Title: The Boy Who Lived to Be Pumkin King

Chapter: Retirement

Disclaimer: Not mine.

A/N: After weeks of being bugged by my founder (DaDemonLovesMalfoy) I decided to write this for her. Hope you like it!

Jack Skellington sat at his desk wearily. He was old, very old. That was saying something, as the occupants of Halloween Town aged slowly, and though he wouldn't die he would soon no longer be able to be the Pumpkin King. 15 years. That was how long he had.

He spent hours sitting in his study. Jack had to find someone to take his place. Not just anyone though. A leader, a child. A strange combination? Yes, it was.

Sally, his wife grew worried. She was a decade younger than him, but you could hardly tell. Her blood red hair had faded to an red-orange, her skin becoming more grey than blue or green. She also was in need of repairs almost weekly.

With Jack's retirement coming soon, she hardly saw him. Always up in the study, he was. So she occupied her time, with reading. Sally was also helping to prepare a room. Not that she was pregnant. Those sort of things didn't happen.

No, the whole population of Halloween Town was preparing for their new King. Painting the walls, bringing in toys, setting up mirrors, filling bookshelves. A bed was set up, a dresser, a table. The final touch, a single black candle on the table, would be placed in the room on Halloween.

However, the candle would not be special without someone's name engraved into it. For that, the town waited.

. . . . . . . . . . . .TNBC/HP. . . . . . . . . . . .

Lock, Shock, and Barrel watched from the alley as the towns people congregated towards Tryphena Cottage. A dreary old building it was, with threadbare curtains, broken windows and a gray color.

Lock, the unofficial leader of his trio, had long out grown his Devil costume. So he now wore dark red capris with raged ends, his tail swinging slightly from a hole in the back, a blood red three - quarter sleeve shirt and unlaced converse that were, you guessed it, red. He no longer gelled his hair to fit his mask so it hung limply around his pale, narrow and long-jawed face. Said mask hung from a belt loop on his pants. Lock wore black eyeliner making him look slightly vampiric.

Shock grinned, purple lipsticked mouth curling up to show teeth. Her purple dress stopping right below her knees. She wore leggings of purple and green, with long pointed shoes upon her feet. Her elongated witch hat sat lopsidedly on her head full of stringy black hair. Her green skin remained unmarked by pimples, and her eyelids were covered with purple eyeshadow.

Barrel still the shortest of the group peered out from behind a garbage can. His white skin and sunken eyes stood out due to the green eyeliner he wore. Barrel's mask was sitting on top of his perfectly coiffed, green hair.

"They're getting ready for the new Pumpkin King! We should tell Oogie Boogie!" Barrel whispered.

Lock looked at Barrel annoyedly. Why did he always have to go blabbing his mouth? He was the leader. He came up with the ideas.

"Of course we'll tell Oogie Boogie, Barrel." The red haired teen said, pushing himself off the wall he'd been leaning on. "I'm sure the real Oogie Boogie will do something about it."

. . . . . . . . . . . .TNBC/HP. . . . . . . . . . . .

"Who, who can take my place?" Jack pondered aloud. He stood and ran his fingers over the bookshelve.

His finger got caught on a thin volume and it fell to the floor. A tattered book with a leather cover. Jack bent over and scooped the book up. Opening it up Jack came across yellowed pages. Blank, yellow pages.

"How very strange." He muttered to himself.

Jack placed the book back in its spot, and resumed his slow pacing. His eyesockets fell on a hidden door. Jack smiled and opened it up. Their lay his collection of Christmas things.

Sally smiled as Jack started to mess around with his Christmas things. She walked back downstairs and started to make lunch. Their was a knock on the door as she finished setting the table.

"Come in!" Sally called. "Oh, hello there Mayor! How may I help you?"

"Just came by to inform Jack of this years Halloween plans!" The Mayor said happily. Sally chuckled lightly as the Mayor waddled up the staircase. It was the same routine every year!

. . . . . . . . . . . .TNBC/HP. . . . . . . . . . . .

Lock raised a pale hand and rapped on the door three times. Then he took a step back and grinned at Shock and Barrel. The ashwood door creaked open slowly, stopping after it was ajar a quarter inch.

"Who's there?"

"Lock, Shock and Barrel, we've come across some very interesting news."

"Come in. What news do you have?" The hooded figure asked, allowing the three teens to gain entry.

"They are looking for a new Pumpkin King!" Shock said in her high pitched voice.

"They're setting up the Cottage and everything!" Barrel added.

"Is this true Lock?"

"Yes, it seems that Skellington's time is running out. They haven't found a suitable match yet, as the candle isn't in the Cottage. Though I fear one is approaching." Lock answered. Oogie Boogie stood up and pulled out what looked like a weaved bag, in reality it was a decoy.

"Looks like 'Oogie Boogie' will need to stir up some trouble then, won't he?"

. . . . . . . . . . . .T0NBC/HP. . . . . . . . . . . .

"Jack." Whispered a voice from the doorway.

"Yes Sally." Jack asked turning to look at his wife.

"Are you thinking about it again?"

"Yes, I am. How can I not?" Sally chewed her lip, a thoughtful look in her doll eyes.

"Jack, who were you before you were called here?" Sally asked her husband.

No one was born into Halloween town. They came. The monsters born from books, imagination, television. The zombies from graveyards and cemetaries. Children who have seen death, however were called.

Jack had been called when he was 12. A young boy with tawny blond hair and green eyes. He had seen his mother die in childbirth. So he was called, and he had followed.

"I don't remember." Jack said quickly.

"I know you remember Jack. Their is no need to feel guilty about leaving your brother behind anymore! Your great great great great great great great great great, whatever nephew or niece could be out there just waiting! They might not know for what but they'll be there!" Sally ranted. Jack sighed.

"Get me that book with the yellow and black spine." Sally pulled out said book and handed it over. Jack skimmed the pages quickly smiling slightly when he found what he was looking for.

"Will you tell me now?" Sally asked quietly. Jack smiled ruefully.

"Ryan Evans."