Disclaimer: Despite all our efforts at winning over Tim Burton for even a moment's custody of Willy Wonka, he and his factory are not ours.
AN: Here it is, the final chapter of Dark Chocolate Days. I would like to thank everyone who has stuck by this throughout the entire stop-and-go periods this story has had. You're all wonderful sports, and I hope that it has been worth the wait. To those who have just joined us, thanks for reading and reviewing (if you did so). I appreciate it very much. Enjoy this final chapter in the Willy/Danika saga!
Special Note: One of the reviewers (I can't remember which) suggested the ending of this story, but I thought I should tell you that my partner and I had decided on it first over a year ago, before we even wrote the third or fourth chapter of this fic. Therefore, I can't give her credit for the idea, but I would like to thank her for being so like-minded in the way we wanted to finish this. Thanks.
Watching Ayla pick candy flowers with Charlie, Danika Wonka gave a contented sigh and laid her head upon her husband's shoulder, his arm slowly lifting up to clasp her shoulder.
"I still don't like it," Willy muttered.
She chuckled. Even though she couldn't see it, Danika knew that he was glaring at the distant figures frolicking through the Chocolate Room. "Well, whether you like it or not, its love, and you can't stop that."
"Can so," he insisted in a childlike tone.
Laughing, Danika shook her head and watched two brown heads dart around the green fields from her window perch high above the scene. One head had short, slightly messy brown hair and the other had long brown hair with bright red highlights. The first was Charlie's, the other their daughter's.
"Who would have thought the heirs to the Wonka Chocolate Empire would fall in love?" Danika said teasingly, despite knowing how much it irritated her husband.
Beside her, Willy snorted. "He's too old for her."
She turned and looked at him skeptically. "You're too old for me and looked what happened," his wife declared, waving a hand towards the young girl that stopped just below their window.
"Yeah, but that's different. Ayla's too young to fall in love."
It was now eighteen years after the birth of their daughter, and Willy and Danika Wonka had loved each and every moment of it. In fact, most of Ayla's young life was recorded and saved on several dozen disks that were currently on a shelf in their room, dating from her first day out of the hospital wing up to her high school graduation. Thanks to the Oompa Loompas, Willy and Danika were able to be in most of those videos, since the tiny people had been the ones to film all of Ayla's big achievements in life.
"You're such a protective dad," Danika whispered. "Remember when we first brought her to our rooms?"
It was a time he wasn't likely to forget. Willy had been up nearly every hour of the night, checking to see if his baby girl was okay and comfortable, and whenever she did wake up and cry, he had been there in seconds to pick her up and hold her, rocking his precious Starshine back to sleep. If she woke up hungry, Willy brought her to Danika's arms so that the exhausted mama didn't have to get up.
"I'm just glad the Oompa Loompas were around to change all of those diapers," he muttered. Honestly, if there was one line Willy wouldn't cross when it came to his daughter, it was dirty diapers.
His wife chuckled, although she, too, was thankful for all of the help the tiny people had provided in helping raise their baby. Despite her determination to raise Ayla without assistance from anyone, having a troop of people bringing bottles, blankets, diapers, and a dozen other things without being asked was rather helpful. All she or Willy would have to do was turn around, and there was an Oompa Loompa with the required object in his or her hands.
Of course, the entire Loompa population was more than happy to help out, since this was the child of the beloved Cocoa Bean Man and his mate, not to mention the future owner of the factory they all worked and lived in. The tiny people thought it a privilege to cater to Ayla's needs, and on the rare occasion when both her parents were required elsewhere in the factory on business, three or four Oompa Loompas hovered protectively over her crib or cradle until Willy or Danika got back.
The result of such an unusual upbringing was a rather promising one. Ayla learned to walk, talk, and play with the best of nannies and guardians that anyone could ask for, but best of all was that she learned to love them as much as her parents did. This was a good thing, because after her third birthday, Willy and Danika felt it would be best to go back to work, which they had left in the care of a young boy named Charlie Bucket.
During these first three busy years of parenthood for the Wonkas, Charlie had been left to manage the factory almost entirely on his own. Willy helped, of course, as well as the Oompa Loompas, but between his wife, daughter, and his work, the Great Chocolatier was more likely to choose his family than his chocolate. However, with the few hours of spare time that Danika and the Oompa Loompas gave him per day to have to himself, Willy managed to come up with a line of popular baby products, which kept the factory's profits up, so nobody was really worried about going bankrupt.
As time passed and Ayla grew older, Danika debated sending her daughter to preschool, if only to further her development by playing with other children. Willy argued that there were tons of Oompa Loompa children in the factory, but Danika wanted more for her child, and so she, along with a fourteen-year-old Charlie Bucket, took Ayla out to her first day of school.
From that day forward, Ayla grew up like any other kid in her class, thanks to her parents' efforts to keep the press off of her tail.
After announcing his marriage to the world, as well as Danika's pregnancy, people went wild in their desire to know more about the Wonka's life. The two had not given out Danika's name or photo, nor Ayla's, so no one knew what the secretive Mrs. Wonka or Baby Wonka looked like, which left them safe from the paparazzi camped in front of the factory.
Enlisting Ayla under Danika's maiden name of Sinclair, as well as using the secret entrances built around the factory, Danika was able to get her daughter to school without anyone knowing who she or her daughter was. This was hard on Willy, since he couldn't go to school plays or social functions, but he knew that, for the sake of his daughter, it was better this way. Besides, he always had the videos that Danika took at whatever Ayla was involved in, and they were always fun to watch as a family.
When she was eight-years-old, Ayla began growing into her candy-making destiny. By this time, Charlie was eighteen, and to save time and energy, Willy began teaching the two of them together, these little training courses taking place right after Ayla finished her schoolwork. He would later learn that this was possibly the best and worst thing he could have done.
"I still don't like it," Willy said as his wife dragged him away from the window and the charming sight below it. "The teenage girl thing I could handle, since getting her a computer and cell phone is nothing I can't afford. I even handled the fact that she wanted to go to her school dances and stuff with her friends. But this!"
Danika sighed and pulled him into a hug. "Sweetie, you can't keep thinking about her as a baby anymore," she said as he nuzzled her hair. "I know she'll always be your little girl, but she's grown up now. She's going to be head of the factory soon, along with Charlie. It's a good thing that they love each other, because now there won't be a need to divide the factory between the two of them."
That had been one of Willy's greatest fears: that he would have to choose how to divide his beloved factory between the boy he thought of as a nephew, and the daughter that was the light of his life. Danika believed that a solution would present itself, and it had done so the moment Ayla was old enough to figure out what love was at age sixteen (thanks to watching her parents' behavior towards one another).
Sighing, he buried his face in his wife's fiery locks. Not a single grey or silver hair marred the beautiful red strands, though there were a few already showing in Willy's. He was thankful that Ayla's hair had changed color a little over the years, taking on a bit of red to become a deep auburn color hovering between the chocolate brown of her father and the red of her mother. Combined with her dazzling green eyes and sweet face, it was no wonder Charlie had fallen for the girl in return.
"I thought they'd, I don't know, grow up as brother and sister," Willy continued to complain. "I never in a billion years thought that they'd, well, you know. I blame that dance he took her to."
Danika smiled at the memory. When Ayla had turned sixteen, she'd decided to go to her school's Winter Ball, but was saddened when no one asked her to go as their date. Feeling sorry for the girl he'd considered a close friend and almost-sister, Charlie had offered to go so that Ayla would have at least one guy to dance with during the slow songs. It had seemed like a good idea at the time…
Until Ayla appeared in a form-fitting, forest green dress shimmering with gold thread, her hair in waves down her back and a white lily tucked to one side over her ear.
It was clear that the young man's heart was gone, and when she saw Charlie standing there, tall and handsome in a tuxedo, it was obvious that Ayla felt the same way.
After that, any brother-sister feelings between the pair were gone. Danika proceeded to spend many months watching the two sneak glances back and forth, holding hands when they thought their parents weren't watching, and snatching the occasional kiss behind corners. It was sweet, really, and despite what her husband might think about the whole thing, Danika knew that Willy would (eventually) be glad about never having to worry about his factory again.
"You do realize that if we don't let them get married, your dad just might help them elope," Danika casually mentioned as she toyed with a bit of her husband's hair.
Willy pulled back abruptly, looking horrified. "He wouldn't."
Of course, Willy knew very well that he very well would. Wilbur Wonka, now long retired from dentistry, could refuse his beloved granddaughter nothing. One look from Ayla's pleading green eyes, and the poor old man was willing to bend over backwards to give her anything she wanted, even if it was the moon.
"Okay, you're right. So what do we do?" the candy man asked. "She's too young to get married."
Danika continued to fiddle with his hair. "Technically, she's of age, but if you say 'no,' Ayla will wait." She looked up at him. "Not forever, of course, but she will probably wait a little while before going off and marrying Charlie anyway. And he hasn't even asked her, so there's really nothing to worry about yet."
A cough sounded from the doorway, causing both Wonkas to turn. There stood a blushing Charlie and Ayla, hand-in-hand as they entered. Brown hair fell messily into Charlie's brown eyes as he looked nervously at the people he considered an aunt and uncle.
"Um, actually, I guess now would be a good time to say that I already asked Ayla to marry me and that she said yes," Charlie told them, shifting from one foot to the other.
There was a moment of silence, and it wasn't the good kind that precedes congratulations. It was more like the calm before a storm or earthquake…or something equally as dangerous to one's health. Thankfully, Charlie got a bit of warning from Willy's purple eyes as they flashed, dropping his hold on Ayla's hand so that he could make a run for it. It was a good thing he did, too, because a second later, Willy was chasing after him, waving his cane in the air as he yelled for the young man to "get back here!"
Both female Wonkas followed close behind, watching as the two men raced through the hallways of the factory.
"Mom, aren't you going to do something?" Ayla asked worriedly, green eyes following her fiancé as he fled her father's wrath.
"No, let them sort it out," Danika told her daughter. "Come on; let's go have some champagne to celebrate your engagement."
Ayla looked at her mother in surprise. "Aren't you going to yell at me like Daddy's yelling at Charlie? I mean, I just agreed to get married, Mom!"
Danika smiled fondly at her daughter and gave her a hug. "Sweetheart, if marrying Charlie will make you happy, then that's what you should do. Besides, I'll talk with your father and make him see reason."
She looked at Willy, still chasing the panicked young man down the hall with his cane waving in his hands. "In the meantime, let the men figure it out between them."
The two women walked off, smiling as passing Oompa Loompas laughed their joy and amusement.
AN: Well, that's it! The End! I hope you all enjoyed it. Thanks again for reading!