"Here you go then, my boy. I think these plans will be just what you all will need," Dr. Finkelstein handed a few rolls of paper over to Jack.
"Why thank you, Doctor! You certainly come up with brilliant ideas!" Jack grinned widely, taking the papers. "I'll run it over with the Mayor, and get back to you about it tomorrow!"
"How marvelous," Dr. Finkelstein rubbed his gloved hands together. "Halloween will certainly go out with a bang this year, if we're lucky."
"That's what I hope for, Doctor!" Jack agreed, and then turned around upon hearing soft footsteps behind him. All at once, he lit up like a lantern upon seeing Sally enter the lab with a small tray.
"Here's the tea, Doctor," Sally set the tea cups onto the lab table.
"Good, good. Now go downstairs and sweep the floors." Dr. Finkelstein told her gruffly, taking his tea.
Jack took the other teacup and sipped it. He grinned yet again, clearly enjoying the contents of the cup. "Sally, this tea is wonderful! I don't know how you do it, but it's perfect! Thank you very much!"
Dr. Finkelstein held back the urge to groan. There was something a little too fond in Jack's tone.
Sally meanwhile blushed a bit as she looked down at the floor. "Um...you're welcome, Jack...I'm glad you like it...Um...excuse me," she gave a little bow and then headed out of the lab.
Jack watched after her until she was out of sight, smiling the entire time. He then sipped his cup again, turning back to the scientist. "Where was I? Oh, yes! Tell me Doctor, is there anything else you wish to discuss?"
"Not at all, my boy. I think we've covered everything," Dr. Finkelstein replied. He paused then, wondering if he should even bring this up. But he knew that he wouldn't exactly be able focus properly if this was going on.
Before he could, Jack spoke up again.
"How is Sally these days, Doctor? Is she doing all right?"
Dr. Finkelstein hesitated. He had noticed this before, but he was certainly noticing it now. Jack seemed to be...awfully fond of Sally. Ever since he first met her, in fact. If anything, he noticed that the Pumpkin King was very intrigued by her. The way he looked at her, spoke to her, spoke about her, everything. Especially since every time he greeted her, he would kiss her hand. It could've been written off in the fact that Jack was simply just a gentleman and was treating Sally with kindness and respect, like he would any other woman. In a sense, that was true. It made sense, and was intrinsic to his character.
But there was just something more in there. There was more intrigue, more admiration, more everything when came to Jack's interactions with Sally.
"She's...fine, my boy," Dr. Finkelstein finally said offhandedly, drinking his tea.
"That's wonderful to hear!" Jack smiled all the more, and finished his tea, placing it down. "Well Doctor, I'd best be going. You have a nice day!"
"Oh, yes, of course." Dr. Finkelstein nodded, already wheeling to one of the tables in the lab. "Until next time, Jack my boy."
Jack waved and then headed out of the room. For a moment, the old scientist considered, and then slowly wheeled out as well.
He came to the ramp, and peered down to the ground floor. Sure enough, Jack was taking a moment to say goodbye to Sally.
At the moment, he was kissing her hand, while Sally was giggling with shyness. Jack then said something to her, very softly, and then gently touched her face. Sally didn't seem to mind, in fact, she welcomed it and even leaned her cheek into his hand. They gazed at each other, before Jack lowered his hand, saying goodbye to her. Once more their gazes lingered, and then Jack left. Sally then sighed dreamily as she held the broom against herself.
This didn't look good.
It was unbelievable. Dr. Finkelstein never, since he created her, considered the factor about marrying her off.
As he wheeled back into the lab, he realized all the more...that he wasn't sure he was comfortable with that. Marrying off Sally? His creation? That was unheard of! It didn't even help that he had created her to be that beautiful, even to the point that she clearly caught Jack's eye.
Come to think of it, why did he create her to be that beautiful? Anyone with eyes could tell she was quite a looker. If he thought about it, all he could say was that it seemed like a good idea at the time. Conscious or not, it was how she turned out. Then again, making her that tall was in an effort to make sure she could reach higher shelves and see over the cauldrons she would cook in. At least that much had been planned. But beyond that, there was just no logical explanation for why she was the way she was.
Dr. Finkelstein thought more about it, the idea of marrying her off one day. It seemed almost inevitable, but he just didn't want that to happen. She was his creation, after all. Then he couldn't imagine what would happen if Jack really was, daresay, interested in courting her. What if they did get married? Sally would then be the Queen. His Queen. She would have the power to order him around, and Dr. Finkelstein, never one to disobey an order from a superior, would be at her mercy.
No, he didn't like the sound of that.
He couldn't marry her off, he wouldn't! But then again, he couldn't just sit down on a simple answer of no. No, he was a man of science and logic, he had to come up with a reason why Sally wouldn't be able to be married off. Keeping her locked up and away from the outside was only the first step, but it wasn't enough. There had to be a substantial reason for Sally to know she wouldn't get married off. Creation or not, Sally was adamant about the fact that she was a person, and deserved to make her own decisions.
As much as Dr. Finkelstein hated to admit it, she was right. Sally had grown a personality and had become her own person. Whatever caused that, he didn't know, but he couldn't run from that. It was impossible to avoid, to be sure. That was all part of why he had to make sure there was a reason that would keep Sally from getting married one day.
That was when it hit him.
What if he married her instead?
For a moment, Dr. Finkelstein was unsure of that. To marry her, to be romantic to her? No, that was awkward, and not exactly his intention, either. But as he thought about it, it could work. She was his creation, after all, and she was already living here and doing things that a housewife would do. Marrying her would just cement everything, it would keep her here and there would be an official reason why she wouldn't married off to someone.
And she was quite a beautiful rag doll. It would certainly be something nice to have a beautiful wife on his arm.
As Dr. Finkelstein muddled it over in his mind, occasionally snapping his cranium open to scratch thoughtfully at his brain, he eventually came to a decision. He would marry Sally. That way she would stay, and he wouldn't have to marry her off. It was all too perfect.
The next evening, after Sally made dinner for them, that was when he sat her down so they could talk.
"I won't beat around the bush, Sally," Dr. Finkelstein said, looking right to her then. "We are going to acquiare a marriage license, and make it official."
Sally's fork dropped from her hand and onto her plate, her eyes wide. "What? Doctor...I...I don't...you want to...get married? ...To me?"
"Yes. We are going to officiate everything," Dr. Finkelstein told her sternly. "I simply can't keep you here on grounds of being my creation alone. So it has been decided that we will marry."
"But...But Doctor!" Sally protested, clearly against the entire notion. "No! I-I...no! I can't! I won't!"
"Sally, this isn't open for discussion. You are my creation, and I am not asking you this. I'm telling you. We will go to the Town Hall first thing tomorrow morning to acquire a marriage license. After that, we will marry in a couple of weeks time."
"It won't be a big event, we will simply have the Mayor officiate it, and whether or not you wish to make a dress for the event is up to you. I will send for any fabric you would like to make your dress."
Sally's face crumbled, looking as if she were about to cry. "But Doctor...I don't love you!"
Dr. Finkelstein sighed, shaking his head. "That's irrelevant, Sally. This isn't about love or romance or any of those silly things you have in your head. We are talking about marriage, officiating our union. You are to be my wife, and will therefore uphold your duties as a wife and housekeeper."
"N-...No! No!" Sally shook her head and stood up. "Doctor, please! I don't want this! No! I don't want to spend my life with someone I don't even love! Doesn't anyone care about what I want?"
"This isn't about wants," Dr. Finkelstein said gruffly. "What you want is completely unrealistic and silly. You read far too many fairy tales, Sally. There are no knights in shining armor, there is no 'true love', there is no happy ending. You of all should know that. I created you better than this!" he slapped his hand onto the table. "We are marrying and that is the end of this discussion!"
Sally didn't say anything then. Instead, tears streamed down her face and she ran out of the lab, sobbing.
With a sigh, Dr. Finkelstein shook his head and continued to eat his dinner. It hadn't gone nearly as well as he thought, but then again, Sally did have some level of spunk and sass. Which only seemed to come out around him. He somehow expected her not to take this well, considering how independent she wanted to be. Then to bring in all the fairy tale nonsense idealism she seemed to have.
Oh well. In time, she would come around, and finally get a taste of how the real world worked.
Sally meanwhile, was just miserable. She sobbed on her bed for a little while before gathering herself, trying to rationalize the situation.
She had to marry her creator. Whom she thought of more like an overbearing, protective father figure than...a husband. She didn't even like the thought of it! To spend her life with someone she didn't even love? It wasn't fair. Why did she have to subject herself to a loveless marriage for the sake of her creator's convenience? Just so he would have an excuse as to why she couldn't leave or even, dare she say it, get married off to someone else if she chose to.
It wasn't the idea of marriage itself. Sally did want to get married one day to someone she loved. But ergo, on her own terms. When she was ready. But right now, she just wasn't ready. Especially not to recite vows of promise and forever to someone she didn't love.
Marrying someone she didn't love was far from what she wanted. It felt like an arranged marriage. She felt like a Princess from those fairy tales who had to marry some Prince or Duke or someone they didn't love for the sake of the convenience and wellbeing of others.
Well, she wasn't a Princess. Her marriage choices didn't depend on what others needed or wanted. She was her own person, and she could swear she deserved to marry whoever she chose. But no, her creator had just about stomped on her dreams. Completely.
If she married him, she would have no cause to leave, and be unable to freely love someone. Because she would be married to him and being as duty-bound as she was, she wouldn't have it in herself to break it. No matter how much she would have wanted to.
But on a whole, she didn't want this. Not in the least.
On top of that, she was already in love with someone. If that wasn't enough, her dreams, were all she had. Then being in love was all part of what comforted her in the tough moments of her loneliness and isolation.
Now when she would be married, openly longing for another man would only ruin everything. In time, she would be a tarnished harpy making her husband's life miserable when all he wanted to was keep order. As well as that, everyone would think she was cruel for not being there to take care of him, since he was crippled, and that was exactly what she was created for.
Then Jack. Surely he would be disapproving of how she not only would be openly longing for him, but also not upholding her duties as a creation and later a wife.
Sally felt scared. She had to agree to this, and had to let go of her love for Jack. No matter how much she didn't want to. This was the price of her trying to go against what she was meant for. She was being punished, and WOULD be punished if she didn't follow through.
With all options gone, Sally later went to the Doctor and agreed to the terms.
The very next afternoon, just as planned, Dr. Finkelstein and Sally went to the Town Hall to acquire a marriage license. It was quite a picture, indeed. Dr. Finkelstein looked composed, even if somewhat smug, and certain. Sally meanwhile looked miserable. Like she clearly didn't want to be there. She tried to hide it, but anyone who looked properly would see that she clearly wasn't agreeing to this. At least not on her own terms.
"Very good then, Doctor!" The Mayor cajoled as he drew up the paperwork. "It's wonderful to see you settling down!"
"Well, it's about time," Dr. Finkelstein shrugged, looking pointedly toward Sally.
A few moments later, Jack breezed into the room from backstage. "Ah, Doctor! How nice to see you here!"
His gaze then fell on Sally, to which made him smile and approach her. But the moment he saw how upset she looked, his smile faded into a look of concern.
"Sally? Are you all right?" he queried.
Biting her lip, Sally lowered her gaze to the floor as she nodded. "Yes, I'm fine."
Jack clearly didn't buy it, and turned to Dr. Finkelstein. "Doctor, is something wrong with Sally?"
"Oh, she's just trying to get used to our arrangement," Dr. Finkelstein said.
A look of confusion crossed Jack's features. "Whatever do you mean, Doctor?"
The Mayor answered for him, "Why, he and Sally are getting married, Jack!"
"Married?" Jack's eye sockets went wide. There was a mixture of surprise, confusion, and even something else in his features at this revelation. "Doctor...you're...marrying her?"
Dr. Finkelstein nodded curtly. "I am, my boy. She is my creation, and I feel it would be in her best interests if we do this."
Jack frowned a little, then looked at Sally, and then back at the scientist. This went on for a moment or two as he looked from Sally to Dr. Finkelstein.
"Sally," Jack began, his voice concerned, but serious. "is this what you want?"
Now Sally looked at him with surprise, unsure of how to answer. She could feel the cold eyes of her creator right on her, as if daring her to speak against this. On one hand, she didn't want to lie to Jack of all people. But then again, her fear of looking all the more like an ungrateful creation to someone who had given her life and took care of her, somewhat, and needed her was overriding her. She wasn't sure what to do, or what to say.
"Doesn't anyone care about what I want?"
Sally thought hard about what to say. To lie for the sake of keeping herself in a good light, or tell the truth?
Before she could stop herself, she found herself looking down and saying, "No. I don't want this."
Much to her surprise, Jack instead placed a hand on her shoulder as he looked at her creator.
"Then Doctor, I'm afraid I can't allow you to do this."
Sally was shocked, and looked up at him. Had he really just said that?
"Excuse me?" Dr. Finkelstein said, his tone containing an edge.
To Sally's surprise, Jack was disapproving, but not of her. But her creator! Did he really understand how she felt? That maybe...her not wanting this wasn't a bad thing? She stood back, lips sealed, as if afraid to say anything.
"You heard me, Doctor," Jack said firmly, but kindly. "Sally clearly doesn't want this, and you have no right to force her into marriage. You may have created her, and I'm sure she's very grateful for that. But that doesn't change the fact that Sally is a person. She has every right to make her own decisions, and to live her own life. I'm sorry, but as the Pumpkin King, I will not allow a citizen of this town forced into this kind of thing against their will. Sally deserves far better than to be married to someone she clearly isn't in love with."
Everyone in the room was quiet, including the Mayor, who by now had the face of his negative moods in play. Dr. Finkelstein's jaw was dropped, and was clearly trying to muddle a reason as to how he was right. Sally of course, was just shocked.
Eventually, Dr. Finkelstein let out a low, irritated growl. "Fine. I will call this off then, Sally. Now, go home."
"But I-" Sally began.
Sally recoiled in fear, but nodded. She looked toward Jack, mouthing a "thank-you" to him before she exited the Town Hall.
"Doctor, now why did you make her leave? She didn't seem ready to do so," Jack said, sounding a bit irritated.
"Listen here, my boy. Don't think I haven't noticed the way you look at Sally," Dr. Finkelstein told him gruffly. "If you want her for yourself, you have another thing coming."
Jack looked shocked, as well as a bit..bashful, but then very indignant. "Even if that were true, Doctor, I wouldn't do such a thing to her. I still stand by what I said. Sally deserves to live her own life and to make her own decisions, and that includes who she would one day like to marry. She is a person, Doctor. And she deserves to be happy. Make no mistake, Doctor, I can understand you only want to protect her and to make sure that no one would take advantage of her. But you have to trust her, to let her live her life and be happy. I can promise you, you won't regret it."
A silence befell the Town Hall yet again, as Dr. Finkelstein mulled over Jack's words. Even if Jack did seem to have a romantic interest in Sally, he did surely think of her as a person, and wasn't out trying to get her for himself.
"Fine then, my boy. I must be going."
Without another word, Dr. Finkelstein wheeled out of the Town Hall.
After this day, any ideals or plans for Sally being a wife to him were completely scrapped. If anything, it was then that the Doctor realized something. Sally was more like a daughter he wasn't willing to marry off. That made more sense, if anything.
Sadly, it didn't change that she still wasn't allowed outside.
This idea came to me when I read a fic about how Dr. Finkelstein was trying to get Sally to marry him for the sake of convenience, and also because he seemed to see that Jack must have been interested in her. So, I played around with the idea, and this came out.
If you want me to expand on it, or if you want to give it a shot, be my guest. ;)
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it. :)
All characters belong to Tim Burton