I do not own American Horror Story: Freakshow.

I doubt Ryan Murphy would even recognize it now.

Wherever You Are

Darling


Standing on a darkened hill, lit by a full harvest moon, Jimmy Darling knew he felt . . . different.

Younger, stronger.

All his aches and pains gone, winked away in the blink of an eye.

He rubbed his hands together, breathing deep the cool, clean night air.

Feeling an invigoration he had not felt in years coursing it's way through his-

. . .

Hands.

Slowly, with heart pounding wildly in his chest, Jimmy Darling raised his arms up.

Dumbfounded.

In disbelief.

And blossoming joy.

My hands. My hands.

They were there, right at the ends of his wrists as if they had been there all along.

Wonderful, beautiful hands.

Fused and lobstered.

My hands.

He clenched them into fists. Uncurled them and spread them wide.

Wiggled them and waggled them.

Touched them one to the other.

Palms. Fingertips. Knuckles.

Joints. Skin. Hair. Nails.

They were, they were . . . Perfect.

"Jimmy?"

The gentle feminine Southern surreash floated to him on the quickening breeze.

He turned.

And there they stood.

Together. And themselves.

His darlings.

Dot and Bette.

Bette and Dot.

Young again.

Healthy.

Just as they had been when he had first met them.

"Hey."

Only happy.

And at peace.

"Hey."

They moved toward him smoothly, smiles growing ever wider.

Joints easy and fluid.

Aches and pains and miseries all gone.

"We've been waiting for you, darling."

"We knew you'd be along when it was time."

He grinned his youthful dimples and tossed out one of his trademark Jimmy winks.

Devilishly charming and dashing.

"What're a couple of beautiful broads like you doin' out here in the moonlight?"

His lovely ladies, with their dark, sparkling eyes, giggled in unison.

Like raindrops on clovers.

Or whatever that old saying had been.

"Oh Jimmy . . ."

And his heart warmed further.

He reached out for them, gently cradling each smiling oval face in a warm, strong lobster claw.

Face smoothing into complete ease.

"I missed you girls."

And then, with his heart full of love and happiness, Jimmy kissed his darlings.

First Dot, then Bette.

Gazing deeply into their eyes before he did so.

Each in turn.

Then in unison, they pressed their heads together.

The three of them.

Jimmy. And Bette. And Dot.

United once more.

Breathing each other in. Soaking.

Relishing.

Loving.

And then, arms wrapped around each other still, they faced once more the way they'd come.

And gazed out into the darkness.

It was Dot who spoke.

Voice similar to her sister's.

But all her own.

Jimmy knew their individual voices, had always known them.

"She's still out there, isn't she?"

The Lobster Boy nodded.

"Yeah. She's still out there. She's still got a long way to go yet, I think."

Bette's voice sounded a little concerned.

"Do you think she'll be okay without us?"

Jimmy considered. But not very long.

"Yeah. Yeah, I think so. We raised her well. And she's got a few good people around her she can trust. That's the best any of us can hope for. She'll be okay."

Dot sound wistful when she spoke next.

Longing.

"We'll miss her."

Bette chimed in.

"She's so beautiful, so wonderful."

"She is. We've been so blessed by her."

"Yes. So very, very blessed by them all."

"Yes. All of them."

The tinkling sound drifted to them then, on gentle evening zephyrs.

Whimsical and tinny. Tickling their ears, awakening sleeping memories.

They turned together, three pairs of eyes scanning the darkness.

And there it was.

Multi-colored fairy lights and gently flapping homemade banners.

Trails of tents and well worn paths.

Shiny silver trailers and even one wooden one, thick and heavy with the sturdiness of the vaudeville.

The creak of the abandoned Ferris wheel.

"We hear there's a big show tonight," Dot murmured. "All sold out."

Bette smiled.

"The owner's offered us front row seats. If you're interested."

Jimmy nodded congenially.

"Yeah, sounds like a real sweet deal. We'll head off soon."

Dot raised a mischievous eyebrow.

"Grab a bag of popcorn?"

And Bette, her partner in crime.

"Maybe some cotton candy?"

Jimmy nodded.

"Sure, that'd be real swell. But first . . ."

He turned, kissed them both again, one at a time, sweet and gentle.

"Let's stay here just a few minutes longer. Just us."

His darlings smiled beatifically.

"That sounds wonderful, Jimmy."

"Just what we need."

"I love you, Bette. I love you, Dot."

"We love you too, Jimmy Darling."

"Yes. Always."


"I think we deserve a soft epilogue, my love. We are good people and have suffered enough."

This is a quote from Pinterest attached to something called Seventy Years of Sleep.

Though I'm not certain what that is, I think this quote is perfect for this particular ending to this story.

Although we do know the story never really ends. ;)

I have throughly enjoyed writing for these characters. They have become beautiful to me in a way I had not anticipated.

And if you're frustrated that this story about Annabel did not end with Annabel, well, maybe that's because her story isn't over yet. She's still out there, just like Jimmy said.

Thanks to brigid1318, autumnrose2010, and midnightrebellion86 for reviewing the previous chapter and so many before that. Thank you for encouraging me not to give up on this tale even when I got tired or blocked or simply distracted. You're so very patient and gracious.

And thank all of you, gentle readers, for coming along on this journey with us. I hope you have enjoyed it.

Happy trails to you and happy reading of whatever you like!

The End.