Jimmy Neutron and Fairly Oddparents copyright Viacom

Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends copyright Time-Warner

Chapter 18: When the Past Comes to Haunt You

Posted: 2 Mar 2010

Tootie watched from the door as Timmy approached his babysitter. Hopefully things will work this time. She had been working on him all night just to reach this point. Despite the cost to her heart.

Timmy's babysitter was busy in the kitchen, making lunch for everyone, all the while humming merrily to herself. Another reminder, if she actually needed one, that this wasn't Vicky.

He seemed to be reluctant to get closer to his babysitter. So Tootie had to nudge him along. But otherwise the plan seemed to be working perfectly. Of course it wasn't much of a plan. Just get Timmy to admit his feelings for his babysitter and go from there. Hey, it was the best she could come up with on such short notice. But it was so simple, what could possibly go wrong?

Miss Spain looked up from the table where she was preparing sandwiches as they approached her. "Oh my. You two must be more hungry than I thought."

"Well not really. Timmy here has something that he wants to tell you. Don't you, Timmy?"

He remained as stiff as a pretzel as ever. Tootie sighed. Why was she even bothering to hook him up with his babysitter if he just doesn't do anything for himself? Was he even in love with his babysitter in the first place? He had to be. He only got that way around her. "Don't you, Timmy?" Tootie emphasized.

"Yes. You're a very good babysitter, Vicky!"

Tootie winched. Must he call her that?

Oh well.

At least it was a good start.

-OOO-

There was more traffic on the highway than what Trixie's dad had thought that there would be. And Trixie herself was stuck in the backseat with that Timmy kid. She would have preferred him giving googly eyes to her. Instead he was doing his best to ignore her. It was so… so insulting! Why wasn't he trying to pester her? Like he always did.

And where had her grandmother run off to? It was so unlike her to disappear like that.

She didn't like it. Any of it. Things were rapidly falling apart and no one seemed to notice. Especially her father, the one person she had learned after the years to depend on. The one who was supposed to take care of her since the time her mother had left them.

As she watched the cars that shared the highway with them, she wondered if she had ever seen that green BMW that was just outside of her window before. Though she was sure that she would have remembered the Southern Belle driving it. Or least someone who dressed up like one. Because who dressed like that nowadays? I mean, really. And what's with the Grandma glasses?

Soon, however, something else caught her attention. The wooded area that they had been passing through had just turned into commercial district. And Trixie's favorite restaurant appeared: Taco Horn. Why couldn't they be going there, or someplace like it, instead of to some stupid theme park?

It didn't matter that she had been looking forward it to when she had come to town. Heads were about to roll.

"Is there anything wrong, honey?" her father asked from the front seat.

Trixie continued staring out of the window, watching the traffic go by. The blue car was no longer visible. "Nothing that you would listen to."

"That's not fair!" Trixie jumped. She had been expecting that Timmy would be off in his own little world. Not actually paying attention to their conversation! "Your dad has been working hard for you. Providing for you and-"

"Oh yeah? What do you know? You don't know me. You don't know Dad. You don't know us at all. You're just a stranger! You don't know us at all!"

"Yeah that's showing him, Trixie-dear," her grandpa chuckled. "Though I suspect that he knows more about us than he's been letting on."

It really didn't help with Trixie's distemper to see Timmy grinning ruefully. "So you have been spying on us, Timmy Turner!"

"Look, I can explain this. You'll have to trust me on this."

"Ha! Like that will ever happen!"

There was an odd glint in his eyes. "Do you ever suppose that you have been switched at birth?"

"Excuse me!"

-OOO-

"Are you sure that it's all right for him to watch that show?" Tootie asked Timmy's babysitter as they sat around the kitchen table sipping tea. The show in question had too much violence and blood for Tootie's delicate sensibilities.

"But Maho Mushi is a great program, Tootie. It's how I learned all my babysitter techniques."

"Oh?" Tootie felt a chill up her spine. She remembered Vicky making a similar statement. And look how well that turned out.

"Yes. Nami is an inspiration to babysitters everywhere."

Tootie nodded. She knew the character that the babysitter was talking about. She was nice enough. She was the one who tended everyone's wounds after a battle. She was a very sweet girl.

Unlike some girls that Tootie knew….

The phone rang, interrupting their discussion.

The babysitter got up to answer it. "Tootie? Yeah, she's here." She handed it to Tootie. "He wants to a word with you."

"Who is it?"

"A Jimmy Neutron."

Tootie shook her head. "I'm not here."

"What's wrong, Tootie? He seems to be nice enough boy."

"That's not the problem." Jimmy wasn't the object of her crush. Timmy was. Not the sitting in the next room. Her Timmy.

"Oh?"

Tootie was upset. "Hey, it's not I ran away from him or anything!"

"Oh. I see." Into the phone, "I'm sorry. My mistake. It seems that she isn't here at the moment. But she will be back later. Could you please leave a message? Uh-huh…. Uh-huh…. No…. Yes…. Possibly…. She should be back shortly." She hung up. "He told me to tell you to come over to 1123 Wilson Way. There seems to be a panther problem there."

"I'm sure he can take care of it himself." Pause. "Did you say 1123 Wilson Way?"

"Yes, is there a problem?"

Tootie shook her head. "No. Not really." That was the same address of the home for imaginary friends in that last world. Was there a connection? Was or this just some kind of coindence? "There's no problem."

"Okay, if you're sure…."

"I'm sure." It had to be a coincidence.

She lowered her voice. "You love him, don't you? Timmy I mean."

"What? Why would you think such as a thing?"

"Oh… just a feeling."

"No," Tootie said wistfully. "Just someone who looks an awful lot like him."

"Ooh? Who is this secret crush of yours? Unless of course it's a secret and you don't want to share."

Tootie shook her head. She didn't want to share this particular tidbit with anyone who even in the slightest way resembled her mean older sister. Let alone with someone who looked exactly like her!

The babysitter patted her shoulder. "That's all right, Tootie. I understand perfectly."

"You do?"

"Sure do." She leaned forward so that they were eye-to-eye. "Now do you want to help me make some cookies?"

"Yeah!" Tootie smiled warmly as they went to the kitchen. For the first time in her life Tootie felt like she was home.

-OOO-

"What the hell!"

Vicky felt a tingling sensation in the back of her neck as she picked up the envelope from the bed. She took a closer look at it. Yep. No doubt about it. She hadn't been imagining it. It was her name. Vicky Spain. But who could have known that she would sneak into here? Certainly not the real owner of this room. She had disappeared long before Vicky had ever arrived at this house.

It was, she decided, the old lady.

The old crow had been on to her ever since the beginning, ever since she had shown at the front door, even she been pretending to fell for it. The crafty ole biddy was definitely up to something. Surely it would be but a small matter to find out it was. No one, kid or old grandma, can keep their secrets from Vicky Spain for very long.

No one.

She tore open the envelope. And didn't find what she was expecting to find inside. There was just a little card that a single, solitary word on it:

Temple.

"What's that supposed to mean?" She sneered at it. How was this supposed to help her?

"What's that you got there, Frankie?"

Vicky jumped.

And immediately faced her intruder. "Do you want to die?" She snapped at the blue blobby thing that stood before her. It didn't seem all the intimated at her. In fact he seemed to enjoying himself. Very much. Was she losing her touch?

She shook her head. No, that wasn't the reason. He just hasn't spent enough time with yet. He'll learn better. "Yeah, what do you want?"

"You seem troubled."

"Don't be absurd. I'm perfectly all right!"

The kid didn't speak.

"Pffft. Whatever." Vicky resumed her search. For what, she wasn't sure. But it sure did beat dealing with some bratty seven-year-old.

"You aren't going to find it."

She groaned. "What did I ever do to deserve this?"

"You just broke into Frankie's room. That's what you did."

"What do you mean I'm not Frankie?"

The brat gave a look. An experated one.

Vicky huffed. "Well. It's not certainly not my fault that you're stupid."

"Ha! Frankie would never ever talk like that?"

"You wanna bet?"

"You don't even know her! She disappeared before you even showed up."

Vicky leaned in closer and whispered into his ear. "How do you that I didn't have something to do with her disappearance?"

The boy froze.

Vicky grinned to herself. She wasn't losing her touch after all.

-OOO-

Cindy smiled at her little ones as they played with blocks on the floor. Surely there were no babies cuter than these ones. They had no need for clothes, and they seemed to be building a little village with the blocks they were playing with. As they built more and more elaborate structures, Cindy was struck with how dexterous these little toddlers were.

She seen these babies somewhere before, but she just couldn't remember where. She smiled to herself. Of course she had seen them before. They were her babies. They had always been with her. And they always will be.

The boy with the swirly brown hair, the one she had named Jimmy, stood up. Gracefully, not like his usual manner at all. "Look at I made, Miss Cindy!"

Miss, Cindy mused to herself. I like the sound of that. "What did you make?"

"This!" He showed her what had to be one of his many wondrous inventions. It was a box with big red button on the top and flashing red lights up and down the sides. His thumb was poised over the button. "You wanna try it out?"

"But what does it do, Jimmy?"

"You wanna see?"

"What does it do?" Cindy's voice was growing more frantic.

"Let's find out!"

"But what does it do!"

Jimmy pressed the button.

And nothing happened.

Cindy began to breathe a little easier. She had been a little nervous of what that one little button might have been capable of doing. Jimmy was capable of creating some pretty amazing inventions. His Hypercube comes to mind.

Suddenly a dark spot appeared in the middle of where the babies where playing. At first it didn't seem to be much of anything. Just black dot on the floorboards. Might even been a wee spill.

But then it started growing.

Cindy watched in horror as it began swallowing the babies one by one. It started with Libby, and then it got Carl and Sheen. Nobody seemed to notice their friends were falling into the hole. AND NOBODY SEEMED TO NOTICE!

She ran to save the remaining two, but the hole kept getting bigger and bigger and BIGGER.

Just before falling in with the rest of them, Timmy smiled at Cindy and tossed over to her a gift-wrapped something to her. "Here, Miss Cindy. I made this for you." Just the hole expanded under him, he threw it toward Cindy. "You will need this."

Cindy screamed.

When she was woken she still had trouble believing that what she had just went through was all just a dream. Especially since that was that Trixie girl who had shaken her awake. "Has something happened?" And where were you when Timmy disappeared?

"I'll say. You've must have been a particularly bad dream. You were screaming and thrashing all over the bed."

Cindy blushed. "You must have been worried." She looked away the room. "Say, where did A.J. go? This is his bedroom, isn't it?"

"Well… he had to go use… the facilities."

"Ah." So even geniuses had to use the bathroom, eh? From the way that Jimmy spoke, you would think that he never had to use it. Of course having a big head could lead to… having a big head. "When do you think he will be back?"

"I really don't know. He left in quite a hurry. And it was some time ago. It must have an emergency."

They waited.

A strange ticking sound started somewhere. It wasn't very loud. But it soon it started to bug her. "Do you hear that, Trixie?"

"I'm sure that it's nothing. I wouldn't worry about it."

"But-"

"A.J. has tons of inventions. It's probably one of them."

"True enough." She dropped the legs over the edge of the bed. "Let's not waste our time here. Not when there's so much to do." She began grinning. "There's no way that the Turners are your parents."

"I know that!"

"Don't you want to prove that they aren't?"

"It's his job to prove that they are my parents in the first dang place!"

Cindy blushed. "There's really no need for such language. What if Chester was here?"

"I am here." Chester was standing at the door as if he had been standing there throughout the entire conversation.

"Oh hello, Chester." Cindy stood up. "How long have you been standing there?"

"Not long enough apparently. What did I miss?"

"Not much," Trixie said dryly. "We were just talking about A.J., our host here. Is he done with the bathroom yet?"

"How should I know? I just left to swipe some snacks from Mrs. A.J."

"Oh? Do you bring enough for the rest of us? Hmm?"

"Why should I do something like that?"

Trixie gave him a look.

"Fine. I will get some for you too."

It turned out that Chester didn't need to answer Trixie's question.

A.J. returned, mumbled to himself and jotting something onto a pad of paper with a pretty fancy-looking pen. It looked sort of… familiar. "Say, A.J.," Cindy asked. "What's up with the pen?"

"I got it!"

"You got what?"

"I know how to find Timmy!"

-OOO-

Libby's side was aching by the time she reached the house where Frankie and Jimmy were. "I found them! I found them! I found them!"

Frankie didn't look very happy when she met Libby at the front door. "What kept you? And more importantly what were you doing?"

"Cassandra just wanted my help picking up her daughter from the airport."

"Oh."

"I don't know though. Do you really think that this girl really wants to date Jimmy?"

Frankie narrowed her eyes. "Why? Is there something wrong with her?"

"It's not that. Exactly."

"Oh. I see."

"It's not that."

"Oh? What would that be?"

"Never mind that. She's on her way-"

"I'm here already. Jeez." A young blonde about Libby and Jimmy's age was standing on the front walk. "This is the place, huh?"

Frankie nodded. "Come on in. I'm Frankie Foster and I'm glad that you have the chance to stay with us."

The girl smiled back. "Thank you. I'm Cindy Vortex by the way. I hope that I won't be staying too long. There's something that I need to do."

"I know what you mean."

As they went inside, Libby whispered to Frankie, "That's Cindy Vortex, Frankie. Her presence would only lead to more trouble."

"Yeah, that's her name. But what does that…. Oh, I see," she finished when she realized the import of Libby's words. "But I don't see what the problem is. It's not like they're actually in love with each other."

"This one is."

"Oh."

Cindy stopped by the easy chair. "Oh yes. Your two pals left me a message to give you."

"Carl and Sheen?" Frankie asked.

"Yeah. I guess so. Don't worry. They're all right."

Frankie turned to Libby, who nodded. Actually that was also what Libby was going to tell Frankie. And Jimmy, once she saw him. "Where's Jimmy?"

"Let's hold off seeing Jimmy for now, shall we?" Frankie countered.

"Is he busy?" Cindy sat down.

"You could say that."

-OOO-

Disgusted, Jimmy closed the last book. This wasn't getting him anywhere.

None of the books that panther guy showed him were of any help to him at all. Leo had sworn that these books would provide him with the key to getting Tootie reunited with her sister and everyone back home. They were books about inter-dimensional mechanics after all. But so far these books didn't tell him anything that he didn't already know. Finding a bedroom to study in would do you no good if you can't find the proper research materials.

They were books for children for pity's sake!

"Jeez, just because I'm a children, it doesn't mean I'm not also a super genius."

"Oh does it now?"

Jimmy sighed. "Didn't anyone ever tell you that it's rude to sneak up on people like that?"

"Yes I believe that has been mentioned to me before. From time to time."

Jimmy sighed. How can a big cat like him be possibly so dense? Aren't top predator species like him supposed to be really… with it? Perhaps Jimmy had been a little too hasty to labeling him as dangerous after all.

No, looking at him again, the feeling of danger returned. There was just something sinister about him….

"Can I help you with something?" The faster he got Leo out of there the better.

"Actually I came to see how you were doing. Is there a problem, Jimmy? You seemed to have stopped doing research."

"These books were written for children. I already know everything in them!"

"Aren't you a child?"

Jimmy gave a dirty look.

"Ah!" Leo paused. "Perhaps you would like access to my full library then?"

Jimmy nodded. "Yes. That would be fine." So he has been holding out on me then.

Somebody burst into the room without giving any warning first. It took Jimmy a moment that it was Libby. "Libby? Where were you?"

"Never mind that, Jimmy. There's trouble coming."

"Is it serious?"

"You could say that…."

"Why? What's wrong?"

"There's a girl named Cindy. And she, uh, wants to see you."

"You've been here all of two days and already you got admirers," Leo gushed. "What stud you!"

"Shut up!"

"Then should I tell you that you're coming to see her, Jimmy?" Libby asked. "I have to warn you though. She looks awfully familiar."

"She looks like the Cindy from back home, doesn't she?"

"Huh-huh."

"No matter. I'm sure that I will be able to handle it."

Libby didn't seem to believe him. But no matter. He was a guy. He didn't need a girl's support and/or faith. He could more than any girl could. He got up. "We mustn't keep the old girl waiting."

"Funny you should mention it…."

"Huh?"

"How to explain this…."

"She can't be too ugly."

"Excuse me!"

"What else could the problem be?'

Libby rolled her eyes toward the ceiling. "Men!"

As they left the room, Jimmy turned to Libby. "Doesn't the talking panther bother you?"

"No. Why do you ask?"

"He sure bothers me."

Once Jimmy got a real good look at Cindy, he immediately saw the problem. Ugliness was hardly the problem. In fact this version of Cindy Vortex seemed to be about fourteen or fifteen and was more than a little… HOT! Jimmy just couldn't believe it. There was ain't no way that any Cindy Vortex in any universe could possibly be hot.

She was perfectly proportioned in every way, had smooth, milky skin and long, flowing hair and was wearing an outfit to emphasize both facts.

"Ho boy."

"I take it from your reaction that you approve of my appearance then?"

Jimmy nodded. "Have you found Carl and Sheen yet?"

"Yes. They're at Cassandra's house."

"Ah."

When they reached the living room, Jimmy found Cindy sitting next to Frankie on the couch. "Cindy, when did you get here?"

"So I see that I have been already introduced." Cindy looked at him so differently than he was used to. "You must be Jimmy then. You're much more handsome than I had been expecting."

"Ho boy."

-OOO-

"What's this doohickey supposed to do again?" Cindy wasn't too sure, as she hadn't had all that much attention with complex lab equipment, despite all her dealings with Jimmy, but she had never seen anything like it before in her life. It looked even more freaky and overly Rube-Goldbergian than any of the junk Jimmy had ever shown her. She could really believe that they had needed to go the basement for this.

The thing was about the size of a Mack Truck.

A.J. sighed. "As I told you before, Cindy. This will track the path that Timmy took as he fell between worlds."

"I know all that. What I'm getting is how that contraption of yours is supposed to do that. I mean how do you even know that he did fall to another world?"

"Well considering that the hole simply appearing and disappearing like that…."

"I suppose so. But-"

"And I can track the energy trail between the worlds."

"You can do that?"

"Of course."

Trixie came running down the stairs. "They're here! They're here!"

"Who cares?" Cindy wasn't about to waste her time on any more of Trixie's nonsense. "Probably just the agents of Karma here to punish for what you did to Timmy. You skank."

"Excuse me!"

"You heard me." Cindy said it very clearly. So that even a scad like Trixie could understand.

"What is your problem? I didn't do anything wrong!"

"Didn't do anything wrong? What do you call abandoning us when we needed you the most then? When Timmy fell through that portal?"

Trixie scowled at her. "I didn't do that! I was with you the whole time!"

"No you weren't!"

Before Trixie had the chance to reply, Timmy's parents came barging down the stairs. "What's this about Timmy not our son?" Mr. Turner hollered into the tiny, cramped basement.

"I certainly don't ever remember giving birth to a girl!"

"And neither do I!"

Cindy shot a hateful look at Trixie. "You told Timmy's parents?"

Trixie shrugged. "Why not? I told my father. Why not them too?"

"You did what now?" Cindy's hands were starting to feel a little clammy. Things were certainly not looking up.

Timmy's mom was looking especially… not happy. "Where the proof of theses claims of yours, B.J.?"

"It's A.J., actually," A.J. said rather lamely.

"I don't care if your name is Adam. Why are you saying my son is not my son?"

"It's quite simple actually. It all started…."

Cindy groaned. Here we go again. Another big-headed boy geniuses going into one of his "stories" about how he had gotten inspired to create his latest invention. It was a bunch of hooey if you asked her. It was a bit disgusting really. But Cindy did know one thing.

"We're wasting far too much time arguing!" She clenched her fists. "Timmy's out there somewhere. In danger! And all we do is stand around here arguing. About crap! Nothing that couldn't wait until a more opportune time." She glanced in Trixie's direction, who blushed and turned away. "We need to get going! Now!"

"Timmy's in danger?" Mrs. Turner drew ever closer. "Why aren't we doing anything?"

"No reason." Trixie sat down on top of a soup crate. "We were about to open up a door to where Timmy went off to. Hopefully he's still there. But even if he's not, I'm sure that we have no problem tracking him down."

"That's good to hear." She nodded. "Then let's started, shall we?"

While A.J. immediately got to work, Cindy sat right next to Trixie on the crate. "I don't know how much time it takes Boy Genius here to work his magic. But this is what I think of this whole mess."

-OOO-

As Sheen watched the ceiling fan spin his mind began to wander down Memory Lane. And up and right and left and forward and backwards as well. Carl knew this because the other boy kept up a running commentary of the whole thing! "And remember when Jimmy used his Shrink Ray to get us away from those army ants?"

"Yes, Sheen, I remember. I was there too."

Cassandra smiled as she sipped her coffee. "Actually I find the story very interesting."

"Please don't get him started, Miss Cassandra. Once you get him started, he could go on like this for hours. Believe me. I know."

"I don't mind it at all."

He pounded the table. "Well I do! Was there something that you wanted to tell us, Miss Cassandra?"

"Well… want would hardly be the word that I would use here."

Sheen stopped staring at the ceiling and started to actually pay attention to the conversation. "Ooh, did somebody mention Forbidden Knowledge? All right!" Sheen and Carl did a High-Five.

"It's not forbidden, per se," Cassandra said. "It's just it's something that I hesitate to bring up. It's kinda personal."

"Oh." Sheen sounded disappointed. Carl felt a bit disappointed as well. He didn't know why though. The last thing he wanted to do was to pry into the woman's secret love life. "We wouldn't want to pry."

"Sure we do," Sheen countered.

"It's none of our business, Sheen!"

Cassandra sighed. "Unfortunately it's something that you need to hear. If you wish to survive."

That really got their attention. Survival is usually something that would get anyone's attention. "What is it?"

She lowered her voice so they had to lean their heads in closer so they could hear. "You're being followed." She hesitated. "By my sister."

"You have a sister?"

"Don't act so surprised, boys. After all, you hardly know me."

"True," Carl agreed.

"But when are you going to get to the good part?" Sheen demanded.

"Huh?"

"Where's it none of our business!"

"Oh. Right. That."

"I have a twin sister…. She's the one after you."

She showed them a photo.

-OOO-

Wally World turned out to be less interesting than he had originally had hoped it would be. But then again he was always overestimating how cool amusement parks were before he, you know, actually goes there. There were rides, games, shows and snack stands. It was true that it had everything that an amusement park should have, but the thing of it was that every other amusement park in the whole world also had them.

Though he supposed that having a black eye didn't help matters any.

Who would have thought Trixie would so sensitive about that?

The gift shop was hardly the place to find any sort of excitement, but Timmy just couldn't think any better place to go. Besides he might find something cool inside. It wasn't too likely, but anything was possible.

He looked and looked, but it took a while to find anything that he actually would buy. The store was filled with all sorts and manner of crap and doodads that he didn't need and/or want. But in the fifth aisle he looked in on the top shelf was something glorious.

A Trixie Tang bobble-head doll.

He couldn't believe that they would have something like that in a crummy amusement park gift shop. A bobble-head of the most beautiful girl in the world was standing here on the shelf just waiting for him to buy her. He quaked at the prospect of having Trixie Tang all for his very own. Or at least a reasonable likeness of the beauty.

The only reason for Timmy's hesitance was that he wasn't sure that he had enough money. He wasn't even sure how to count it. It sure didn't look like money. It was even the right color. Who had ever heard of blue money? Money was supposed to green!

Oh well. Not everything could be perfect.

He slapped himself when he remembered that bills had numbers on them telling you their worth. That should have been a no-brainer, but for some reason it wasn't. Perhaps simply relying on the pictures on the front to tell him how much money he was holding wasn't the way to go after all. He counted it and arrived at a total of twenty-five dollars: exactly enough to buy the bobble-head.

He took it off the shelf and brought it to the front counter.

"As soon as you stepped into the store I knew this bobble-head was destined for your hands," the red-haired woman with a nametag saying Gladys behind the counter said when she saw Timmy.

"Yeah, yeah. Just get on with it already."

The lady rang up the sale. "I think it's yours."

"Huh? Why wouldn't it be? I just bought it, didn't I?"

"You paid for it, yes."

Still puzzling over the lady's comments, Timmy left the gift shop with his prize in hand. Was the shopkeeper out of his mind or something? It was a perfectly good bobble-head. Why was the cashier so reluctant to sell it to Timmy?

"Now that we're alone, sport," he heard Wanda say, "can you let out of the bottle now?"

"Wanda? Where are you?" Come to think of it, he hadn't seen her in a while. Or Cosmo for that matter. "Is Cosmo with you?"

"Of course, Timmy. Where else would I be?"

"We're in the bobble-head. Just remove the head and we can just pop out."

"Oh. Sure thing, Wanda." He paused. "Can I put the head back? I can't stand the idea of Trixie missing her head."

"Of course, Timmy. We both know how you love her.

After removing the head from the doll and his fairy's reappearance, Timmy immediately replaced the head. He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw that it fit perfectly. He looked at Wanda with a raised eyebrow. "So you made this just for me, huh?"

"Well it's the only way we could think of to get back to you after you disappeared like that."

"That wasn't my fault!"

"We know, sweetie. But we had to find you. You were probably in some kind of trouble."

"That makes sense. Now could you get me back home?"

"We can't, Timmy. We're cut off from Fairy World."

Timmy's brain sort of switched off at that point.

-OOO-

Trixie didn't even need to tell herself that the happy couple in front of her weren't her parents. There was absolutely no way that it could possibly be true. Douglas was her father, and he will always be. The Turners couldn't possibly be her parents.

Especially since they still couldn't get it through their thick skulls that their son was really missing!

Though the humming coming from A.J.'s machine was certainly a promising development. Though Trixie did wish she knew what the humming meant. She was so unfamiliar with such things that it wasn't even funny.

"Dude, what did I miss?" Chester was standing by their crate, having appeared from… wherever.

Trixie sighed. "Chester, you have a strange sense of timing. A.J.'s about to start up the machine."

"Machine, huh? I would have thought that he would have used some kind of magic wand or something."

"Magic wand? Everyone knows that there's no such thing as magic. Right, Cindy?"

Cindy simply nodded, instead giving a more eunthanstic response like Trixie had been expecting. "Cindy, is there anything wrong?"

She shook her head. "No. It's nothing."

"If you're sure…."

"I am."

Trixie drew out a breath. "Is this because I 'disappeared'?" Here she used air-quotes. "Is that it?"

"It's part of it. Though your lying about it doesn't help things."

"I'm not lying!" She got a flash. A flash of something, but it was gone before she could see what it was. She paid no attention to it. It couldn't possibly anything that she should be concerned just then. "Why won't you ever listen to me?!"

"You weren't with us when Timmy disappeared, Tang! What was I supposed to think?"

"I didn't disappear. I remained by your side the whole time."

"No you weren't!"

"As much I enjoy a good chick fight now and again," Chester said, "but I think that A.J.'s waving for our attention. BRRRP!"

"Ah is it ready now?" Upon A.J.'s nodding yes, Cindy stood. "I guess that we should put this matter aside for the moment. Eh, Trixie?"

"Yes." Trixie nodded. "Later." She returned Cindy's stare.

A.J. threw one last, final lever. "Okay. I think I have it running now."

"You think?" Cindy retorted. "Those aren't exactly encouraging words, bucko!"

"Oh." He thought for a second. "I definitely got it now. Is that better?"

"Yes. Very much so."

"To get back to the subject, ladies, we're about to get started." The machine really got started now. The many cogs and wheels began moving, various lights lit up, and Trixie began to feel a stirring in the pit of her stomach. If she weren't so excited by the prospect finding Timmy safe and sound, she would have been worried that she was going to be sick.

She still had one worry though. "Are you sure that this is going to work? It doesn't look very safe!"

"Don't you worry your pretty head none, Trixie," Chester assured her. "A.J. knows what he's doing!"

"I trust you even less!"

Cindy looked at her skeptically. "Weren't you a little more gung-ho about this a little earlier?"

There was now an odd thrumming sensation in the room. "Is this a good thing?"

A.J. smiled back. "It mostly certainly is. It's about to bring us to where Timmy is!" He turned to the Turners. "Anyone who's not going should leave the room now."

"We're not going anywhere," Mrs. Turner announced. "Our son's missing. And you're suggesting that we don't help find him?!"

"That's right," her husband added. "There's no way that we're not going to be part of this endeavor."

A.J. was watching his watch. "You still a little time to back out."

The Turners didn't budge an inch.

Several moments passed before A.J. finally nodded. "Very well. There's no longer no enough time for you head up the stairs and leave the basement before we leave."

"What's going to happen when we go, A.J.?" Cindy asked.

He shrugged. "I don't know. I never sent anyone to another dimension before."

Cindy was about to say something, but Trixie never found out it was. A bright flash appeared. And everything was gone. Just gone.

-OOO-

Vicky sat back as she watched the twerp make a ham and turkey sandwich. He was making it perfectly, but she wasn't about to let him know that. "Not enough mayonnaise! Slather more on."

"Yes, Frankie." Vicky had taught him to call her Frankie. Never mind the old biddy didn't seem to have fallen for it. Nobody but that stupid rabbit seemed to have noticed. Vicky had even gotten him to stop him from doing that strange emphasis of his.

Sure enough, the twerp put on too much mayo. "You put too much on, twerp!" She kicked him for emphasis.

"But I'm doing the best I can!"

"Well, it's just not good enough then. Do it better!"

"You mean I have to do it all over again?" He sounded a little sullen there. Had better do something about it.

"What do you think, twerp?"

"Er…."

"Exactly. And make it snappy!"

"And what do I do with this one?"

"Toss it into the trash for all that I care!"

Sighing, he pushed the sandwich he had been working on aside and got up to get a new plate. Vicky wished that he wouldn't do that. The old plate was perfectly good enough. Why couldn't he use that one?

The blasted kid must have been planning to eat the old sandwich. Bastard.

Vicky was about to dump it into the trash when that blue blob thing came waltzing into the kitchen. "Frankie, I'm hungry! Can you make a ham and cheese sandwich?"

She bit her tongue. She couldn't very well tell him that she wasn't Frankie when she had started dressing like her, now could she? Instead she handed him the sandwich. At least that twerp won't be getting it. "Here. Knock yourself out."

He took the sandwich. "Thanks, Frankie." He left the room without looking back.

The twerp returned with the new plate. "You gave Bloo the sandwich." It wasn't a question.

"Yeah. So what of it?"

He hastily looked away. "Nothing."

Vicky grinned to herself. Now that the twerp was stopped, life could go on as normal. And just as promised he started work on the new sandwich. Life is good!

As the boy made Vicky another sandwich, she leaned back in the chair and basked in the love and attention that this twerp was giving her. The fact the love and attention were both forced was unimportant. She just liked having little twerp doing stuff for her. It was her rightful place as a teenager.

Just to while away the seconds before she got her sandwich, she began to sing.

It was a familiar song. One that she had heard long ago but couldn't quite place.

She didn't understand any of the words. But that was hardly the point. The song spoke of new beginnings. Something that she could really use just about then if she ever wanted to see her sister any time soon.

"My I haven't heard that song since I was a little girl."

"Yeah? What do you know about it?" Vicky looked up and found the old bat entering the room with that kid with the boil and some kind of mechanical puppy thing. That's funny. She had thought that Boil-kid had gone off with Tootie.

"I know that it's called Vicky's Song, my dear. Could it have anything to do with you, I wonder?"

"But that's-" It had been the song she had sung to get here. She stared straight into the old lady's eye. "Who the hell are you?"

The old lady sighed. "That, my dear, is a long, long story." She started pulling on Vicky's sleeve. "Come with me to my office. It's about time you heard it. It involves you."

-OOO-

It had taken a while, but Timmy's mind was finally working again. "What do you mean you're cut off from the magic!?" He couldn't possibly have heard what he had thought he had heard.

"Not so loud, Timmy," Cosmo warned him. "Do you want everyone in the world hear you, discover you have fairy godparents and make us go away forever?"

Timmy studied his shoes. "No."

"Then keep it down."

"Does this mean that the lady behind the counter behind us too?"

Wanda nodded.

Timmy went running off into the store. Wanda tried to tell him something, but he didn't quite catch it. It must not have been very important.

But as soon as he rushed up to the counter, he found a pimply teenager instead of a woman. "What happened to Gladys?"

"Who?"

"The woman who was here before."

"I don't know what you're talking about. I've been here all day."

Timmy sighed. "Never mind."

He left the store, just as perplexed as ever.

Wanda and Cosmo were still waiting for him when he left the store. "What the hell the heck is going on here? The lady in there was suddenly replaced by some teenage. You suddenly show up." He looked sharply at his fairies. "Where were you guys? I was starting to get worried."

They began the grin sheepishly at him. Wanda started first. "We were kind of stuck back in Dimmsdale. The old Dimmsdale I mean," she hastily added. "Something was blocking us from getting back to you, but we couldn't tell what it was."

"So we called in the experts," Cosmo cheerfully supplied.

"The experts?"

"Never mind him, Timmy. He doesn't know what he's talking about. We didn't go see anyone."

"Oh, I see." He frowned. "But how did you get here then?"

"The expert came to see us!"

"Expert? What expert?"

Before Wanda could answer however, a scream pierced the air.

It sounded like Trixie.

Timmy started running toward it.

-OOO-

Trixie was already lost.

It wasn't her first time visiting this park either, so it really gotten her dander up that she had gotten herself lost so quickly. After all years of coming here with her family, you would have thought that she would have memorized the place already.

But apparently she hadn't.

She was resting on a bench, trying to get her bearings back. But for some reason she wasn't. Had the place changed that much since she had been there last? She knew that amusement parks changed all the time.

But this much? It was simply unheard of.

"You look lost, deary."

"I suppose." Trixie frowned as she studied the woman. She was a wearing a pink dress and the same glasses that her Grandma sometimes wore. Trixie knew she had seen this woman before from somewhere. But where? "I'm sorry, but I didn't catch your name."

The woman laughed. "Isn't it a bit early to worry about that? You only just met."

"Oh. Right." Trixie blushed and fiddled with the hem of her skirt. "I'm Trixie, ma'am."

"Nice to meet you, Trixie. My name is Setsuna." She sat down next to Trixie. "Now where is it that you want to get to?"

Then Trixie remembered. "I've seen you before. You were driving down in the highway in an old BMW."

It was Setsuna's turn to blush. "I do like my classic cars."

"What are you doing here?"

"Why wouldn't I be here? This is an amusement park."

Trixie nodded. And mentally kicked herself. "Could you help me find my friends?"

"Of course. Anything for you, my dear."

As they made their way through the not-quite-a-crowd, holding unto Setsuna's hand, Trixie began to feel a little uneasy. Everyone around was staring at her. Right at her. Whispering behind her make.

Judging her.

"Don't mind them, Trixie." Apparently Setsuna had noticed her discomfort. "They're all just jealous."

"They are?" Trixie nervously eyed the crowds, hoping that was true, but didn't see how it could be true. They seemed absolutely sure of their superiority over her.

Trixie didn't like it.

But soon they were past those people and were among people who wouldn't give her a second glance. A blessed relief. And they were someplace that Trixie could recognize.

They were near that stupid roller coaster whose name Trixie could never remember.

They were halfway through making their search plans when Trixie heard a familiar voice. "Tsukiyomi?"

Trixie started to turn toward her grandmother to ask her repeat that, but she felt someone sweep her up in their arm and put her in a strong bear hug. "What the hell?"

"Ah, I thought we would run into each other, Sensei."

"Don't worry, Trixie dear. I'm sure that I will have you free soon." She drew a sword from a scabbard on her hip that Trixie had never seen before.

Setsuna pressed her sword firmly against Trixie's throat. "You were saying, Sensei?"

Trixie screamed.