Tales from Waverly Place

A Wizards of Waverly Place Fanfiction

Chapter: The More Things Change
Author: funvince
Genre: Family/Friendship
Summary: It may be the future but some things never change.
Spoilers: Elements from episodes Dude Looks Like Shakira and Future Harper. This was written before the new third season episode Alex Saves Mason.
Notes: Inspired by the following line -

Alex: If you help, when I'm 30 and mom and dad kick me out of the house, I promise I will not move in with you...

"You do realize you are breaking our agreement," Justin said with crossed arms and a stern look.

Alex rolled her eyes. "You mean the one I made when I was sixteen?"

"An agreement is an agreement," Justin insisted. "You promised you wouldn't move in with me when you were thirty when I agreed to help you keep Uncle Kelbo's secret."

"And you said you would be living with your imaginary wife Stephanie. We don't always get what we want," Alex replied with a smirk. "Besides, I'm not moving in with you. I'm just here until I get the money to pay off my rent so the landlord will let me back into my apartment."

"So... you'll be staying here forever then."

"Ha ha. Okay, I'm a little behind in my payments, but I get paid next week and somebody agreed to buy two of my paintings. I'm sure you can survive a few days living with your little sister."

"I did survive my childhood and adolescent years," Justin muttered thoughtfully. He looked like he was about to resign himself to the situation, but then he straightened up and glared at her with the suspicious look that she was extremely familiar with. He asked, "So it's just a coincidence then that you needed to stay here all of a sudden only two weeks after you turned thirty?"

"Oh God. Justin, is it so hard to accept that I've grown up and matured? That I'm beyond such childish games? Do you really think I'm the type of person who would come barging into your home just to make a point about some stupid promise we made when we were kids?"

Watching Justin's face soften, Alex couldn't keep a straight face any longer.

"Yeah, that totally sounds like something I would do!" She quickly put on a serious face. "But that's not what happened here, I swear."

Alex walked past Justin and flopped herself down on his couch. She was still chuckling at the idea that she had matured. Yeah right.

"Why are you so upset anyway?" Alex asked.

"Oh, I don't know. Maybe it's because you came over without any notice and then made me carry up your entire luggage?" Justin asked in the exaggerated and over-dramatic tone he got whenever he was frustrated with her.

Alex tapped her chin thoughtfully then she replied, "No, I don't think that's it."

Justin's face started twitching like he was about to have an aneurysm. Alex smiled. She just loved making that vein in his neck bulge like that.

With a heavy sigh, he pushed her legs out of the way so he could sit down next to her. Then he asked, "Why couldn't you stay with Max anyway?"

"Because him and his roommate are utter slobs and his place smells like a cow threw up and then died in there? Besides, your place is closer to the high school. Ugh, I hate getting up so freaking early in the morning."

At least Justin knew better than to ask why she couldn't stay with mom and dad. She loved her parents dearly, but they were still the most embarrassing people she knew. She must somehow have gotten all the cool genes they weren't using. Hmm, that probably explained why Justin and Max turned out like they did.

"Nobody forced you to become an art teacher, Alex. I'm surprised Mr. Laritate keeps you around considering you've spent almost as much of your adult life in detention as you did when you were a kid!"

Alex sat up with a look of outrage. She said, "That's because I'm the teacher in charge of detention! You know that!"

"I do. It's just funnier to pretend I don't," Justin said, giving her a smug look. "And I still say that putting you in charge of detention is like having the fox guard the henhouse!"

Okay, point for him, Alex thought as she swatted at him half-heartedly.

Justin fended her off before he asked, "Anyway, what does the distance matter? Aren't you a wizard?"

"About that... I may or may not have had my powers suspended for a month."

"Alex! Did you turn the captain of the football team into an elementary school girl again?"

"He stopped bullying the neighborhood kids, didn't he? And no, I didn't do that again. All I did was accidentally blow up one of Wiztech's towers during the 12-ball championship tournament. I don't see what the big deal was."

"Was it the Tower of Evil?"

"You'd think they'd thank me for getting rid of it. Why do they even have one on campus? It doesn't make any sense!"

"Are you sure you don't belong in detention? I can't believe at your age that you're still engaging in the irresponsible use of magic-"

Alex had already tuned him out and was flipping through the television channels. She said, "Ooh, Desperate Housewives is on! Can you believe that this show's been on for so many years? It's amazing what plastic surgery and genetic resequencing can accomplish."

"Alex..." Justin said through gritted teeth.

Still ignoring him, Alex glanced around the condo. It hadn't changed that much from the last time she was here. It was as neurotically clean and organized as it ever was. There were a few changes though. Justin had apparently put a forcefield screen over his bookcase after the last time she was here and rearranged all his comic books in the order of best to worst-looking superheroes. His eyes had almost literally bugged out then. Ah, good times.

She looked nostalgically at the guitar case that was leaning against the back wall lined with numerous robotics engineering award plaques. It was too bad that their band never took off, but it was probably for the best. The idea of her brother as a rock star was just too ludicrous for words.

Alex walked over to Justin's workbench and picked up what looked like a piece of parchment out of curiosity. She took a brief skim over it then burst out laughing.

"Is this a love poem? What are you, a thirteen year old girl?"

With red cheeks, Justin tore the paper out of her hands. He said, "Not that it's any of your business, but my colleague Vanessa Higgins, Chair and Head of the Chemical Engineering Department, is a fan of medieval romantic poetry. I'd thought that I'd show her that we share a mutual interest."

"Unless you share a mutual interest in barfing, I don't see that going well," Alex replied. " 'My soul would wilt like a flower in winter.' Seriously?"

"Just stop going through my stuff! Haven't you heard a man's home is his castle?"

"In a manor of speaking," Alex joked. She chuckled at her wit. "You see what I did there?"

Justin groaned. He asked, "When are you going to get over your fascination with bad puns?"

"About the same time that you stop playing with dolls."

"They're action figures!" Justin cried. He turned away but not before Alex saw the grin he was trying to hide.

"Aha! You're smiling! Are you really that unhappy to see me?"

"Are you going to Harper's going away party next month?" Justin asked, obviously trying to change the subject.

"Of course I am. It's not every day my best friend goes back in time to write the JR Rawlings-"

"HJ Darling," Justin corrected.

"-the HJ Darling books. I'll have to ask her how she came up with such a silly pen-name. Anyway, it's not like she can go without my help. I should have my powers back before then."

"I bet she's going to miss you."

Alex shrugged. She said, "She's only going to be gone for a few weeks."

"Yes, from our perspective, but from hers it'll probably be years. It could even be longer. It takes a lot of time to write a series of books as complicated and nuanced as the Charmed and Dangerous series."

"That's why my going away gift is going to be awesome. I just downloaded the entire series of Harper's books, and I'm going to give them to her before she goes. Now she doesn't actually have to write anything!"

Justin gave her a horrified look. He said, "Wait a minute. We never told Harper that we met her future self when we were teenagers. She doesn't know she wrote those books! And the books you have now only exist because Harper went back in time to write them. If Harper goes back and just copies the books you give her then who originally created them?"

Alex shrugged. "How should I know?"

"You're not giving her those books."

"Why not?"

"Because if you do, my head's going to explode. And you may possibly also destroy the universe."

"Fine. I'll get her something else. But because you just ruined a totally amazing present, I'm making you pay for it."

Justin sighed. "Why am I not surprised?"

"I know! I'm going to get her plates with pictures of your face on them! Then whenever she has dinner, she has to eat off your face!"

"That sounds oddly familiar... No! You're not giving her those!"

Alex smiled evilly at him. "I have to or else the space-time continuum goes kablooey!"

Blast it, she was right. In defeat, Justin said "Fine! But I'm not paying for them!"

"Isn't this fun?" Alex asked, turning to her brother with a wide grin. "We haven't fought like this in forever!"

"I'm speechless with joy," Justin replied dryly.

"Come on, don't be like that. We hardly ever see each other anymore."

"What are you talking about? We see each other all the time! At birthdays, holidays, whenever mom and dad invite us over for dinner, et cetera."

"Not like that. I mean we don't hang out like we used to. I know I always bag on you for being a dork and a know-it-all and a stick-in-the-mud..."

"Get to the point, Alex."

"I could have stayed with Harper even though she lives all the way on the other side of town, but I thought it'd be kinda nice to stay here with my big brother for awhile."

Justin stared at her for a long moment before he started blinking rapidly. He said, "Excuse me while I go get my allergy medicine."

"Nobody believes that you're allergic to sadness!" Alex scoffed. "Just admit you're a big baby, Justin!"

Justin stuck his head out from the bathroom. He said, "It is good to see you again, Alex. But I still hate you."

"I hate you too!" Alex called back gleefully. This was going to be a fun week.