Author's Note: The last chapter...
Disclaimer: For the last time, I don't own it.
Chapter Seventeen: What Dreams Are Made Of
She can't find her planner! Where did she put it? She could have sworn she left it on her bed, but when she looks, it isn't there.
And that isn't all. There's no cell phone on her bed either. Both items are mysteriously missing, causing her to wonder who took them.
It could be the servants; she knew she never trusted them. They want to ruin her life, since she ruined theirs. That must be it.
She was supposed to meet her mother a half hour ago, but now she's completely unaware of the place and she can't call her to correct it. Where could it be! How on earth could she mislay something so crucial?
This is her only chance to see her mother and she's blown it! Tears spring to her eyes and she hurriedly blots them, trying her best not to ruin her makeup. How could she have lost it? How?
Darting down the stairs, she rushes to check the foyer and the living room when she bumps into her father, just coming in. He has an odd expression on his face, as though he's in a daze. He appears to be lost in a reverie and she, startled out of her search, stares at him.
"Father?" She inquires, biting her lip and frowning. Now is the time to ask. After all, she needs him to be in a good state before the dinner.
"Have you seen my cell phone and planner?"
There's no answer. Instead, he gazes past her, causing her to shudder. God, he's acting so creepy right now. It's almost like he sees her as a ghost or something.
"Father, what's wrong?" She bites her lip, not truly caring as long as he'll give his approval at dinner. That and as long as she can find the culprit who took her stuff. If she rushes, maybe she can postpone the dinner and see her mother. And maybe, just maybe, she can convince her to stay in Dimmsdale…stay with her.
"Dad!" She cries sharply, when he stares blankly at her. The emptiness in his eyes causes her to back up a few paces, frightened.
Then, silently, he hands her back her cell phone and planner. She blinks in confusion, wondering how on earth he could have her stuff. And, the second question- what interest would he have in her possessions, anyway?
"She's gone," He replies cryptically, frowning. However, the sorrow expresses itself more in his eyes than in his expression, eyes shimmering.
Then it strikes her- he's done the final intervention. He's stolen her cell phone and planner in the hopes of preventing her from meeting her mother. This was the last and only opportunity she had to meet her mother…and he obliterated it.
Anger surges through her frame and, for the first time in her life, she thinks of striking him. How dare he do this to her! What right has he?
However, the anger fuses with deep sorrow. Because of him, she'll never have another chance to speak with her mother. She'll never know a mother's embrace…
Through gritted teeth, barely suppressing her rage, she snaps, "How the hell did this happen?"
And don't give me some lame excuse, either, because I don't want to hear it. How could you let my only chance just slip away like that? What on earth did you say to her to make her turn tail and run?
His lips purse and it's on the tip of his tongue to retort that she ought to watch her mouth, but he refrains from doing so. Instead, he pivots on his heel, turns his back to her, and walks up the midnight blue carpeted steps to her mother's room. The time for talking has passed.
So whatever he did, he doesn't want to talk about it. But what's she supposed to do? She has to find out what he said, she just has to. She cannot rest until she discovers the reason for her father's treachery.
And if that means tearing him from his precious work, she'll do it. She doesn't care what it takes; she hasn't gone this far to be halted. Maybe she'll come back...maybe what he's done can be undone.
Desperately, she dials the phone number of the hotel and asks for her mother. She'll be there, she'll prove him wrong. He'll see, her chance isn't gone.
The phone rings once, twice, three times and her patience, already dissipating, completely vanishes. Where the hell is good help when you need it? If it were up to her, all the crummy bastards who inhabited the poor jobs and did them just as badly as they were paid would be fired. Leave work to those who will actually do a good job.
And, like her father, it's on the tip of her tongue to say something nasty to the person sitting behind the counter, but, after a long delay, he finally answers. She holds her breath, ready to cry out in triumph. She knew better than her father, she always knows better than him. Of course she's right, she's always right. Her mother will be there and she'll say she didn't meet her father and everything will be fine, just fine.
"We're sorry, but a woman named Patricia Montgomery checked out not a few minutes ago," He replies and her panic reaches a fever pitch. Checked out? That's not possible! She's there, damn it, and he's just lying to her.
And she'll get him, she always does. She always gets her way, that's why she's Trixie Tang. She's damn near royalty and nothing, nothing, ever defies her.
"That's impossible," Trixie replies icily, ready to bite his head off.
"I'm afraid it's quite possible. She checked out at exactly four fifty p.m., with all her bags, and it did not seem as though she'd return. I'm sorry, Miss Tang."
"No! You're lying to me!" Trixie snaps, on the verge of either a tantrum or a fit.
Apparently, tired of her attitude, instead of replying, he merely hangs up on her. The dial tone permeates the speaker and her agitation grows. How dare he hang on her! No one hung up on her!
There's got to be another way to contact her. There's no way she just up and left Dimmsdale without seeing me. I refuse to believe that my horrible father would just convince her that her own child is unimportant.
Damn it, there has to be a way! I couldn't have lost her, it just isn't possible!
Meanwhile, on the clock next to her, the time indicates four fifty three. Seven minutes until showdown…
The truth hits her and it hits her hard. As she'd thought before, but hadn't wanted to accept, her mother was never returning to Dimmsdale. Never…
"Damn you!" Trixie screeches, causing several servants to retreat, frightened. They sense a tantrum coming on and they want no part of it. In fact, for the time being, they think it may be safer to just remain in the shadows.
Her body trembles in rage and, desperately, she bangs her fist on the side of the stairway. Violence won't bring her mother back, but it sure as hell will make her feel better. If only she could harm the person who did this to her…
Almost in time with her pounding, the clock strikes four fifty five. Two minutes have passed- but what does it matter? She's already too late for the only event in her life that mattered, seeing her mother.
When he least suspects it, she'll get him. Oh, yes, he'll pay for this. She doesn't know how quite yet, but when she figures it out, he'll be in for a rude awakening.
After all, he's never fought her before, so why start now? What makes this day different from all others? Is it "be nasty to Trixie" day or something? Or how about "we'll never let Trixie see her mother" day?
God, just thinking about it renders her sick. She's in no mood to eat dinner tonight, perhaps she'll eat later, in her room, when her appetite returns. (If it returns).
"If anyone wants me, I'll be in my room," She snaps, aware that the clock beside her has chimed five o'clock evenly. Distantly, something registers about that time, but she cannot place her finger on just what.
Ah, well, whatever. She's sure it'll wait. It has to wait, because she says so. And, other than what just happened, what she says goes.
The doorbell rings, but she ignores it. Let the servants answer, it's their job. Honestly, what did they think they were paid to do, sit around? That's the job of the wealthy, not the working class.
She's not answering a thing. As she stated, she'll be in her room and if this person really wants to see her, they can come up there, if she permits them. If not, well, they're out of luck.
What does she care? Nothing. Let the bell ring.
Meanwhile, outside, Timmy hangs his head despondently. He can't imagine why she's not answering her doorbell. Maybe she's forgotten he's coming…she is terribly busy.
But he thought he was something special to her. Wouldn't she answer the door if he was? Or at least acknowledge his presence?
Maybe she doesn't like him as much as he thinks she does. In that case, maybe he was too hasty with a certain wish he made, but it's too late to fix that. He already amended the present and future. Nothing bad could come of it, surely.
Cosmo and Wanda, disguised as a green tulip and a pink rose respectively, whisper to each other. They, of course, know what wish Timmy is thinking of; however, unlike he, they aren't so cocky. There is something inherently against Da Rules about changing the future (which, in this case, had a great many lines leading towards it and he corrupted every single timeline). If Jorgen finds out, it will be the last wish they ever grant. It has the propensity to ruin everything…
They fret, speaking none of this to Timmy. Even if they aren't removed as his godparents, they'll be placed on probation. That means no wish granting, which means no helping Timmy out with Trixie's father.
He's been on pins and needles all day, longing to wish but holding back. Apparently, his guilty conscience prevented him from making a wish, his mind stuck on what possible damage he might have done to Tootie in his rogue and callous rejection. They watched over him warily, until the time when his parents drove him here. Both of them have an ominous feeling, about the dinner and the wish they granted.
"When I get in, I'll just wish that Mr. Tang likes me. I can do that, right?" Timmy squeaks, bouncing up and down on his heels and ringing the doorbell again. He's so nervous, he's like a ball of energy and if she turns her head, she can see him jumping around again. To anyone, especially her, it's so painfully obvious he has ADD.
"Well…" Wanda begins, on the verge of another lecture. She really did give to him before, when he made the first wish, but now, she wonders what good another will do. He's head over heels for Trixie and it's clear he's not thinking with his head.
"Sure you can!" Cosmo pipes up, ignoring his wife. "Just say 'I wish'-"
"There will be no wishing!" Jorgen thunders, his fist appearing out of thin air and squeezing the two fairies tightly. Although his voice resounds, the rest of his body does not appear. A neat little trick.
"What? But I need them-" Timmy whines, but he's cut off as Cosmo and Wanda vanish back to Fairy World. So now he's alone…completely magicless and left to his own devices. Didn't anyone know his own devices were miserable?
After all, he can't even get Trixie to answer the doorbell. He's rung it three times and still nothing! Can't Fairy World tell he's utterly useless without magic?
Unless she's waiting because she wants to be fashionably late. Please let it be that, not that she's standing him up. He couldn't take it if she decided this was all just a cruel hoax.
And if it is, her father figures in perfectly…darn…what on earth is he going to do without Cosmo and Wanda? How will he keep himself from acting stupid?
As Timmy Turner ponders this, Trixie finally jerks out of her own pensive mood and realizes the doorbell rings. She jumps at the door and opens it, quickly ushering him in. Other than a few splotches in her mascara, she appears perfectly fine, in fact, better than normal.
"I have to fetch my father," She says, spitting out 'father' as though it poisons her to speak it. He gazes at her quizzically and simply shrugs his shoulders. So, he's left again to his own devices…he just hope he doesn't break a Ming vase or something.
She finds him in her mother's room; his fingers caress old letters, faded and yellowed by time. He appears to be deep in thought for when she flings open the door, he does not glance up. Well…he won't be thinking for long.
"Timmy's here," She snaps, abandoning all niceties. They both know how angry she is, what's the use of beating around the bush? Besides, does her father deserve kindness? No.
His right hand strays to his lips, as though recalling a kiss. Whatever it is, it's in the past, as are the letters. She's in the present and she won't stand for this.
With a perfunctory wave of his hand, he dismisses her as though she were a servant. His eyes are clouded over, so he probably doesn't realize what he's doing. Well, it's up to her to let him know just what he thinks he's doing.
"It's the big dinner you insisted on with the guy that you insisted isn't good enough for me! You're coming down and you're coming down now. I don't care what you think and I don't care if you forgot! This is happening because of you-" Trixie screeches, snatching the letters out of his hand and scowling. She's sorely tempted to burn them.
"This is happening because of you! You and your cowardice! You…how could you throw me out like this!" Those were the last few words that she said to me before she left Dimmsdale last time…with me holding Trixie. She never stopped crying in my arms, Harold thinks absently.
Continuing, not aware her father's mind strays, she snaps, "Don't ignore me! I'm the single most important thing in your life!"
"If I come down, will you leave me alone?" He finally retorts, nerves already dangerously frayed. She's such a brat, her daughter, and he bets he knows why.
Smirking, she replies, "Sure, Father."
Timmy fumbles over the rose vase on the table and immediately spills it. It isn't his fault he turned his head! One of these days, his awkwardness is going to be a big problem.
Trixie winces, waiting for her father to explode over entrees. However, he does nothing of the sort. In fact, he barely notices the water soaking his napkin.
On the way to fixing it, he bangs his head on the table and loses his hat. Wonderful…he's certainly making an impression…but it's not the one he wants!
After fetching his hat, Harold subjects Timmy to a series of questions, yet seems oddly disinterested in the answers. He answers them to the best of his ability, which, for him, means accidentally saying things he doesn't intend. Fortunately, only he and Trixie notice this.
He may look at Trixie, but all he sees is Patricia. The way she holds herself is eerily similar, although, she has to admit Trixie is far more spoiled. Despite her wealth, Patricia never acted like she was rich. She was always down to earth…
Where did he go wrong with Trixie? What monster had he created? Now he's subject to her whims and fancies…and she's so different from her mother. Only in the way they chew him out and their appearances are the same.
What he wouldn't give to have her seated back here with him right now…Forget Trixie and the past, pretend it never happened. Pretend he had stood up to his parents and he was married to perfection…
While Harold ruminates, dessert arrives and Timmy tries one last ditch effort to convince Mr. Tang of his affections. After all, after this, if he still isn't in his good graces, what chance does he have? It's now or never.
"I…I'd like to propose a toast," Timmy begins and Trixie jerks her head at him. What is he doing? You don't toast after a meal!
Her father blearily raises his head and barely acknowledges him. Taking this as a sign, he continues.
"To Trixie Tang, the love of my life. I did everything I could to get her to like me and now she does…
"I even threw away somebody who did like me (even though I still think she's creepy) for her. Mr. Tang, I know you don't like me, but I promise I'll never do anything dishonest or anything or hurt your daughter.
"Please hear me out," Timmy finishes, pleading. Trixie beams at him and, reaching across the table, grabs his hand and squeezes it.
Both turn to glance at her father, who has heard naught a word. He sits there, perfectly still, his mind on other things. Apparently, Timmy's last resort didn't work.
Trixie, frustrated, starts in on him. Everything she thought before she's saying and now, she's really letting him have it. She thinks he's a cold hearted bastard and she doesn't care who, including Timmy, knows.
"Maybe," Mr. Tang snaps, broken rudely out of his reverie, "if I'm such a cold hearted bastard, maybe I shouldn't grant my approval. After all, for a girl who has it all, maybe she doesn't need a boyfriend."
"Of course I need a boyfriend! How dare you-" Trixie starts, but he cuts in, holding up his hand and talking over her.
"How dare I? I'm sick of you walking all over me! Why don't you try being a normal girl for once, find out what it's like when Daddy doesn't give you everything you want under the sun. That means no credit cards, no private phone line, no cell phone, no servants, no 'mall browsing', and no chauffeurs. Maybe then you'll appreciate when you have!" He snaps, livid. After everything that's happened today, he's been brought to a boiling point. No more mister nice Tang.
Trixie, awed, stares at him. She collapses into her seat and looks as though someone's told her she's going to die in two hours. Pallor afflicts her and she becomes as white as a sheet.
Timmy, who frankly has nothing to do with this and is completely at a loss, sinks back into his seat as well. He eyes Mr. Tang, wondering just why now, of all times, he chose to blow up. This can't be good.
I finally let her have it…Harold thinks. I'll show her to take advantage of me and my money…
But is it right? Am I really angry with her or her mother? Sure, they look alike, but they're vastly different. And, in different ways, I let them both down.
I may dislike how Trixie treats me, but that was my own doing. I don't hate her, nor could I ever…the person I really despise is myself.
I have no right to deny her happiness because of my problems. That simply shows I haven't learned a thing…and I cannot amend the past. I have to live with what I've done.
Sighing, he clears his throat and says simply, "You may date my daughter."
With that, he shoves his chair back, rises from the table, and climbs the stairs to finally let go.
"You did it!" Trixie squeals after a few minutes silence and hugs him tightly. Timmy's eyes, however, are on her father.
They won…at the cost of other people's happiness and well being. Was it really a win at all?
Trixie and Timmy sit on the floor of his treehouse and look out on his block. Although it isn't the spectacular view she's used to, she can endure it for him. After all, he was gracious enough to let her into this dump he calls a treehouse.
The breeze kicks up his hat and, with a smile, she seizes it from nature's grasp and hands it to him. He smiles, lost in her eyes.
They share a kiss, unaware happiness only exists in fairy tales…and what goes up must come down.
Continued in Shrouded Silhouettes, chapter four…