Fred Said (Ch 11) Choices of the Heart

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Not even Helga, as she is based off a real girl I knew in high school. Despite the name change, "Helga" owns herself.

" " = Talking

# # = Thinking

* * = Sound or a Special/Notable Action

= Texting

NOTICE: I have decided to collect all of the "Fred Said" Stories together. I am sorry for any confusion this may cause. Thank you, and please enjoy, then please review!

Last Time: If we are all acquainted, shall we begin?"

Throughout the evening, everyone had a say in the matter. It would take until midnight to hammer out an agreement that everyone could live with...IF Michelle herself would agree.

NOW:

Fred and Helga walked into the room, as Michelle looked up at them. Fred and Helga smiled at Michelle, as Fred held a cuddly teddy bear in his big hand. Helga was holding a chocolate bar.

Michelle looked at the large duo, and smiled "Hi!"

Then Michelle saw the bear, and the candy, and *GRINNED*. For a few precious minutes, her loss was forgotten in the allure of presents! Squealing with all the glee of a four year old, Michelle asked "Are those for me?!"

Fred knelt down and offered the stuffed animal to Michelle, as Helga said "Yes, sweety. All for you."

The sweet, four year old girl rushed over to take the bear, and desperately *HUGGED* the stuffed bear with all the might of her four year old little arms!

"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" Cried Michelle!

Fred and Helga sat beside the little girl, and saw how Michelle loved the bear.

Fred said "The bear needs a name, Michelle. What are you going to call the bear?"

Michelle thought a minute, and answered "Prince Snuggles! He'll stay wiff me and keep me safe! He'll never ever leave me!"

Michelle addressed the stuffed bear "You won't leave me, will you, Prince Snuggles?"

With tears streaming down her pretty face, Michelle waited for the bear to answer her.

Helga gently hugged Michelle saying "No, he won't, Michelle. Neither will I. My Mom wants to meet you. She wants to take care of you, and you can be my sister! Would you like a big sister, Michelle?"

Michelle clung to Helga, as she sobbed with grief for her lost Mom, and some relief the SOMEBODY loved her!

Fred quietly let Mrs. Eriksdotter into the room. When Michelle saw the woman, she was still crying, but her heart was hopeful that this lady would be nice.

As the Eriksdotters got to know Michelle, Fred slipped outside the room.

Professor Xavier was there with Mr. Nagi, and a lady from Child Welfare Services.

Fred said "Michelle seems to really like Helga and her Mom. I just hope she can stay with Mrs. Eriksdotter, like we planned...I just wish Helga and me could have adopted her."

Professor Xavier had his hands folded in front of him, as he often does, as he spoke. "I believe that the best choice for the child was made, Mr. Dukes. However, I am moved by your compassion for the child. Michelle will have a stable and loving home environment with Mrs. Eriksdotter. In addition, Mr. Dukes, as she will be fostered, by Helga's mother. This means that you will get to see her often. There is always the possibility of adoption later on."

Fred followed that. Having gotten the idea, Fred looked at the lady from Child Welfare Services. She seemed harmless enough. The short, overweight woman was obviously in her late thirties, perhaps her early forties, with salt-n-pepper hair with Mediterranean looks. With a soft smile upon her face, which bespoke a warm heart, and good intent, she watched Michelle get along very well with the Eriksdotters.

Professor Xavier made introductions "Mr. Dukes? This is Mrs. Anita Carmichael. Mrs. Carmichael? This is Mr. Frederick Dukes. I believe that you have both met Mr. Nagi?"

After a few minutes of pleasantries, the group returned to observing the Eriksdotter ladies interact with Michelle.

The one-way glass allowed the group to observe without bothering the little girl inside. Soon, it was obvious to all, that although Michelle missed her birth Mother terribly, she was getting along with the Eriksdotter ladies quite well! No sign of problems that would disqualify them from fostering Michelle occurred, and all involved were relieved. Michelle was actually acting happy with Mrs. Eriksdotter. They were playing a game of go fish, and both of the Eriksdotter ladies had let Michelle win. Michelle either never noticed, or didn't care. She was happy!

Fred was quietly heartbroken. In his heart, he wished that HE could raise Michelle as his own daughter. Worse, Fred had no idea where this was coming from. He just had an empty hole in his heart that he wanted filled. Still, he knew that this was, in fact, in Michelle's best interest.

A new thought entered Fred's mind. #What if Helga marries me? We can have children of our own! I could have a SON!#

Allowing Helga's Mom to continue to interact with Michelle, Fred asked Helga "Do you wanna go get a soda?"

Helga smiled at her Fred, and agreed. Once seated in the lounge, Fred carefully settled Helga's feet in his lap. After a moment her shoes were set down beside them. Helga asked Fred, amusement in her voice "What are you doing?"

Fred said, matter-of-factly "Loving you."

Then he gently began to massage Helga's feet with care and tender devotion. Each careful stroke a loving caress. Helga sighed with contentment. A few nurses looked at her with jealousy, but they were never noticed by the large couple.

Fred waited until Helga was nearly entranced by the massage, then he asked "Um. Helga? Do you know how much I love you?"

Helga simply murmured "How much…?"

Fred said "Enough that I wanna marry you, Helga."

THAT snapped her out of her trance! In a good way, but STILL!

"What? Are you serious, Freddie?"

Fred said "Yes, Helga. I just wanna be with you forever. To hold you every night, and to always be there for you."

Very softly, Fred said "I...I wanna have babies with you, Helga…"

Helga Eriksdotter was gently crying with joy! Just a month ago, she was an outcast. Unliked by anyone at school, nevermind Loved by any man. Now here is Fred. He is taking good care of her. He protects her from monstrous villains. He shares everything he has with her. Fred has changed a lot! He has a job, and is doing so much better in school.

Now he wants to MARRY her!

Helga *Swoons* with joy and love!

"Oh, Freddie! I want that too!"

Fred Dukes, mutant, and former villain was deeply in love with this wondrous beauty!

Scooping Helga, carefully into his arms, Fred sweetly kissed his Helga. "Sweety? It's gonna be a long time before I can afford the ring, but I'll get you a good one! I promise!"

Helga hugged her man, and said "I know, Freddie. I know…"

Fred carefully put Helga's shoes back on and led her back upstairs to see how her Mom and Michelle are doing.

Michelle was getting tired and Mrs. Eriksdotter was putting her to bed. In the hallway, Professor Xavier and Mrs. Carmichael were going over some paperwork. Fred and Helga came over and Mrs. Carmichael finished up, and said her goodbyes. Professor Xavier also seemed ready to go.

Fred turned to the kindly Telepath. "Um, thank you for everything you've done, Professor!"

Professor Xavier nodded "You're welcome, Mr. Dukes. I trust that you and Helga will be alright?"

Fred nodded a 'Yes', and the Professor rolled off with Logan.

LATER

Fred helped Helga and her Mom move Michelle into the Eriksdotter household. Fred insisted on carrying everything. Well, almost. The ladies carried their own purses, of course. Every bag, every box, was handled by Fred as he struggled with the mass of clothes, shoes and toys for the sweet little girl.

The Child Welfare Services people allowed Mrs. Eriksdotter to pick up Michelle's personal effects from the old household. Dresses, blouses, skirts, underware, leggings, shoes, sneakers, sandals, and even a new one piece dress all for Michelle. Fred hauled it ALL inside. The upstairs guest room was turned into Michelle's room. The adult furniture was replaced by Mrs. Eriksdotter, but Fred insisted on moving things himself. "Ladies shouldn't haveta move furniture, Mrs. Eriksdotter. It's what guys are for...Besides, I love helping!"

The four of them sat down to a dinner that Helga had made to welcome the small girl into the household. French Fries and Hot Dogs were served with homemade lemonade! Michelle was happy. Helga was deeply in love with the very kind-hearted man who not only stood up for her, but was now doing his best to comfort a child who had lost everyone. Seeing Fred use a silly voice to keep Michelle in good spirits, was enough to endear Fred to both Eriksdotter ladies. By pretending to have two french fries in love, Fred kept the sweet tot entertained through dinner. Those two fries never were eaten, officially. When Michelle wasn't looking, Fred said that they eloped!

Soon it was time for good little girls to go to bed. Michelle was afraid to be alone this first night. After Fred went home, Mrs. Eriksdotter let Michelle sneak into her bed, to be held safe, warm and loved...