Disclaimer: Not owning, not caring for the moment.

This takes place when Billy and Mandy are older. Honestly, I've always imagined Billy random and crazy on alcohol, not like this. But since someone is bound to write a fic like that sooner or later, I wanted a new take on things.


She recognized the beeping light on her answering machine the instant she shucked her coat to the floor. Almost nobody bothered to call anymore. Grim always had better ways to find her, and she didn't bother maintaining contact with many other people. She hadn't missed the little blinking light.

The caller ID reported five missed calls and one message last night—the record of all records. It was the same unrecognizable number all five times, and the phone she had bought did not display names. There had been no need for anything more elaborate; no one called her anymore. Not since she graduated, found a steady job, and left William for good.

She pressed play.

A male voice met hers; not a familiar one, but one she thought she should know. It was deep but hid aspects of childishness, that sort of unidentifiable voice that makes you think about yesterday. The voice wavered in pitch and exaggerated its words in staggering drunkenness, but not to the point so that she couldn't understand them. There was excessive static in the background and she cringed.

"Hello? Helllloooo? How do ya work this thing? Duhhhhh, hi Mandy! It's Billy! Gosh, you sound as nice as ever! Am I happy to talk to you again!" Something crashed in the background. "Oh, that's just Irwin. He threw a beer bottle at me, but he missed. He's been kinda—" the voice hiccupped, "—mad since I wrestled your number from him. Dunno how he got it, that guy's a real creep. Listen, uhhhhhh, Mandy…Do yous miss me? I can't remember—I don't remember. Are you here? Me and Irwin are having a par-tay and you should join us! If you're not already here…" William—Billy—hiccupped again and she closed her eyes. That was one of the reasons she abandoned him; he had become an inebriated loser in adulthood. "I don't gots no money, Mandy. And Irwin gets weird when he drinks beer. Mandy? Are you there? Mandy…"

Billy's voice trailed off and there was another crash, this time accompanied with a yelp of pain. "Owww…this time it hit me, Mandy. He heard me call him a creep." Slurred sobs began to pour from the machine. "I'm bleeding, Mandy! Make it stop, make it stop! Where's Grim, Mandy? Where are you?"

There was a muffled curse in the background from another voice. Suddenly, she could hear Billy's breath on the phone louder than before. "Where'd you go, Mandy? You're not here anymore. You're never here anymore. You left me. I misses you, Mandyyyy…" His speech was becoming more slurred; whether that was from the alcohol or the crying was debatable. She heard yet another crash in the background. "I miss Grim too. Why'd you have to take him away? Why'd you leave too?

"You're still my friend, though, Mandy. If you want to be. You don't have to. How long…has it been?" Sixteen years, she thought blankly as a sort of answer. "I gotta go, Mandy. Irwin looks like he's really getting…weird. And dangerous. I'm still your best friend, right Mandy? Right?" Irwin screamed something in the background that didn't sound too inviting. "Bye, Mandy!" She heard the glass click of him raising a bottle to his lips and gulping down that intoxicating substance before he hung up. The phone clicked around a bit before it was replaced properly.

Her answering machine beeped and went silent. A monotone lady's voice pronounced, "End of messages." Involuntarily, she took a deep breath. When she released it, her exhale was shaky. She stood there, breathing shallowly and unfurling her fingers, now white as the fragrant petals of a daisy. What the hell had happened to that boy she had written off long ago, that boy she had once proclaimed her idiot?

Mandy picked up the phone and carefully punched in the number from the caller ID. Only when the dial tone began to ring in her ear did her mind wander back all those years, and did her cold, numb fingers begin to tremble.