Author's Note: This is a rewrite of "It's a Wishful Life"…man, that episode did a number on our Timmy-kun. For once, I actually felt really bad for him. It shouldn't have gone like that…the poor kid thinks he's the cause for everything wrong in the world.
This is a one-shot unless I really feel the need to add to it.
Disclaimer: FOP is not mine. But if School's Out doesn't deliver, then I won't be watching any new eps. I'll still write, but otherwise…
It's a Wasteful Life
There were dreams and then there were dreams¸ the especially vivid ones that clung to you in the daylight even when you were desperate to escape them. The days before Timmy Turner wished he was never born were filled with haunting images of what the world would be like without him. However, because this is Timmy Turner we're dealing with, he ignored them. Besides, why should the doom and gloom of how much he dragged the world down affect him? He was ten, resilient, and basically care free. Nothing he saw could hurt him, he was sure. Of course, he didn't tell Cosmo and Wanda because he was all too certain they'd take him completely seriously and would want to focus on that (well, maybe not Cosmo, but definitely Wanda). So he continued having the dreams and kept his mouth shut.
The day before the wish, a pain like he'd never known before shot across his body, starting at his temples and culminating in the searing heat of a stab to the stomach. He choked, gasping for air, not seeing the world before him but the one he'd recently left. Everything was excruciating there, from the back labor to the way his roommate's eyes lingered on him, taking in the areas he'd never wanted exposed. Despite being fully clothed, he felt naked before her and, in spite of recognizing this as the real world and his dream as a fake, and, suppressing a moan, he clutched his blankets to his chest. Never before had he seen the clarity of this supposed dream world and it terrified him beyond speech. The only saving grace was that Cosmo and Wanda were still asleep, but not for long, he feared.
Tears stained his pillow; brushing his cheeks with the side of his left hand, astonishment struck him. Details faded within seconds, but the horror remained. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to hide this from Cosmo and Wanda, but what on earth was he supposed to do? Maybe if he just pretended it'd never happened, that he hadn't awoken crying, then the dream would vanish and he'd be okay. More than anything, he wanted normalcy again.
As if provoked by thought alone, his godparents appeared, arguing as usual. He wished he could do something for them, but he had a feeling, given his recent rash of nightmares and general inadequacy with romantic entanglements, that he wasn't the best candidate. Still, telling them might break their attention from each other and their failing marriage to him. Uniting them over him might help out, he hoped. All three recognized the signs of a deteriorating marriage, yet none preferred to voice it aloud. He had the feeling Wanda had, but he'd ignored her.
Just like before, they were arguing quite fervently, her eyes narrowed and arms folded across her chest. Cosmo's eyes were narrowed as well, but Timmy sincerely doubted he was as confident in his side as Wanda. Cosmo wasn't really smart enough to be engaged in any real long debates. Even though he hadn't been privy to the subject of this particular one, he could tell it wouldn't last too long.
Unbidden, an image from the dream, of him on a stretcher while Jorgen laughed cruelly and everyone else drank merrily to the fact that he was never born, sprang to the surface.Tremors shook him again and, when he shut his eyes tightly enough to see spots, the recollection burned the inside of his eyelids. He couldn't breathe, couldn't think, they were coming for him. He'd screwed up this world by being born.
However, his actions brought him to their attention. In the middle of another debate, she opened her mouth to watch her godson visibly attempt to stop the very actions that were compulsory. To tell him to stop shaking at this point would be like telling a cat to leave a dying bird that it has killed. In his eyes, creepy though it was, death lingered.
"Timmy, are you okay?" Wanda inquired, frowning deeply. Very gently, she placed a hand on his cold, clammy forehead. Their concerns, for the moment, were focused on him.
"Yeah, you look like you ate Wanda's cooking," Cosmo quipped, to which Wanda poofed up a large book to slam down on his head. Timmy frowned, noticing the comment but far too troubled by the rattling in his teeth to add one of his own. Sometimes, he found his additions amusing, but, lately, he'd found them rather cruel. He'd laughed, just the same, but something told him that it wasn't right.
"I'm all right, really," Timmy lied, mentally wishing there was a way to both prevent them from arguing the instant their attention was focused on each other again and remembering this conversation. Right now, all he wanted was the nightmare out of his mind and whatever sleep left him. Was that too much to wish for? No more dreams with abuse, pain, and awaking dripping in sweat while, in his head, people guffawed so loudly, it was like screaming.
"Don't worry about me, guys." Plastering a false smile, he lay back down in his drenched bed and shut his eyes. Please, sleep, come…I'm begging you…
"If you're sure…" She trailed off, not entirely convinced. Through his eyelids, he could see her scrutinize him and heard her sigh heavily. Between her husband and him, she was having a lot of male troubles. Not that this was his fault exactly, but seldom though it was, he understood they stressed her out. That was part of the reason he hadn't told her about the dreams- that and he really wanted to forget.
"Yeah," Timmy answered softly, suppressing another shudder. This time, he barely missed biting his lip and splitting it open. Why couldn't anything be normal about him? At the moment, he'd settle for normal teeth…or no fairy godparents to accidentally cause him to wish away his own life.
Curling up next to him as a cat, Wanda yawned before rubbing herself against his arm. Cosmo followed suit, avoiding her side of the bed to settle next to him on the left. Together, he thought he'd feel anything more than alone. He didn't and the night passed by like purgatory itself. His godparents hadn't offered the comfort they desperately wished to give him, and, in the end, he wasn't certain it would have done anything in the first place.
Nearly the instant before he fell asleep, Tootie's face flashed before his eyes and sorrow washed over him. Contrasting greatly with the previous images, her melancholy expression and deep, mottled purple eyes belayed anguish that, even though he'd treated her roughly, she'd never been subject to while he was around. Although the image hadn't remained long enough for him to scrutinize it, he caught black eyes and swollen lips, but they didn't seem like they were from Vicky. Before he could fathom any more, he fell asleep, into more soulless dreams filled with the stinging reminder that he'd ruined everyone's lives.
The day dawned bright and early, far too much of both to please him. Like a slap in the face, the brilliantly burning sun served only to remind him of the sleep he'd yearned for, yet somehow missed the mark on. There was no rest for the weary and, with a sinking sensation, he supposed he'd better dress and eat before he missed the bus. The thought lingered for a moment that perhaps by causing the driver to stop by his house, he'd managed to ruin at least a part of the driver's life, but he shoved it aside hastily. Some days, it probably wasn't really worth getting up in the morning.
Drudging through the day took more effort out of him than he realized, yet he obstinately refused to succumb to his exhaustion. Sleep meant more dreams and dreaming was definitely something he wished to avoid. Therefore, to drive the notion that the world was better off without him out of his mind, he did random good deeds in the hopes that they would notice, commend, and then admit that they couldn't live without him. That'd appease the nasty little guilt lingering in his mind.
However, no one noticed, not even Trixie Tang for his avoiding her during lunch and preventing her from making another loud (and nasty) comment about losers being attracted to her. Instead, she'd just ignored him like she usually did andpresided over her table, the only sign that perhaps someone might have missed him were Veronica's eyes, lingering for a half a second longer than normal. Then again, he hardly paid attention to her even when he didn't feel as though he were to blame for the world, so he didn't now.
A.J. and Chester ignored him at the table as well. They didn't even pretend to notice that he'd selected out their favorite dishes and the table with the least amount of gum underneath. As a matter of fact, they didn't even pretend to notice him. They spent the whole period talking and behaving as though the seat next to them was empty. Timmy hung his head, despondent but still not giving up. There were others who would notice him…he hoped.
Irritated, the bus driver merely snorted derisively when he took the time to be early. Apparently, from the disgruntled mutterings beneath his breath, Timmy understood that he'd prevented him from skipping out of picking them up for another ten minutes and getting a late lunch. Actually, after a few minutes, it progressed from muttering to snapping at him to sit down before he shoved him down. This he did, shouldering his bag and wishing Cosmo and Wanda were there. Whoever was playing this nasty joke; he'd had enough. He was ready to talk to his godparents now.
A.J. had a club meeting afterschool and Chester had detention, so he sat alone and glanced out the window. The trees snorted at him, informing him he'd taken his fair share of oxygen and he was a waste of breath. He hugged himself tighter, whispering Cosmo and Wanda's names. They would understand, wouldn't they? Or, in the very least, they would sympathize. Yet when he called, they didn't come.
Leaning his head against the glass window, he shut his eyes just as the driver went over a bump. Behind him, kids complained (particularly the popular ones), but he said nothing. By now, he wasn't sure there was anything to dispel his foul mood and this only served to improve it. The improbable idea that he was to blame for deliberately driving over the bump surfaced and, miserable, he reluctantly accepted it as the truth. Everything bad in this world had something to do with him. No one appreciated him; they all hated him.
When the bus stopped, he all but ran out, ignoring Tootie clamoring for his attention. No one wanted him, no one needed him and even if she did desire both, he wasn't in the mood to dole it out. There was probably something about her life he'd overlooked that led to her being happier without him, he just had to think of it.
Cosmo and Wanda turned out to be elsewhere, but he found he didn't care terribly. He scrubbed their fishbowl for them (so terribly dirty) yet soon found himself distracted by the hedges that needed to be pruned. He left the rest, hoping they would at least notice some of his work, and darted off to make his parents happy. They'd appreciate him, wouldn't they, for etching their figures into the shubbery?
They hated it. Anger, resentment, and guilt, the pain arising from the knowledge that his dreams had been right, that he was worthless, prefaced and, in a brisk tone, he made the stupidest wish possible invented, other than "I wish I were dead". He wished he were never born.
The first thing he noticed was how bright and impossibly cheerful this world appeared compared to his own. Jorgen prattled on, but all he could remember was the dreams and how true they probably were. Every once in a while, he'd stop reflecting, listen, and then hang his head again. It didn't matter what he said because he already knew. The sad thing was, though, this only further cemented his drive- he would never unwish it at this rate.
Finished with showing him how good everyone else had it (suspiciously good, but it was exactly as he'd dreamt it, so he didn't question), he was instructed, if he was so smart, to find one more person on his own that would support his claim for life. If there was such a person, then he would have to produce them within an hour's time and they would testify before the Fairy Grand Jury. If they weren't satisfactory, then he'd be sent down below for certain. Apparently, he was sick of him interfering with fairies' daily lives- if he could get rid of him for good, he would.
Dejected but hoping someone would at least be better than Vicky, his parents, Crocker, Chester, and A.J., he walked aimlessly. After all, he had only an hour. He'd best get to work.
The first stop was a bust. Trixie Tang was just about the same in both worlds, with the exception that she knew him even less than before. She'd thrown himout in about fifteen minutes, bringing his time down to an ominous forty-five. Why on earth had he gone there anyway? What had he hoped to accomplish?
Veronica, despite her crush on him on their world, barely paid him any mind. She had the millions of pictures of Trixie and, bereft of a boy crush, she merely behaved as she would normally, by paying homage to her girl crush, Trixie Tang. Timmy left disturbed, shuddering and rubbing his arms. There was nothing like a freaky fangirl in love with her best friend.
Running out of options (not to mention time), he started idly kicking stones aside until he saw a letter from Tootie. It had been weathered with him and perhaps laden with tears, but it was her all the same. And if she were miserable here, perhaps it was because she didn't have anyone to crush on. Maybe it was being terribly egotistical, but if she were indeed miserable because he wasn't there, he stood a chance at getting his life back. If she didn't, though, then he'd try a last ditch attempt at salvation before submitting himself to hell.
Her house looked just the same as normal, with the exception that the normal almost palpable sense of gloom didn't hang around quite as heavily. It was there nonetheless, just hidden. Perhaps Jorgen hadn't been telling him the truth about everything, then. Maybe he just wanted him out of the way; no matter how useful he might be to someone that he hadn't met yet.
Rubbing his hands along his arms yet again, he beckoned to her and prayed she'd at least let him in the house. This she did, her eyes narrowed in distaste, looking almost like her older sister. If she didn't submit to his requests or at least prove substantially that he'd impacted her (by absence of character), then he was sunk. She was literally and figuratively his last hope. C'mon, Toot, don't fail me now.
Eyes narrowed distastefully, she scrutinized the scene before her with an emotion akin to loathing. Though she knew little of the situation at hand, she knew enough to tell the truth beyond his lies. Disconcerting, however, was the notion that the truth easily outnumbered the lies. Insecurity wracked them both, but her all the more so because what he told her was simply so extraordinary, she couldn't in full conscience believe it. Yet, judging by his face, she supposed she had to suspend disbelief, at least, for the meanwhile.
Stark white covered his being, including a hat that might have been better suited for pink. An odd sensation gripped her when she glanced at him, as though he might have been more important to her in another world. For now, all she could discern was desperation and lots of it. Every once in a while, his beautiful blue eyes would scan the room, come up empty, and then start again. Whatever he quested for, he couldn't find it. Were she able to experience emotion again (since Vicky had torn them asunder and she'd decided the best way was to be devoid of a heart like her), she might have pitied him. Pity was for the weak and in this world, she could not afford it.
"Tootie," He breathed, whispering her name like an exotic flavor. Unbidden, she shivered slightly, likening to the sound of his voice and his presence. If she wasn't careful, she might reveal more than she'd intended.
Unable to reply, her voice stolen from her, she indicated he sit on the bed, but her eyes frantically darted towards the door. In a few moments, Vicky would finish exhorting money from her customers and she'd be discovered not only smiling weakly, but with a boy in her room. Her younger sibling's happiness had to be trampled upon whenever possible, so she didn't think to supercede and dethrone her. Of course, Tootie had no such ambitions, but Vicky suspected everyone.
An uneasy smile flitted across his face when he sat down next to her. Scantly any conversation had passed between them, so she couldn't tell exactly why he felt nervous around her, but he needn't. Despite her apathy, she was relatively harmless. No one really gave her the attention she sought to gain more. Even if she didn't want Vicky's power, she still wanted to be loved. Nonetheless, in her elder sister's eyes, that seemed to be the crime of the century.
Finally, his eyes examined her room. No mementos of love, no works of art, not even the customary Princess Tootie chest sat on the wooden floor of her room. In fact, the walls, floor, and bed were about as stark as his outfit. No sense of personality imbued the room. Instead, white paint, like being blinded, filled his eyes. She could tell he didn't understand it, but she wasn't in the mood to explain. No one particularly cared, anyway.
In addition to the stark room, her clothing was equally bleak. Limp raven hair hung down to her shoulders; black horn rimmed glasses framed her cold purple eyes; and a plain white t-shirt and a black skirt finished her outfit.
His mouth opened to inquire and, with a withering look, she silenced him. Her purple eyes were as cold and expressionless as Vicky's and he suppressed a shudder. At least there was one person that hadn't benefited from his absence. Still, he couldn't tell the extent and he had no doubt Jorgen required this evidence in order to renew his life. For now, he'd just have to study her very closely, no matter how disturbing it was that she'd denied herself at least the simplest of emotions.
"Um, Tootie? What's up with your room?" And your eyes and your clothing and the way you're looking at me…
"What the hell do you want?" Tootie snapped back, surprising them both with her venom and her cursing. Ten year olds generally didn't curse, but they generally didn'tleave their roombarren.She intimidated him and that was something, because normally he just thoughther creepy. However, she'd taken it up a whole level.
"You want to know why I have no decorations in my room? Or why I have bruises all over my body from my perfect sister losing her temper and punching rapid-fire? Or how about the fact that because no one has ever opposed Vicky, no one ever defends me and no one believes me when I tell them Vicky's gotten worse over the years. I have no one, nothing, and nowhere.
"So f-off before I get nasty," She finished, shoving him out of her room. Well, he'd found his resource. Still, there was a matter of getting her to testify if she would at all. He could certainly vouch for a change in character.
And her sister beating her? Even in their world, he sincerely doubted she got away with anything larger than an idle threat. Possibly, Vicky was more dangerous now, running around unchecked, than before. If that was the case and she could prove it to Jorgen, then he'd get off...he hoped.
"Wait!" Timmy cried outside her door. Desperately, he banged on the wood until, irate, she opened it a crack to glower at him. He'd made some progress, he supposed. It'd take a sledgehammer to crack her heart.
"You aren't supposed to be like this! You're supposed to be madly in love with me and chase me around. You-" He began, but she cut him off quickly.
"You must be dreaming, whoever you are, because I wouldn't chase you in a million years. Not only that, but if you don't leave this house in about five seconds, I'll call the cops. I'm sure they'd love to put an imaginary person like you in a mental hospital-" She began, waggling a finger threatening, but running out of options (and aware that his time had now dwindled to about twenty minutes), he shoved his way back into her room.
Her purple eyes narrowed, but she examined him closely. There was something defining about him, especially considering he'd actually risked life and limb to seek her. None before had ever boasted of that. Usually when someone tried and couldn't speak with her, they gave up before Vicky came. When Vicky came, it was trouble.
Trembling (and reminding himself of when he'd loaned Cosmo and Wanda tohis Tootie and she'd run around trying to tell everyone about them because she didn't want to keep such generosity a secret), he pressed his lips against hers. Flabbergasted, she didn't stop him and, for once, he thought he might actually have a chance. Then again, he never did think before he acted. That was part of the reason why he was in this mess…well, that and the haunting dreams.
Infuriated but not quite understanding why, she attempted to shove him away only to have him hold her hands on his upper arms. Pleasant tingles spread from there to their locked lips. Despite the fact they were kissing, she felt heady for a different reason. Ever since he'd entered the room, she'd felt this way. He made her woozy.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Tootie barked when they separated. Her eyes were narrowed yet again, but he noticed that some color had returned to her cheeks. Her gaze darted around as if searching for someone, probably Vicky. Happiness was, after all, forbidden in her world.
Besides, she didn't like being reminded that she chose not to feel. As long as she pretended she lacked emotions, Vicky might leave her alone. When she behaved normally, she didn't stand a chance. She had the sinking suspicion Timmy induced these feelings in her in his world…and they frightened her.
"I need your help," Timmy blurted, tugging her by the hand. That infernal clock Jorgen had given him kept ticking so loudly, he couldn't think. Once again, not an uncommon experience for our bucktoothed hero, but he might have liked that experience. Without Wanda, he didn't have much hope.
"And what if I refuse?" She growled, snatching her hand away from his. The contrast between his Tootie and this one struck him more strongly than before. Man, his Tootie would be melting on the floor already. Still, he didn't think he preferred this one- she had one hell of an attitude.
"Well…um…" He had nothing, quite literally. There was nothing in it for her if she did refuse because he didn't really exist. He'd never thought Tootie would be such a egotistical person, but he didn't have the time to argue her down. If she didn't agree, then he'd be screwed, plain and simple.
Smirking, she stood apart and gave him the once over. He wondered what she was thinking, because if she considered helping him, at the moment, he hadn't the foggiest way of knowing. Her gaze was imperceptible, her expression guarded. He sensed she had many layers, many things she kept to herself. Then again, without him there and without any friends, there wasn't a lot she was going to tell anyone, since he doubted Vicky lent a willing ear.
"Are you sure I'll be happy in your world?" She pressed, gaze now fixated on his silly hat, which she had the distinct impression should be pink. She said nothing, though, because what boy had a silly pink hat? It was effeminate, to be certain.
"Um…" He stammered again, bereft of the proper thing to say and the way to express it. She smirked, clearly enjoying his hesitation. Grr, why on earth did she have to remind him so much of Vicky?
"If it'll get you out of my house and my life, I'll do it," She answered finally, kissing his cheek and wondering how her counterpart acted when he was around. His cheek was cool and soft to the touch, invoking longing. Maybe when he rewrote history and added himself again, she'd remember what it was like to be happy, however briefly.
"Thanks…" He muttered, turning beet red. They proceeded to locate Jorgen.
As to be expected, Jorgen examined and cross examined Tootie, to the point where she was ready to flip him off if only to get him to shut up. Timmy shared her anger, although his was mixed with agitation. His fate rested solely on her shoulders- he only hoped she could bear the burden.
"And are you sure that there isn't some other puny human boy to 'crush on'?"
"Yes…" And if you don't shut the hell up, I'll find a way to punch you in the face, Tootie thought.
"And Vicky is not what she seems?"
"Ask me that again and see what happens," She growled.
Jorgen glared at her, but halted, considering her statements,bitter though they were. He deliberated for a good fifteen minutes while Timmy's heart stopped and then restarted. He couldn't stand this, darn it!
Scowling, displeased that he had to reverse Timmy's fate and restore the world to the way it was (not to mention having to deal with more of his inane wishes), he waved his wand once and the stark world faded away.
After returning, he behaved like the proper, prodigal godson. Whatever was asked of him, he performed without question. Sometimes, when Wanda craned, she could swear he muttered something about trying to help because he'd already screwed their lives up. She didn't understand and he neverexplained.
He did his best to forget the 'lessons', but he never could…
Jorgen, infuriated that he couldn't rid himself of one major problem, decided there had to be better opportunities to ensnare him and his godparents. He'd just have to wait.