Author's Note: This is my very first fanfiction. I really enjoyed The Sorcerer's Apprentice. I hope this is something all right for a prologue! The characters, except my OCs, belong to Jerry B. I don't own them, but if I did...heh heh heh.


PROLOGUE:

Becky checked her watch and frowned. This was the third time she had looked at it, and she was positive it wasn't broken. The time was displayed accurately in the little plastic circle. It was three o'clock. But where was Dave? It really wasn't like him to be this late. He never missed a thing. Especially dates. Becky wondered if she should call, but she didn't want to come off as pushy. She heard someone slide up next to her.

"Hey, Becky," Andre said. His tone bordered on a question, not a greeting.

"Hi," she said anyways. "Need some help?" The radio studio was just about to close up. She didn't think he needed anything.

"No," he answered. "I just want to know where your boyfriend is. It's getting late, and it's gonna rain soon."

Becky shrugged. "I don't know when he'll show up. Dave's never been late before. I guess there's a first time for everything, you know?"

"Sure, sure. If he doesn't come, do you want a ride home?" "Only if I don't see him," Becky said. "Thanks for the offer." She squinted her eyes and suddenly grinned. Andre leaned forward to look at what she was seeing.

"He's here?" he guessed.

"Yep," Becky answered enthusiastically. "I've got to go. See you later, Andre."

"Bye, Becks." He went back to his report papers.

Becky scooped up her things and hurried to the door to meet Dave. He appeared, a little soaking. He wore a sheepish expression on his face; he also looked slightly embarrassed. Becky smiled at him.

"Look who's late," she teased.

He grimaced. "I'm sorry. I lost track of time. I also have a paper due next Friday."

Becky patted his shoulder. "No worries. So, are we still up for coffee?"

"Yeah, sure," Dave replied. But he still wore a half-wary look. Becky didn't like it.

"Are you okay, Dave?"

"Yes," was his answer. He was a horrible liar. Becky knew that now, thanks to Balthazar Blake. She frowned at his single word.

"Are you sure?" Becky repeated. "It's just…you look sort of stressed."

"I'm fine," Dave assured her. "Don't worry about me. I want to get out before the rain starts, is all." He pulled the door open for her, and Becky accepted it. She still wondered what was wrong with her boyfriend, but what proof did she have? Leave him alone, Becky, she reminded herself mentally. They strolled down the street towards the coffee shop. Becky could smell the swirls of cinnamon and mocha. She inhaled deeply. This was one of her favorite coffee parlors. The couple sat down, got some coffee, and talked about classes, the radio, ect… Becky noticed that the regular Dave soon came back. He smiled, he laughed, he spoke. Maybe that little look of his earlier was just something else. Becky leaned back surreptitiously in her chair. She wanted to speak about another topic, something she had been thinking about in her mind while she was at the studio. But now she couldn't remember. As she watched people walk across the street outside, she caught sight of a man and a woman holding hands with a little girl. Her blond ponytail swung back and forth. The man talked to the woman, who was possibly his wife, and she laughed.

"Dave," Becky said, smiling. He looked up from doodling invisibly on a napkin.

"Yeah?"

"I was thinking," she said, "why don't we go out somewhere special? Tomorrow, maybe just the two of us."

"Tomorrow?" Dave repeated, confused.

"It's Father's Day tomorrow," she said slowly, carefully setting in her sentences. "I…don't have any busy plans, and if you don't either, we could… I don't know, spend some time, somewhere private." She smiled at him tentatively.

He glanced back at his napkin. "What about your dad? No plans?"

"My dad's not around," Becky said softly. She picked up her cup of coffee, stared at the plastic lid, then set it back down on the table. "I know we don't talk much about family matters. But I honestly can't do anything special for Father's Day. My mom divorced my dad…and he got sick soon after."

"Oh, I'm-"

She stopped him. "Don't be sorry. He was a great dad and a nice guy. He had a long, plentiful life. He died when he was forty. I would have preferred for him to be alive, so we could enjoy Father's Day. But we can't do that." Her voice got thicker and sadder as she went on. She was sure Dave noticed.

"Becky, look," he said quickly. She looked up at him. "You don't have to talk about it if it makes you upset." "Do you have any plans with your father?" she asked. "If you do, you're some lucky guy, Dave." She laughed, reverting back into a casual form.

A sudden spasm rippled across his face, then ended within a blink of an eye. "Listen, Becky, I don't have any plans either. He's not around that much; let's just leave it at that." The last sentence ended harshly, in a sharp manner. Becky cringed as she heard these rash words. It wasn't like Dave to get angry like that. Bringing up his father was not a good idea, she decided.

"Um, so we're going to do something together tomorrow?" He smiled suddenly, a warm smile that lit up his entire face, replacing the bitter mask he had on briefly before. "I'd really like that. How about three thirty at…maybe the French restaurant Balthazar and Veronica went to last week?"

She smiled back, glad to see his happy face. "For sure. Now come on, we've got to go. Balthazar's going to wonder where we went." She crumpled up the coffee cup and napkins, and threw them out in the trash can.

As they exited the coffee shop, Dave suddenly pecked her on the cheek. She smiled, looking up at him. "What was that for?"

"Just wanted to say thanks for making me feel much better today."

"Well, you're welcome, then," she said, grinning slyly. But on the inside, some part of her knew that she had been right, and he had been feeling bad before. And it hurt also knowing that he had been hurting at all.


Dave went upstairs to his apartment floor. He groped his jacket pockets for his key. Dave took out the ruined piece of metal and slipped it inside the hole of the doorknob. He twisted the key and there was a clicking noise. The door ominously opened a little. He sighed, and stepped in the room. The lights were easier to find. He placed the key on top of a bunch of papers that sat on his coffee table.

"Bennet?" Dave asked uncertainly as he hung up his jacket. "Are you here?"

No answer. So he was alone. Dave went over to the phone in the living room and checked the voice mail.

"Hey, Dave, I'm going to Carol's for the weekend, so don't worry about me. Don't forget to check the mail! Thanks, bye." Dave went to his room and the first thing he did upon entering was throw himself on the bed. He sat there for a few moments. It felt so nice to just stay still. He wondered how Becky was doing, after his strange occurrence at the coffee shop. Dave sighed again. She would forgot about it, maybe. But it worried him that he had made her anxious. He would have to be more careful next time. The corners of Dave's mouth lifted, thinking about their date tomorrow. Just the two of them on a day that should be avoided all together.

As if on cue, the closet rattled dangerously. Dave tiredly looked at the door while it kept on shaking with its tremors. He would never get some sleep with those noises.

"You can't give me a break?" he asked the closet door.

In response, the trembling was reduced to a subtle rocking. The pattern fell into a rhythm that resembled a lullaby.

"Even when you're nice, you're mean," Dave said to the door, gripping a pillow.

The closet quivered shakily, as if laughing.

Dave stood up in a flash and angrily kicked the door. Then he collapsed on the bed once more when the shaking didn't stop. "You'll never stop, will you?" he whispered. Then he turned in bed and put the pillow over his face, hoping it would block the noise radiating from the closet.

He could still hear that soft lullaby sound.


-A.T.