Once Upon A Prom
(A Beetleborgs fan fiction)
*Authors note: This takes place many years after Metallix.
Part 1: A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing
"He asked me!", Jo shouted excitedly as she shut the door, and ran into the parlor room. Coming to a stop, she rested her hands on the arm of an old pipe organ. She lowered her head to catch her breath before looking back up at her ghostly best friend.
"Can you believe it!", she said slightly panting. "I couldn't wait to tell you! I ran all the way to Hillhurst, the moment the bell rang!…Out of all the days for me to leave my bike at home, it had to be today!"
"I'm not all that shocked really!", the phasm replied as he turned away from his keyboard. "You said you had a feeling that he was going to ask you to the prom Jo!"
"Yeah, I know!", she said excitedly as she leaned against the organ. "It's just…I can't believe it! Justin!..Who is like THEE cutest boy in school! Asked me, 'Josephine McCormick'. To the prom…MY Junior Prom! I am like soooooo beside myself right now!"
Her face was flushed and teary eyed, as she placed her hand across her heart.
"Oh, I can tell your excited! It's not everyday you call yourself by your full name there, 'Josephine'!", he said playfully hitting her arm.
She giggled and swatted him back, as she embraced him in a tight hug. "I'm so happy Flabber!"
"I know you are darling!..I know you are!"
For about the past four months, Jo has been going gaga over a boy from school by the name, 'Justin Starwin'. Jo wasn't one for letting her feelings show when it came to boys. This the phasm knew! So whatever this boy, 'Justin' had, must be something special to make Jo take notice. He had an idea though! Jo was into sports, he was into sports! Jo was out going, he was out going! Besides her mentioning how cute and attractive he was on a daily basis, he pretty much got the picture! She was smittened! And that can go one of two ways, good or bad! He hoped for her sake it was the lighter of the two! He for one knew full well how it felt to experience both sides. In his time, he to had become smitted by girls. And girls becoming smittened by him! He also knew full well the feeling of pain, that one endures when being mislead! Or even worse…used! For their selfish games and amusement!
The phasm closed his eyes at that final thought, hoping beyond all hope! That Jo would NEVER have to experience such heartache! Jo was not like most girls, and didn't deserve something like that to happen! Not that anyone should!
She squealed with delight once more, as she crawled into his lap.
"Uuuhg…Jo!..You're a little heavier since you were ten!", he lifted his head up slightly, as she nestled her head in the crook of his neck and rested her face on his yellow velvet poof shirt.
"Heh, heh..Ohhhh, what's the matter?", she asked looking up and meeting the phasm's dark brown eyes. "Am I to heavy for the OLD FRAIL phasm?"
The look on his face made her crack up!
"Old!..FRAIL!..MEEEE?!", he looked at her wide eyed and eyebrows raised. "Pfft..OK!..I have you know, I'm considered YOUNG for my age! Miss. Sweet Sixteen!..", he stopped as she cracked up again. "I may seem old to a mere mortal! But from a phasm stand point!…Not EVEN close!..And HOW exactly AM I FRAIL? Do I look frail? Do I feel frail? Out of all the guys, I'm the most fit, who happen to live here! That and just last week, I had my hundred year check up!"
"Annnd?", she asked smiling.
"AND he asked me what MY secret was! And that came from a physician!..So yeah..I'M A PILLIAR OF STENGTH!", his voice suddenly booming like a god as he spoke. All the while balancing her on the tip of one finger, high above his head.
"AHHH!..FLABBER!..OK, OK! I GET YOUR POINT!..NOW PUT ME DOWN!", she screeched half laughing, as she looked down at him. Who no longer looked like himself, but instead was a very muscular version of his former self. "Since when did ya start looking like THAT?!"
"Since always my dear Jo! Since always!..You just never noticed it before!", he replied with a smirk, and in a very masculine voice.
"It must have been under the coat and cape!"
He chuckled, as she swayed once and caught her. Sitting once again on the stool, he morphed back into his, 'less muscular' former self.
"All joking aside Flabber, I couldn't have done it with out you!", she spoke as a light yellowish mist floated down around her, from Flabber's last transformation.
"Oh, shucks girl!..I didn't do anything! The only thing that I said was to be your self! You did the rest!"
"Yeah but..", she paused as she played with one of the jewels on the collar of the phasm's coat. "The confidence that you had in me, helped give ME the strength that I needed TO be myself, when he was around! For that I can't thank you enough!..And I love you sooo much for it! Thank you, thank you!"
She leaned forward and gave him a quick peck on the cheek, as she pulled herself into a tight embrace.
"Aww, it weren't nothing Jo!", he whispered softly. "It's nothing that I already didn't see lying within!"
She responded not with words but with a tighter hug. Jo's friendship with Flabber was much different, then compared to his friendship with Drew and Roland. Who were currently both away at collage, was more of a guys on guys related sort of thing. Like sports, cars and girls! And more girls, and more girls! And Flabber shaking his head telling them to, 'Be gentlemen! Use your head! You know the one above the waistline! Cause the other one will lead you into nothing but trouble!'
Her relationship with the phasm was quite different. Flabber and Jo had always shared a unique bond with one another, right from the beginning! From the moment that they had met, there was something there, that neither could fully explain. And over the years that bond grew even stronger. Turning their, 'friendship', into something a little more deeper! Jo had never known her father, and Flabber had no children. No words were ever spoken about it, but deep inside their hearts were intertwined. For love of that, of a father and daughter! But it wasn't always that way. It developed into it. In the beginning, he was just a good friend. Then becoming a close friend, then her best friend, then from best friend, into something so much more! And she really did love and cherish him with all her heart! She could go to him about absolutely ANYTHING! At any time day or night. She would go to him about things, that she didn't feel comfortable going to her mother about! Which was pretty much everything! Even over Drew and Roland! Flabber always made her feel comfortable and welcome to talk to him about ANYTHING! No matter how big or small. And not ONCE did he ever make her feel stupid! And he listened…one hundred percent! And he always seemed to have an answer, or a means of making her feel better. He always made himself available to talk! And if for some reason he were away he would leave a message with the Pipettes, or even go as far as leaving her a note, that could only be opened by her hands alone! An he never EVER forgot! It was things like that, that put him on such a higher pedestal above all others!
Especially, during the time, of her grandmother's death. Jo had always been very, VERY close to her grandmother. She was closer to her, then her own mother! And when Jo was barely eleven, she died due to kidney failure. It hit Jo hard. She couldn't eat, she couldn't sleep, and she couldn't cry! Not even a single tear! She wouldn't talk to anyone, or look at anyone. She was just..there! Even during the whole funeral..nothing! No emotion! Nothing..she was just there. Her soul was beyond ravaged! And she was falling apart…silently. Everyone was worried! Drew and Roland tried desperately to reach her! But nothing seemed to work. Then on her fifth night straight, without sleep. She found herself leaving the house at 2am, and walking up the front porch steps to Hillhurst Manor! Walked through it's dark halls and stopped at the foot of the phasm's bed. The only light came from a small oil lamp, that was on his nightstand. He tossed his book aside, got out of bed and slowly approached her. Not once was there a word spoken. He placed his hands gently on her shoulders, and she collapsed. Everything came out! All her pain and tears. She threw her arms around him, and begged for the pain to end. She fell to her knees and he along with her, as she cried and sobbed. He held her tight and rocked her as he whispered, 'Let it out. Just let it all out hun!', as he gently stroked her hair. She stayed that way and cried herself to sleep. When she came to that morning, she was still on the floor. But sitting in the phasm's lap, with his arms wrapped snuggly around her. She lifted her head from his chest and looked into his sky blue face. His eyes were shut, as his head rolled slightly against the footboard. His chest lightly fell up and down, an had a serine look upon his handsome face. She smiled for the first time since her grandmother's death. And as she laid her head back down upon his chest she thought, 'Thank you grandma, for sending me to an angel!'
"Sooo?", he whispered bringing her back into the present.
"Sooo…what?", she asked.
"Can I see him now? Pleeease!"
She laughed as she looked up at him. He looked like a eager child, waiting to get permission from his parents. For the past couple of weeks now Flabber has been going crazy wanting to know what Justin looked like.
"Ok, okay! You can see him!", she said seeing the joy and excitement on his face.
Jo jumped to her feet as Flabber wrung his hands together happily. He reached inside his coat and pulled out a crystal ball. Jo peered inside as he began to chant.
"Show to us now, the boy to which Jo has fallen for! Don't make us wait a moment more!"
Jo snickered as she watched a purplish blue smoke clear and reveal three teenage boys. They were walking together through, Clearwater Park, which was just outside Charterville. She recognized Justin at once and the other two boys were just coming into view. Her eyes narrowed as she said, "Trip and Van?" Flabber darted his eyes and saw a quizzical look upon her perplexed face. Then he looked once more into the crystal ball, just as the boys began to talk.
"Over there!..By the tree! There's nobody there! We can do BUSINESS there!"
'Business?', Flabber said silently mouthing the word to himself. His eyes narrowed and continued to watch as Trip led Van and Justin, under the shade of a large oak tree.
"We saw what you did in front of school!..Nice work on McCormick! Here, half like promised!", he handed Justin a fifty. "And here's a little more for getting her to fall for you hook, line, and sinker!"
This time he handed him a twenty. Justin anxiously took the money, as he ran his hand threw his short blond hair.
"Thanks guys! It's nothing! Jo makes it far to easy! And I get the other fifty at the prom!..Right?"
"Right! But only AFTER you dump her! And it has to be right in front of everybody!"
"Consider it done!..I even have another date already lined up! She's the captain of the cheer leading team! Just to add to the sting a little more!", he said with a proud smile.
"Ho, man!..That's just wrong!", Van said laughing. "Tell ya what! You get her to cry…we'll double your money!"
"All of it!", Trip added in.
Justin looked at them with icy blue eyes. "Make it an even three, and I'll have her bawling like a baby in the grass!"
They nodded. "Deal!"
"Good!", he said confidently and without remorse.
"Niiice!", they said as they high-fived him .
"We'll finally get even with those…LOSERS! After all these years! And what better way, then with that snot nosed, dog faced, 'Josephine McCormick!'", they said in unison.
"What mother names their daughter, 'Jo'!", Trip said with disgust.
"A mother who doesn't love her kid!", Justin said with a snicker. "Either that, or when she was first born, the doctors couldn't tell if she were male or female!"
"Man you are cold!", Trip said looking at Van. "I LOVE IT!"
There was so much laughter coming from the crystal, that Flabber almost didn't even hear her.
"This..can NOT..be happening!", she said turning away from the ball.
Flabber turned his unblinking dumbfounded gaze away from the crystal, but not before another wave of cruel laughter was heard. He lowered the crystal ball as the picture went dark and was replaced with a white clear mist. He stupidly stared at the ball, as his mind raced over what it had just witnessed.
"..Jo..I..", he trailed off.
No amount of words would have made this any better. And even if he wanted to, he was for the first time, at a loss for words. Instead he just stared at the back of her drooping head.
"..a joke..A cruel joke! That's all I was..", she said her voice low. But her pain was clearly heard.
She shook her head and took a couple steps away. "..why..Why me? I never really did anything to Trip or Van!..I haven't seen them in years!.."
She stopped to turn and face him. He was half looking at the ground and the crystal ball. When he looked up into the girl's eyes, the betrayal, hurt and pain, that was clearly visible, cut him more deeper then any blade ever could! But again, he was at a loss for words.
"But..it isn't really about them is it?", she said continuing, when he didn't give her a response. "Justin.."
She turned away from him, brought her hands up and covered her mouth. He watched as her shoulders started to tremble and she started to sniff.
"..how..could he..why..", she sobbed.
The phasm's eyes became glassy as he reached towards her and laid one gentle hand on her shoulder.
"Please..just..don't..", she said removing his hand and wiping her eyes. "I..just want to be left alone.."
His hand fell helplessly to his side as he watched her walk away slowly.
"You always wanted to see him.", she spoke from the doorway into the foyer.
He wanted to respond in the worse way, but his throat had gone dry.
"I hope..you weren't to disappointed."
His teeth clenched as he tightened his fists. "..he..doesn't deserve you.."
Her head turned slightly.
"YOUR TO GOOD FOR HIM!", he blurted out in anger, as tears rolled down his face.
"No Flabber. That's just it. I'm not good enough..for him!", she said slowly. Never once looking at him.
She pushed herself away from the doorway and walked to the front door. Opened it and let it creakingly shut behind her. He wanted to run after her and tell her she was wrong. That it was him and not her. But his feet were frozen on the floor. He brought up the crystal one final time.
"Show me, 'Josephine McCormick'."
The mist swirled away and showed Jo not even two feet away from the porch steps. She was on her knees bawling into her hands. The sight was to much for the phasm to take as tears dropped down on the crystal ball. His face contorted from sadness into sudden rage!
"Show me the bastard who broke her heart!", he spat.
Once again the mist cleared and showed Justin this time walking alone counting his money. He smiled as he said, "Easy money!"
Flabber suddenly gripped the ball hard enough to crack it, as he went to throw and smash it into the wall. At the last moment his mind screamed at him to stop! Angry, frustrated, and feeling absolutely helpless, he sunk down into the couch and placed the crystal back into his coat. He sighed deeply and stared up at the ceiling.
"Damn you!", he said angrily. "How could you do that to her!"
He had half a mind to show up and scare the living hell out of him! Or turn himself into a seventeen year old, and beat his ass on a street corner! But he knew deep down that wasn't the answer. No matter how badly that he REALLY wanted to! Especially the last one! He wanted to do something, but he didn't know what. He wanted to take Jo's pain away, but didn't know how! But one thing he did know was that, Justin was nothing more then a wolf in sheep's clothing!
End of Part 1.