A Friend is for life, or until you grow up
By Todd Fan
Disclaimer: "If you weren't here, who would I steal mashed potatoes from?"
And once again, Todd Fan creeps from her home fandom of X-Men: Evolution to write something different. Okay, I've seen about 4 episodes of Fosters, and thought 'My GODS what a brilliant show!'. Of course, as soon as I'd picked out a favorite character (Wilt, by the by) I knew it wouldn't be long until the fanfics started forming in my head..and here's the first one..
Mac blinked confusedly at Frankie as she finished painting a canvas sign.
"The Holidoptaday", said Frankie, then grimaced, "I know, Mr Herriman thought it up"
The eight year old blinked again.
"So....what IS it?", he asked, following Frankie outside, the snow crunching under their feet.
"We hold one every year in the holidays", said Frankie, "people can adopt a Friend over the holiday season"
She ballanced precariously on a ladder, trying to hang the banner up.
"It gives the Friends chance to experience a family during the holidays", she explained, "and some even get adop..."
Frankie gave a squeak of terror as Eduardo charged across the yard, the enormous purple Thought colliding with the ladder.
"Eduardo!!", she snapped, clinging tightly to the banner as she dangled over the threshold of Fosters.
"Arrepentido", Eduardo whimpered, "but there's a stranger here!!!!".
Frankie shook her head..the movement causing the canvas to rip, depositing her into a patch of snow.
"Of COURSE there's a stranger here", she said, getting to her feet, brushing herself off, "read the sign, Eduardo".
Eduardo squinted at the ripped sign, before shrugging.
"Thank you, Captain Obvious", said one Blooregard Q Kazoo as he slid out of the house, then smirked, "watcha covered in snow for, Frankie?".
"BLOO!!", screamed Frankie, before taking a breath, "no, Frankie, ignore him. He's only doing it to get attention".
"Frankie's crazy", Bloo whispered to his creator in a not-very-whispering voice.
Mac cleared his throat, deciding to usher the blue blob out of the way before he caused Frankie to do something she may or may not regret. Eduardo shuffled his feet for a moment, before wisely chosing to run after the others.
Frankie gave a frustrated sigh, pinching the bridge of her nose.
"I don't get paid nearly enough for this", she muttered.
"Is this Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends?"
Frankie turned to see a woman in her late thirties, black hair kept long, trying to hide the burn scars which crossed over the left side of her face, an eye patch covering the eye on that side.
"I...", started Frankie, then cleared her throat, for someone who had grown up in a house full of the different, she knew she should know better, "yes, yes it is".
"Oh, good", said the woman, her visable eye looking over the house, "quite...unique, isn't it?".
"Yeah, you should see inside", chuckled Frankie, extending a hand, "I'm Frankie Foster, I....work here".
The woman nodded, shaking her hand. Frankie noticed the other hung limply at her side. Closer inspection found it to be wooden, with a couple of metal hooks on the end, a false arm.
"I'm Eliza", she said with a smile, "I'm glad I found the right place...I wasn't sure".
"So....are you looking to adopt?", asked Frankie with a smile, "or you can foster a Friend for the holidays if you prefer".
"No", replied Eliza, shaking her head, "I'm here to reclaim a Friend".
It had become a well-known fact that at Fosters, new news spread like the plague. It was only the rarest of cases that a creator reclaimed their Thought. It was generally decided that once you were in Fosters, that was it, all ties to the former creator were to be severed, as to be ready for another who might want to adopt them. Mac was an exception to this, refusing point blank to let go of his childhood companion. Soon every Friend in the house knew of the stranger, arrived to take back her creation. Well....ALMOST every Friend.
Wilt winced as the sound of Coco's squawks filled the hallways. The tall, red Thought paused from where he was hanging decorations form the ceiling..being one of the few in the house tall enough to accomplish it.
"I'm here, Coco".
It wasn't long before the bird-airplane-plant...thing came running through the halls. She jumped up and down in front of Wilt, flapping her airplane wings.
"COCOCOCOCOCOCOCOCOCO!", she said.
Wilt blinked his working eye.
"Mr Herriman wants to see me?", he asked, then smiled, "okay".
Coco rolled her eyes. How anyone could be that cheerfull was beyond her. Then again, after spending her days as an Imaginary Friend for a girl on a deserted island...most things were beyond her.
"So, what is it about?", asked Wilt, following her.
"Coco!", snapped Coco.
"Sorry", he appologised...again.
It wasn't long before the duo arrived in Mr Herriman's office. The enormous rabbit who looked like he'd falled out of Alice in Wonderland looked up form his desk.
"Ahh, Master Wilt, THERE you are", he said, "I have had people looking all over the house for you".
"Sorry, I was putting up decorations", said the complusive appologiser.
"Indeed", said Herriman with an arched brow, "good news, for you. You have an adopter".
Wilt frowned slightly.
"An...adopter?", he asked, "but....but I"
"Now, now, no need to thank me", said Herriman with a ave of his hand, "Madame Foster and Miss Francis are bringing her over as we speak".
He looked up as the door knocked.
"Ahh, perfect timing, wonderfull", he said, "come in".
Madame Foster stepped through the door, followed by a woman Wilt felt he should recognise...but coudln't put his finger on it. Trailing behind, was Frankie, chewing on her lip, looking positively miserable.
"Wilt!", said the woman happily running over to give him a hug.
Wilt's confusion grew.
"Ummm.....sorry", he said, "but....who are you?".
"Wilt", she said softly, "it's me".
Wilt's eye opened in suprise as the memories flooded back. The woman, many years previous, as a child, sitting alone in her room. A victim of a fire that had robbed her of her left arm and sight in her left eye, feeling alienated and desperately alone. Amidst a collection of basketball paraphernalia from signed balls to trading cards of the sport she loved so, she sat down and drew. She drew a tall, lanky figure with antenae eyes, and a warm, fuzzy face covered in red fur. She only gave him a singular arm, the other a stump much like her own. His left eye, she drew smaller without the life and gentle sparkle in it as the right. She finnished by drawing a blue 1 on his chest, giving him sneakers, socks and a wrist band, such as fad in that decade. She drew someone who was kind and gentle, someone who was polite to a fault, someone who would never hesitate to help another. She drew someone with her own weaknesses, who would never dream of calling her names, or making her feel inadequate. She drew herself a friend. She drew Wilt.
"Eliza?", said Wilt, still shocked.
"You DO remember me", she smiled, "I was worried you wouldn't. But then again, Imaginary Friends can never forget their creators, I guess".
Wilt shyed away, a look of hurt crossing his features.
"You went away", he said softly.
He tried never to think of it. He just woke up one day, and she was gone. They all were, the whole family, all their belongings. Wilt, however, had been left behind, like an old piece of junk nobody wanted anymore. No goodbyes, no explaination. They'd just....gone. He was on his own for months until he stumbled upon Fosters. He was so glad to find somewhere safe, somewhere where he'd have friends. All the time though, he'd been plauged by what had caused the family to go...had it been his fault? He couldn't remember doing anything to upset them, but maybe he had without realising it....maybe, just maybe he had...and didn't say sorry. He'd been appologising for everything in Fosters, even things that couldn't POSSIBLY be his fault, ever since. Just in case anything slipped by that would cause him to lose another family.
"My parents made me", said Eliza, interupting his thoughts, "they said you were no good for me....that I needed a REAL friend".
"You made me real", said Wilt sadly, looking away.
"That's what I told them", said Eliza, then smiled, "but no matter, we can make up for lost time. I have a son of my own now, and I'm SURE he'd love you as a Friend"
"Oh", said Wilt, "I..."
"We'll let you two get reaquainted", said Mr Herriman, "Miss Francis and I can deal with the paper work".
With that, he ushered Wilt and Eliza out of his office. Madame Foster chuckled, walking out of the door after them.
"Come see me after you've dealt with the paperwork, Dear", she said, patting her granddaughter's arm, "you'll need me to sign it, anyway".
"Okay, Grandma", sighed Frankie, shutting the door, watching as Herriman got the papers together, "no".
"Pardon, Miss Francis?", asked Herriman.
"I said no", replied Frankie, "she ABANDONED Wilt, she has NO right to come waltzing into the house to take him back. If she wanted him THAT much, where's she been all these years?!".
"Miss Francis", reprimanded Herriman as he sorted through the paperwork, "this is an adoption centre. Friends get adopted here. Wilt, as you should know, is a Friend. There is no rule saying a creator cannot take back a Thought that is rightfully theirs".
"There SHOULD be", grumped Frankie, "It's not fair".
Herriman watched her for a moment, before nodding.
"Ahh, I see", he said, "I see. Miss Francis, you should be quite aware of the rules by now. We told you when you were a child you could never officially adopt...."
"I KNOW!", snapped Frankie, then hung her head, "I know. But..."
"But nothing, young lady", said Herriman sternly, handing her the papers, "if every Friend at Fosters were to be adopted by the staff, then they would never find a new home. This adoption center would have no meaning, so many children would miss out. So, the rule is, you..."
"Can't adopt, only Foster", Frankie finished for him, "I remember the stupid slogan".
"Good", said Herriman with a nod, begining to hop away, before pausing, "it is a pitty, though. Wilt has been under the care of Fosters since you were a child".
"Yeah...I know", said Frankie quietly.
"It is about time for him to be adopted", said Herriman, hopping away.
"But I don't want him to be adopted", whispered Frankie, holding the papers close to herself, "he's mine".
She sighed, shaking her head, walking to her grandmothers study, entering with a sad sigh.
"Ahh, there you are, Frankie", smiled the tiny old lady,"got all those papers?"
"Right here, Grandma", said Frankie, handing them over.
Madame Foster flicked through them, checking they were in order.
"It makes sense why you are so upset about Wilt leaving", she said, not looking up from her desk, "you both arrived here within days of each other. You, without your parents. He, without his creator. A friendship was inevitable"
She smiled up at her granddaughter.
"I remember when you wouldn't go to sleep without him saying goodnight to you".
"I remember", said Frankie quietly, choosing to look at the rug.
"You think I don't know, Dear?".
"Know what, Grandma?", asked Frankie quietly, not changing her line of vision.
"The lengths you have gone to, to avoid Wilt's adoption", said Madame Foster, "When you were younger, directing people to other Thoughts when they showed even a passing interest in Wilt. When you were older, and working here, 'accidentally' losing adoption files, missing phone calls...."
She chuckeld as Frankie looked up at her in shock.
"Your old Grandma sees more than you think".
She jumped off her chair, walking over to Frankie.
"You may not have adopted him offically with these", she said, gesturing the papers, then tapped Frankie's chets, near her heart, "but you adopted him with this".
Frankie sighed, closing her eyes. Madame Foster glanced around, before chuckling.
"I can 'accidentally' lose files too", she said, "such as these ones right here...or perhaps forget to sign somewhere?".
Frankie chuckled softly. She loved her Grandmother. That old moman had some spunk.
"No", she said, shaking her head, "Eliza is Wilt's creator....if he wants to go back with her, it isn't fair for me to stop him....it has to be his choice".
"Do it again, Wilt!".
"Again? Aren't you tired already?".
Four year old Frankie gave a wide grin.
"Nope, Grandma and Mister Hawyman say I've gots boundwess enewgy!".
"They aren't far wrong, there", mused Wilt.
"Come ON, Wilt, jus' once more", Frankie held up a single stubby little finger.
"Okay, okay", chuckled Wilt, "just once".
Wilt chuckled, picking her up with his single hand, tossing her into the air. Frankie giggled hysterically as she plummeted back to earth, being caught inches from the ground with a big, red hand.
"Whooooooo!", she laughed, clapping her hands, "that rules!!!"
Wilt smiled, depositing her gently on the ground. Frankie grinned, hugging his leg.
"Thanks, Wilt, you're the bestest Imaganawry Fwrend in the whoooole howse".
"Awww, I'm not THAT great", said Wilt, modest as ever.
"Yes you are", said Frankie with a firm nod, "I'm gonna kweep you forever".
"You seem down and out".
"Hmmmm?", Wilt blinked out of his reverie, looking at his creator, "oh....sorry".
"Don't appologise", said Eliza, then arched a brow, "what were you thinking about?"
"The past", sighed Wilt.
Elisa watched him for a long time.
"You don't want to go...do you?".
"Oh, that's okay", said Wilt, "I don't mind. You want your Friend back"
Elisa frowned softly.
"You're lying, Wilt", she said softly, "I should know, I made you".
"Sorry", said Wilt.
Elisa smiled sadly.
"Stay here", she said softly, "you belong here...I don't need you anymore. But the people here...they do"
She looked at him.
"I'm officially giving you up to Fosters"
Wilt blinked in suprise before smiling, giving his creator a hug.
"Thank you", he whispered.
Frankie sighed degectedly in her room. She'd spent the past hour rearanging the Fosters website..anything to keep her mind off the fact her 'favoritest' Friend was leaving. She bearly looked up at the knock on her door.
"Come in", she sighed listlessly.
The door opened and Wilt shuffled in.
"Err..hi, Frankie, I'm not disturbing you, am I?".
Franie sat up, quickly covering up any sign of unhappyness.
"No, not at all", she said, then sighed, "come to say goodbye?".
"No", smiled Wilt, shaking his head.
"No? What do you mean 'no'?".
"Elisa could see I was much happier here, so she signed me over to Fosters and adopted Flaunty instead", he said.
"That's...great, Wilt", smiled Frankie, "so..you want to stay?".
Wilt gave a nod.
"I like it here. This has been my home for so long, I can't think of living anywhere else", he said then chuckled, "besides, who else can 'cheer you up'?".
"No....Oh no!", squeaked Frankie, backing away, "I am way too old and big for that now".
"Reeaaaallly?", smirked Wilt, "I thought you were 'only as old as you feel'?".
"That's besides the poiiiiiiint!", she squealed as she was tossed into the air, as always, caught before she hti the ground, "okay, uncle, UNCLE!!".
Wilt laughed, putting her down. Frankie cleared her throat.
"You will pay for that", she said darkly, before smiling, "thanks, Wilt, it did cheer me up".
"That's what Friends are for".
And there we go. You know, I think my love for this show comes from the many, many years I've spent working in animal shelters. Anyway, I figure that Wilt has been there for a long, long time, considering how long he's been 'Friend of the Month'. Do review. Thanks for reading!