Lantern Power requested and co-wrote this one with me. :)
Now, we both know it's a few months past Halloween, but this story takes place around that time, so please bear with us.
The Nightmare Before Christmas belongs to Disney. Mega Man belongs to Capcom. Ben 10 belongs to Cartoon Network and Man of Action. I only own Rachel and Sasha. Kumi, Damus, and Adulato (all three mentioned here) belong to guestsurprise.
No Match For Me
Ever since Bubble first came to Halloween town and met the Pumpkin King, he had enjoyed the skeleton's company. He would sometimes visit Halloween Town and sometimes the King would find him in the "Mortal Realm" as Jack would call it. But Bubble was glad that the citizens of Jack's town adjusted to him being there and accepted the fact that he was part Lauhinian. He too adjusted to the creepy spooky town but sometimes it gave him willies through his circuits by whatever or whomever he saw. The townspeople took this as a compliment that they were scary and didn't mind while Bubble did his best not to offend them.
One day he teleported to Jack's pumpkin patch and was careful to not harm any of the pumpkins because they were sacred to the Pumpkin King. He heard barking in the distance until Zero approached him and circled around him like a vulture, barking happily. "Hi Zero!" Bubble said happily before laughing when Zero licked his face. "Down Zero, down!" He gently commanded and the ghost dog listened, panting happily as the robot gave him a gentle pet on the head. Bubble then switched to Lauhinian form and gently yet carefully walked over the pumpkins until he was on the brick road, facing the direction towards Halloween town but turning around to the forest behind him. "Zero, what lies beyond these woods?" He asked.
Zero got in front of him, not facing Bubble as he growled angrily at the forest. "Danger?" Bubble asked gently. "Then I'm gonna go tell Jack."
Bubble ran towards Halloween Town with Zero following him. When he entered the town through the gates, he walked casually so that he wouldn't bump into someone accidentally. Of course a lot of people told him hello and he greeted back but didn't pause as he was set to find Jack.
He found the mayor at Jack's doorstep, moving anxiously nervous. He still found the rotating head thing disturbing as his "happy side" was looking at him from the mayor's backside with a creepy still-faced look. "Is he not home?" He asked as he stood at the bottom of the steps.
The mayor turned to Bubble as he faced him, now seeing his worried look. "No he's not, I've been waiting here for a few minutes in case he shows up," the mayor told him.
"I didn't see him at the cemetery or the pumpkin patch. I'll go check Dr. Finklestein's lab," the robot-turned-Lauhinian said gently.
"If you do find him, let him know that we need to talk about plans for this year," the mayor notified him.
Bubble nodded. "Yes, sir," he said before turning to Zero. "Stay here," he said to him in a low, firm voice.
Zero gave him a nod before Bubble took off. He made it to the lab and gently knocked on the door. Moments later, Sally answered it. "Bubble," she said sweetly as she hugged him.
Bubble returned the hug gently. "Sally!" He says happily before they parted, a concerned look expressed on his face. "Is Jack here?"
"Yes, he's talking to my father right now," Sally said as she let him in. "Is there something important?" She asked as the two walked up the steps together.
"Well other than the mayor needing him, I was hoping to talk to him about the forest," the robot prince explained.
"If you have any questions about the forest, my father and I can answer them for you," Sally told him.
"Thank you, because when I asked Zero, he growled at the forest like it's dangerous."
"Well...it's not COMPLETELY dangerous. We have someone banished from the town that is dangerous. He had a different and darker mindset when it comes with fear AND scaring people in the Mortal Realm," Sally explained.
Bubble nodded in understanding. "He doesn't see the same way how the town uses fear: harmless but fun, not mean and scary. So he's an evil monster?"
Sally nodded as the robot described him perfectly. "He's been trying to take over Halloween Town and dethrone Jack ever since his banishment, from what I heard from my dad, and that was a long, long, long time ago. Probably centuries ago before you were made. Maybe many millenniums from now. We never kept track of the years gone by."
"I wonder how the people of Halloween Town settle with that. The fact they've been alive for a long time, how does one not get bored of it? Humans have a limit of how long they can live, but on the other hand...you all live longer. It's just how you spend the time that passes by intrigues me but it's something I will never understand how you're okay with it," he told her, being careful with his words so that he didn't offend her.
"Well other than scaring the humans, we figure out how to pass the time. Honestly years feel like minutes to us, Bubble. I guess it's because you haven't lived as long as us or your Lauhinian family," Sally said, proving a point and not taking offense. They reach the top of the steps and stood at the entryway to Dr. Finklestein's lab. Sally knocked on the door frame and that got the two male monsters' attention.
"Hi, Jack! Hi, Dr. Finklestein!" Bubble said cheerfully. "We weren't interrupting anything, were we?"
The monsters shook their heads. "Oh no, you're fine Bubble," Jack said calmly with a smile. "So what's going on?"
Bubble and Sally walked into the room. "Well, other than coming to visit, the mayor needs you for something. Probably plans for Halloween. What's that about?"
Jack groaned a little, rubbing his skull. "Prep Panic," the three monsters said in unison.
The robot-turned-Lauhinian cocked his head to the side puzzedly, to which Jack elaborated. "He's constantly sitting on the fence with the plans. Making sure that the plans stay the same daily, and if I want something changed, he double checks before repeating the same thing the next day," he explained. "He does this every October, and when Halloween is over, he takes a break for a week to celebrate the success before starting all over by getting preparations done a year early."
Bubble's eyes widened. "So he's a perfectionist and a uptight workaholic. Not a good combination at all. I'm surprised he hasn't died from exhaustion, no offense you three," he said before an idea hit him. "You know what, you deal with him today, Jack. But tomorrow is a different day. I say we give him a vacation from his job until December. This is unhealthy and no wonder his worried face became so pale."
Jack nodded in agreement. "I think it's time to break his unhealthy cycle. Thanks Bubble, we'll discuss this tomorrow morning. I can deal with this for one more day. I better get going before I find him dead on my porch step," he said before he left the room and went down the steps.
"What you're doing is nice, Bubble," Dr. Finklestein said kindly. "The mayor has been doing this every year as long as I remember and Jack never had the heart to put his foot down to get him to stop. I think you meeting him was a blessing that he needed to finally get the mayor to stop his cycle."
Bubble smiled bashfully as he blushed. "Thank you. I never once thought I would make an impact on someone. Especially a monster like Jack," he admitted.
"You're welcome, Bubble," the doctor said gently. "Now, what do we owe this pleasure of seeing you?"
The Lauhinian-Robot took a small inhale. "I wanna know about the forest and Sally told me that it's not completely dangerous but a banished citizen lives there."
The doctor growled a little with anger and hate. "Oogie Boogie, also known as the Boogie Man in the Mortal Realm, lives there. He didn't see the harmless fun in scaring the mortals the same way we did. He thinks that fear should be scary and traumatizing to a mortal's soul, and eventually he relished and cherished the idea of scaring mortals to death and murdering them. His ways of how he envisioned fear made us scared of him, forcing Jack to banish him from the town. Thankfully the town made his prison before his banishment, a deep, deep dark pit that he made into his home and lair. He has tried to take over the town before but failed. You should never ever go find him. In fact, I recommend you never go into the forest alone without Jack."
"Wow, that's quite a tale. What does Oogie look like?" Bubble asked curiously wanting to know in case he did run into him.
The doctor wheeled over to a table and looked through his paperwork, finding a well-detailed drawing of Oogie and showed it to him. Bubble looked at it, recalling something. "I know that the humans say that he's a burlap sack man but what's he filled with to keep his shape?" He asked.
"Bugs," Sally said simply. "Big ones."
Bubble shrugged. "Nothing scary to me, one blast of a bubble made of highly concentrated sulfuric acid will eat through his cloth body and possibly kill some of the bugs inside him. Multiple blasts might kill him completely," he said. Granted, he wouldn't normally take such measures, but his father did tell him there might be times when it would be unavoidable.
"Well if you do eventually find yourself wound up in his lair somehow, keep your guard up and don't take your eyes off of him. Attack if he does try to destroy you but don't feel guilty if you destroy him first," Dr. Finklestein informed him. "And another thing, if you see three little kids running around the town, don't talk or make eye contact with them. They work with Oogie and they're very, very, VERY untrustworthy with anything. But do stop them if you see them doing something wrong."
The robot prince nodded again. "Understood, sir. I'm glad you guys told me about this. Now I know what to do if I do see them and I promise to not go beyond the pumpkin patch without Jack," he said.
The doctor smiled, but it was genuinely friendly yet creepy. "Good, now how are your legs doing?" He asked.
"Splendid!" Bubble said happily as he switched to his robot form and wiggled one of his legs a little. "I'm taking baby steps with running so I can get used to it, but thank you for fixing my legs."
"You're welcome. It's a shame that your creator treated you so terribly that he didn't want to fix you," the doctor told him in sympathy.
The robot frowned. "He found it amusing whenever I fell. It got so annoying to me that I became bitter to everyone including my robot brothers and I deeply despised myself, hating anyone that mocked me or is capable of walking and when I was alone, I fell into depression. It got worse when he abused me but snapped me out of my bitter, hating and loathing self. That's when my kinder side came through and my brothers forgave me and gave me sympathy." Bubble looks at the floor. "Honestly, if it weren't for Wily abusing me, I think you would've hated my past self. But now I think about it, I'm somewhat grateful because I wouldn't be here and now I'm happy. I now know what it's like to be truly loved and cared by people."
Bubble kneeled the ground and gently hugged Dr. Finklestein. "Thank you again for fixing me. You're the best."
The doctor was surprised, having never been hugged before but it felt new and fuzzy. He slowly but gently hugged him back. "You're welcome, Bubble. Always happy to help," he said gently.
The robot gently pulled away from the hug. "Now I'm gonna go see if everything is okay with Jack and the mayor," he said to them gently, giving Sally a hug. "Thank you for helping me too."
He then left the room and went down the steps. When they heard the door open and close, Sally walked to her father. "Are you okay, Dad?" She asked, knowing the kind gesture had caught him off guard.
"Y-yeah. The poor boy, such a kind-spirited being. I feel sorry for him for what he's been through with that human," Dr. Finklestein said, his voice shaking a little.
"Sometimes the humans are more monstrous than us," Sally gently told him. "But it's okay, he's happy now and in a better home."
"I know, Sally," he gently told her. "If I wasn't bound to the wheelchair, I would wish I found him a long time ago and take him away from that horrible human."
"I know you would, Dad," she said as she sat on a stool next to his chair, gently taking his hand. "I would do the same."
Bubble smiled as he was walking towards Jack's home, seeing the mayor with his happy face talking to Jack before they hugged and the mayor bid Jack goodbye. "So, how did it go?" He asked.
"Splendid. I did exactly what you wanted me to," Jack said and Bubble's eyes widened.
"What? I thought you were gonna do it tomorrow," he said with a surprised tone.
Jack shook his head. "Nope. I told him that all plans are final. And gave him a vacation break until January. He refused at first but eventually accepted it when I told him how we were worried about him. So I thank you, Bubble. You're the best friend a king could ever have."
Bubble blushed and smiled, silently crying tears of joy. "Thank you, Jack. That really helps my confidence and pride a lot," he said as the Pumpkin King kneeled to hug the prince and the robot hugged him back.
From afar, the three Boogie Boys were watching them without being seen. "First Sandy Claws and Christmas, now this Bubble Man guy? What's up with Jack and his crazy ideas now?" Shock asked to her comrades.
"I dunno, maybe he has an obsession with the Mortal Realm and the people in it," Lock said plainly.
"Well whatever it is, Oogie would love to mess with Jack's new friend. He could be Oogie's new toy to play with," Barrel added.
"I agree. This Bubble Man has got to go and Oogie sure will take care of him," the red-haired boy said evilly. "Kidnap the Bubble Man?"
"Kidnap the Bubble Man!" Shock and Barrel agreed before running off to their treehouse. Singing to themselves quietly the 'Kidnap the Sandy Claws' song but changed Sandy Claws to Bubble Man, eager to please their boss.
The next week...
Bubble was excited for Halloween and to see Jack again. Last he heard, Jack found Kumi and Adulato's children in his home. Bringing them back home after tickling a Nitian at the Grant Mansion. He could smell the Nitian's scent in the mansion when he found out that same day. Currently, he was having lunch with the people of Grant Mansion, eating in his Lauhinian form to overwhelm the Nitian's scent with his own. But mostly to enjoy his meal in an organic form. They were talking amongst themselves as Ben and Sasha were equally surprised when Rachel told them about Bubble going against King Damus.
"It's true. I used my Bubble Lead attack in my Lauhinian form," Bubble said proudly. "The trees tickled him while I stood and watched. Father was really proud of me that day."
"I'm sure he is. Father knows you're serious and mature when evil is in your presence," Sasha said with a smile.
He nodded. "Indeed. I kept my cool and hid my fear so he wouldn't get the satisfaction that he wanted out of me. But I was still scared regardless."
Rachel gave him a hug. "That's okay, Bubble. Fear is not a weakness, it's what drives us to facing what we're scared of and conquering it," she said, speaking from experience.
"Honestly I miss you calling us Miss Rachel and Miss Sasha but it's not the same anymore since we're your 'siblings'," Sasha said, getting off topic.
Bubble shrugged. "I was only saying it as a form of respect towards you but honestly I miss saying it too. But I like calling you my 'siblings' more," he admitted as the four laughed together in agreement before hearing a knock on the door.
"I think that's Jack," Ben said and Bubble got up.
"I'll get it!" He said. He went to the door and opened it up to see no one. But he did hear creepy music, so he looked down to see a Halloween themed jack-in-the-box. The crank turning slowly as a creepy version of the "pop goes the weasel" song played. Once the song slowly stopped at the last verse, the toy opened and a plush Oogie Boogie popped before black smoke engulfed Bubble and he disappeared.
As Bubble teleported away, Jack teleported inside the mansion. "Jack! Weren't you at the door?" Rachel asked the king to which he shook his head.
"No I wasn't. I just got here just now," Jack gently said.
Ben, having a bad feeling about this, ran to the door, coming back inside with the toy after shutting the door. "Oogie has Bubble," he said, his expression serious.
Sasha gasped in alarm. "So the Boogie Boys were at the door," she said.
"What would Oogie want with Bubble?" Ben gently asked.
"Probably to kill him," Jack said grimly. "I didn't think he would be interested in Bubble but I guess not."
Rachel stood up, looking ready to go to war. "Come on," she said. "Let's go save Bubble."
They all nodded before the four teleported to Halloween Town, hoping it wasn't too late.
At Oogie Boogie's lair...
Bubble's wrists and ankles were tied together with thick rope as he was hung by a metal hook with rope hanging from who knew where. Honestly, he felt like a helpless fish that fell for the bait. Mentally kicking himself, he transformed to his robot form from his Lauhinian form. "Okay, I hope this works fast," he said to himself before shooting one of his acidic bubbles using the Bubble Gun on top of his head. "I'm thankful that I'm immune from damage to my own weapon. But this rope is tougher than I thought."
He then heard an evil cackle before meeting Oogie Boogie face to face for the first time and his eyes widened as he saw how tall Oogie was.
"Well, well, well. If it isn't the famous Bubble Man that everyone is talking about," Oogie said casually, grabbing the rope attached to the hook that Bubble was hanging off of, pulling him down as they made VERY close contact and eye contact. "I've heard a lot from my boys from what they heard about you coming from the citizens. So is it true you're part Lauhinian?"
The robot kept his cool as he looked into Oogie's dark eye holes, seeing he was very similar to Damus. "Yes, I'm Prince Bubble. Nice to meet you Oogie, I've heard a lot about you too," he said calmly.
"Probably from Jack, no doubt!" Oogie claimed, looking angry for a moment.
The robot-turned-Lauhinian shook his head in response. "Another source. Jack didn't tell me about you. But what do you want from me anyways? I never heard of you until about a week ago," he said.
"Jack is planning something big for Halloween and you're involved with it somehow. Last time he did something big, he took over a different Holiday many years ago. So, you're gonna tell me everything he's planning so I can use it to my advantage to take over Halloween Town."
Bubble gave Oogie the most dumbfounded look he could ever express. "Oogie, I'm sorry, okay? I don't know what the kids told you but I'm not involved with anything that Jack is planning for Halloween. We were only giving the mayor vacation time until January," he said as he looked dead into Oogie's eyeholes.
"Even if you're telling the truth, you're not leaving this place. I'm gonna enjoy torturing and toying with you until you plead with mercy," the boogeyman told him, to which Bubble's eyes widened.
"Well I'm not gonna let you. I'm leaving this place alive," he said to him, switches to Lauhinian form and slipping out from the now-loose ropes at his wrists because his wrists in Lauhinian form were thinner than the ones in his robot form.
"Fine then! Let's dance, Bubble Man!" Oogie said before backing up and pulling a lever. Bubble heard a click before a large pendulum blade came down in front of him. He safely fell onto his back and lifted his legs apart in the air as far as the rope could restrain them, the blade cutting the rope before Bubble did a backwards somersault on the ground. He heard Oogie make a sound of frustration before pulling another switch, the floor starting to move clockwise like a roulette. The prince stood up as four large king playing cards popped out from the ground, the blades spinning fast. Quickly switching to robot form, Bubble blasted the cards using the gun on his head. The acid bubbles destroyed the playing cards but both hero and villain were forced to duck for cover because they almost got stabbed by one the spinning blades that broke off.
"Stop hiding behind your toys, Oogie! I'm not in the mood for games!" Bubble exclaimed angrily before getting an idea in his head. "You know, you're quite a coward for a monster," he then said casually with a calm tone, looking chill in front of Oogie. "Can't even have the courage to smite me yourself. You couldn't even kidnap me yourself. All because you're a coward and lazy, relying on three little kids to do your dirty work, huh?"
As he expected, that really got Oogie mad as he charged at the robot while screaming a battle cry. Bubble teleported to the other side of the room when Oogie got close and he ran into the wall, giving the prince the change to shoot him in the back multiple times. Oogie screamed in pain when the acid ate through the cloth, sliding down the wall and fell to the ground. Bubble kept his guard up as he stood next to Oogie.
He would've shot him again if he didn't have a Lauhinian side, but that part of him wanted to give him mercy. "I'm sorry I had to do that. As much as you want to kill me, I'm not willing to kill you. I just wanted to leave alive and not become enemies," he said in sympathy. He removed the acidic bubble that hasn't burst yet on Oogie's back, which was when he saw the bugs inside Oogie. he felt dread while he stared in shock, and if he was a human, his skin would have paled.
The bugs gave him a dirty look since Oogie's brain bug commanded them too. He felt like they were going to pounce on him. "I said I was sorry," he gently told them. "And I'll fix your host if that'll make you happy."
The eyes kept watching him as he pointed at the hole in his back. "Needle and thread. Stitch to mend," Bubble said calmly. It was a spell that his mother taught him to magically sew up anything as long as was fabric or fabric like. A long green glowing thread magically appeared in midair, which Bubble controlled its movements with one of his pointer fingers, making it sew itself into the hole before disappearing once the hole was magically sealed.
Bubble immediately moved away from Oogie after he was fixed, keeping his eyes focused on him before hearing something fall behind him. He turned around and saw a rope ladder dangling into the hole and Jack was there with Sally, Rachel, Ben and Sasha. "Guys!" the prince said happily, transforming into his Lauhinian form before climbing up the ladder.
Ben helped him up on the last step and the humans hugged him. "Bubble, you're okay!" Rachel said in relief.
"Yeah, why wouldn't I be?" He said a little cockily before feeling a bit tired. "But I feel a little drained from using a spell," he admitted a bit sheepishly.
"You'll get something to eat, Bubble. We'll take care of you," Sasha said.
Bubble held her hand. "Thank you, Sasha," he says gratefully.
Later, they had Halloween dinner and were eating outside as they looked at the beautiful full blue moon.
"Wow, that's a pretty sight," Bubble said in admiration. He, Rachel, Sasha, Ben, Jack and Sally were sitting on a picnic blanket as they ate outside the house.
Jack chuckled. "It would've made Halloween spookier if it was a blood moon. But a blue moon is okay," he said.
Rachel smiled as she collected the plates. "I'll be getting the pumpkin pie," she said before going inside the Mansion.
"So do you like Halloween now?" Ben asked Bubble.
"Yeah, even if it's scary, it's nice too," he admitted.
"That's what we strive for," said Sally with a smile before she gazed at Jack, who smiled at her.
Rachel came outside with silverware, paper plates and pumpkin pie, carefully balancing it all while holding it out in front of her. She had a black plastic handle in her mouth to a plastic Halloween bucket filled with candy. Ben and Sasha helped her out and Rachel gently handed Bubble the bucket.
"Here's your own candy," Rachel said as he gently took the bucket.
"Aw, thank you. I never had candy before," Bubble said gratefully as he opens a pumpkin shaped sucker. He pulls down the cloth that covered his nose and mouth, putting the candy in his mouth as the stick sat between his lips.
"Best First Halloween ever!" He said happily as he took a plate of pie.
Everyone laughed as they enjoyed the pie and looked at the sky, enjoying the peace and each other's company.
Please leave Lantern Power and myself a review, but no flames! :)