August 27, 2012 – Forget-Me-Not Day
Summary: **Part of the 2012 LiveJournal’s Twisted Shorts August Fic-A-Day** series, also known as the ‘Wacky Holiday Series’. This time, it’s no Fantasy.
Challenge: for the livejournal 2012 August Fic-a-Day Challenge
Warning: none that I can think of.
Timeline: post-season 5 for BtVS; future season for FI; vague for TAF, but change the dates so they line up.
A/N: For Harry, who wanted a touch of The Addams Family this month.
Disclaimer: BtVS/AtS characters belong to Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy. Fantasy Island characters belong to Gene Levitt, Spelling-Goldberg Productions and Columbia Pictures Television. The Addams Family characters belong to Charles Addams, Filmways and MGM Television (through The Program Exchange). I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
“Tattoo, today is a very special day,” Mr. Roarke told his long-time companion.
The assistant looked up eagerly and asked, “Because it’s payday, Boss?”
Mr. Roarke shook his head and tutted, “No, it is not payday, Tattoo. After all these years, I would think you would remember those days by heart.”
“But I thought, maybe, that after 50 years, my mind isn’t as sharp as it used to be,” Tattoo explained.
“When it comes to money, my good friend, you will never forget,” Mr. Roarke replied with a chuckle. “But your words do have something to do with what today is. Today is ‘Forget-Me-Not Day’; a day to look up lost or forgotten loved ones. It is especially important to me because I will be meeting one of my relatives for the first time. Come! We need to prepare!”
Tattoo watched in confusion as the workers set up what looked like a giant air pillow under Mr. Roarke’s direction. “What are they doing, Boss?”
“The way this particular relative is arriving necessitates that we take precautions that he or she doesn’t get hurt. They are quite literally ‘dropping in’,” Mr. Roarke told his vertically-challenged friend. “I would not wish the hospital stay that I had to endure when I came long ago on them. Since we now have something softer to land on than hay, I want to use it.”
Sure enough, almost immediately after the air bag stunt men use was inflated, a hole appeared in the sky and a body fell through, slamming into the bag.
Mr. Roarke began his normal greeting, “Welcome, Welcome!” but cut off when the person didn’t get up immediately. One of his people yelled out that she was unconscious. He sighed; sometimes the journey to arrive was too rough and what happened before they came through was too much, “Get her to the hospital then!”
Buffy woke up, surprised to find she was in a bed…in something that looked suspiciously like a hospital room. She almost panicked, but realized that if the portal hadn’t closed, reality probably would have been torn apart. The only question that remained was: Did her blood close it or did Dawn’s?
As if he were reading her mind, Mr. Roarke said, “Whatever sacrifice you made to come here was enough.”
“Uh-huh,” Buffy murmured suspiciously. “And who are you?” The man was in an all-white suit with a black tie. That was daring fate to drop a pile of mud on him.
“I am your grandfather…somewhat removed,” Mr. Roarke replied cryptically, causing Buffy to grind her teeth in annoyance. She hated
cryptic! Thankfully, he went on to explain the relationship and how she got there.
“So I’m dead?” she asked in stunned disbelief. Wincing as her healing kept repairing the injuries that occurred during her fight and from the portal, she remarked dryly, “I didn’t expect death to be so painful.”
“Technically, yes,” he answered. “Certain members of our family – those who have been specially chosen for certain roles in our Earthly life – have a second life after death. They become the host of Fantasy Island.”
“What’s Fantasy Island?” Buffy asked, narrowing her eyes at the idea that she couldn’t rest even after death.
“It is similar to what your friend, Anya, used to do. However, we are limited in how much we can affect the world. Basically, we provide wishes…fantasies, if you will. Oftentimes, what the people realize is that what they thought they wanted isn’t truly what their hearts desired. Assuming they survive the fantasy – and most do – they learn valuable lessons about what is really important in life,” her something-great-grandfather explained.
Buffy quickly put the pieces together. “And now it’s my turn to be the host, right?”
“Indeed,” he confirmed. “My time is up, and my assistant and I need to move on to our retirement.”
“So you’re dying?” she wanted to confirm what he meant by ‘retirement’.
“Not at all,” Mr. Roarke denied. “If I wanted to pass on, I could, but I think I would like to see the world first. I don’t think Tattoo is ready to cross over, either. Would you like to meet your assistant?”
Maybe it was shock…or maybe it was brain trauma caused by the fall, but Buffy couldn’t find it in herself to fight against this. “Sure, why not?”
“I must warn you, our assistants have always been…unusual in some way. Don’t worry, with training, they are quite helpful.” With that, he pulled a cord, which sounded a loud gong.
Minutes later, a giant hulk of a man walked into the room. He sort of reminded Buffy of Frankenstein…without the neck bolts. His voice didn’t change her opinion any when he rumbled, “You rang?”
A/N: Using the 60s Lurch for this.