At the Bennett home, Tabitha had woken up early before anyone else and made her way to the kitchen. She outstretched her arms and let out a yawn as she entered the doorway.
"Ah, what a beautiful morning," she said to herself. She was sure the rest of the house would be up soon enough, might as well fix breakfast. She looked over to the sink; dirty plates were strewn all around the place.
"Oh, Kay... This place is a disaster!" She said in disgust as she walked toward the sink. She let out a sigh as she turned on the water and grabbed a plate. As she stood there scrubbing the plate, a thought occurred to her.
"What am I doing? I'm a witch. My powers might not be as powerful as they once were, but surely I can at least fix breakfast with them!" she sat the dish back in the sink and took a few steps backward. She closed her eyes and rubbed her hands together, trying to think. Purple energy surged through her hands, and to the dishes. In the blink of an eye, they were all sparkling clean.
"Well, that was easy... Now to fix breakfast!" energy surged through her hands once again, this time toward the fridge and pantry, an egg carton and a loaf of sliced bread were levitated unto the bar. She opened the carton and began to crack the eggs into a bowl. "1, 2, 3..." she paused for a moment. "Might as well cook them all." she sat the container back down and pulled up a chair at the table. Magical energy surged through her yet again; the eggs began to crack themselves rapidly.
"Ah..." Tabitha laid her feet up on the table and made herself at home. She closed her eyes for a moment of relaxation.
Pop? What egg goes pop? Tabitha thought to herself. She lifted up her eyes and let out a loud gasp; the toaster kept toasting, the eggs kept multiplying and nearly overflowing in the bowl. The orange juice had formed into a small twister, sticks of butter circled in the air. Tabitha raced up from the table.
"Stop! Cease! Desist!" she yelled frantically, "Hocus pocus? Alakazam! bippity boppity boo!" she tried a plethora of magic words in a futile attempt to halt the chaos. As if things couldn't get worse, Sam walked into the room.
"Morning, Taba... What in the world?!"
"Sam, look out Sam!" she yelled as the eggs began to shoot out in all directions, Sam managing to take cover under the table. Moving quickly, Tabitha crawled towards it.
"Tabitha, what did you do?!" Sam asked Tabitha, who had just crawled under the table with him.
"Well, I was trying to make breakfast, and things went a little... south for the winter?"
"Its nothing to worry about, I'm sure it'll stop... eventually."
"And if it doesn't?"
"Well, at least you'll have a lifetime supply of eggs..." she said. Just then Kay walked into the room wearing pajamas.
"Kay, just don't stand there... hit the dirt!" she yelled. Kay jumped out of the way, nearly avoiding one of the eggs, she quickly crawled to where Sam and Tabitha were.
"What is happening?" Kay asked.
"Isn't it obvious, dear? We've hunkered down for a good old fashioned camping trip. What do you think is happening, you twit?!"
"Well, it looks like its storming eggs, toast, and butter..." she replied.
"Alright, calm down... Just everyone calm down! We won't solve anything arguing... Honey, if me and Tabitha cover you, do you think you can think of a way to reverse this?!"
"I... I think so."
"Tabitha, can you draw their fire?"
"Oh, sure... Send the witch into the lion's den!"
"You'll need something for cover... There, that frying pan should do the trick!"
"Alright, on the count of three, we move! Tabitha, you make a break for that pan; you got it?" Tabitha nodded.
"Okay, one, two, three!" they all sprinted out from under the table, Tabitha rushed to grab the pan, all the while dodging a barrage of egg fire. She swiftly grabbed it and used it in a defensive position up against her face. She continued to advance toward the bowl slowly, dozens of eggs hitting the pan and busting.
"Alright... now, honey!" Sam said from his vantage point on the other side of the bar. Kay stiffened, unsure of what to do. Gritting her teeth, blue magic flowed through the tips of her fingers, immediately putting a stop to the chaos. "Yes!" she yelled, jumping up and down in excitement like a school girl. "I did it!"
"Alright, Kay... relax, it's not as if you just won the summer Olympics..."
"Ahem..." Sam said. Looking over to him, the two saw his face was covered in egg.
"Tell you what, Tabitha..." he said, wiping the egg from his face "Next time, I'll make breakfast... how's that?"
"Peachy," she said.
Things having finally settled down, Sam excused himself to go get cleaned up. Kay lifted the chairs that had been knocked down during the commotion back into position, and Tabitha dusted herself off.
"Remind me never to do that again, Kay. Fixing breakfast is strictly for mortals!"
"You could try doing it without magic, you know..."
"Without magic? Perish the thought, my dear. From now on its strictly nothing but earl grey tea for me."
"I'm sure you'll get the hang of things with your magic again sometime..." Kay said reassuringly as she set the table.
"I appreciate it, dear, I truly do... But I'm not sure I'll ever be able to do magic like I used to ever again."
"Ah, don't talk like that, Tabitha... I'm sure everything will work out in the end, just like it did with Miguel and me as it did for everyone else in Harmony."
"Kay, don't get sentimental on me... you know that stuff bugs me!... Anyway, I'm not so sure." Tabitha said as she took a seat at the table. Kay leaned down and hugged her and placed her arms around her lovingly.
"It'll be okay..." she said.
"That's easy for you to say, dearie. You have a husband... I haven't had a man interested in me in over nine hundred years..." she trailed off.
"Of course... I did once date Vlad the Impaler..."
"Well, what happened?" Kay asked as she took a seat next to her.
"Well, we decided we should see other people... Then there was Ivan the Terrible, and let me tell you sweetie... that man was terrible in more ways than one, if you catch my drift."
"Oh... you mean?"
"Of course, don't act so surprised... it has happened, you know."
"Then in the eighteenth century, I had a little fling with Napoleon..."
"And what happened with that?"
"Well, he was married, and a bit conquer happy... It was always conquer this, conquer that..."
"Then there was George Washington..."
"No... you didn't!"
"I did, as a matter of fact, I came this close to being Mrs. George Washington..." she said, gesturing with her thumb and index finger. "Anyway, enough about my love life... or my lack of one."
"Mommy, mommy!" Endora said as she came running into the kitchen and jumped into her mother's lap.
"Endora, sweetpea... how did you sleep?"
"Can I have a cookie?" she asked.
"Endora, sweetheart... You know my policy on sweets, no cookies in the morning... your doctor says they make you hyper, after all."
"Oh, here..." she said, grabbing a box off the middle of the table, "Try one of these... fat-free cookies is it?" Tabitha took one out of the box and took a bite of it.
"Bleah!" she said, promptly spitting it out. "That tastes terrible! What are they feeding children these days?"
"Well, it could have something to do with it being four months out of date..." Kay replied, taking a look at the back of the box.
"Oh, gimme that!" Tabitha said, grabbing it from Kay. "What do they put in these things, anyway?" she looked at the description on the back.
"Hmm, Mariachi Brothers Fat-Free cookies... guaranteed to keep you slim and trim, oh your money back. Oh, please! I could write a better slogan in my sleep!"
"Well, I certainly won't let my dear Endora eat this sloppily made slime from a box... No sir, my daughter is going to eat like a princess, no matter what that doctor says..." She got up and made her way towards the pantry and pulled out a box of Cap'n Crunch. Opening the box, she poured it into a bowl, and then filled it up with milk, she walked back to the table and handed it to Endora.
"Here you go, sweety... You know Kay, this cereal reminds me of an adventure I once shared with Blackbeard..."
"Wait... You were a pirate, Tabitha?"
"Well, it was the seventeenth century... people did some crazy things back then."
"So, Endora... what are you going as for Halloween?" Kay asked.
"Oh, not Halloween..." Tabitha replied.
"What gives, Tabitha? I thought you of all people would love Halloween?"
"Ah, yes... There's nothing I enjoy more than giving away free candy to sniveling, snot-nosed children wearing cheap masks of Richard Nixon!" Tabitha replied sarcastically.
"Back in my day, we knew how to "party hardy" as they say... Why, back in my academy days my girlfriends and I would summon up a horde of zombies, ghosts and goblins... mix potions and do each other up in hideous hairstyles, a typical girls' night if you will. The living dead are surprisingly pleasant, believe it or not."
"The way I see it, people have forgotten how to celebrate Halloween... Its become too commercialized and cheap."
"I was once friends with Victor Frankenstein himself, you know... Oh, that man could drive women in the village crazy with lust."
"But I thought Frankenstein was just a fictional character?" Kay asked.
"Fictional? That's what they want you to think, dear!... Why he's as real as you or me."
"Well, I would love to stick around and listen to you complain about how they did things back in your day... but I have to go get Maria ready, I'm taking her to shop for a Halloween costume later today."
"Oh, Kay, please take me with you... I cannot stand one more day in this boring old house!"
"But your house was old..."
"I know that, but my house had an old-world flair to it... Whereas this house is just average, plain even."
"Alright, quit your griping, you can come..."
"Oh, thank you, thank you, Kay... You won't even know I'm there..."
Tabitha, Kay, Endora, and Maria made they're way inside a costume shop... as Tabitha walked by the clerk at the counter, he began to speak.
"Nice costume... I see you're ready for Halloween early."
"Costume?" Tabitha said to herself as she stopped for a moment. She then continued walking.
Tabitha went down isle after isle, browsing at the assortment of mediocre costumes. Then something caught her eye.
"Hmm... Sparkling Vampire? Re-enact scenes from the popular Twilight franchise? Oh please, the real Dracula would never be caught dead acting in such drivel." Tabitha put the costume back and continued to browse.
"Hmm, what do we have here... Medusa Barbie? admittedly, that's a pretty good concept." Tabitha continued down the aisle.
Eventually, Tabitha found herself in the mask isle. Hideous masks. Surely she'd find something of interest.
"Hmm..." she glanced at a mask of the wolfman.
"I've seen better," she said, looking at one of the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
"I wouldn't touch that with a ten-foot pole!"
"Not if it was the last mask on earth..."
"Wrong, just wrong..."
"Bad, bad to the ninth degree..."
"Now, that's just stupid!"
This continued on for several more hours.
"Is there nothing interesting in this entire store?! Tabitha yelled to no one in particular, a mother and her child gave a her a weird look.
"What are you looking at, missy?" Tabitha replied. The lady simply cringed and walked off. "There isn't a decent costume in this entire third rate depot of mediocrity!"
"Tabitha... come and see Maria. She finally found a costume she likes." Kay replied.
"Are you ready, mommy?" Maria asked from the dressing room.
"We're ready, sweety; you can come on out..."
Maria emerged from the dressing room dressed as a princess.
"I don't know sweety... wouldn't you rather go as a ten-foot troll or a three-headed hydra?" Tabitha asked.
"Tabitha, she's only eight years old..." Kay replied.
"I know that, dear... but its never too early to take up an interest in the supernatural."
"How does it feel, honey? does it fit good?" Kay asked.
"It fits good..."
"I want to be a princess, too!" Endora said.
"Oh, come on now, sweetpea... a princess costume isn't for you!" Endora gave a pouty face.
"Oh, alright then... you can go take a look at them, see if you find one you like..."
"A princess... Really, Kay?"
"What's wrong with a princess?"
"What's wrong with it? What isn't wrong with it?! For one thing, it teaches children to have unrealistic expectations; that's what. We're supposed to believe if you take one look at a handsome man, you'll immediately fall in love! And before you know it, here they come with a giant McMansion, fine clothes, well-read and mannered, and a baby carriage... All the while, the neighbors wonder why they show such affection for one another, while they play tug of war over who gets custody of the children." Tabitha had unintentionally went on a tangent. "But, I digress."
"Its just a fantasy, Tabitha..."
"Oh, sure... that's how it starts! And before you know it, we'll all be living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where princesses rule everything... just like in that James Cameron film... The Verminator!"
"Don't you mean Terminator?"
"Whatever!" Tabitha said as she left to follow Endora. Kay simply let out a groan.
Alistair was riding in the back of his limo when a call came in for him.
"Good morning? That's not something I'd expect you of all people to say...' It was Spike calling from prison.
"Damnit, Spike... how did you get this number? Uh... nevermind. what do you want?"
"What do I want? You've got some nerve asking me that, old man!"
"I'm sort of busy at the moment, so if you don't mind..."
"No, you listen to me, and you listen good, old man. You promised you'd help me get my child back, and then disappeared on me!"
"What's your point?" Alistair asked.
"My point is I did things for you, terrible things I wouldn't even tell my mother about..."
"You have a mother? I just assumed you were raised by a pack of homeless clowns..." Alistair replied sarcastically.
"Yeah, well, we don't talk much anymore."
"I bet. If I had a son like you, I wouldn't talk to you either."
"Look, you owe me, Alistair..."
"I don't owe you anything, Spike... you were paid to do a job, and you did it, and now you're of no more use to me. You've outlived your usefulness, so to speak."
"Come on, Alistair... I thought you were on my side?"
"I was never on your side, Spike. You were a means to an end, nothing more."
"What?! After everything I did for you, you're just gonna abandon me?"
"It just so happens that I have more important matters to deal with... and that doesn't include your problems too.
"Alistair you gotta help me get my son away from Jessica... she'll raise him up to be a goody-two-shoes, she'll ruin him!"
"Tell it to someone who cares... bye now."
"Alistair, don't you hang up on me... Alistair, don't you dare hang up on me! Alistair!"
"Come on, Lester... time to go back to your cell." the guard said.
Alistair smirked "What an idiot... He actually thought I gave a damn about what happened to him!... Note to self, find henchmen who aren't as stupid as Spike."
Alistair arrived at the halfway house situated within the confines of the Reilly Institute for Psychological Disorders. Alistair made his way inside. He took a piece of paper out of his wallet and glanced at the address written on it.
"Hmm, this is the place," he said, making his way up the stairs to one of the many buildings on the campus. He proceeded to ring the doorbell. No answer, he buzzed it again.
"Coming!" someone yelled out from the other side. Alistair waited for several seconds. Finally, the door opened. A short blonde girl of eighteen emerged and was shocked at seeing Alistair standing at her door.
"No..." she half-whispered, "Not you."
"Wha... what are you doing here?"
"What, you were expecting Santa Claus, maybe? Well, I'm no jolly, overweight elf... but I did bring you a present."
"Look, whatever it is you're selling old man, I'm not buying..." she said as she tried to shut the door, Alistair using his foot to block it.
"Oh, I think you'll be interested to hear what I have to say..."
"I really don't need you here right now... now if you'd just leave, I'd really appreciate it!"
"In your dreams, little girl... I'm not going anywhere until you hear me out. I'll stay out here all night if I have to."
"Either you leave, or I'll call the police!"
"A cold-blooded killer calling the police for help? Now, that's funny!" he said, letting out a laugh.
"You leave right now, or I'll scream!"
"Do it, and you'll be dead long before anyone comes to help you... Now, are you gonna let me in or not?"
"I guess I don't have a choice."
"No, as a matter of fact, you don't." she let him in.
"Hmm, nice place you got here..."
"Spare me your small talk... what do you want?"
"So you want to get right to business, eh?"
"Alright, then... have a seat."
"I'm going to tell you something, and you're going to sit here and listen to it, okay?" Viki nodded.
"Good. Now, some years ago my son Julian, you know him. The man you stabbed?" he said, gesturing with his hand.
"I remember him."
"Some years ago he and his wife Ivy were expecting a child, a baby girl... Now for one reason or another my son and I had... disagreements shall we say. You see my son never wanted another child; he had made that very clear to her. Of course, one thing led another; you know how these things are. Sure enough, she got pregnant. At first, she kept it secret from my son; she'd thought perhaps she'd give it up for adoption. They weren't the happiest of couples at that time, but once my son found out, he demanded she carry the child to term, so she did. Now, the night she went into labor, the doctor on call that night was on my payroll; I had them drug her and take the baby. When she woke up, I had the doctors tell her the baby was stillborn."
"Why are you telling me this; what does any of this have to do with me?"
"Because..." he leaned in close to her. "That baby girl... was you."
Viki blinked, not sure if she had heard him right.
"What are you talking about..."
"You're a Crane, Viki... congratulations."
"N-No, that's impossible, I can't be a Crane..."
"And why not? You certainly have what it takes to be a Crane... You're strong, independent, assertive, and when someone crosses you, they die."
"No..." Viki took a step back "I'm not like that anymore... My therapist, we've made progress... I'm no murderer, Mr. Crane, I'm a good girl now!"
"Don't give me that..." he said with gritted teeth as he grabbed her arm.
"Let go of me... you're hurting me!"
"You killed once, and you'll kill again... it's in your blood, Viki..."
"Your name is Victoria Michelle Crane, and I'm your grandfather, whether you like it or not..." he said, grabbing her by the chin.
"If what you're saying is true... How did you know who I am, and why did you wait this long to track me down?"
"Well, I guess it wouldn't hurt to tell you the story... You see, my grandmother's family, they died in a fire... after that, she lost her marbles, went coo coo for cocoa puffs! She tried to kill her husband, and they're children, that man was Jonathan Crane, my grandfather."
"What happened to her?" she said, almost afraid to ask.
"They locked her up in the south wing of the Crane mansion, where she spent the rest of her days as a reclusive shell of a human being."
"Ever since our meeting in that hospital room, I saw something in you... I couldn't really put my finger on it at that moment, something about your hair, your eyes, your voice... There was something familiar about it. But I didn't know what. It was as though I saw a little bit of myself in you. I had to wonder how a seemingly innocent looking girl like you could turn out to be such a whack job... then I thought about my grandmother and her hereditary mental illness, and started to put the pieces together."
"I kept an eye on you for several years, then for one reason or another I lost track of you for a couple of years. Eventually, you would end up in the care of Esme's sister and her husband. Truthfully I had forgotten all about it, until that chance meeting in my hospital room. Then it all came back."
"That still doesn't explain how you found out who I was..."
"Simple... While you were distracted by Ethan and Esme, I noticed a small strand of your hair had fallen onto my hospital bed, well I had my suspicions, so I decided to grab onto it and use it later. But due to some unforeseen circumstances, it took me a while to get a DNA test done. Of course, you would know all this, because you were the one who shot me. You should have aimed better Viki.
"How did you know it was me?" she said, a pouty look on her face.
"Well, you of all people should know that I know about everything that happens in this town... Down to the most minute detail, I can tell you things you couldn't imagine in a million years... You wouldn't believe the kind of secrets people keep around here, and secrets, my dear... have a way of coming out, if you know what I mean."
"What are you going to do? Tell Julian about me?"
"No, of course not... why would I tell him anything? I'm the one who stole you from him and Ivy in the first place, so I have nothing to gain."
"You know, it's ironic..."
"What is?" she asked.
"I mean, its kind of funny, really... You stabbing Julian, where you did, considering he's your father."
"He got what was coming to him; no one comes between my aunt and me..."
"Oh, now there's the Viki I know! That murdering psychopath that doesn't let anyone get in her way..."
"I'm only telling the truth."
"Yes, well... I do believe this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
"Who said I'd be your friend?"
"Who said... you had a choice?"
"Well, when you put it that way... fine."
"Ah, that's my girl..." Alistair said as he put his hands on her shoulders. "You and I are going to do great things together... deliciously evil things."
"What is it you had in mind?" she asked, turning around to face him.
"A little bit of this, a little bit of that."
"And what am I supposed to do? I just can't leave this place..."
"Oh, I took the liberty of taking care of that for you, These..." he said, pulling some papers out of his coat pocket. "Are your release papers, simply sign them, and you're free to go," he said as he handed a pin.
"Just like that, no strings attached?"
"Just like that."
she hesitated for a moment.
"What's the matter? Don't you trust your dear grandfather?" Viki grabbed the pin and began to move her hand to sign it.
"No... I can't do it, I'm sorry, I just can't..." she said, hugging her arms to her shoulders.
"Come on, Viki... Just sign these, and you'll be able to do whatever you want, go wherever you want, with all the resources in the world... We could show the whole world what it truly means to be a Crane." he said, whispering in her ear.
"I... just don't think I have what it takes to be a Crane."
"Oh, you definitely have what it takes... and then some."
"Just think of it Viki, if we'd join forces... Our enemies would fall like dominoes. we'd crush them beneath our feet!"
"I just don't understand... Why would you want me as a granddaughter? I mean, I killed your grandson."
"Who, Fox? Ah, that grandson of mine was dead weight anyway. Really, they're all dead weight if you ask me... you and I are the only true Cranes out of the whole bunch."
"But, my parents..."
"Julian and Ivy? Oh, they're not you're parents, not in any meaningful way that is... no way it counts at least."
"They gave me life..."
"They never wanted you, Viki, they abandoned you... Julian did the same thing to Vincent."
"No, I don't believe it... They're my parents; I was they're little girl..." she turned around to face Alistair, tears in her eyes.
"How could they not want me? My own parents?"
"Join me, Viki... and together we'll make Julian and Ivy pay... Channel that pain you feel channel it like a weapon, and when the time is right, it'll go off, and Julian will find out first hand what it means to suffer."
"Well..." he smirked, "What do you say?"
"Julian must die..." she said, burning hatred in her eyes.
"Ah, that's my girl..." he said as she signed the papers.
"Alright, then... I'll show these to the good man in charge here, while you pack your things." he turned around and made his way toward the door.
"Thank you," Viki said. Alistair was surprised at the statement.
"There's no need to thank me, my dear... I'm merely undoing an injustice, a girl with your skills doesn't belong in a place like this." and with that, Alistair walked out.
End of Chapter 2