Author's Note: I both hate and love stories like this…truly…this could be very ugly if I'm not careful. Of course, as a writer, that makes me all the more eager to prove that I can go about this without getting carried away, or disappointing anyone. I generally make a lot of sacrifices based on reviews and my own judgment. I know when one of my stories have gotten lost…and so far, I like to think I haven't failed too badly at fixing ideas before they make it to the page. That is, of course if it doesn't disrupt too much of my original idea.
I'm concerned about this story. The setting, for starters, worries me. I don't know why…it just reminds me of so many bad fics I've read throughout the time I've been familiar with this website. (And this is a LONG time…so I've read a lot of bad fics) Next, as it often does, I'm nervous because I'm trying to create a plot that wraps, quite disbelievingly around a couple where neither person is likely to ever be involved with the other. This takes work and time…so I ask you to be patient. This will take place after my other fic…so the feelings between Grim and Mandy will be there already…which is good for me because it means less thought is involved…and less angst (God how I hate angst…but it's impossible to avoid in these stories) and is good for you because I wont have to spend lots of time between updates trying to figure out what direction the story should go in.
Also…this story involves original characters…and…and this is probably the worst part…another woman. I loathe that when it comes to my favorite couples. Especially when it's an original character. I would just like to say; right off that this is a GrimXMandy story. There may be romance between Grim and someone else but that doesn't change the fact that it's a GrimXMandy story. Oh yes, and it's perfectly all right if you hate any of my original characters. But I hope the reason isn't because they're in any way Mary Sueish, boring, or badly created. Please tell me if they are. I try to make my characters as human as possible, and would, in fact, like you to hate them because that was the intention all along.
Now, I'm sorry for this horribly long author's note. Enjoy the story.
The Beginning Of Spring
She set a glass down on the windowpane and gazed outside into the bright sunshine. She looked to be in a foul mood, contrasting entirely with the gentle sunlight that touched her pale skin and lit her eyes. Her scowl, which apparently was catching, for the roses sitting on the window ledge were wilting, distorted her features into near ugliness…which was a thing that would have not been believed by anyone who had ever seen her smile.
There was only one reason for her to be in this awful mood, for she rarely ever was, normally being the sort of person who could even be bright during tragedy. (And actually…perhaps be even more so as long as said tragedy was not a concern of hers.) And this reason was, simply, that she was not getting her way. She always got her way. Always.
It had been years since her father permitted her to marry. But the men he offered her were so…droll. She could have anyone, yet he limited her to those who would apparently make her more modest. Her self-confidence…her BOLDNESS made him despise her. He need not say it…she already knew. But she didn't want to do things his way…she wanted to get involved with someone who made things…tragic. Ahh tragedy…one of her favorite things. Her and tragedy went SO well together. She was the Queen of Tragedy.
She knocked the roses over on impulse, and watched as they hit the ground. When they did they wilted entirely, turning black and shriveling into nothingness. The result of her bad mood. She sighed heavily and looked back towards the garden…still depressingly lifeless because of the long cold winter. How she despised autumn and winter.
As she stood at the window, brooding, she caught sight of something in the trees, making her forget her gloomy disposition. She tilted her head slightly, and squinted…as though to be sure that she was not just seeing things. Then, when her vision was confirmed, she stood up straight and slowly; a smile crept through her lips.
She drained the amber liquid in the glass and threw it over her shoulder, allowing it to shatter on the opposite wall. Behind her, a man dusting a finely made wooden table hurriedly got out of her way as she walked by, skirts swishing and falling delicately against her perfect legs. She leaned on the table and, despite his efforts, gave the man her full attention.
"What season is this, Damon?" She asked, her voice was sweet to the ears. The man did not look at her, but began to sweat slightly. His eyes fixed to a spot on the table and he wiped at it hard.
"I believe it's the first day of spring, my lady." He said carefully. She smiled wholly, and lit up the room, opposite to them, the roses on the ground began to bloom again.
"Yes…" She said. "It is, isn't it? I nearly forgot" She touched his shoulder lightly. Underneath her touch he shivered. "My season." The man swallowed, as sweat began to pour down his back.
"Yes, madam." She wiped a finger on the table, leaving a streak, and, upon staring at it, rubbed her fingers together. This seemed to decide her next thought.
"I think it's time for a vacation." She said, as the man cowered slightly from her, still trying desperately to avoid her crisp gaze.
She lifted her hand, much to the man's relief and walked back to the window. Beyond it, in the garden, the trees had begun to blossom. The woman laid her chin in her thin hands and watched them.
'Soon,' She thought to herself, as the dusting man hurried out of the room to cool off. 'The flowers shall bloom and the sun shall warm the earth…how lovely that will be.'
"This time," She said to herself in a low and frightening voice. "He'll be mine."
"I think it's time for a vacation." The voice came from nowhere, bouncing off the sunny kitchen wall and entering the ears of the two apathetic people, both who were interested in their own activities and were rather annoyed at being pulled from them.
Grim looked up from the paper and regarded Harold with the usual look, filled with both that careful expression set aside for slow people and the aggravation of dealing with the unfairly stupid. He wondered, briefly how the oafish man had entered the kitchen without him hearing.
"I'm not babysitting your son again while you two go gallivanting around the beach in your bathing suits." He said sternly and shivered as he recalled the last time. Billy was nearing the age of eighteen and he still wasn't able to take care of himself. The last time Harold had decided it was 'Time for a vacation' he had left Billy to himself and Mandy. The house still smelled like burnt plaster and giant fish monster. (Don't ask)
Mandy, who had been sitting in the opposite chair, looked up from a book she was reading with a sickening look on her face.
"Gallivanting?" She questioned in a mocking tone. Grim glared at her.
"Shut up." He replied as he went back to his paper.
"No no…I meant all of us…the whole family. I got a pamphlet at work today. Apparently there's this really nice place in…" He pulled a wrinkled pamphlet out of his pocket. "Somewhere far away." He seemed to have completely forgotten to actually look where he planned on sending himself. Something else the man had said caught Grim's attention and he looked up in surprise.
"You work?" Grim asked.
Mandy shrugged, ignoring Grim.
"Hey, you guys want to take Billy away from here for a nice long vacation far away…that's fine with me." She said, all in a dull and habitual voice. Grim thought about this, and after a long moment, smiled, fantasizing about a few weeks without Billy and his screwy family around. He was about to agree when Harold laughed.
"No, I mean the WHOLE family." He said, and looked at both of them expectantly. Mandy and Grim shared a weary look and the room filled with the sort of discomfort that people shared when they were sharing a conversation with a complete idiot who has made anfool of himself and hopes that he will find out before they had to inform him about it. Harold went on smiling.
"Harold…I don't know if you recall…" Grim started. "But we…aren't a part of your family." He said, using slow words so that the stout man could keep up. Harold laughed again.
"Just take a look at this pamphlet." He said, apparently deaf to what Grim had just said. He threw the pamphlet down on the table, where it slid before coming to a halt in the middle. Grim sighed and turned it towards him.
"Spring Blossom Resort." He read, frowning at the name in distaste. "A place for you, your significant other…or even your whole family. Come let the warm arms of spring embrace you as you enjoy the Café Roman, Carnaval De Clair de lune," (He stopped here and added in a low and mocking voice; "Yeah, as if printing it in French makes it more then a stupid cafeteria and infantile carnival…") "and the beautiful beach, which stretches five miles from side to side allowing for maximum...fun." He turned the pamphlet over. "Thanks, I'll pass." He said, while tossing it towards Mandy. She raised her brow.
"I don't think I want the 'warm arms of spring' to come anywhere near me." She said as she crossed her arms.
"Oh…come on guys." Harold said, pleadingly, as though going meant the world to him. Grim gave Harold a peculiar look.
"Shouldn't you be running this past your ACTUAL family?" He asked.
"Run what past us?" Gladys said as she entered the kitchen. "You haven't made any life altering decisions that will involve spending all our money on something useless that Billy will only wind up breaking anyway did you?" She said this without taking a breath.
"No, no…nothing like that." Harold grabbed the pamphlet and handed it to Gladys, who cast a quick look over it suspiciously, before the normal barmy smile stretched across her countenance.
"A vacation? Well I think that's a wonderful idea. Of course we'll have to get a babysitter for Billy." She said, clearly pleased at the thought of getting away for a while. Grim and Mandy shared another look. Since Grim had come into their lives Gladys had been twice as crazy as she had been before. They braced themselves for an outburst.
"Nope, Billy's coming dear." Harold said, grinning. Gladys' smile became more wooden and one of her eyes twitched.
"Oh…" She said. She sounded disappointed. "Well," She said, forcing her smile to widen. (This was creepy) "Well…that's…nice." She said through her teeth. Harold decided it was a good time to make things worse.
"Grim and Mandy are coming too." He said, ignoring the protests coming from both parties. This time Gladys' smile vanished entirely.
"But dear…they aren't family." She said, casting a threatening look towards Grim.
"Haha…nonsense." Harold replied, apparently missing the undertone in Gladys' voice and the heated looks shared between her and the Grim Reaper. She had put up with him for some time…and accepted him as a part of her life now…but that didn't mean she wanted him going along on FAMILY vacations. It wasn't logical to take Death along for a relaxing family holiday.
Harold slapped Grim on the back, surprising him out of his flaming staring contest with Billy's mom.
"Why, Grim's like the son I never had…" He said, missing the look the Reaper gave him. "And Mandy…well…Mandy's like a family pet or something." Mandy's eyes widened for a moment, until her eyebrows furled back as she presented her regular scowl.
"Excuse me?" She said. She looked across the table and sent a threatening gesture in Grim's direction to stop him from smirking wickedly at her expense.
"Now I wont hear another word." He said joyfully. "We leave in two hours." He said and turned to leave the room.
"Two hours?" Grim yelled after the man.
"Yep…otherwise the free tickets are void…and since I spent the last of our emergency money on that giant cotton candy machine Billy broke, we can't afford to actually PAY for a vacation." He laughed to himself, then, cleared his throat.
"I'll go tell Billy." He said and left.
For a moment Grim, Mandy and Gladys stood in silence. Finally, Gladys turned towards Grim and Mandy and, after grinding her teeth briefly, pointed at Grim with accusation in her eyes.
"I won't have ANY of your games during this vacation, or so help me…" She jerked her finger as if it were some gesture illuminating exactly what she would do to him should he try to endanger the lives of her or her family. After, she smoothed her hair down with her right hand and smiled.
"You guys go pack. I'll make all of us sandwiches." She walked out of the room, after casting Grim one final gaze of warning. He sighed.
"I swear she just keeps getting crazier." He said while shaking his head.
"Nah…I'd say she's about the same." Mandy said as she sat back.
Grim picked up the pamphlet again and looked at it, this time, reading the inside.
"What do you know…they are free. Hmm…strange…five tickets." Mandy gave the brochure a suspicious look before she took it from him and read it herself.
After a few moments of silence she laid it back on the table and stood.
"Come on…we have packing to do." Grim blinked.
"You're actually going to go along with tis?" He asked, surprise ebbing into his voice. It was useless…she had a look of steely resolution on her face.
"This whole brochure thing seems sort of off…I don't like it…and Billy's useless without us, besides, I don't really want to be stuck here with my parents. They get really sickening during the first couple weeks from spring." She said, looking positively horrified at the thought.
"Yeah…your right…he is pretty stupid." Grimsaid.A thought entered his head.
For a moment Grim entertained himself with the idea of being left to himself. He smiled as this pleasant fancy crossed his mind. Mandy, unfortunately, had gottenrather goodat reading him. She scowled.
"If I go, you go, bonehead." She said. Her voice said that to argue would be pointless. He sighed.
"Yeah…I figured as much." He said petulantly and stood.
Mandy watched as Grim headed for Billy's basement, the chamber which held all of his important belongings. For a moment, she fell into a slight daze as she watched his silhouette against the eerie glow (From all of Grim's important belongings) of Billy's basement. Then, after she shook herself violently from her thoughts and was sure he was doing as he was told, she opened the front door and stepped out into the sun.
The path to her house was lined with blossoming trees, both pink and white. The sidewalk was sprayed with delicate petals like some gentle shower had rained them down from the skies. She could even smell the sweet scent of spring in the air…it made her sick.
She walked towards her house in an utterly foul mood. She hated spring.
Hurray, I began. Think of this as a trial chapter. For now, I will work on this story on occasion, but my other stories; at least until I finish another one, will be my first priority. I hope you enjoy it, tell me if you don't. (Or do…that's always nice, too.)
Oh btw (If you don't already know.)
Twitterpated: (From "The Love That Dare Not Speak It's Name" Where Billy falls for Blandy.) adj., confused by affection or infatuation. ( I just found out this was a real word.) Or, according to Grim (And this isn't a direct quote...I'm not that good with this show.) When young people fall in love in the spring, 'Durring this age girls develope...a taste for human flesh...so your life is pretty much over.' (To Billy.) Just thought I'd add this for people who either didn't catch this word in the episode, or aren't familiar with the episode itself.