Disclaimer – I do not own the Best/Worst Ever series or the Boxcar Children. I decided that in addition to writing two-hundred non-crossovers for "The Ultimate Fanfic Challenge: 200 Prompts" that I would also do two-hundred crossovers. I'm doing both at the same time. The theme for this crossover is #61: Mercy. This is going to have a slight AU in family relationships for both canons.

Best Different Ever
The Bad News

Nobody in this town likes things that are different. Take for example the Herdman kids. They are so different that nobody likes them. Well, I don't hate them, I just don't know them well enough to decide if I like them or not. Other people though seem to know them well enough, because they've decided that they down right don't like them, that instead they down right hate them.

Not that I can't blame them. Trouble seems to have a habit of following the Herdman kids around. Trouble is the operative word though, as what some people seem to think of as trouble may not seem like trouble to other people. I guess it depends on whether or not it is happening to you or not. For some reason I've never had Herdman trouble now that I think about it.

It became all to apparent though how much the people of our town don't like non-conformity as my mother put it when my cousins decided to come and visit them. There are four of them, Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny, plus their little dog too. They came with my grandfather after he managed to make amends with my mother, so I guess that is where our story starts, with the whole making amends.

To be honest, I don't know what the big deal was in the first place. Something tells me though it may be why my mother is so open to the Herdman kids and their strange ways though and why she doesn't like how the other people in town have treated the Herdman kids. It had something to do with how her father treated her older brother. Of course, everything started with some bad news.


A rain drizzled down on the roof of the Bradley household, almost as if something ominous was going to happen. Beth glanced up from setting the table and glared at her brother. "Shouldn't you be helping set the table?"

"I don't know... it feels like something bad is going to happen." Charlie stared at the window. "It's almost as if one of the Herdman kids is going to come flying through that window right there and we are going to have to run for our lives."

A frown spread across the preteen female's mouth before she shook her head. "No... even the Herdman kids aren't that crazy. You're just on the edge because they actually haven't done anything the last couple of days. So you don't need to worry until we get to school tomorrow. We'll be fine."

"No..." Beth's brother suddenly jumped as the phone rang. She watched as her mother left the kitchen and hurried over to grab the phone, her hand in a glove as she had been ready to pull the dish out of the oven. Beth found herself hurrying over and taking the glove from the oven. "Come on Charlie, you can help me."

"How? Only one of us can carry it."

"If I drop it you can run to mom and tell her to get off the phone and that she needs to call nine-one-one in order to get me to the hospital as quick as possible."

"Not funny."

"Plus, you don't need to be eaves dropping on mom's phonecall."

"But what if it is about the Herdmans?"

Beth glanced up as she opened up the oven, only to find herself waving away the steam. She then carefully began to pull the dish out. "Open the door to the dining room for me, will you? And why are you so obsessed with the Herdmans? You and everybody else are always talking about them."

"I don't get why you don't. Then again..." Charlie opened the door and let his sister through. "Then again, you happen to have the least problems with them. How come Imogene's never beaten you up?"

"I haven't given her reason to. I try to avoid them and they avoid me."

"Hah! It's impossible to avoid the Herdman kids! You're just plain lucky!"

"Shush!" Both of the Bradley kids turned their heads to look at the mother and then Beth carefully placed the dish onto the table. "Are you sure McGregor that the news is correct though?" There was a pause. "I'm not sure if I want to talk to that man, but if he is willing to go to their... I can't say it. The idea that they're both... well, I'll get more information and the time for you and we'll let you know what the soonest my husband can have off work is."

Their mother said goodbye before going and sitting at the table. Charlie of course decided to say the wrong thing. "Did somebody die?"

Beth watched as her mom suddenly burst into tears before turning to her brother. "I don't think that was the right thing to say. I think someone really did die."

Charlie turned and looked at his sister with a very series look on his face. "Maybe it was some of the Heardman kids?"

"Do you really think mom would cry over the Herdman kids?" The dark haired female went and sat down in the chair next to her mom.

"That's right, nobody would cry over the Herdman kids." Charlie glanced at the ceiling, only to flinch as his mother started to cry even more then she had been. "Mom?"

"The idea that there would be nobody to cry for someone if they died is just sad." Their mother spoke up. "I got word that my brother and his wife died in a car crash."

Beth glanced at the ground, not at all sure what to say. Charlie however did have something to say. "We have an uncle?"

Beth rolled her eyes, wishing she was close enough to kick him. She folded her arms across her chest before look at the table. The boy found himself suddenly sitting down as well as he realized that he had said something wrong. It was then that their dad walked through the door with a smile on his face. When he saw the looks on the three other Bradley family members he spoke up. "What did the Herdman kids do this time?"

This caused Ms. Bradley to suddenly burst into tears and bury her face with her wrists while her husband muttered something about saying the wrong thing.