I should have been more specific. Grandma and Grandpa told me that."

"Crazy doctors," Barrel whispered.

"Agreed." Seritta said again, and she continued reading an article on ghosts and where to find them out of Halloween Town.

At that moment, Shock came downstairs.

"That little brother of yours falls asleep on command." She announced.

"That's Jake for you." Seritta said in monotone. "He takes after neither of our parents. He goes down without a fight and falls asleep the second he hits the floor."

About fifteen minutes later, there was a knock on the front door of the tree house. Lock answered it.

"Hey!" he greeted Jack and Sally. "How was your little expedition?"

"Fine." Sally answered. "Where are the little ones?"

Lock moved out of the way to reveal Joseph and Suzie sleeping in the middle of the floor. Seritta was planted on the couch still reading her magazine. Jake was still upstairs sleeping.

"What happened here?" Jack asked.

"Joseph and Suzie fought themselves to sleep," Lock replied. "Jake's upstairs taking a nap, and Seritta hasn't moved from that spot since she got here."

"Why haven't you moved, Seritta?" Sally asked, curious.

"And get caught up in my twin siblings' fight over who won a stupid video game? You're crazy!" Seritta announced.

"Well, all that's fine and dandy, but we need to get home now." Jack said, picking up Joseph and Suzie.

"I'll get Jake for you." Shock offered, and she went back upstairs to retrieve the littlest of the four children.

"Come on, Seritta." Jack ordered. "We have to get home, now. We have meeting with the Mayor."

"Hasn't he gone insane yet?" Seritta asked, looking up from her magazine.

"Seritta," Jack warned. "I've told you that I don't like it when you say that."

"So?" Seritta said in monotone.

"If you don't get up now, and you don't stop insulting the Mayor, you won't be going on that date with Adam tonight." Jack threatened. Seritta shot her head up and sprang off the couch to join her father. Shock then came back downstairs with Jake in her arms. She passed him to Sally and smiled up at the Pumpkin Queen.

"Thanks again." Sally said, and she opened up her wallet. She passed the twenty dollars to Shock.

"Don't spend it all in one place!" she ordered playfully. Lock, Shock, and Barrel giggled and waved good-bye to the family as they left through the lamp elevator.

"So, we've got twenty. What do you guys want to do?" Barrel asked.

"How 'bout we go to lunch?" Lock suggested.

"Okay!" Shock agreed. Everybody ran over to a lamp elevator and rode it down.

"Where to?" Barrel asked.

"Nothing too big." Shock replied. "I think I just want a burger."

"Same here." Lock agreed.

"But I want a pizza!" Barrel whined. Lock sighed and took a five from their pile.

"Go get one." he commanded. Barrel's face brightened as he ran over to the Pizza Parlor. Lock and Shock walked over to the Burger Shack.

"May I help you?" the cashier asked.

"Two large cheeseburgers and two medium sodas, please." Lock ordered.

"$13.99." the cashier said. Lock paid the man and sat down at one of the tables. Shock sat down next to him. There was a long moment of silence until Lock spoke up.

"So," he began. "What's been going on with you lately?"

"Not much." Shock replied. "Hey, what do you want to do with the extra dollar and one cent we still have?"

"We could cash the dollar in for change at the arcade and hope the penny's a lucky one." Lock suggested. Shock sighed.

"I've had enough video games for one day." She said.

"But it's only a little past noon." Lock observed. "What do we do with a dollar?"

"We could add two more zeros on it and put it in a spot that Barrel will find it in." Shock suggested.

"No," Lock rejected Shock's suggestion. "Let's add three zeros on it!"

Shock smiled brightly and grabbed a marker from her pocket. She scribbled three zeros after each 1 and slyly put it back in her pocket.

"Order 3!" the cashier called. "Order 3!"

"That's me!" Lock called. He walked over to the counter and took the tray from the cashier. He set it down on the table and passed Shock her soda and burger.

"What do you want to do after lunch?" Lock asked, unwrapping his burger. "Want to go to the cemetery?"

"Maybe later tonight." Shock said. "After this, I'd like to go home and take a nap. Those Skellington Children are tireless."

"Agreed." Lock said, and he bit into his burger.

Later, after lunch, Lock and Shock tip-toed over to the front door of the Pizza Parlor to put their little plan into action. Lock peeked in through the window, careful not to be seen.

"He's coming!" he announced as he dove out of site. Shock placed the "thousand" down and she and Lock ran off into the dark Back Alley.

"Thanks for the spoiled pepperoni pizza!" Barrel called to the cashier. "It was great!"

"No problem!" the cashier said back. "See ya!"

Barrel walked out of the Pizza Parlor and stopped short.

"It's a thousand!" he yelled. He grabbed it off the ground and ran off towards home.

"I can't believe he fell for it!" Shock announced on the way home. "What a dope!"

"He's been an idiot since we were five and first introduced to each other, remember?" Lock asked. "Twelve years hasn't done anything to him besides making him loose a little weight and having a major growth spurt."

"Point taken." Shock agreed, and the two of them hopped into a lamp elevator and rode it up to their tree house base level.

Later that night, Lock walked up to Shock's room and knocked on her door.

"Shock?" he called. "Are you ready to go to the cemetery?"

"Just a minute!" Shock called. Lock waited for a moment until the door opened. There stood Shock in a strapless lavender dress and black boots crawling up to the top of her legs. Her hair was tied back in a lavender ribbon and she wasn't wearing her witch hat. Lock stared.

"I didn't know you were dressing." He announced. "We're just going to the Cemetery."

"Yeah, well, um," Shock fumbled with her words. "I got soda and burger grease on my other dress." She lied.

"Um, okay." Lock agreed. Shock stretched out her hand. Lock hesitated for a minute, but took it in his and guided Shock downstairs and out of the tree house.

Lock opened up the gate to the Cemetery and took Shock inside. They walked over to a bench in a corner and looked up to the sky.

"The moon's full tonight." Lock observed. "Do you want to go to Moonlight Hill instead?"

Shock nodded and walked with Lock over to the spiral hill. Lock started up, Shock's hand still in his. Shock followed, watching Lock guide her. Lock's hair was gelled and combed down on the sides of his head. He wore a V-necked tight shirt and bright red pants that showed off his physique. He wore a black spiked belt that gave him that "rebel" look. Lock had grown to be taller than his best friends, not to mention better looking than Barrel. He was one of the most popular guys in the High School of Halloween Town.

Shock had grown to be a little bit of a brain. She was the smartest of the threesome and always seemed to have an idea about everything. In her normal lavender dress, she looked a little bit like a school girl, which nobody really noticed. Shock wasn't exactly the most popular girl in the High School, but she was probably the smartest. Of course, she lived in a shallow world where looks were everything. Her role in school was almost to be invisible.

"Shock?" Lock asked. "You still with me?" Lock waved his hand in front of Shock's face. Shock shook her head.

"What?" she questioned innocently.

"You looked as if you were in a trance." Lock replied. "Are you still in this world?"

"Oh, yeah." Shock answered nervously. "I'm sorry, it's just,"

"You don't have to tell me anything." Lock said, cutting her off. He wrapped his arm around Shock as the two sat down next to each other on top of the hill.

"Lock," Shock began. "What's it like being popular?"

"To me, it's sort of annoying." Lock replied. "All the guys want to be my best friend, all the girls want to be my girlfriends, but I don't care about any of that."

"Why?" Shock asked, curious.

"Because I have all I need." Lock answered, smiling down at Shock. "I've got my best friend, Barrel, and you, the person I want to be my girlfriend."

Shock's cheeks flushed bright pink and she lowered her head in slight embarrassment. Lock laughed at this. Who else was there? He tipped her head up gently kissed her black lips. Shock didn't stop him. She just leaned in and returned the present.

What neither of them knew, was that somebody else was at Moonlight Hill, and they had heard what was going on.

"I told you those two liked each other." Seritta whispered to Adam from behind two large pumpkins in the corner.

"I believed you on that." Adam began. "I just didn't believe they did this much."

"Well, they do." Seritta confirmed, and she looked at her boyfriend. Adam was tall for his age with pitch black, midnight-colored curly hair that always seemed to be in a mess. He wore a grayish-pink torn up shirt with pink torn up shorts. He was almost as thin as Seritta's father due to the fact that his mother and sister, Zita, were insane. They couldn't prepare food, so Adam either skipped a meal or two or ate over with Seritta and her family.

"I hope they're happy together." Seritta wished.

Back at the tree house, Barrel sat in one of the chairs.

"A thousand dollars," he whispered.

He still hadn't realized that his friends had played a trick on him. What he didn't know when he went to spend it the next day, was that when he slept with the "thousand" in his pocket, the marker had rubbed off.

~*The End*~