Potion Madness!

Summary: Rose and Albert got married. Albert went to college, but forgot to mention to Rose about how he was aiming for a degree in Chemistry as well as in English. When she finds out, a potion gets mixed into the equation and people start to change. R&R!

Disclaimer: I'm so glad I don't own Bye Bye Birdie… or any of the characters in it. Oh! I do own Ralph, though. I don't know where he came from… but he was written in here for my youngest brother, who helped me write this.

Warning: This is the most random and highly illogical fic in my collection to date. If you don't like random or illogic or AU or OOC… turn back now! Or at least read my profile first. Maybe that'll help to explain a few things.

(A/N) Hey, this is your crazy author speaking. Here's a fic I randomly came up with one day. Not a lot of dialogue. You have to have seen the play/movie in order to understand half of the comedy in this. Anywho… I wasn't the only one who wrote this. My youngest brother helped and, in all honesty, it was actually mostly his idea. I'm just the scribe/editor. Well, R&R anyway!

~~~~~~ Albert and Rose had gotten married and bought a little house in the simple town of Sweetapple. Albert was going to Sweetapple College and eventually realized that he didn't just want to be an English teacher. Somewhere along the lines, he figured that he wanted to be a part-time Chemistry teacher as well. Neglecting to tell Rose right away for fear of what she might say, he began to study Chemistry and English as well as various other science and literature classes as were the requirements.

"Alright, class…" his admittedly rather questionable Chemistry teacher addressed the room one day, "I want you all to start a love serum."

Albert thought it was a weird assignment, but at least he had a few weeks to pull it off before graduation.

So, for several nights in his not-so-secret lab, an office in his house, he started work on his potion. The whole process took somewhere around a week and a half to complete. Sighing happily to himself when he'd finally finished the project, he noticed the potion's peculiar pink shade. But before he had time to question it, the phone rang, so he rushed off to catch the call, slamming the door behind him. Little did he know, his other chemicals fell into it, allowing a puff of purple-pink smoke to erupt from the open top of the container.

When Albert returned to the lab, he noticed the potion's purple color rather than its original pink shade. "That's peculiar," he thought out loud, "But it's no problem now because I'll graduate in a week anyway." With a slight yawn, he decided it best to go to bed after all his hard work.

Oddly enough, his Chemistry teacher declared that they wouldn't be testing the love serums after all… most likely due to the fact that one of his superiors had forbid him from doing so. So, instead, the teacher agreed to give everyone A's on the assignment for attending class and producing a product that fit the requirements. Well, it was safer than the alternative, so Albert didn't give it much more thought.

~~~~~~ After graduation, he met Rose and showed her his degrees in both Chemistry and English.

"Albert!" Rose exclaimed, "Why did you choose Chemistry without telling me?" Upon hearing his reasoning, she stormed off angrily, leaving him to stare at her in horror and confusion. Little did Albert really know that it was all part of her plan for a surprise congratulations party.

"Maybe Rosie doesn't love me anymore," Albert thought to himself sadly. Then, he remembered the love serum and that gave him an idea.

~~~~~~ Upon returning home, he quickly darted to his room and grabbed the potion off his desk, where he'd put it when he dropped his stuff off at the house. Opening the cap to check on it, he noticed with a great level of satisfaction that it was fine and set it back down on the desk, forgetting to recap it again. Instead, he placed the cap down on the 6-pack of beer sitting on his desk and the potion seeped onto the lids of the cans. Ignoring it, he transferred a bit of the potion into a safer container to slip to Rose when he had the chance.

Reentering the kitchen, he found his mother and Conrad Birdie waiting for him. Of course, this was a shock to him, but he'd sort of gotten used to their unexpected visits by now. Conrad had a restraining order against Mr. MacAffee after a certain incident at the Ed Sullivan Show a while back, though.

"Hi…" Albert began, realizing how awkward the situation was, and then he realized that he had another question, "Why did you two come together? I thought you didn't like each other in the same way." Not that he had any business to snoop around in their personal matter, but it still was a strange occurrence.

They gave the simple answer that Mae saved Conrad from the army and they'd only needed to pull a few strings. So, now they were "friends", though there were still a few problems here and there. Conrad looked in the fridge and noticed to his own dismay and confusion that there were no closed beer cans, which was even weirder.

"You can grab one out of the pack on my desk upstairs," Albert offered to the grateful man, completely forgetting about the spilled potion.

Conrad set off up the stairs in a hurried attempt to quench his thirst. When he reached Albert's room, he briefly noticed the cap sitting on the beer cans and recapped the bottle, claiming a can for himself. When he reentered the kitchen a few seconds later with his beer in hand, no one noticed the bottle Albert had placed on the table.

"I'd better go call Rosie to let her know about your arrival," Albert muttered to them, figuring he'd have her come home sooner from where she worked in town as he trudged into the living room to make the call.

Meanwhile, the two in the kitchen managed to keep themselves busy. As Conrad drank his beer, he finally noticed the bottle on the table and picked it up to put away in the fridge, thinking it was some sort of drink. On the way, he tripped and the bottle spilled on himself and Mae.

Albert told them to stop acting like 6-year-olds and then a puff of purple smoke appeared around the two. When he came back, he discovered that they had turned into 6-year-olds. Albert stared at them while they mused over their new bodies. He didn't recognize them, but he knew he couldn't waste time finding out who they were, especially once he realized that the two originally in the kitchen were missing.

He didn't have the time to feel suspicious as he noticing the bottle was gone, so he ventured up the stairs again to fill another one. When he got back to the kitchen, he noticed that Hugo stopped by to pick up a book that Albert had bought for him.

"Hold on, Hugo," Albert told him, "I'll get the book for you. I think you'll enjoy it." Placing the bottle on the table once again, he ran into the living room.

While he waited, Hugo noticed the 6-year-olds staring at him. It was odd enough that there were children in a house with no kids to begin with, but the fact that they seemed almost familiar to him was even weirder. "Hello," he greeted them, "Where did you two come from? Can you tell me your names?"

The two picked up the closest items to them and promptly threw them at the boy, feeling insulted that he was speaking to them like he would to a baby. Taking advantage of his new form, Conrad grabbed the bottle from the table and prepared to throw that, too. Thinking better of the situation, Mae tried to stop him by grabbing it, but the bottle slipped from their hands and broke on top of Hugo.

Albert heard breaking glass and commented that it sounded like a one-year-old having a fit. Sure enough, the purple smoke surrounded Hugo and Albert returned to find a baby one-year-old waiting with the two 6-year-olds. While trying to figure out what happened and why there was yet another child in his house, he noticed that Hugo had apparently left. This time, the two 6-year-olds hadn't had enough time to hide the broken bottle.

Noticing it on the floor, Albert traveled upstairs to refill another for the second time that day. "Two bottles in one day," he muttered on the way up, "If this keeps up, I'll never get Rosie to love me again."

He returned to the kitchen with yet another bottle and thought better of leaving it within reach of the children. This time, he put it on the cabinet above the coffee pot so no one would take it. Checking one last time to make sure there were no other people roaming around his house, he took hold of the three kids and dragged them out the door, helping them into the car. When they were all inside safely, Albert started the car and headed toward the child lost and found.

"Alright, I give up!" Mae exclaimed, "Where are we going this time, Albert?"

Albert looked at them in the rear view mirror. "How did you know my name?" he asked her.

"Sonny dear, who else would be standing in your house waiting for you to return?" Mae hinted at him.

"She dragged me into it," Conrad explained, casting her an uncomfortable sideways glance.

Then, it hit him. The kids were actually his mother, Conrad, and Hugo. "Change of plans, guys," Albert told them as he changed directions and headed to a very special place in town.

~~~~~~ Back at the house, Rose and Kim had arrived, expecting to find Albert and the others. When they closed the door, the potion-filled bottle spilled into the coffee pot. Checking each of the downstairs rooms, they noticed that no one was home.

"Kim, why don't you wait here and start your homework?" Rose suggested and the teen sat down at the kitchen table, "After you finish, we'll go shopping and have some fun."

Kim removed her homework from her bag while Rose set to pouring herself a cup of coffee. She took a few mouthfuls of the delicious liquid and pondered to herself where the others could have gone.

"It's extremely hard to be sixteen, you should know," Kim said in attempt to start a conversation, "It was so much easier before my birthday."

All of a sudden, the purple smoke surrounded Rose, who then turned into a 16-year-old. Kim turned around in time to witness the event and stared in surprise. Rose looked down at herself and realized what must have happened, although she couldn't figure out how that made sense. On a whim, the two decided to go to the MacAffee house with another cup of the coffee to request help.

~~~~~~ Upon their arrival at the house, Mrs. MacAffee greeted them at the door and led them into the kitchen. Kim introduced Rose the teenager and the MacAffee family finally noticed what happened. At that, Mr. MacAffee began to get carried away again, ignoring his family's attempt to stop his tangent about how dangerous Albert was.

"…a menace to this society!" he was saying as Rose took Kim aside.

"I think there's some kind of potion in the coffee," she shared her opinion in a whisper.

"Right," Kim voiced in agreement and then reminded Rose of the events leading up to the transformation she'd witnessed, "I said a specific age after you drank it. That must be how it works."

Rose pondered that for a moment and quickly decided on a plan to test their theory. Immediately, she turned her attention to Mr. MacAffee. "All that talking must be making you thirsty," she spoke casually and offered him the cup, "Here, have some coffee."

"Why, thank you," he responded and took hold of it, "You know, we need more upstanding people in this world." He nodded at her and paused to take a gulp of the liquid.

"You'll burn yourself if you slurp it down like that," Rose brought the conversation on, "Anyone would think you're a 5-month-old."

Suddenly, the puff of purple smoke surrounded him and the transformation happened. When the smoke cleared, Mr. MacAffee had indeed turned into a 5-month-old baby. In wake of astonishment, Mrs. MacAffee picked him up and realized he could still speak, though without an extensive vocabulary. How that made sense, she'd never know.

"Now, I have to take care of all his baby needs as well as all of his regular house, meal, and comfort needs," Mrs. MacAffee complained, realizing she couldn't turn them down even if she wanted to.

Kim and Rose decided to take him to find Albert, who might be able to help them because of his degree in Chemistry and all of his other science studies. They tried to take the baby, but Mrs. MacAffee explained that she couldn't risk something happening to him.

It wasn't until the girls were about to leave that the baby Mr. MacAffee opened his mouth to his wife and said, "You're a pretty lady" in such a way that she finally decided to let the girls take him. She could allow herself a day to take advantage of the quiet, right? She deserved some time for herself for once. After all, who knew when the opportunity would arise again?

So, the teens headed out on Mr. MacAffee's motorcycle in attempt to find Albert and fix the problem. Neither of them quite knew when he'd gotten a motorcycle, but they didn't bother asking. Nothing seemed to be making sense today anyway.

~~~~~~ Meanwhile, Albert stopped at a gas station to make a phone call and told the "kids" he'd be back. Mae decided to take advantage of their younger physique and do something active. After all, they were young again – for a time anyway – so why not enjoy it? She then stated that they were playing a game where she and Conrad were married and Hugo was their baby.

Of course, Hugo could speak too and tried to object, but Mae stuffed a binky in his mouth to keep him quiet. So, while they were distracted, Conrad quietly climbed out of the car window and made a run for it. If sticking around meant he had to play house with a nutcase, he'd rather risk the alternative. Mae noticed his absence and quickly decided to find him. He couldn't get too far, right? She buckled Hugo into the seat, picked the child safety lock, and ran out into the street to find Conrad.

As she was crossing the street, a beer truck came out of nowhere and Mae vaguely recognized it as the same truck that hit Lou, her wire-haired terrier, all those years ago. Just as it was about to hit her, she ducked down and grabbed onto the bottom of the truck, holding on with all her strength. No doubt, it was easier in the movies. Then, she saw Conrad wander out in front of the truck. In a moment's notice, she pulled him under before he could get hit.

Conrad was, of course, astounded and had absolutely no idea who possibly could have rescued him. As he started to thank the person, he noticed who it really was and stopped himself in surprise. How was that possible? In all his bewilderment, it took him a short moment to realize that Mae had now saved his life at least twice: 1) just now from the truck and 2) from the army, where she'd also stated that they had a family of their own… except the details were more than too descriptive. He just hoped this wouldn't become a habit.

Without a word, Mae flung him over her shoulder and started climbing up the side of the truck. Again, it looked so much easier in the movies, though she noted with a small amount of satisfaction that this seemed to be the only time that Conrad would willingly cling to her as if his life depended on it… because in this case, it technically did. As she was about to knock on the window, she paused for a moment upon seeing that the driver was none other than… Lou?

When she'd gotten a hold of herself again, she began tapping on the glass and he let her in. Of course, he was only a dog and supposedly dead, but apparently Lou had been smart enough to crawl under the truck, too. Not to mention, he could now talk. For the next few moments, they exchanged tidbits of information about their time apart while Conrad sat there in confusion. Something wasn't adding up here.

Lou explained that the beer delivered by him over the past few weeks had been contaminated. It was when he noticed the lids popped on several of the cans that he drank it… and discovered that he could talk. He had soon figured out that the contamination caused the lids to pop, which should have been a fair enough warning that something was wrong with the liquid itself, as well as give him the ability to speak. Why would he drink the beer in the first place? Two reasons: 1) he was thirsty and 2) he hadn't known it was contaminated at the time. The recently delivered packs were non-contaminated, to Conrad's great relief.

When they finished exchanging stories, Lou let them off at the gas station. Mae and Conrad hurriedly returned to the car and got in just in time. Albert returned soon after and drove off in the direction of their new destination. By now, the three "kids" had gotten used to each other and the previously tense atmosphere had died down to something of acceptance of their current predicament. Hugo, still sucking on his binky, was actually adapting to the life of a 1-year-old and decided that he would let them play their game for a while. He just hoped Albert would be able to figure out what was going on and turn them back to normal. He wasn't sure he could deal with being picked up and manhandled so much.

The ride was relatively silent until they finally pulled into the lengthy driveway of a rather large house. "Alright, we're here," Albert said as he parked and got out of the car, walking around to open the door for the three in the back seat, "We'll be staying here for a while, but don't worry. I know someone who can help." He grabbed Hugo to carry him to the front door of the house and the other two followed without hesitation.

Conrad had made the firm decision to stick with the group and play along with Mae's game, figuring it wasn't worth risking his neck to escape again. But only this once. And so he found himself standing on the front porch of some stranger's house… in a 6-year-old body… with a girl who was supposed to be who-knows-how-much-older-than-him attached to his arm.

Albert knocked on the door and the local babysitter, Ralph, opened it. Apparently, Albert knew Ralph a little too well. Ralph was just a local kid; taking care of the other neighborhood kids was how he earned a living. He also earned his money by making friends with the kids he babysat and got them to retrieve any money possible and return it to him. This also included wallets, credit cards, ID, phone numbers, and email addresses. Any types of addresses were acceptable. For what purpose? Who knew?

Technically, his business should have the law appearing at his doorstep every few minutes. But Ralph was allowed to run his it any way he wanted to without the cops showing up. If they did, Ralph's bodyguards – $5 each on eBay – would discourage them from sticking around long with the forms permitting his good source of scandal. He was really a nice kind of kid, but no one knew why he'd turned to such an underhanded trade.

Albert immediately led the 6-year-olds into the house, following Ralph with the short version of what he was doing there. Ralph watched him thoughtfully as he sat the "kids" on the couch and paid the $15 fee.

~~~~~~ Back on the road, after a rough start, Kim and Rose found something by chance in the compartment of Mr. MacAffee's motorcycle.

"What is it?" Kim asked curiously from where she sat peering over Rose's shoulder.

"It looks like Albert's address book," Rose responded thoughtfully.

That couldn't be right, but sure enough, Albert's name was written inside the front cover… which could mean one of two things. Either Albert stole the motorcycle from Mr. MacAffee and had been using it recently or it was the other way around. At least if Albert had stolen it, he'd had the courtesy to return it, though he wouldn't make a very good thief if he left traceable items behind.

Rose handed the book to Kim as she continued to focus on her driving. "Check that for me, alright?"

Kim nodded and flipped a few pages for anything significant. "It's been recently used," she noted as she proceeded to search through it, "And look. There's an address circled." So, she read off the address and they followed it to the driveway of Ralph's house.

"Good work, Kim," Rose stated as she parked the motorcycle, "Albert's still here."

The two girls sighed in relief at the sight of Albert's car in the driveway and they traveled to the front door. Not too long after they rang the doorbell, Ralph answered with a surprised look and an uncertain greeting. Of course, he'd be skeptical of two 16-year-old girls carrying a 5-month-old baby. Something like that didn't just show up on his front porch every day. Kim recognized the boy as one of Randolph's friends and took it upon herself to briefly explain why they were there.

"You, too, huh?" Ralph took the baby Mr. MacAffee, who stared back at him curiously, and sighed. "That'll be fifteen dollars if you want me to watch him while you find your friend."

"Can't you drop the fee?" Rose asked him.

"Well…" Ralph spoke ponderingly, taking into consideration their situation, "Maybe I'll consider lowering it."

All of a sudden, Mr. MacAffee said to Ralph, "You're a pretty lady, too" as though it was some kind of joke.

"Alright, I see your point," Ralph offered his sympathies, realizing he couldn't stand to let the two girls suffer with the little baby any longer, "but I can't afford to drop the price."

"Rose?" Albert suddenly showed up in the doorway behind him, having heard voices from where he'd been waiting in the living room.

"Albert!" Rose exclaimed, glad to have finally found him, "What are you doing here?"

"He's the one we're looking for," Kim explained to her brother's friend.

"Fine, you're in," Ralph stated, seemingly convinced, "No charge." He stepped aside, letting the girls come inside. "The kitchen's this way," he told them, motioning for them to follow him through the house, "Just tell me why you brought the kid to me?"

"It's complicated," Rose spoke up, eyeing Albert suspiciously.

"Fair enough. You can tell me over coffee." Ralph nodded and watched as the girls visibly paled at the mention of the beverage. "Just step in there." He motioned to the door leading into the kitchen. "I'll be back in a minute."

As Albert and the girls traveled into the kitchen, Ralph strapped the 5-month-old into a highchair to make sure he didn't escape. If that didn't do it, nothing would. When he'd finished securing the "baby", he looked around the living room, wondering where the other three "kids" were. In a moment of slight relief, he noticed they were sitting by the coffee table apparently counting change.

"Should I ask?" he hesitated to inquire what they could possibly need to count out money for.

They looked up at him and fixed him with hard stares he wasn't sure he liked too much.

"We have five dollars and fifty cents," Conrad explained, holding out the total sum of his pocket change.

"It's yours if you'll do us a favor," Mae offered in a tone that sounded like it should've been kindly persuasive but turned out more threatening, "If we're going to be here for a while, we'll need one hundred diapers, some spare clothes hangers, and string. Oh, and we'll need you to leave the room… if you wouldn't mind. It could get messy."

Ralph stared at her suspiciously, allowing himself a moment to fully absorb the kind but threatening request as if trying to figure out what they could possibly need all that stuff for. "That all?" Mae shook her head and Ralph shrugged simply. "Give me a minute." He left the room for a few minutes and came back with a large sack filled with their requested items. "There you go." He set the bag down next to them without further questioning and Mae handed him the change. Hey… Money was money. And it would work as compensation for him having to deal with an extra "kid".

Mae narrowed her eyes questioningly as she marveled at the fact he'd actually been able to acquire the list of items so quickly from his own house. She stopped him before he could turn to leave the room. "Where are your parents?" Surely, they couldn't condone this.

"Lay off," Ralph grunted apathetically in response, pocketed the change, and rolled his eyes as he traveled into the kitchen, "Don't destroy my house."

The three "kids" shrugged off the exchange and tugged the sack towards the couch. As soon as they were sure their caretaker had left the room, they set to flipping over the couch. Remarkably, no one came running into the room as it flipped over onto its back. Mae grinned thoughtfully as she changed the reluctant Harry MacAffee's and Hugo's diapers and set aside the used ones. They could have fun with this.

Meanwhile, Conrad peered into the next room at two large burly men – he presumed they were Ralph's bodyguards – that looked to be playing some kind of card game at a table. He sighed shakily at the thought of having to approach them, but Mae had said they were essential to their plan, so he swallowed hard and thought of a way to effectively and safely grab their attention. The second he set foot into the room, both men snapped their heads in his direction and eyed him with a look that drained his face of all color.

'Oh, god… If I die because of this…' he thought, reluctant to finish that inward statement for fear that it might actually come to play.

"Hi…" he began his request as convincingly as possible, "Would you… do us a favor?" All he had to do was get them to coax Albert into the living room at any cost. Yeah… that's all he had to do.

~~~~~~ Albert and the girls remained in the kitchen talking about what happened even though Ralph had excused himself a while back to apparently get something from his basement. They didn't really mind much that he hadn't returned a second time. He wasn't much of a conversationalist anyway.

"I can't believe this," Albert voiced his confusion on the matter, "It doesn't make sense. What did they eat that turned them into kids?"

Sure, Rose and Kim had told him that they suspected the coffee was what transformed everyone, but he'd been sure that his mother, Conrad, and Hugo hadn't had the chance to drink the coffee while they were at his house. Conrad had been drinking beer, for Pete's sake. It must have been something else.

"I don't know, but speaking of food, maybe we should make lunch," Rose suggested and Kim hurriedly agreed, realizing how hungry she was. Ralph wouldn't mind if they raided his fridge. He didn't seem to mind much about anything except raking in money.

~~~~~~ Back in the living room, the "kids" had discovered a swivel chair and rolled it over to the center of the room, eagerly awaiting the opportunity to incorporate it into their master plan. Although Conrad had been unable to persuade the bodyguards to forcibly remove Albert from the room, he had managed to convince them to assist in restraining him if necessary. Even as a 6-year-old, he was still charming… though he was debating whether or not that was such a good thing.

Albert suddenly entered the room with a plate of sandwiches. "Here. You should probably eat something while the rest of us try to figure out how to change you back to your normal selves," he spoke, setting the plate on the coffee table. Maybe whatever it was they'd consumed before would be flushed out of their system and extinguish the effects. He hoped for everyone's sake that that was the case.

"Sit down, Sonnyboy," Mae suggested, motioning to the chair, "You look tired."

"Uh, not really," Albert replied, starting to get a suspicious feeling. What was with the creepy grins he was getting from them?

"I insist," Mae persisted.

"Hold on. Ralph?" Albert called for the babysitter, but he got no response. Instead, the bodyguards forced him into the chair and blindfold him with a used diaper after securely tying him up with the string. "What are you doing?"

A mighty roar erupted from the "kids" as they chanted their battle cry, "I'm a big girl now!"

"What's going on in there?" Rose wondered aloud in bewilderment upon hearing the ruckus from where she sat with Kim in the kitchen, waiting for Albert's return. That couldn't just be the others eating lunch.

"Let's check it out," Kim suggested and the girls crept into the living room, where they beheld the scene in utter horror and confusion.

"My God," Rose exclaimed for lack of anything better to say, "What has gotten into them?"

"Well… maybe they didn't like the sandwiches?" Kim supplied an unsure answer, "If we distract them…"

"Good idea, Kim," Rose agreed with the plan before Kim had even finished her statement, "I'll get Albert and then we're leaving. Alright?"

Kim nodded and breathed a heavy sigh as she grabbed the plate and attempted to get the "kids'" attention. When they finally looked over at her, she carefully distributed the sandwiches as Rose set to work untying Albert.

"Honestly, I don't know how you get yourself into these situations," Rose was saying as she pulled off the makeshift blindfold and set to work at undoing the knots.

"That makes two of us, Rosie," Albert agreed, attempting to assist break the string.

As soon as they managed to free the now utterly humiliated man, they quickly checked to see if the "kids" were paying attention and sneaked out the front door with Kim hurriedly in tow. They'd come back later when the "kids" were finally settled down and not so… irritated.

~~~~~~ Upon hearing the sound of engines starting outside, Ralph traveled up the stairs from his basement lab and glanced around in attempt to figure out what was going on. When he shut the door behind him, he noticed a note in Kim's handwriting rather untidily taped to it as if it had been done in a hurry.

Ralph,

Something came up and we had to leave, but don't worry. We'll be back before long. Please, take care of the kids until we get back. Sorry to disappear on such short notice. Thanks.

Kim

Well, at least they'd had the courtesy to leave him an explanation. He was about to return to his basement when he caught a glimpse of a scene he wished he hadn't. The "kids" were staring at him with what he could only describe as horrifically manipulative faces. And apparently, his bodyguards were paid off to go on an early break… because they were nowhere to be found. Ralph was about to open his mouth and ask what was going on, but then he remembered the last part of the "kids'" request in exchange for the extra $5.50… Darn… He'd agreed to stay in the basement, hadn't he?

Once again, the strange battle cry resounded throughout the house. "I'm a big girl now!"

Before he could run, the "kids" tackled him and had him tied to a chair within an inch of his life. He gulped as he stared back at their vengeful expressions. $20.50 definitely wasn't worth the trouble.

~~~~~~ Randolph, who had been tracking down the girls on his skateboard, suddenly ran into the room and joined the commotion. "Hey…" He stopped short in confusion upon seeing the odd predicament his friend had somehow gotten himself into.

"What're you doing here?" Ralph managed to get out his question in a surprisingly casual tone as Randolph pulled the "kids" out of the way and grabbed the rolling chair.

"Uh… Long story," came the response as Randolph rolled the chair hurriedly towards the basement door.

"Tell me about it." Ralph sighed and tried his best to shrug under the restraints.

Grabbing Conrad's sunglasses as they rolled past, Randolph hurried to untie his friend and the two boys ran through the basement door, shoving the chair back at the "kids" to ensure they wouldn't be able to follow. As soon as they'd made it safely onto the stairs, they shut the door and locked it, sighing in relief to know that they'd made it in one piece. Ralph and Randolph were good friends, the same age, and had the same great idea – they were actually partners in this scandalous business Ralph ran on a daily basis. As soon as they were down the stairs, the two boys began to set up the secret lab and go over what they knew about the situation. They were going to find a way to end this once and for all. They had to deal with their peers telling them what to do regularly and they didn't need them doing that as kids, too.

Little did they know that back upstairs, the "kids" – Mae, Conrad, Hugo, and Harry MacAffee – were creating bows, arrows, slingshots, and anything else they could manage out of the supplies they'd been given. If they were going to be stuck like this for who-knows-how-long, then they were determined to have some fun with it. Besides, Conrad kept insisting that they retrieve his sunglasses at all costs, not to mention the money they'd forced him to give up for this ridiculous scheme.

After some time, Randolph and Ralph tactfully traveled back up the stairs with a muzzle and a blanket in hand, some semblance of a plan formed in their heads. "You grab the babies and I'll take care of the others," Ralph instructed, hoping it would be easy this time and the "kids" would be watching TV or napping.

"Got it," Randolph replied, obviously having the same thought… though he highly doubted the odds were in their favor.

Just as they'd thought, all hope was lost the moment they opened the door. Without hesitation, they found themselves rushing headlong into a line of fire that consisted of diapers and other forms of ammo. And where was it coming from? Some sort of handmade weapons the "kids" had put together in their absence. How had they managed to do that? Well, there was no time to ask as the boys focused on disarming their targets.

As Ralph rushed off to tackle the 6-year-olds, Randolph quickly jumped Hugo and Harry with the blanket. "Come on, stop struggling, please," he practically begged as the two babies jumped on him several times and hit him with their dirty diapers, "We're trying to help." How could babies even do that? Well, a 1-year-old could possibly do it, but… surely not a 5-month-old.

"Hold… still…" Ralph grumbled as he dodged several of Mae's attempts to snack on his hands. Finally after tossing Conrad off to the side, he managed to muzzle Mae while she was distracted. And she did not like that.

Turning around, he rolled his eyes and sighed at the sight of Randolph struggling with the "babies". Although watching them tug at his friend's hair as he attempted to wrap them in the blanket was kind of amusing, they were still on a mission.

"Let's go," Ralph spoke as he rushed over to Randolph's side – thankfully Mae was too busy focusing on trying to get the muzzle off to care at the moment that he was getting away – and grabbed Harry, freeing Ralph enough to wrap the blanket around Hugo.

"Thanks," Randolph breathed in relief.

Ralph nodded in return and the boys carried the "babies" downstairs to the basement lab, leaving Mae and Conrad upstairs and once again locking the basement door behind them.

Conrad's face paled as Mae fixed him with a strange look. And yet again, he got the deep-seated feeling that he should flee… but he was promptly reminded that there was nowhere he could run to avoid her, her muzzle, and a very suspicious-looking pillowcase. If he screamed… would anyone hear him?

In the lab, Ralph and Randolph tested Hugo and Harry one by one to see if they had swallowed anything unusual to bring them to the condition they were in. Randolph couldn't help but think that he'd probably never be able to look at his father in the same way again after spending a day seeing him as a 5-month-old. It was too… weird.

"Hey…" Ralph spoke up, looking at his friend from behind the sunglasses he was using as protective gear to shield his eyes from the "babies'" spit wads, "Take a look at this. There's some sort of lump of purple gunk in the back of their throats." He offered the sunglasses to Randolph, who hesitantly took a look.

"You're right," Randolph replied, handing back the sunglasses and humming to himself in contemplation, "But that couldn't just be from the coffee, could it?"

"No… It's gotta be something else," Ralph agreed and motioned towards a container on one of the desks nearby, "Grab me one of those. I'm gonna take a culture."

"Sure." Randolph swiftly reached into the container and pulled out what looked to be a long cotton swab, carefully handing it to his friend.

"Now, this won't hurt if you stop struggling for a moment and let me gently stick this down your throat," he told the "babies", who didn't seem too thrilled at the idea. Nevertheless, Ralph managed to take a sample and place it under the microscope. It took the boys a while to study the sample, but they were soon able to determine the next step to creating an antidote. "We need to get our hands on whatever this purple gunk is," Ralph informed his friend as he put the samples into test tubes and pocketed them, "But if I had to guess, I'd say it was initially some kind of liquid."

"Like a potion?" Randolph guessed and pursed his lips in thought when Ralph nodded, "I think I know where we can find it."

"Great." Ralph grabbed Harry and motioned for Randolph to take Hugo. "Let's get the kids out of here and you can lead the way." Just as they the trek upstairs, they heard loud pounding noises at the door. "Shoot!" Ralph exclaimed in realization, "They're ramming down the door, kid. We're gonna have to make a run for it. You think you can do that?"

Randolph nodded as he carefully unlocked the door and flung it open, planning a full charge into the other room. But when the two boys emerged from the basement, they were surprised to find Mae at the door with what looked to be a huge pillow in her hands. Ralph and Randolph looked at her quizzically.

"Where did Conrad go?" Randolph asked suspiciously, his eyes floating to the pillowcase.

"And why is the flat screen TV broken?" Ralph questioned in a panicked voice as he scanned the living room for any further signs of destruction.

Mae dropped the pillowcase and Conrad stumbled out of it, glad to be freed. "It's not my fault he acts like a trapped rat when cornered," she spoke with a shrug, keeping a careful eye on him as he turned to glare at her in what she had to admit was a rather hilarious manner.

"Oh…" Randolph gulped, realizing that probably meant the TV was broken because of Conrad's failure to climb it to freedom. That still didn't explain why she'd shove him in a pillowcase and use him as a battering ram, though.

"Forget it. We have to get out of here quickly," Ralph reminded them.

But it was too late.

Hugo and Harry had taken those few moments to escape their captors and run behind the sofa for protection, but it took them a second or two to realize in puzzlement that they now had on baby harnesses. At what point during their captivity had the boys managed to do that?

Ralph grabbed the 6-year-olds and put collars on them, attaching a leash to each of them while Randolph chased after the "babies" with their leashes. Finally grabbing hold of them by the arms, he lifted Hugo to his face and Hugo bit his nose. Yup, Hugo definitely didn't like being manhandled. It was a few seconds longer before Randolph actually managed to get Hugo to let go and successfully attach leashes to the "babies'" harnesses.

"You ready, kid?" Ralph asked and Randolph nodded as he practically dragged the "babies" out the door.

Ralph also had to drag Mae and Conrad outside and quickly strapped them onto his motor scooter, instructing them to hold on and sit still. Randolph, on the other hand, had to hold the "babies" and steady himself on his skateboard, trying to convince them not to struggle. As soon as he was sure it was safe, he rode off in the direction of Albert's house and Ralph immediately followed.

~~~~~~ When they arrived, they began their search of the house. "Hey, kid, you said your dad drank some kind of coffee before he was changed, right?" Ralph asked as he noticed the coffee pot in the kitchen.

"Yeah," Randolph answered curiously, "Why, did you find something?"

"I'm not sure yet…" Ralph looked up at the shelf above the pot and caught a glimpse of something that glinted just slightly in the light, "Hey, what about that?" He reached up and carefully took hold of the container that held the purple-pink potion.

"That's gotta be it," Randolph replied and so the two brought it to Albert's not-so-secret lab.

So, for the next long while, the boys brought out the test tubes with the gunk samples and started analyzing the potion. When they finally discovered the cure, they mixed special chemicals into the original potion and poured it down the "kids'" throats one by one, saying their original ages. How they found out Mae's original age, no one knows. The only downside was that the antidote's effects weren't instantaneous.

~~~~~~ When they returned to Ralph's house, Randolph called Albert and the girls, asking them to stop by and retrieve the "kids".

"They're back to normal?" Albert asked in surprise, "How?"

Ralph took the phone from his friend and sighed. "Just come here and see for yourself," he said, "And consider yourself lucky I don't charge you extra for the trouble they caused me." With that, he hung up and motioned for Randolph to join him at the kitchen table. They needed to reconsider their fee.

When Albert and the girls finally arrived, they were surprised to see the current state of the living room. "I can't believe it," Albert expressed his bewilderment at the situation.

The four had indeed returned to normal and they seemed perfectly tired out. Hugo was passed out on the floor, Mr. MacAffee was leaning out the window throwing up, Mrs. Peterson was peacefully spread out on the couch in some sort of dream, and Conrad was sleeping in the most interesting of places – dangling and rotating from a globe on a shelf.

"Don't ask," Ralph spoke, shaking his head when Albert was about to inquire yet again about how they'd gotten to this point, "Just take them away. I don't baby-sit adults, you know."

"Right… Of course," Albert agreed, figuring it would be better to drop the subject, and drove everyone home to get a good rest.

~~~~~~ In the morning, they four were surprised to find themselves in their regular condition. They figured it must have happened while they were sleeping, though they couldn't remember getting tired enough to sleep.

The only thing that proved the entire ordeal hadn't been a dream was the fact that Rose was still 16 and when she returned to Albert after raiding the mall with Kim, Albert almost fainted when he saw the bill. End conclusion: they made Ralph pay the bill and return Rose back to her normal self.

Mrs. MacAffee was back to her usual rushed self because of Mr. MacAffee's vomiting from all the dirty diapers. And in the end, everyone was relatively happy. Ralph got a new flat screen from eBay for 3 cents and Randolph invested in Ralph's business, putting in more time to help run it.

Everyone surprisingly managed to get along just fine after that odd episode… except for Mrs. Peterson and Conrad, who were still trying to file a new restraining order against Mr. MacAffee for Conrad. This included him being any age or in any shape or form. They were still expanding!

(A/N 2) How was it? I know it kind of sucked, but it was the best I could do. There's no way this is getting a sequel because this was just an idea that I kind of wrote up with my youngest brother as a graduation gift to my graduating class of '07 in some middle school that claims to be very Catholic (but definitely is not)! I will possibly write one if you want me to, but I'm not planning on it. R&R!

EDIT:

This little drabble has been decidedly swept into the path of my New Year's "spring cleaning" binge as well because, quite frankly, the way I originally wrote it down sucked majorly! So, I've revised this once and I'm never touching it again: I basically went back to fix grammar, formatting, and to add a bit more dialogue, narration, and my equivalent of page breaks aka: those squiggles that represent passing time or a scene/POV change.

The revised version would've been posted a lot sooner if I hadn't gotten so darned tired of it somewhere around halfway through the editing process. =/ Yeah… participating in the play version of Bye Bye Birdie as Mae Peterson in 8th grade was a pretty bad time in my life and I wasn't too happy about having to revisit it. Grrr… So, I'm sorry if it's OOC or AU or whatever… It wasn't supposed to make sense to begin with. I don't even think people write much serious stuff for this fandom anyway.

Original Post: 9/9/09

Revised: 1/1/11, 1/2/11, 10/28/11, 10/29/11

Reposted: 10/30/11