Author: Kandy Kuro (Otakkun)

Summary: So what if our level-headed, well-adjusted, mischievous Lydia from the cartoons was in the movie instead of the slightly more suicidal and depressed movie Lydia? Well, for one, things will definitely go better for Betelgeuse.

Warnings: Swearing (Betelgeuse), sexual situations (Betelgeuse), and… well I should probably not say it again… ^^

Disclaimer: I don't own Beetlejuice or Lydia or any of the characters cartoon of movie. I'm only playing with them for a bit, and promise I'm not getting any money from it. Geez.

Author's Notes: Well I was watching the Beetlejuice movie and kept noticing how different movie Lydia was from cartoon Lydia. I watched the cartoon before the movie, so I'm a bit biased… but isn't cartoon Lydia so much better than her movie counterpart? I mean movie Lydia was a bit more depressing and weak (though at first it doesn't show) staring with"Why are you doing this?!", and she ends up the victim. Cartoon Lydia didn't speak once of suicide, and just seemed to love the creepy and strange, and she ends up on equal footing with Beetlejuice (if not running the show herself). Well anyway, I was watching the movie and kept finding places where I know cartoon Lydia would have burst out laughing, and couldn't help but wonder what Beetlejuice would have done if she did. So here's that story.

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Dark Heroine

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The constant noise of the city was at it's usual deafening level; cars honking, people shouting, dogs barking, and shady dealers dealing shadily. For most New Yorkers it was nothing, just easy-to-ignore background music to their own lives, but there was one little girl who still wish all of those idiots would just shut up.

And that little girl was Lydia Deetz. With a harsh slam she shut her bedroom window, the unfortunately placed one that gave 'a wonderful view of the skyline' as her step-mother had said. It was true that the New York City skyline was something to behold, but after years of looking out at the polluted and starless sky (and snapping about three dozen dark photos of the city after dark) the view was just annoying. Dark grey and black curtains shut closed, leaving the room in a dreary dark.

The girls eyes wandered around her room, the monster posters and voodoo dolls, the plastic skulls and wax candles, and quickly her red-and-black painted lips whipped up in a smile. She just loved her room! It always looked so spooky and dark, and she snapped a few pictures of the more interesting shadows that splayed across her grey walls. Her step-mother, Delia, had called the room 'depressing' and 'a virtual graveyard', but that was not it. Her room was perfect with the neutral and deep violet colors. Well, she did have to admit it felt like a graveyard a little bit, but that's what she liked about it. Really, if Dracula came over one night needing a place to stay the day, wouldn't she feel embarrassed to lead him to a frilly little-girls' room? She was just planning ahead.

And so it was with that resolve in mind that she fended off Delia's by-monthly pink-and-yellow terrorist attacks on her room. She thought Dracula would be proud.

"Pumpkin! Could you come here for a second?" The call came from outside her door. It was her father, and she was curious to she what he wanted. Charles Deetz had been a ruthless real estate dealer just a few years ago, until the death of his wife, Lydia's mother. Since then his nerve and resolve had been deteriorating. It was the only thing she liked about her step-mother: she managed to bring her dad out of his funk.

"Coming Dad!" Lydia called back, pulling her hair quickly up into a messy ponytail directly on top of her head. Her hair, for some reason, looked longer this way and she loved the gravity-defying look it gave her.

She left her room and walked over into the main part of the condo, her father and step-mother seemed to be arguing about something, while a woman who Lydia didn't know looked on excitedly. She heard her father say something about 'it's just what I need!' and her step-mother reply with 'out in the middle of nowhere?!' It took them a while to notice she was even there.

"Oh, Pumpkin!" Her father said, using his usual term of endearment. She didn't mind it since pumpkins reminded her of Halloween.

"OH! Hello Lydia darling!" Delia spoke in that strange voice of hers, the one that said I'm-only-dealing-with-you-because-of-your-father. And 'darling' was not an endearment Lydia liked.

"Hello Delia." The twelve-year-old replied in turn with her own I'm-only-dealing-with-you-because-of-my-dad tone.

The conversation/argument continued and Lydia was able to gather a few bits of information. For one, the woman she didn't know was Jane Butterfield, a relation of someone who had a house out in a place called Winter River. Another was that her had wanted to buy the house as a place to retire, to settle his nerves (though the Butterfield lady never actually said it was for sale). And lastly, that Delia was against it; way against it.

"But where will I get inspiration for my art, Charles?! You know my recent theme is the wretchedness of city living!" The red-head screeched. "And to think, me living out in a small town with… with… townsfolk!" She screamed, acting like he was asking her to go live in a marsh with crocodiles and mosquitoes.

The youngest Deetz remained quiet, watching their bickering. She'd always been a level-headed girl, very down-to-Earth even if she would rather be down-to-Mars. Delia's art wasn't bad; though she would never admit it. It was creepy and awkward, and exactly the kind of thing that Lydia liked. She was often left in wonder about how such a dull and preppy woman could create something so unusual. But regardless of those thoughts, she was still daddy's girl.

"Dad." The dark-haired pre-teen said softly to gain his attention. "If you think it will help, we should definitely do it. Country life has got to be relaxing and I'll be able to get some wicked new footage!" Lydia held up her camera, adding a little more incentive. Since her mother's death he'd been trying to find some common-ground with his daughter, she got a lot of cool stuff because of it, but in reality they still were worlds apart.

The blondeman smiled thankfully at his daughter then turned to Delia with a grin. "There, you see? It'll be good for Lydia. Children shouldn't grow up in a big city! They should have places to play, without having to worry about getting mugged."

"I grew up in the city." The red-head stated flatly, but she didn't need to see the strange looks on her husband and step-daughters' faces to know she lost the argument. "Well, we need to bring Otho because there is no way I'm going into that wilderness alone!"

Lydia sighed exasperatedly and went to look at the photo that sparked this conversation. It was a nice house, standing alone with no direct neighbors. It was the type of house that looked so cozy and normal that there had to be something horrible that happened there. Like a family was murdered in cold-blood and their spirits still lurked around, scaring away any new residents, but really just want someone to help bring their souls to rest…

During her little day-dream she heard the Buttermilk, or whatever, woman mention that the house wasn't exactly for sale yet. But that didn't matter much, since once her dad had set his mind on something he wouldn't give in -she actually felt sorry for the current residents- but if there were still people living in that house it was a good sign that no specters were pining for revenge there. It was just an ordinary old house.

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"They died?" Lydia said, her mouth hanging open in shock. Her parents were watching as a few guys in dirty blue jumpsuits loaded their things into the moving truck. They'd decided that if they were going to need to hire loaders to ship all of Delia's sculptures to Winter River, then they might as well have them haul everything.

"Yes, that's what they said dear." Her father said looking eager to get on the way. They were flying to Connecticut, but most of their stuff would have to be driven so it would arrive a few days later, they on the other hand would be there tomorrow.

"Well, they must have been accommodating people." Delia said in an ambiguous way that could have been serious of mocking. "They even died conveniently… Be careful with that!" The artist fussed at one of the blue jumpsuit guys.

Lydia spared a glare at her step-mother before going to sit down on one of the couches that they hadn't gotten around to moving. "Wow, creepy…" She mused, if the house wasn't haunted before, maybe it would be now. She smiled and lifted the camera that was around her neck (she would never allow them to ship it away from her) and snapped a picture of the condo she'd lived in for the past six years. Goodbye.

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Meanwhile, amongst a mess of candles, old fliers, and liquor bottles, a man with ridiculously untidy blonde hair was flipping through a newspaper to the Obituaries.

"Oh la la!" A rough voice sang, almost as if he was mocking someone while saying it. "What'da we got here: the Maitlands, huh." The man laughed in a decidedly non-humorous way, but filled with something else. "Cute couple… look nice and stupid too." The laughing that followed now was a bit clearer; like the chuckling of a man who'd found a crunched rat in one of the traps he'd set up for it; a 'got ya' type of laugh.

To be Continued…

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A/N: Okay! What do you think? I tried to show Lydia's cartoon personality here, but there wasn't much situation for it. Lydia's behavior will change the eventual outcome of the story, and if I don't get it right there's no point, so tell me if I'm off. I re-watched Beetlejuice (movie and cartoon) to try to get this right. Note the direct quote from Betelgeuse in the last paragraph. Anyway, please read and review, I'll probably keep writing tonight, so chances are the next chapter is already up or soon to be.