I own nothing except for my own ideas.

A Dream of Closure

Ch. 2

It had been a long day. It was the day of everything under the sun breaking. The most notable was a bell getting a crack in it. Hopefully that will be fixed by tomorrow. Esmerelda and Phoebus invited Quasimodo and Madellaine over for a late dinner, which was most welcome after such a hectic day. It also included Zephyr spilling wine all over the table and even onto some of the food, much to the irritation of his parents. When one runs and essentially crash lands into the table, a wave of drinks might occur. Such is to be expected from "one of those days". Very little of the wine actually got on anyone, so there's a plus. It made Quasimodo remember the time he accidentally spilled wine on his Master. He didn't quite handle it as well as Esmerelda and Phoebus did.

After dinner they all relaxed in the living room for a bit, and Esmerelda gave the expectant couple the latest few items she made for the baby. Every blanket was a work of art. There were so many intricate designs. She even made one with bells on it! Quasimodo adored that one in particular.

Once the sunset started, they collectively decided Quasimodo and Madellaine should make their way back, though they didn't exactly live far from each other. It was a quick walk even in the dark.

Upon their return the church was empty except for those who work there. The Archdeacon greeted them and Madellaine went over to the side and entered an enthusiastic conversation with him, while Quasimodo excused himself to do a few things. He made his way to the vacant alter, not knowing how to begin. His focus was not the best due to weeks of insufficient sleep. He decided to start there.

"Dear God. Please help get these sleeping issues under control because I can't be sleep deprived before the baby even comes!" he laughed gently at his attempt at humor, but his face grew serious again.

He lit a candle and put it to the side thinking of his Master while he did it. He frequently lit one for him praying that God showed him some mercy, even if he was unsure if he deserved it himself. It made him sick to think about where he likely ended up, though.

"I'm so scared for the future," he continued. "I have so many things I'm so incredibly grateful for, especially this baby, but it doesn't change the fact that I am worried about my child being okay. It doesn't stop me from being worried about being a father, and this situation can't help but bring up my complicated feelings about the only father I've ever known."

He gently sighed and continued, "All this worrying is making it difficult for me to sleep, and a good night's sleep often helps clear your head and helps you in dealing with troubles. When I do manage to fall asleep and dream, the dreams are often unpleasant. Sometimes it's about the baby being born ill or dying or about the baby being even more deformed than I. Other times it's about me mistreating the child and angrily acting towards them like my Master would act towards me when I angered him. Other times it's about my own complicated childhood. How can I give my child the childhood they deserve when I don't have a sense of closure on what happened with mine? I just can't help but worry about our child so much, and I just pray that maybe I can have some sort of comfort or some sense of clarity. No matter what, there's no easy way to fix this and get rid of all my problems. It's all just too complicated. Well. Thank You for listening. I think I'll go to try and sleep soon now." With that final word he turned and left the alter. He passed by Madellaine and the Archdeacon still having a lively conversation with his wife showing him some of the new items for the baby. He was extremely interested in said items much to Quasimodo's surprise. She turned to him smiling and said, "You go ahead. I'll be up with you shortly."

"Take your time. I'll get everything ready. Love you."

"Love you to."

"Goodnight Archdeacon."

"Pleasant dreams Quasimodo," he replied gently with a hint of sadness in his eyes. Quasimodo figured Madellaine had told him of some of his troubles. He made his way up to their place and got the bed ready. After sitting down for a moment and seeing that his wife had not yet returned, he got up passing his city replica that he had to fix and rebuild after Frollo's temper tantrum and went to the cabinet where he kept his art supplies. He rummaged through until he found the Frollo figure. He didn't feel right keeping it out for others to see after everything that happened, but he couldn't bring himself to get rid of it, so in the cabinet his Master stayed!

He held it in his palm and stared at it; taking in the expression that had become so familiar to him. Other aspects of his Master were starting to fade in his memory, but this figure helped keep some things fresh in his mind.

"I could really use some fatherly advice now that I'm going to become a father,' he said softly to the figure. Predictably there was no response. Of course other men who were fathers like Phoebus gave him a ton of advice, but it still wasn't the same. Granted, it's not like his Master was the best with advice and comfort. Whenever he told him he had a bad dream when he was little, his general response was," Dreams can't hurt you, boy." and that was the end of it, so he couldn't quite imagine him being more comforting with his nightmares as an adult. His response would probably be worse, but at least it was something.

"Why couldn't you be like other fathers? I loved you like one. Did you love me like a son?" Silence was his only response.

Hearing his wife come up the stairs, he sighed and put his Frollo figure back in its spot.

"Are you ready for bed now?" he asked his wife.

"I'll be there just as soon as I put these baby things away and empty my bladder for the fiftieth time today," she laughed joyously.

"I don't know how you women do this. It's amazing." She smiled and disappeared into the nursery area. Quasimodo finished fixing her pillow in a way that he knew was comfortable for her and climbed in. As his wife changed and did the same a few minutes later he said, "So hopefully that person I hired to fix the bell crack will be here tomorrow at an in-between bell ringing time, and it should be fixed in a few hours."

"The trials of the job," she playfully replied.

"Indeed," he laughed in response. She then cuddled up to him sleepily mumbling, "Here's to a good night's sleep!"

"I sure hope so. I'm certainly not going to be sleeping once the baby arrives!" After both of them said goodnight to the baby, the couple cuddled together in the way that best fit them, and Quasimodo soon heard his wife breathing in the calm, rhythmic way of sleep.

Just lying there with his eyes closed was a challenge but one he had begun to master over the course of the past few weeks with his sleeping issues to avoid disturbing his wife as much as possible. Tossing and turning to a degree still couldn't be helped. He wasn't quite sure how long he had been lying there at this point and contemplated trying one of his walks. He decided to stick with it for a while longer, though, and soon, he did fall into a deep sleep. . . . .

It was a typical afternoon for Quasimodo. He took pleasure in the soft, warm breeze and hearing the birds cheerfully sing outside. Him just finishing cleaning up after the new figure he made was perfect timing, because just at that moment his Master arrived with lunch.

"Good afternoon, Quasimodo. I trust you are well," he inquired in a calm tone.

"Oh yes. Very well, Master. Thank You." Frollo then sat down at the table without a word putting down his regular basket of food on the table while Quasimodo rummaged through his kitchen supplies to set up. After all the food his Master brought was out, they ate in silence for a few moments. The Quasimodo caught a glimpse of the new figure he had been working on off to the side; one of a beautiful girl with short, blond hair in a green dress.

"Oh wait. This isn't enough food," Quasimodo suddenly said in a bit of a worried tone. Then more cheerfully in a bit of a laugh he said, "You should see how much food Madellaine eats now. That just comes with the territory of eating for two I guess. You should have seen how much Esmerelda was taking in during her pregnancy. Phoebus said she was eating more than Achilles!" He laughed a bit more after saying that. Quasimodo's expression got a bit more serious again then, though. He saw his Master pick up his wife's wooden counterpart and look at it with an expression that looked a bit unfamiliar on him.

"Wait, Madellaine." Quasimodo got up and started to pace. "She should have been back by now. She was just going to Esmerelda and Phoebus' place for a bit which is extremely close. She said I can't keep an eye on her constantly, but what if something's happened. I should have gone with her."

Quasimodo started to pace more aggressively; no longer registering the presence of his Master who was sitting at the table silently watching him with his hands on his lap.

"What if she's gone into labor? The baby. The baby's coming so soon. I'm not ready. Oh God. There's going to be something wrong with the baby because of me. I just know it."

Quasimodo then sat back in his chair, which was now facing sideways from the table after he abruptly got up. He placed his elbows on top of his knees, laced his fingers together and put his head low, taking deep breaths trying to calm himself down.

"I can't do this. I can't be a father. I don't know how to be a father." Still not registering the presence of his Master, he continued, "How can I be a father when my main example is who it is? How can I give my child the childhood he or she deserves when I can't quite make sense of my own? I'm going to mess this up. I'm going to turn into him as a father, letting down my wife and child. Also how can I be so selfish? Madellaine has had a hard life too, and she's not bothering me about every legitimate and illogical worry she has about being a mother."

Hearing the other chair squeak as it moved jostled Quasimodo's memory into remembering that there was still another person there. His head was still down as he saw his those familiar robes come into his line of vision. Frollo then knelt in front of him, which struck Quasimodo as a bit of an odd thing for him to do. He then put his hand underneath his chin to tilt his head up toward him as he had done so many times. His other hand was on Quasimodo's lap.

"Look at me Quasimodo," he stated in a calm tone. His other hand left his chin and went to rest on his lap with his other one. Quasimodo stared into his Master's eyes for a moment, and he finally really registered his presence. Frollo's eyes had such a calm expression on, but Quasimodo's widened in realization.

"That's right. You can't be here. You're dead. That's why you're like this now. My mind wants not only to see you but to see you in a better way," he mumbled out loud as he became at least partially aware he was dreaming. Frollo then thought that Quasimodo's lucid dreaming state could work to their advantage.

"Quasimodo, it's me."

"Of course I know it's you," Quasimodo responded with a confused expression on his face.

"No. I mean it's really me. I'm really here right now."

Quasimodo's eyes once again widened, and he blinked a few times until it actually sunk in.

"I don't understand," he finally managed to squeak out.

"Truthfully I don't completely understand it either, and I don't even know how much of this you are going to remember in the morning. We probably don't have much time left either."

"What?" Quasimodo responded with a sad expression.

"Just please listen to me. You're going to be fine. I can't tell you everything is going to be perfect because that's not how the world works, but it's not all horrible either. You showed me that. It should also be noted that you are not me. You have a completely different temperament and personality, and you truthfully have qualities that will make you a wonderful father. You turning into some new version of me with your child really doesn't sound all that realistic, now does it? I'm not saying you are going to be a perfect parent because you're not. No one is. You are going to make mistakes, but unlike me you have a better capacity to admit when you make mistakes and learn from them. You are also the least selfish person I know."

Frollo them gave his child a small smile and said," You're going to be fine, Quasimodo. I know you can handle any challenges that come your way. I believe in you."

Although all of Quasimodo's worries didn't instantly disappear, he felt this sudden feeling of comfort and relief. He really needed to hear something like this, and he needed to hear it from him; his father. A "Thank You, Master," accompanying a smile was all he could manage as a reply for a moment. Any resentment and lingering desire he had to literally scream at his Master wasn't present in this moment. Right now, they were both just enjoying the moment they had together.

Being worry free for Quasimodo didn't last long with him lately, though. He had a sudden realization of something he needed to ask his Master; a burning question, and he couldn't let this opportunity to ask slip by.

"Um. Master?" he started with an unsteady voice; unsure of how to proceed. He took a deep breath and decided he just needed to blurt it out; one of the many things about his Master that had been plaguing him. "Um. Where did you end up?" Quasimodo asked as quickly as he could. Frollo's eyes widened briefly in shock from the blunt question before quickly regaining his composure. Getting his meaning perfectly, his right index figure shot up to cover his mouth.

"Shush. That's for me to worry about and not you." His right hand then went back to Quasimodo's lap.

"Well that does make it a bit obvious then," Quasimodo continued with tears starting to well up in his eyes. "I'm not a child. You did go to Hell."

"No, you're not," Frollo responded softly with a sad yet gentle smile; almost to himself.

Quasimodo's brows suddenly furrowed in confusion. "How is this possible then?"

"Well that's a long story we don't quite have time for," he replied with a smile. He then got up and brushed himself off, either out of habit or from dream dirt.

"I think I'm going to have to go soon."

"What? Wait. Already? But. But. Master, will you be okay? You're going back to. You're always going to be in." Quasimodo couldn't bring himself to finish those sentences because the thought of his Master forever being in Hell more than disturbed him.

Frollo smiled warmly at his son; so taken with his level of compassion and how he was so worried about his wellbeing even after everything he did.

"I'll be alright eventually. You've probably noticed I seem to be a bit different already."

"Huh? Well yes. I did notice. That's why I thought my mind was just conjuring you. Wait. What exactly do you mean by 'eventually?' Are you implying that our concepts of the afterlife aren't exactly accurate?

"Shhh," he quickly replied putting his figure to his mouth in the traditional way that goes along with telling someone to be quiet. For the first time since he appeared in his dream, he made that familiar arrogant, noble expression. "That might be a bit of a secret. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to have let you know that those sent to Hell do not in fact stay there forever." His expression then softened. "Our Lord does in fact have infinite compassion."

The two men were then distracted from their conversation by noise coming up the stairs. Quasimodo's beloved wife then came into view.

"Madellaine!" Quasimodo exclaimed. He immediately got up from the chair to greet her with a kiss. Taking her hands into his, he then said, "I want you to meet someone!" seemingly starting to once again become unaware he was dreaming. That thought was interrupted by Esmerelda, Zephyr, and Phoebus coming up the stairs.

"Quasimodo!" Zephyr shouted as he ran up to him for a hug, which Quasimodo gladly returned.

"We brought lunch," Phoebus explained as he and Esmerelda put baskets on the new, larger table that had been added to Quasimodo and Madellaine's home.

"We thought it was the perfect time for us to all eat together, and the spring air you get up here is beautiful," Esmerelda added.

"Master, come sit and eat with us." Quasimodo said that as if it made perfect sense, which showed that he was no longer aware he was dreaming. Frollo watched the scene from where he was; no one else noticing he was there. He watched the five of them set the table; looking like a happy family. Quasimodo seemed to forget his presence as well when they all sat down to eat together. Frollo made the gentlest, most peaceful smile, he thought he ever had, slowly backed up, then faded away. The basket he brought remained for the rest of the dream, though, until Quasimodo's entire dream scenario faded away into daylight. The basket was the last thing to disappear.

Quasimodo awoke with a bit of a start and sat up. Seeing the time, he knew he had to stay up anyway and rubbed his eyes to try and wake himself up. Feeling his abrupt movement, Madellaine woke up as well.

"Are you alright?"

"Huh?" Quasimodo responded after a few seconds, obviously still out of it.

"When I woke up during the night, I saw you were in such a deep sleep; a deeper and more peaceful sleep than I've seen you in for a while. Did you have a bad dream again?" she asked with an expression of great concern on her face.

"I. No. I don't think so." It was all kind of fuzzy. Quasimodo tried remembering his dream; a dream that left him with this odd feeling of comfort for a change; like some deep routed issue that plagued him for years came to some resolution. Then it all started to slowly reenter his consciousness, like the morning sun lighting up the Earth. His eyes widened with realization, then his expression turned calm.

"No. It wasn't a bad dream at all," he said with a gentle smile.

"Well good. I'm glad to hear it." She then hugged him gently. He hugged her back thinking on how fortunate he was to have her in his life.

"Good morning to you too," he said to their baby as he rubbed her belly. They then both got up and went about their day. Throughout everything that Quasimodo had to do, he thought on and remembered more of his dream, and contemplated one thing in particular: Was it real? Was his Master really there? He could never know for sure, but regardless of whether it was Devine intervention or his mind finally working through more of his problems, it helped him. He then remembered how he prayed for a better night's sleep, then smiled. He guessed he was just going to take this one on faith.

"Thank You, Father," he said as he walked down the stairs to meet his wife. They left the church to go to the market. He soaked up the sunlight and his freedom, embracing the mix of friendly waves and rude stares because this was his life to live, and he was going to make the most of it.

Author's Notes:

Lucid dreaming is when you are aware you are dreaming. I've had experiences with this and in having it in different degrees and where it shifts even in the same dream. That is why Quasimodo has the experience of shifting from not being aware to being aware and back as well as being aware to different degrees. It should also be noted that he is most aware he is dreaming when he starts directly and consciously acting with the supernatural element.

I wanted to show that Quasimodo's life is not perfect and that Frollo had the unfortunate valid point that people have prejudice against those who look different. A lot of people like him and see him for who he truly is, but there are still some people who give him a hard time because of his looks. It wasn't just a switch that went off. I think it's important that Quasimodo is living his life anyway, not worrying about those who are ignorant and paying attention to the many more people who are open minded.

It seems on fanfiction that you can upload for Hunchback under two categories; movies and books. A ton of works of fiction have the same story told in multiple mediums of entertainment, and usually with fanfiction they categorize it under whatever the original source material is. In this case that would be a book. I don't know why this story exists in both books and movies. I chose to put it under movies since a movie version was a stronger base for my idea.

This is the end of the fic! Although it is not definite yet, I do have plans on doing this scenario from Frollo's perspective, so be on the lookout for that. This story and that one will be perfect for Father's Day!