WE DON’T DO THAT HERE.
I just disclosed to all of my co-workers that I have a radio show. They all seem very enthusiastic and extremely positive about it. For that I am very lucky because every day I work with them they usually have nothing good to say. They are the 17 to 25 crowd running on alcoholic fumes, weekend bars, Androids, Yankee games, hanging with “the guys”, and typical basic girls. So it comes as no surprise as to what their mentality is.
When I say they’re enthusiastic, I mean that they light up. They light up with an obvious hard-on because at first they think I’m on a big-name radio station and I play the hottest in Top 40 and pop. “It’s not like that. I dee-jay for a college station” I tell them. But that’s OK. They still think it’s awesome that I play music over the air and emanate their rooms, car stereos, and laptops. Then come the same questions I get asked every week because either someone new discovers what I do or they easily forget and we needlessly re-start the same conversation all over again. Or they’re trolling.
“What time do you go on?” “What music do you play?” “Are you on every week?” “Where is the radio station you DJ at?” “Do you go on the mic and talk?” “How long are you on for?” “Do you take requests?” “Do you do shout-outs?” These are valueless questions I normally don’t answer to because I can’t be bothered with them; questions asked in an obvious kindergarten fascination that I rather not waste my time with and would rather move on without having to focus on such intellectual mediocrity. In fact, the answers to all of these questions can be answered by simply listening to my show. There.
One of my co-workers decides he wants to be funny and impress his friends. He asks me if I ever do my “radio” voice on the air, and then proceeds give it his best attempt at it:
“This…is…Dee Jay _______…on 107.5…FM…WQXZ, New York! Playing…the…hottest hits. Ten. In a row. Non-stop!”
Heads up to no one in particular: it’s nice for people and friends to approach me and be interested in what I do, and I appreciate it. I really do. And then there are those who are into it but then proceed to define me by impersonating their best stereotypical zesty action-packed radio voice, complete with man-made astro-blaster laser sound effects from an action-figure maturity.
Please stop. It’s not funny, you’re not funny, and no one is laughing. That’s not what happens on my show. All I do is play music and be myself as usual. That’s all. It’s not WBLI, Z100, or Now FM if that’s what you were thinking. And since it’s not right to try and define who you think I am to satisfy your piss-poor expectations, I’m sure you wouldn’t like it if I defined your life by pointing out your poor choice of clothing, your lack of real understanding, your never-ending stupidity, why your parents still make your bed, or why you have been dateless all your life.
Another pointless obstacle course I had to go through was that another co-worker tried guessing what music I play on my show in the form of a yes-or-no question-and-answer session. My previous answer of “a lot of music you wouldn’t like or tolerate” and “anything that’s not mainstream” wasn’t good enough for him to comprehend to avoid this altogether. So our little elfin pretend game-show host, who is 23 but looks like he is 11, plays this game with me.
“Now, I’m going to tell you an artist or band name and you tell me if you would play it. Ready?”
“Sure.” I say with some hesitation and an exasperated breath, knowing exactly how this is going to go. Lord help me.
“Ahhh! There’s a maybe! “Linkin Park?”
This was what I went through a couple of days ago. He was fully aware what I play on-air not only because I told him before but also I sent him the link to my show. But when you’re the department comedian, you need to depend on your co-workers for everyone’s amusement. So you blow right through convenience and force uncomfortable interactions for laughs at someone’s expense. He instead ended up giving me a list of artists I wouldn’t dare touch or even infect our studio’s CD drives, turntables, or computers with. And he knows this.
My show states what I play: “punk, hardcore, female, grrl, electronics, hip-hop, hipster, trendy, art, industrial, breakbeats, experimental, techno, spoken word, rare Seventies, drum and bass, reggae, lo-fi, and even noise”. It also says “no Top 40, no Billboard, no pop, no American Idol, no Nielsen Ratings, no Clear Channel.” Why would I waste my time playing artists that are already being played ad nauseum on pop stations, car commercials, malls, restaurants, movies, and soda ads millions of times over? And why would I have to explain myself to people who clearly don’t deserve it?
It’s simple. On my show I play everything other stations and outlets won’t. Being it’s a college radio station, we don’t get money from corporate sponsors but instead grass-roots community members, students, administration, and other people listening in around the world to donate money to us. That means we are not told what to play, rather we play whatever we want, artists who otherwise have almost zero chance of getting airplay. I can actually educate my listeners by playing Merzbow, Einsturzende Neubauten, Sonic Youth, or Aphex Twin instead of brainwashing them. So, why would I waste valuable airtime on artists who already have endless amounts of it?
Another thing: requests. I don’t ask for them and I won’t play them. Why would I jeopardize the show’s good looks if someone asks me to play Nickelback when I play music like Crystal Castles, Cold Cave, The Dead Boys, and Death Grips? Where does some sappy commercial band that millions of people have on their death list have its place on my show? I want my listeners to enjoy my show and support me, not blacklist it and send me death threats.
Even more ridiculous are the dedications. Please. I prevent this from happening. I don’t want my show responsible for some trailer-park love-in somewhere in Alabama which produces five awkward results. Having me to say their subtle Valentine’s messages on-air with “cute” pet names is not cute at all. It makes my show turn into the Ryan Seacrest Hour. When that happens, I’ll fold this show and deny it ever existed.
Yes, I do understand that artists eat and need to keep on going to make a living. Once in a while I get unsolicited messages from bands that have absolutely nothing to do with the music I play. Just pass “GO” and collect your $200. Just because I play “everything” doesn’t mean I will since there are specifics. Even worse, a Dave Matthews’ cover band somewhere in the middle of Long Island, that aspires to be something else they’ll never be and tries to ride (no, suck it like a leach) the wave of popularity by holding actual music instruments while being incapable of writing original material will never make the cut. On another note…
“Check us out! We’re a four-piece homegrown funk-soul-band from somewhere in New Jersey and we’ve been compared to 311 and Smashmouth…”
...and that is where I hit the delete button. I don’t like it when music comes to me, I like it when I come to music unless I ask for it. I don’t like to feel obligated in having to play your music or worse having it forced down my throat Linda Lovelace-style. I don’t want your obsolete already-done jam-funk music and double that if it’s from the late 90’s (because who here thinks the late 90’s was the worst time for new music ever?) I don’t ever want your low-resolution color-copy pixilated artwork with your homemade CD-R with paper decal. In fact, why am I still on MySpace? That was so 2006.
It’s been a month since the start of my on-going show and my co-workers are getting very tiresome. The same questions over and over again and not once has anyone tuned in. Not that I don’t want them to tune in or even care if they listen, but what’s the point in wasting time if people who are interested in something don’t do it? That’s why I decided to no longer talk to them about my show. I’m only wasting my breath, time, and energy. You can’t declare to do something and not do it. That’s how people take points away from you.
And as always, the instant I declare that I will no longer bother in discussing my show anymore, another moron standing right next to me starts asking questions again. “What is your show called?” “What time is it on?” “What number is it?” Perhaps it is best not to have certain people listening in. Even better, it’s best not to converse with them.
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Did you eat all of the chocolate
Phew, this was a bit longer than planned ^^ But have a hopefully nice fic about Jelly and Lennie taking their latest grandkids to Disney huehue
One could have said it was just another one of those days for the three siblings Cordelia had brought into her family months back, but it really was not just one of those days.
As they came into the family, the three learned that the family was actually rich. Perhaps a bit influential as well. And with money and very caring and generous relatives came the spoiling.
“Is there a third park we could go to!?”
“In this area, there’s only two. There are other parks, but they’re for different companies.”
“Can we go to those too!?”
“How about we enjoy these for now? We are going to be here for three days. We can go back on the rapids ride tomorrow, and without ponchos this time.~”
Margaux, Felix, and Damian walked down the brick pathway that was placed between the two entrances leading to the parks their grandparents Jelly and Lennie offered to bring them to, to spend some quality time and have fun. To Jelly, one park was not enough, so they were now hopping on over to the titular one.
“Does this one also have a water ride?”
“Yes it does.” Jelly nodded, letting go of Felix’s hand so that she could present all of the tickets before everybody was allowed into the park. “It’s called Splash Mountain and it’s a thrill ride. Pretty sure you’d enjoy it.”
“Great!” Felix jumped in the air, the only thing preventing him from jumping high being Jelly’s hand that he once again held. On Jelly’s other side was Margaux’s, the little one tightly holding her plush mouse in her other arm.
“Calm down partner.” Jelly chuckled to herself, finding Felix absolutely adorable in his Woody costume. She would have never expected that to be his Hallowen costume, but she loved it just like the ones his siblings wore.
“Can we go to that one!?” Felix continued before Jelly looked over at the pair that was beside Felix, her husband who was dressed in a bear onesie and the eldest of the siblings who was dressed like a gangster. A gangster weasel to be exact.
“What do you guys think? Splash Mountain is a tad bit far.” Jelly commented.
“Whatever the kids want really.” Lennie shrugged, then looking up at Damian who held a map of the park.
“Maybe we should go to...Tomorrowland…” he blinked at the name, then darting his eyes down at Lennie who was quite occupied with a colorful concha in his hands. “What kind of a name is that?”
“It’s the land of tomorrow. The future.” Jelly shrugged with a smile before motioning over to the left after they had all walked through Main Street. “Any ride catches your eye?”
“Pick a rollercoaster! There has to be a rollercoaster!” Felix exclaimed, watching his brother continue to read the map. “Damian!”
“Okay, okay.” Damian shushed him, then turning his attention up as he noticed there was a ride his brother would enjoy despite not being full-on thrilling. “How about that one?”
The rest of the group led their gaze to the side where Damian was pointing, a corner with a sort of antenna with rings around it. On both sides that made up the corner read BUZZ LIGHTYEAR Astro Blasters.
“Buzz Lightyear!?” Felix gasped at the sight, his eyes merely out of control as he scanned every inch of the building that even had a large sign featuring the mentioned character. “Is Buzz Lightyear in there!?”
“Kind of.” Jelly made sure to hold his hand tight enough so that he wouldn’t run off. “But, you probably won’t like him very much.”
“Wha-” Felix’s expression dropped, now looking at Jelly in pure disbelief before she leaned down to whisper.
“Won’t like him as much as the real Buzz Lightyear who walks around here.~”
Immediately, Felix’s eyes widened as did his smile.
“What are we waiting for? Let’s get on the ride so we can meet Buzz afterwards!” Jelly tugged on Felix’s arm, practically watching him vibrate with excitement before he attempted to run off to the queue line. “Hold up little cowboy, remember we have the fast passes.”
“Right!” Felix jumped around, allowing Jelly to talk to the employee before everybody was allowed in. However, Lennie stopped Jelly before going any further.
“Jelly-Bean, how about I hold Margaux’s hand for now?” he offered.
“Oh I’m fine, don’t worry.”
“I insist.” Lennie quietly laughed as he looked over at the jumping cowboy. “You might need the help.”
“Okay, okay.” Jelly giggled. “Margaux, come on over here and have some time with your grandpa. You guys are sitting on the ship together.”
Margaux briefly nodded, eventually being startled by a loud gasp from Felix.
“It’s Buzz!” he pointed at the animatronic that was apparently giving instructions for the mission on a giant Etch-A-Sketch.
“Settle down Felix.” Damian called from behind, seeing that others in line were giving Felix a few looks.
“Damian, let him have fun. It’s okay.” Jelly pet Felix’s head after his cowboy hat flew off. “It’s Disneyland.”
“I guess.” Damian shrugged as he followed behind Lennie and Margaux, Felix and Jelly being right at the very front as they did a bit of line before soon enough finding themselves at the loading station.
They watched as the “ships” constantly moved in their line, Felix becoming more excited as he and Jelly were led to one. He immediately hopped inside and made space for Jelly, the latter turning around to see Damian in the ship behind them so that Lennie could keep an eye on him from behind as he sat with Margaux.
“So what do we do!?” Felix clenched his fists in thrill, soon feeling as the front part of their ship came forwards and he got a closer look at the galactic looking guns.
“Take one and shoot the bad guys.” Jelly grinned, taking one of her own before showing him how to hit a target, immediately getting points. “Let’s see who can get the most points in the end.~”
“I’m gonna beat you Damian!” Felix laughed behind himself, his brother slightly smiling while rolling his eyes at the comment.
“Whatever you say Felix.”
And after taking a ride through the galaxy with Buzz Lightyear, Felix could say that he did beat his brother Damian. But that didn’t make him the one with the highest score.
“Wow! Ranger first class!?” Felix exclaimed at the scoreboard he and his family looked at after his sister had told him the total score of points she got after shooting all the bad guys. “That’s awesome Margaux!”
“Thank you.” the child played with her feet, hugging Mr. Jingles close.
“Me and Damian are…”Felix examined the board. “Planetary Pilots! So close to Space Scout! I still beat Damian though.~”
“You sure did.” Lennnie pat Felix’s back as they all made their way out through the exit of the ride, already having collected the codes to buy pictures of them on it later. “Where to now?”
“There was...a ride I noticed.” Damian commented. “The white one-”
Damian was soon interrupted by yet another gasp from his brother, his boots clicking against the ground as he managed to escape from Jelly’s hand and ran over to what was revealed to be the store.
“It’s Buzz! And a Buzz jacket! A-And the little green men! And Zurg! And an actual Astro Blaster!” Felix fawned over all of the merchandise, especially the Buzz Lightyear toy. “Aww! I wish I had this guy…”
“Felix, honey.” Jelly carefully took the box, looking down at the price. “The toy costs thirty-five dollars.”
“Oh…”Felix’s smile dropped, disappointment filling him.
“That leaves more than enough money to get something else. Do you want the jacket too? What size are you? I can even get you a pin or we can look at other things throughout the day.”
“Are you serious nana!?” Felix immediately lit up as he watched Jelly pick out a hooded sweater that made the wearer look like they were dressed as Buzz.
“Is she serious?” Damian blinked at the sight, having asked Lennie who gave a shrug and laugh.
“She loves to spoil the grandkids, and she said she never wanted to become a grandmother.” Lennie turned to look up at Damian. “What was the ride you wanted to go on?”
“Oh. It doesn’t matter.”
“If you don’t tell me right now, your Mama Coral’s gonna ask you and you don’t want that.”
Damian stared at Lennie for a moment, then darting his eyes over at Margaux who gave a shrug.
“It’s the white building next to the rocket, I think that’s a pizza place. The ride seemed interesting. Space or Galaxy something.”
“Oh, Ghost Galaxy.” Lennie nodded. “Yeah, it’s actually called Space Mountain but it’s Ghost Galaxy during the Halloween season. That one’s an indoor rollercoaster. It’s nice.”
“R-Rollercoaster?” Margaux hugged her mouse tighter.
“You don’t have to go on it. Either me or Coral can stay outside with you, don’t worry.” Lennie reassured her, giving her hand a comforting squeeze before they all looked at Jelly and Felix. “We can go on it after we meet Buzz Lightyear.”
“Man, false advertisement!”
“What do you mean?”
“I barely got wet!”
Jelly and Lennie laughed to themselves as they all walked out of a ride that was not in Tomorrowland, for they had moved away from that area and into New Orlean’s Square. Here, they had decided to go on a rather tame ride despite having a bit of a drop that was tolerable even by Margaux.
“You still got a few drops. Nothing in your boots, right?”
“Not even a snake in here.” Felix joked, eventually giving a loud laugh at the thought of it and his costume. “That was good.”
“Do you really want to be getting your costume wet though?” Jelly tugged at one of Felix’s sleeves.
“I don’t mind!”
“I mean, if you really want to get wet, have I got the place for you.” Jelly waved around the park map. “Unless you want to eat first.”
“I could really go for some nachos right now.” Felix stated, until he heard terrified screams that made him look past some tall trees that surrounded a mansion he currently did not care for. “What was that?”
“Come over here.” Lennie motioned to the three kids, bringing them over to an area where there was a fence, and beyond it was a pile of scary-looking thorns. “That’s what it is.”
All three of them looked up at what was a funny-looking mountain, right in it was a black hole from which a stream of water fell. Watching intently, they saw as a log slowly appeared, and then a person sitting in it. Soon enough, the entire log came into full view before it slid down the water stream at full speed as screams were heard at the same time.
“Oh my god.” Felix started. “Punpa. Nana. We HAVE to go on that!”
“We don’t have to go on that.” Margaux shook her head.
“That is true, we don’t have to.” Jelly rubbed her shoulders. “Lennie, how about you take the boys on Splash?”
“You sure? I don’t mind staying with Margaux.”
“You stayed out for Space Mountain, it’s my turn.” Jelly nodded. “We can always come back here and to Space Mountain and take turns.”
“Well, if you say so.” Lennie let go of Margaux’s hand, Jelly now taking it before she handed a backpack over to Damian.
“The ponchos are in here, just in case you don’t want to be getting wet.” Jelly pat his arm. “And make sure you don’t let go on that ride. Especially you Felix.”
“But why not!?”
“Okay, okay. You can let your hands up if you sit in the front.”
“That’s exactly where I planned on sitting!” Felix stated as he got into a marching position, ready to head off before he was followed by his brother and grandpa after exchanging a few more words with Jelly.
“So Margaux, what would you like to do now?” Jelly rubbed her thumb over Margaux’s knuckles with a warm smile. “Maybe go on another ride while we wait?”
Margaux pondered to herself for a moment, glancing over at Mr. Jingles before placing a hand on her stomach. As if on command, her stomach gave a growl that made Jelly give a bit of a giggle.
“So, first we eat, huh?”
Lennie had called Jelly, telling her that he and the boys were done with Splash Mountain, Felix speaking loud in the back of course. Considering how Jelly had decided she wanted to take Margaux over to Fantasyland and already having reached the location, she suggested that he and the boys go on the ride again or at least the nearest roller coaster which was another mountain.
“W-What’s the name of the o-one they’re on?”
“It’s Big Thunder Mountain. Cowboy-style stuff.” Jelly informed her as she playfully swung around her hand that held onto Margaux’s. “But let’s let go of that stuff for now and talk about princesses, yeah?”
“I like princesses.” Margaux nodded, the tiniest smile present on her features as she looked around the area that was filled with cottage-looking buildings. “Where are they?”
“They’re over at the fair, but we can meet them later. Would you like that?”
Margaux replied with a nod of her head, soon taking a good look at Jelly who noticed.
“Yes.” Margaux whispered, her eyes fixated on Jelly’s dress.
“I j-just really think your dress is pretty…”she let go of Jelly’s hand to softly run a hand over the dress which was half blue and half pink. “My Gam Gam is a Disney princess.”
“Oh Margaux, it’s just a cos-” Jelly spoke but then stopped herself, then twirling a lock of her golden hair. “I mean, I do sleep a lot. And I have little fairies, except there’s twenty-three of them.”
“What?” Margaux silently gasped.
“Uh huh, and they’re all pink. They look like little jellyfish who float all over the place.”
“Even around Grampy? Like the fairies and Prince Philip?”
“Oh definitely.” Jelly nodded as she led Margaux through the crowd, bringing her over to a building near the carousel. “Your Grampy even defeated a big bad dragon that took me away.”
“Of course. He’s so brave and courageous.” Jelly giggled to herself. “Then he gave me a big kiss.”
“And he woke you up?”
“Yup!” Jelly gave another nod, eventually stopping as they now stood in front of the building that read Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
“What’s this?” Margaux blinked up at the building, heart racing at the sight of beautiful crowns carefully placed on display behind the large window near the entrance.
“This is where princesses get their outfits.” Jelly released Margaux’s hand, now placing both of hers on the child’s shoulders. “So what dress does the princess want?”
“Dress?” Margaux examined the area after she was brought inside by Jelly, looking around at the displays of princess dresses that were all on small mannequins. “Oh my.”
She hugged Mr. Jingles against her chest, shifting as she looked at all of the dresses and crowns, a small smile forming on her lips.
“Nana! That ride was insane! Well, both of them were! And the second one was so crazy it basically dried our clothes up after Splash Mountain!” Felix ran towards Jelly and Margaux, soon gasping as he skid to a stop so as to not crash into them. “Is that a churro!?”
“Yes.” Margaux responded before taking a bite out of her churro, letting Mr. Jingles take a bite out of it.
“Just got a churro and some gingerbreads for Margaux and Mr. Jingles. I bought some chocolates for everyone too.”
“Gam-Gam even got a little Mickey Mouse hat for Mr. Jingles.” Margaux mentioned as she showed off the tiny hat. “Now he’s the Doormouse and Mickey.”
“Hey! That’s like the ones Dami-wait! Did you eat all of the chocolate!?” Felix cried out before feeling Jelly pat his head.
“No sweetheart, we haven’t opened up the chocolates yet. Would you like one?”
“Totally!” Felix made a grabby motion with his hands, immediately taking one of the squares Jelly offered. “What’s this one have?”
“It’s a s’mores flavored one.” Jelly replied before offering some to Lennie and Damian, the latter shaking his head no thank you before the box of chocolates was put away.
“So! What are your guys’ plans now?” Jelly asked the three kids, the brothers looking at each other before Margaux tugged at Jelly’s dress. Jelly turned to look down at her, seeing as Margaux motioned for her to come down. So, the former kneeled down before having Margaux whisper into her ear.
“That sounds like a wonderful idea.~”
“Which one?” Felix poked his head into the conversation, watching Jelly stand up before looking over to the side where there was a good amount of line behind some victorian-esque fences.
“Margaux wants to go on the Haunted Mansion Holiday.” Jelly pointed to the building where a music box was heard. “You guys wanna go? It’s usually just a Haunted Mansion, but now it has characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
“Let’s go! Let’s go right now! Right now!”
“Okay, just don’t run off.” Lennie advised as he trailed behind Felix, turning around to take a quietly excited Margaux’s hand. That was when he noticed that Damian had stayed behind. “You okay, bud?”
“Yeah. I just thought I could take a break.” Damian looked between Jelly and Lennie.
“Oh, sure. We can all take a break.”
“No, you guys go ahead. I can stay and sit outside.” Damian slightly shook his head, then hearing as Jelly approached him.
“Jelly, you go on ahead and take the kids. I’ll stay with Damian.”
“Nuh uh young man, you are not staying out here by yourself.” Jelly lifted a finger, then waving her hand at Lennie. “Just go ahead. I’m still full from eating and wouldn’t want the motions getting me nauseous.”
“If you say so.” Lennie chuckled as he waved to his wife, leading Felix and Margaux to the line of the Haunted Mansion Holiday.
“You...didn’t have to stay.” Damian turned to Jelly who shrugged. “You could have gone in with them. I’m old enough to take care of myself.”
“I know, but sometimes people need someone with them.” Jelly ruffled his hair. “Not that I don’t trust you, I had a few of my escapades when I was your age.”
“I know you weren’t. I honestly just wanted to spend some time with you Damian.” Jelly admitted. “Now, how about I buy you a pretzel of some popcorn? Maybe some fries?”
“I...a pretzel sounds nice.” Damian shrugged, then following Jelly as she took him to a stand with a variety of salty snacks.
Once purchased, Damian was handed the pretzel which he began to eat, still walking behind Jelly before feeling his free hand be held. In that moment, he froze, panicked. My god, he was shaking with wide eyes at the realization of his hand being held by Jelly’s.
“You okay?” Jelly stopped walking, looking behind at Damian who swallowed the bit of pretzel in his mouth as he stared down at the ground. “Damian?”
She blinked at Damian who nearly squeezed the life out of his Mickey-shaped pretzel, vibrating as his eyes refused to move from the ground.
“Damian? Are you okay?” Jelly let go of his hand, realizing that the boy’s face had become flushed. “Damian?”
“Mmm?” he finally lifted his head to look at Jelly, meeting up with her concerned expression. “Yes?”
“Are you...did I do something wrong?”
“No.” Damian quickly replied, the color ever so slowly draining from his face as he blinked quite awkwardly. “Cold.”
“You’re cold?” Jelly made a weird face at him, knowing that that clearly wasn’t the issue.. “Because you turned red. I don’t think that means it’s cold.”
“Hot?” Damian practically wheezed, his mind either a mixture of panic or absolutely blank.
“How about we go into this store? Maybe that’ll help with your...temperature.” Jelly gave a bit of a chuckle, attempting to lighten the mood before being followed by a stiff Damian. “Look, there’s even a blanket in here. Do you want it?”
“No.” spoke Damian, finally clearing his throat. “N-No thank you...mémé…”
In an instant, Jelly turned around at the sound of that name. Knowing French, she already knew what it meant, and it no doubt delighted her on the inside despite being the word she did not want to be called. For some reason, it being in a different language just sounded better.
“Okay. That’s okay.” Jelly nodded before gasping and taking a nearby item, soon removing Damian’s gangster hat to replace it with what she had found. “What about this then?”
Damian, finally back to his normal self, felt Jelly’s hands on his shoulders as she turned him so he could face a mirror. Once he saw his reflection, he realized that he was wearing one of the popular Mickey Mouse ear hats.
“Aw, you look so adorable Damian!” Jelly nearly squealed as she popped her head from behind to get a better look at the mirror. “Such a dashing, young man with Mickey ears.”
Once again, Damian felt as a heat rushed up to his cheeks. Thankfully, he hadn’t reacted the same as he did the last time when Jelly held his hand.
“It’s..it’s fine.” Damian slowly removed the hat, turning in place to hand it back to Jelly. “I don’t need it.”
“Maybe, but you want it.” Jelly spoke in a singing tone. “So I’m buying it.~”
“Wait-” Damian whipped around, seeing as Jelly stood in place and gave him a sly smile, so he decided not to protest it.
“Is there anything else you’d like? There’s this zip-up hoodie that had Jack Skellington on it. All black. It seems like something you’d wear.” Jelly made a motion with her hand so that Damian could follow as she brought him over to a section with Nightmare Before Christmas clothes. “Surprises me they don’t have any of the costumes, but then again, this is Disney.”
“I mean, I’d rather get a Roger Rabbit shirt. With, Jessica.” Damian cleared his throat as he averted his gaze.
“Aw, shoot.” Jelly’s smile fell. “Damian, I’m sorry to say this, but they don’t sell Roger Rabbit merchandise here anymore.”
“I mean, we can definitely go on the ride later though. That’s a promise.” Jelly patted his shoulder as she grabbed one of the hoods she had mentioned before, trying one on in front of Damian to check for the right size. “Just as I promise to find you the perfect shirt when we get back home. I know people sell those things online and if I don’t find something, I’ll talk to my brother Pepper. He’s the real life Roger Rabbit and is bound to have something in his house.”
“I noticed.” Damian gave a nod. “And…”
Jelly’s eyes left the hood, glancing over at Damian.
“I appreciate it.”
“It’s no problem, kelpcake.”
“Kelpcake?” Damian lifted his head at Jelly.
“You’re my kelpcake.” Jelly ever so softly pinched Damian’s cheek. “Speaking of real life characters, did I ever tell you that your Uncle Davey is basically a real life Jack Skellington? That boy never noticed his feelings for your aunt, or her own of course.”
“You’re joking.” Damian squinted his eyes at Jelly who laughed with a shake of her head.
“Harper and Benjamin literally told him to his face after he saw Ally go on a date with another guy.”
“That’s...hilarious.” Damian looked around the store.
“Oh yeah, your aunt Lily even suggested that they dress up as them. They did one time, even had Peggy dressed as Zero. It was adorable.”
“Huh.” Damian walked behind Jelly as she looked at a section with plush toys from the Haunted Mansion and Nightmare Before Christmas. “Speaking of Peggy, and the axolotls, where did they come from?”
Jelly’s hands stopped searching through the plush toys as she froze for a moment, eventually turning to Damian with a smile.
“Well, we have a rehabilitation center, your grandpa and I, and we’re constantly on the lookout for new species or at least ones that need help.” Jelly resumed her searching. “The axolotls happened to be one of those discoveries.”
“The sea.” Jelly answered in a heartbeat. “We have some boats. Even your uncle Davey has a ship of his own. We’re constantly on the sea, and we just happened to come upon the axolotls. Mana and Kala at least, and then they eventually had their pups and on.”
“How long do they live?”
“That’s something we haven’t quite figured out just yet. Your grandpa has an idea though, it’s best you ask him.” Jelly faced Damian now, holding a funny looking plush that was meant to be a vampire teddy bear. “How do you like this little guy?”
“They look funny.” Damian poked the toy’s large and toothy grin.
“Great. They’re going home with you.” Jelly grinned before heading off to the cash register. “If there’s anything else you want, tell me now. Or you can tell me if anything catches your eye later.”
“Alright.” Damian now stood behind Jelly, watching as she paid for the three items she was getting just for him. “I wanted to ask, how are things with you and Pop?”
“Oh, as perfect as ever.” Jelly then received a bag with the merchandise, taking out the plush before handing it over to Damian who accepted it and took a better look at it. “I mean, we’re obviously here taking you and siblings to Disney and California Adventures. Other than that, just been working at my aquarium like usual, the park. Spend as much as time with all of you kids as much as possible, especially with Davey and Ally popping out more grandkids.”
“How many do they have now? I don’t see them too much, but I thought it was four.”
“Four indeed. Your aunt Ula and her husbands have six in total. Though Dahlia makes it feel like more.” Jelly laughed, taking notice of the funny face Damian made at the thought of his troublemaking cousin. “Speaking of your cousins, how have you been getting along with your cousins?”
“It’s going well.” Damian sighed at the thought of everyone he had met. All different from the other. “But Flora,”
“What about Flora?”
“She’s, really welcoming.” Damian squeezed his plush as she and Jelly continued walking, now finding an empty spot to sit at as it started to grow dark. “I really appreciate it. She tries to help me a lot and she’s very sweet.”
“Flora is like that, she just knows things.” Jelly placed a hand on Damian’s back, rubbing circles on it as he slightly shivered at the touch. “I’ve been meaning to ask, how are things with Basil?”
“Basil?” Damian rapidly brought his head up. “Well. It’s all well and okay.”
“Yeah? He’s not causing you any problems?”
“No, no. Of course not.”
“What?” a loud laugh was heard from behind the pair, both turning to see none other than Felix who was waving around a paper. “Basil always scares you!”
“Shut up Felix.” Damian glared at his brother.
“You guys are back.” Jelly felt as Felix slipped in between her and Damian, then seeing Lennie and Margaux stand in front of them. “How was it?”
“It was fun.” Margaux turned to Lennie who agreed. “And kind of cold.”
“They do that on purpose.” Jelly laughed before looking at Felix. “Sweetheart, don’t interrupt your brother, okay?”
“Okaaaay.” Felix slumped his body, but immediately jumped back into a straight pose to show off the paper he had received. “I got this though! Punpa asked for me and Margaux and we got Death Certificates!”
“That’s so nice.”
“Can we go again!? The ride got stuck like two times.”
“Yeah.” Margaux agreed before glancing over at Damian. “And Damian should come with us too.”
Jelly turned to Damian who remained quiet.
“Come on Damian, let’s go see Sandy Claws.” Jelly rubbed his shoulder after Felix hopped off his seat, Damian now looking at Jelly. “Then we can go on the Roger Rabbit ride right after. I promise.”
“I guess.” Damian nodded before he and Jelly stood up, soon turning red as Jelly linked her arm with his.
“But you have to promise to sit in the Doombuggie with your mémé.” Jelly smiled, then giggling as Damian gave a shaky nod while squeezing his vampire teddy bear.
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