Disclaimer: I do not own Biker Mice from Mars, nor do I make any profit from this fic, other than your enjoyment. I hope you enjoy it. I know I should have my head examined, but I let Vikki help me again. Can you guess where?

Biker Mice: The Younger Years.

Part I: Night of Darkness

by: JBJ

Copyrighted: 1998

The entire student body of Blackstone High School waited and watched the clocks as the last seconds of the school week crept to a close. With a three day, weekend wouldn't you? And five particular mice waited even more excitedly, if that's possible.

"Five," announces Throttle, book-bag on shoulder.

"Four," answers Carbine, straining to keep in her desk.

"Three," continues Modo, tapping his fingers on his desk impatiently.

"Two," cries Vinnie, hand on doorknob.

"One," chuckles Vick, smiling mischievously.

Everyone is halfway out of their seats, waiting on the bell. But, instead of the bell, Principal Wrighter's voice comes over the intercom. "Before we go, I would just like to wish you all a safe and happy 'Di mal Cek.'" The bell rings the second he finishes his sentence.

Everyone rushes out into the halls, but our mice stop a few feet away from Rachel's locker. Rachel is too busy talking with the other cheerleaders, and her boyfriend Jazz, to notice them watching her as she opens her locker and sticks her hand in without looking.

"EEEWWWW!" she screeches as she yanks her hand, now covered in fake blood, out of her locker, which causes a bloody and very realistic Martian mouse skull to fall out of her locker.

The second Rachel sees the skull she shrieks again, and practically jumps into Jazz's arms. Doing so smears the fake blood on the back of Jazz's letter jacket.

The skull rolls to a stop in front of another girl. It's jaws come open and reveal a bloody piece of yellow paper.

The girl bends down. (Should I mention this girl is wearing an extremely short skirt, and in bending over gives any curious guy; namely Vinnie; a good look at what was underneath?) Well, the girl bends down and picks up the paper by the corner that's least covered by blood. Out loud, she reads the writing on the paper. "Happy Di mal Cek."

I'm gonna stop here for a minute and explain what's going on. Di mal Cek literally means Day of Darkness. It's kind of a Martian version of Halloween. The younger kids dress up in costumes and get candy. There are parties and Monster movie marathons. Also the usual pranks and anything else you want to add. Originally, this day was set aside to remember the dead. No one has any idea how it went from that to this, or why they get out of school for it, but no one's complaining. Well some do but that doesn't matter. Mostly the only remembering of the dead happens at church on the first Sunday afterwards. And this celebration lasts all weekend. Though the actual day is is tomorrow. Anyway, back to the story.

A large crowd, including our mice, had formed when Rachel first screamed. That crowd now laughed loudly. Rachel forcefully walks to the girls' rest room; the laughter trailing behind her.

Our group of mice then make their way to their lockers. On the way, Vinnie takes a ring of locker key cards out of his pocket and repeatedly tosses them in the air while they walk from one of their lockers to the next. "Vick, remind me to return these to the janitor." Another wave of laughter erupts from the group. And a five handed high five is exchanged.

Carbine turns to Vick. "Where did you get such a realistic skull?"

"The graveyard." The others laugh, but the expression on her face makes them stop.

"Vick, Babe," says Throttle. "Your kidding, right?"

Vick just shrugs. "If you don't want to believe me, fine." Throttle looks at Carbine. Carbine looks at Modo. Modo looks to Vinnie. Vinnie just shrugs.

"Vick?" Modo asks. "You really didn't go into a graveyard and get a skull, did you?"

"Why is that so hard to believe?" They watch her face for anything resembling a hint that she is joking, but there is none.

Aw! Come on, Vick!" remarks Throttle. "Even you ain't that crazy!"

Modo catches Vick's chin in his hand and makes her face him, fighting the urge to kiss her. I am NOT loosing my best friend because of my hormones, he thinks to himself. Out loud he says, "Now tell me the truth. You really went into a graveyard and got a skull?"

Vick sighs; mostly to try and calm her own hormones; and says, "I really went into the Graveyard Novelty Shop and got a skull." The other's jaws drop simultaneously. Vick smiles. "I got the fake blood there too." Then she bursts out laughing.

Jabbing her finger into Modo's muscular chest, laughter hiding a sharp gasp as lightning shot through her body. "I really had you going there, didn't I?!"

The responses to her question are shaking heads and exaggerated denials.

Vick laughs and smiles again. "Happy Di mal Cek!"

Carbine checks her watch. "I have to get going. We still on for tomorrow night?" Everyone nods. "Well, see ya then. Bye." She starts to walk away.

Throttle runs to catch up with her then walks with her, holding her hand.

"Ain't that sweet," remarks Vick. Then she pretends to gag. Vinnie cocks an eyebrow.

"This coming from the girl who has at least twenty of those sappy romance novels hidden under her bed?"

Vick fails to keep from blushing. "Well," she defends herself. "That's fiction. It's sweet in books and movies, but it's sickening in real life."

Modo chuckles. "Be careful, Vick. You never know when something you say with blow up in your face." Vick just rolls her eyes and walks away.


An alarm clock screams it's wake up call in a sleeping Modo's ear. He immediately swings his arm out of the covers of his bed and shuts it off; accidentally knocking over a picture of his friends.

Modo yawns and pulls himself out of bed. His foot nudges the picture on the floor. As he picks it up, his eyes are automatically drawn to the image of Vick The picture is just a snapshot of a picnic they had over the summer. Modo just stares at Vick's image. Then he nearly slams the picture back on his bedside table. And; for probably the two hundredth time since Vick and he became friends; he thinks, I am NOT going to lose my best friend because of my hormones!

Trying to take his mind off Vick, Modo checks see if his alarm clock is really off. Suddenly he remembers this isn't a school day. And that he didn't set his alarm clock last night. He shakes his head. Maybe I just forgot I set it.

Modo makes his way to his closet. Just as he opens the door, a blood-soaked Vick falls out of the closet! And into his arms!

Vick's T-shirt is covered with blood, and a knife is stuck hilt deep into her chest. Modo falls to his knees with her still in his arms. His eyes are wide as he looks down at her.

"Vick!!" He screams, practically shrieking.

Suddenly, Vick coughs blood onto Modo's chest. She looks at him weakly; and, with a sigh, goes limp and dies.

"VICK!!" This time he does shriek. He turns his face to his door. "Momma! Get in here quick!" He turns back to Vick. He shakes his head slowly. "No," he whispers, his voice hoarse with unshed tears. "Please. No."

Modo's mother, Anne, runs into his room; but, upon seeing the sight, just says, "Vick. That better not stain my carpet."

Vick's eyes snap open and she smiles as she says, "Don't worry. I checked the label." Modo yelps and drops her out of shock. "Ouch!" she yells as her head hits the floor. "Watch it, Butterfingers!"

Modo gasps for air. "Y-y-y..." Vick chuckles and gets up off the floor. As she reaches the door, Modo's mother stops her.

"Have you had breakfast yet?"

"I had a bowl of cereal."

Anne looks at her sternly. "Now that isn't a good breakfast for a young mouse. You go clean that stuff off and join us for breakfast."

"Now wait a minute!" Modo has gotten up off the floor and stands in shock watching this. "You're gonna get her for not eating a good breakfast and just let it slide that she just SCARED ME HALF TO DEATH?!"

Vick smiles. "Could you turn around and say that?"

A sinking feeling comes over Modo as he turns around. When he does, he comes face to face with a grinning Vinnie and a recording video camera. Vinnie laughs.

"Hey, Modo! Say, "Hi, Throttle! Hi, Carbine!"

Modo groans and bangs his head on the door frame. He suddenly straightens. "Give me the camera."

"No way!" yells Vinnie. "I know plenty of girls who would die to see you in your boxers!"

Modo suddenly freezes as he remembers he sleeps in nothing but black boxers. Vinnie and Vick giggle hysterically as Modo blushes deeply. Vick forces herself not to blush as well, as one of forbidden fantasies just came true.

Modo lunges for Vinnie, who sidesteps out of the way; camera still trained on Modo. Modo tries for the camera again, but is knocked off balance by Vick tackling him. They roll across the floor and suddenly stop with Vick pinned under Modo with him pinning her hands above her head. (Forbidden fantasy number two, for both.) Their faces are barely an inch apart and Modo can smell manaberry juice on Vick's breath. "Manaberries?" he asks.

"You think I'm gonna put fake blood in my mouth?! Are you insane?! That stuffs awful! Not to mention that big 'Do Not Swallow' label."

Vinnie suddenly zooms in on them, still laying on the floor, and says in his best director's voice, "Now Modo. Look deep in her eyes. And now, The Kiss."

Both Vick and Modo turn to him. "WHAT?!"

"All movies need a love scene."

Luckily, Anne comes to the rescue. "Now that's enough of this nonsense. Vick. Modo. Both of you go get cleaned up, and dressed. Vick. Modo probably has a shirt you can borrow so you can get out of that one. I'm going downstairs to get breakfast. You can come down once you are presentable."

"I guess that means we'll be sending Vinnie's breakfast up to him?" jokes Vick. Modo has let Vick up, but she is thrown back down on the ground by a cream colored fur-ball. Vick looks up into ten-year-old Rimfire's mischievous face. "Hey! Where's the ref.?!" she shouts.

Modo picks up his nephew, freeing Vick, and sets him down beside him. Rimfire's green pajamas now have a red smear on the front.

"Not you too!" Rimfire ignores his grandmamma's protest and focuses on the knife in Vick's chest.

"Whoa! That's cool!"

Vick smiles. "Oh. You like it, huh? Well here." She pulls the knife hilt. A blade seems to come straight out of her chest. Modo looks a bit ill at the sight. Vick hands the knife, hilt first, to Rimfire. "Take a closer look. But be careful. It's a trick knife. If you slice with it, it'll cut. But if you stab, the blade will retract. She demonstrates this by grabbing Rimfire and stabbing him in the chest. Then she releases the knife and it stays on his chest. "It also has reusable adhesive so it will stay in place until you take it off."

Rimfire smiles and turns around to show his grandmamma. Anne sighs. "Yes, it's very nice. But now there are three mice who have to get cleaned up before they can eat." She smiles as she says that though.

Rimfire groans at the thought of food, holds his stomach, and leans against Modo. Vick chuckles and squats down. "Ahh. Had a little too much candy last night?" Rimfire nods. Modo chuckles.

"He had me running all over Blackstone for candy last night."

"Candy?! Where?!" pipes up Vinnie, with the camera still recording. Vick ignores him and turns back to Rimfire.

"You know?" she says while taking back the knife. "I bet your stomach'll feel a lot better if you go back to bed and get some more sleep." Modo picks up Rimfire gently at that suggestion and heads for the door.

"That was so sweet. Vick got all maternal and everything!" Vinnie laughs at his joke and zooms in on Vick.

Vick glares at him. "Do you want me to make you eat that camera?"

"At least that would get rid of the tape," mutters Modo as he walks out of the room.

Hearing that, Vinnie checks the camera to find the film indicator light blinking. "No!" he yells. "I'm out of film!"

"How much did you get before you ran out?"

Vinnie shakes his head. "I don't know." Vick moans.

"I told you to put a new tape in! But, do you listen to me? No! And I'm the brains of this team!"

Then maybe you should have done it yourself, thinks Vinnie.

I heard that, Bro.

I know that, Sis.


"You have to admit, it was funny, Bro.," says Throttle as the mice drive down a back street of Blackstone. Throttle is referring to the video taken that morning. The tape had ran out just after Vinnie had made the joke of the kiss.

Modo just responds by blushing again, though it was a lighter shade than before. Carbine, who is riding on Throttle's bike as hers was in need of a part that wouldn't be in until Monday, joins in.

"I just want to know why Vick automatically thought of tackling you."

"I tackle him when we play football all the time," says Vick while trying to defend Modo.

"Yeah. But Modo's not usually in his boxers when you play football, is he?"

Vick barely succeeds in not blushing. Sometimes she wondered if Carbine actually saw Vick's feelings, though she hid them pretty well, or she was just trying to set her two best friend's up. Vick decides to change the subject. "How did you talk your dad into letting you come? I mean, if it wasn't for Vinnie, my folks wouldn't let me go to an abandoned mansion with two guys. Especially if I was dating one of them." Her mind played with that thought a few moments.

Carbine ducks her head. "I kinda told him we were going to Rachel's party. Then I'm gonna spend the night with Vick"

"What!" is all the others are able to say. They all knew Carbine's father was a very strict sergeant of the Martian Army. Throttle snaps out of the daze first.

"Your dad is gonna Fry you if he finds out!"

"How did you get him to believe that?! Rachel would never invite you even if you weren't my friend! No offense," shouts Vick. Nearly driving into somebody's yard out of shock "My dad might ground me, but yours is likely to draft you!"

"Then I guess he'd better not find out. Besides. I didn't completely lie. I am spending the night with Vick." No one thinks of anything else to say until they reach their destination.

Their destination is, what else on Di mal Cek, a haunted house. A haunted mansion to be exact. On the edge of suburbia, stood a house that looked like something out of Gone With the Wind, right after the Civil War. A hundred years of neglect made the once beautiful house an eyesore, but a forest of an overgrown yard hides the house from the casual passer.

Carbine gets off Throttle's bike. "Blackstone Mansion."

Vinnie snorts. "Doesn't look that scary to me." Carbine turns to him.

"The ghosts ain't on the outside."

Tell me the story about this place again," requests Vick.

Carbine stands on the porch. "The legend goes that the Blackstone family, the founders of this town and half the businesses here, lived here for twelve generations. The last generation was only one son. Reginald Blackstone. Like most of his family, he kept his last name instead of dropping it when he grew up. Reggie was very possessive about everything. Especially his wife, Elizabeth. One night he came home and found her kissing their gardener. He shoots both of them, out of jealousy, then himself." Carbine looks up at the house. "They say that when they came to empty the house after Reginald was buried, his ghost kept anything from being taken out of the house. They even found a burglar dead here. He was found holding some of Elizabeth's jewels. And some people claim to hear Elizabeth scream at night; like she was being killed all over again."

A tense silence follows. Throttle takes a deep breath and turns the doorknob. The door opens strangely easy for being unused for a hundred years. Vinnie chuckles. "Wouldn't it be easier to keep people out than to kill them once they get in?"

Modo answers, "We're not gonna take anything." Vick laughs as they enter the house.

"You two don't really believe in ghosts?" Vinnie violently shakes his head, but Modo just stares at their surroundings.

Their bike's headlights are the only light in the building other than the fast setting sun through the far windows. The inside of the house is also modeled like the deep south plantation houses of Earth. Even down to the antique light fixtures, but there are also candelabras, with completely unused candles, standing at the ready on several tables.

The group makes their way into the living room. Sheets, grayed with dust, cover the elaborate furniture, and a grand staircase is to one side, splitting in two dirrections. But the thing that draws everyone's attention and even put Vinnie at a loss for words is the life-size painting of two mice above a grand fireplace.

"Vick! That's you!" gasps Throttle.

"And Modo!" gasps Carbine.

Indeed. The brass nameplate on the frame says, "Reginald and Elizabeth Blackstone," but to our mice; the mice pictured there, in outfits completely normal in the decor of this house, are Vick and Modo in ten years.

The gray male mouse has Modo's build and stance. And has the same sensible and strong look in his eyes as Modo. He stands behind the woman with his hand on her shoulder. The woman herself is identical to Vick in every way but two. She is wearing a dress and has wavy hair that reaches to the middle of her back.

Modo blinks his eyes several times and Vick even rubs hers to make sure she is seeing correctly. Vinnie snaps out of his trance and starts humming the theme of "The Twilight Zone." Modo starts to laugh, then turns to Throttle and Carbine.

"Real funny you two. How much did it cost?" Throttle and Carbine look at him with confusion. "The painting. You two had it made for a Di mal Cek joke." Vick moves closer to the painting.

"Modo. It's real."

Modo turns to her. "Are you sure?" Vick nods.

"Even if it were weeks old, it would still smell like paint. You couldn't cover that up." She looks him in the face. "All I smell is dust."

Modo takes a deep breath. She's right. He chuckles. "How are you always right?"

"Because I use my head for more than crushing cans with."

Modo holds his chest above his heart. "OH! Ya got me!" He slumps to the floor; his eyes closed. Vick chuckles as she looks down at him.

"If your trying to pay me back for this morning, your gonna have to try harder." She takes a sports bottle out of her bike and hands it to him. "Here. Try this."

Modo takes it, and asks, "What's in it?"

"Manaberry juice." Vick smiles and chuckles as Modo looks slightly ill. He hands it back to her. She takes a drink and puts it back in her bike.

Throttle chuckles. He thinks to himself, They really need to get together one of these days. A cold breeze rustles his fur. He shivers. "Hey guys. And girls." He said that last part mostly for Carbine. Vick didn't care one way or the other which he used. "We might want to start a fire if we don't want to be pop-cycles tomorrow." He notices Vinnie's grin. "In the fireplace, Vincent."

After that chore was finished, Carbine walks to the staircase. "Let's take a look around the rest of the house." The others agree and follow her up the stairs.

Sometime during the tour, they loose Vinnie. Suddenly Vick turns and runs down a hallway as fast as she can. She stops in one of the bedrooms. The others reach her as she holds Vinnie's shoulders.

"Bro! What happened?!"

Vinnie's eyes are wide and he is gasping for air. He shakes his head. "I don't know. I came in here and someone was standing by that fireplace. And there was a fire in it! I could feel the heat! The guy was wearing old-fashioned clothes. Then he turns around. It was Modo! Or Reggie! Or whoever the hell he was! He shoots me! I heard the gun go off! I felt the bullet! Then everything stopped. Then you came in."

"Bullet?" asks Vick.

"Reginald was a collector of antique guns," replies Carbine.

Vinnie is actually shaking! He looks Vick in the eyes. "You believe me, don't you?"

Vick nods, but Throttle claps and laughs. "Bravo! Bravo! Encore! You two should go on the road!" The twins look at him confused, and shocked. So do Modo and Carbine. Throttle looks at them. "Oh, Puh-Leeze!" He turns to Carbine. "They're playing a trick on us. Just like with the skull yesterday."

Vinnie seems to be his old self as he said, "I ain't kidding! I really saw... Reginald Blackstone! I saw a ghost!"

Throttle laughs. "I ain't falling for it Bro. If you're scared, just go home."

Vinnie glares at him. "I ain't scared. Let's just go back downstairs." Throttle laughs again as they head down the staircase.

As they go, Carbine whispers to Vick. "Did Vinnie really see Reginald?" Vick shrugs.

"I'm not sure what he saw, but the fear was real. Just don't tell him I told you he was scared, or it'll be my ghost haunting this place." They both giggle. Then Vick says, "I wouldn't be surprised if Throttle was doing all this somehow."

"Yeah," agrees Carbine. "He was sure quick to say you two were behind this."

Suddenly Throttle steps between them. "Can I have my girlfriend for a few minutes?" Throttle and Carbine disappear into the many shadows of the house.

Vick can't help but think, Maybe she's in on it too. She shakes her head, then suddenly her foot slips on the carpet. Her balance is completely gone and she topples backwards into Modo. Her fall causes both of them to crash to the bottom of the stairs.

"Vick? You OK?" comes from both Vinnie and Modo.

"Yeah. I just lost my," Vick starts to get up but her hand touches a warm sticky substance. Vick holds her hand up so she can see. Her white fur is now a wet crimson. Both Modo and Vinnie see it as well.

"What is that?"

"Blood." Vick brings her hand closer to her nose. "Real blood." She looks down at the floor. There is a large puddle of congealing blood surrounding them.

Modo and Vick jump up but the damage is done. Crimson stains already cover the knees of Vick's jeans and the seat of Modo's. Bile rises in Modo's throat and it takes everything he has to keep it back. "You didn't have anything to do with this, Vick?" he asks an a hoarse whisper. Vick shakes her head slowly.

Then as suddenly as it appeared, the blood vanishes; sucked into the wood floor. Even the Blood on Vick and Modo is gone.

Vinnie swallows hard. "Let's get to the living room. Now." No one disagrees. Actually Vinnie is the last to get there.

In the living room, the fire takes the chill off the unusually cold night and, along with the now lighted candles and bike headlights, add some light to the dark room. Vinnie tries to look macho as he stares into the shadows.

"Hey!" yells Throttle from one of the shadows. "This ain't a spectator sport!" Vinnie, with his trademark stupid grin intact, turns to watch another shadow and give Throttle and Carbine a little privacy. But that is not Vick's idea.

"Throttle? Does the term "shotgun wedding" mean anything to you?" asks Vick, trying to take her mind off the incident on the stairs.

"Shut up, Vick."

A woman's scream erupts from every wall of the room. Everyone looks to Vick and Carbine. Both shake their heads. It wasn't either of them. The shriek continues until every inch ov the building shakes, then it dies to nothing instantly.

Carbine pulls out of Throttle's arms and goes to her place by the fire and starts rolling up her sleeping bag. "That's it! I've had it! I'm leaving!"

Throttle takes her hand and looks her in the face. "Babe. It's all right. They're just fooling with ya." Vick jumps up.

"We are not! You're doing all of this!"

"I am not!"

A loud argument follows, with Vick, Vinnie, Throttle, and Carbine all pointing the blame at each other. Finally, Modo silences them with a whistle. "OK! I want you all to tell the truth. Is any one of you playing any sort of prank on the rest of us?" Any answers are stopped by the continuos thud of a body falling down the main staircase directly in front of the group. They all rush closer.

The body is a male mouse with tan fur in a dark brown work suit with dirt stains all down the front of the pants. And a large blood stain on the shirt. Blood flows onto the floor just where Vick, Vinnie and Modo had been earlier. Carbine gasps. "Throttle! He looks just like you!"

They all look down at the mouse that could be Throttle with ten years age. Then suddenly, the body, and the blood, disappears. They all look at each other. Each face gives the other a look that erases all doubt. This is real!

"I vote we leave," says Modo with a trembling voice.

"All in favor?" asks Throttle.

An unanimous "I" is his answer.

"Then let's haul tail!" As he says this, a thunder of windows slamming shut and doors locking reaches their ears.

Instinctually, all the mice press back-to-back with the others so each is facing a different direction. Vinnie is the first to break the silence. "I just thought of something. Isn't Di mal Cek the day where the dead are allowed to walk again?"

"Yeah," answers Carbine. "Your point?"

"Well. Maybe if we make it to midnight, when Di mal Cek is over, all this will stop."

"What if it doesn't?"

"Am I supposed to think of everything?!" Vinnie's shout echoes through the otherworldly silence. "Throttle? You got any ideas?" Silence.

"Throttle?" asks Carbine. Still silence. "Modo?" No answer. "Vick?"

"I can't sense Vick," replies Vinnie. Carbine and Vinnie spin around and find themselves alone and staring at each other.

"What's going on?!" Carbine practically wails. Then regaining control she adds, "We have to find them."

"Yeah. Just don't suggest splitting up." Carbine nods and they start up the main staircase. They search from room to room finding nothing until they come to the end of the hall. With both taking deep breaths they open the double doors.

It is like stepping into a different world. A century of neglect seems to evaporate and leaves a luster of youth to everything in the large master bedroom. The light of antique lamps holds back the shadows, while candles burn and add an air of mystery. The plush cream carpet sinks under their feet and silences their footsteps. The red satin bedspread on the four-poster bed shines in the light, but it's what is laying on the bed that draws Vinnie's and Carbine's attention.

"What is Vick doing without her clothes?" Vinnie's voice cracks as he asks. Carbine answers by pointing to the other side of the room.

From an adjoining room walks Vick in a flowing silver satin ball gown. Frosted pink bows sit on the edges of the off-shoulder puffed sleeves, and at the draws of the puffed shirt. Lace embroidered petticoats can be seen where the top skirt comes up. White lace trims the wide and low neckline of the gown.

As Carbine and Vinnie watch, Vick sits herself in front of the antique vanity and puts silver combs in her hair. Her very long hair.

"Where'd she get the hair?" asks Vinnie. Carbine just shakes her head. She steps forward.

"Vick?" Vick ignores the call and continues primping; turning soft brown curls toward frame her face

"OK. Something's definitely weird here," says Vinnie. "Vick *never primps!" He turns to his sister. "Vick? Hey, Professor Earth!" Still no response.

"Elizabeth?" asks Carbine.

Vick turns to the two worried mice with a definite air of aristocracy. "Yes?"

"It's me. Carbine. And Vinnie."

"I am sorry. You must have me confused with another. I know no one by those names."

"Vick! It's me! Your brother!" Vick stands aghast.

"Sir! I am sorry, but I have no brother. I seriously suggest you leave. Now!"

"Elizabeth? Where's Reginald?" asks Carbine.

"Oh, God!" Vick turns to a small antique clock on the vanity. Her eyes widen in apparent fear. "He'll be here any moment!" She turns towards the door and rushes past the others. "I must go now! Excuse me!" She disappears down the stairs with a rustling of her skirts. Carbine and Vinnie look to each other then follow her.

Once they reach the living room, they both gasp out of shock. The lack of age they found in the master bedroom has moved to the living room. The giant chandelier chases away the shadows. The wood is buffed into a reflective glow. The painting above the fireplace reeks of new paint.

The two mice spin towards the staircase at the sound of footsteps. Vick stops in the middle of the staircase, right where the stairs branch off in two directions. Suddenly, Throttle, dressed in a dark brown work suit with dirt stained knees, runs up to her and holds her tight.

"Lizzie? You can't wait any longer. He'll be here in no time!"

"Adzer, please. I can't just leave him. He's my husband!"

Throttle/Adzer pulls away. "I don't understand you! You're in his bed while he's here, but come to mine as soon as he leaves. How can you love us both?" Vick/Elizabeth turns away. Adzer grabs her arms. "Tell me!"

"Yes, Dear. Do tell us how you can love us both." Elizabeth, Adzer, Carbine, and Vinnie all turn to see Modo standing at the branch-off, in black slacks, a white dress shirt, a black waistcoat, and black boots. All fashioned to the old style the rest of the house displays. He has a cold look to his eyes that Modo never possessed. He also aims an antique revolver at them.

"Reginald!" screeches Elizabeth.

Adzer jumps away from Elizabeth and pleads, "Please! Mr. Blackstone! I never meant no harm! But your wife! She..."

Reginald's eyes narrow. "She seduced you?"

Adzer nods his head wildly. "Exactly, Sir! The witch came to me and I couldn't resist!"

"The only thing I can't stand more than a wife who doesn't obey her vows," Reginald aims the gun at Adzer. "Is a man who would blame his weaknesses on a woman." He pulls the trigger, and Adzer falls down the stairs to land at the bottom with a dull thud. His blood pools around him. Reginald turns the gun to Elizabeth.

"THROTTLE!" shouts Carbine.

Come on, Vick! thinks Vinnie. Concentrating as hard as can on his sister. Get control! You have to FIGHT!

Elizabeth shakes her head and in her eyes flashes Vick's old fire. Vick isn't in complete control, but does add a little steel to Elizabeth's backbone. Elizabeth straightens her back and looks down at Reginald. (Figuratively since Reggie is taller.) "Don't I get a few last words?"

Reginald laughs. "Going to make excuses?"

"No. You asked me how I could love you both. I'm going to answer you. I couldn't. I love you. I never loved him."

"Why should I believe you?"

"Because. If I had loved him. I wouldn't be standing here now. I would have agreed to leave with him."

Reginald's gun wavers. "Then why? I gave you everything! My house! My money! My name! My love! And this is how you repay me?!"

"You gave me nothing. You gave me an empty, cold house. Your money kept you away from me. You constantly had to have more. Your name means nothing if I don't have you to go with it. And your love was never here to hold me when I needed it, when I needed you." She walks to him until the gun barrel is touching her. "That's why I did it. I needed some one to hold me. To at least make me feel loved."

Reginald lowers his eyes and the gun. Everything she said is true. "I have been a fool!"

Elizabeth shakes her head. "No. Just misguided."

"I caused so much pain." Elizabeth takes his hands in hers and the gun falls harmlessly to the floor and disappears.

"The pain can stop now."

Reginald looks into her teary eyes with tears in his own. "I love you."

"I know." She holds the side of his face. "In my heart I always knew. I love you too." Reginald pulls her to him and kisses her gently and purely. As he does this, a grandfather clock chimes midnight.

The first thing Vick notices when she wakes up is that someone is kissing her. She tries to get her eyes to open but they stay shut. His strong arms are tight around her waist and she can't help but melt from the strange rightness of this moment. She coaxes with her mouth for him to take the kiss deeper. He accepts intensely.

Modo can't believe the feeling of rightness that overcomes him when he awakens and finds himself kissing someone. He tries to see who but his eyes refuse to open. Her body presses against him and charges every inch of him. She invites the kiss deeper and something inside him won't let him refuse. Though nearly his entire brain is devoted to this unknown woman, one secluded corner realizes that her mouth tastes like manaberries. But this information is filed away as unimportant.

Unfortunately, soon the need for air breaks the kiss and Modo and Vick finally look at their partners. Both of them give a startled and embarrassed jump when they see the other.

"Throttle!" shouts Carbine thankfully as Throttle rises. The blood gone from the clothes he is wearing. Carbine wraps her arms around his neck and kisses him. After a second's pause, he kisses her back.

Watching that kiss brings Modo and Vick back to themselves. "What happened?" asks Vick, wishing her voice wasn't so breathless all of a sudden.

Modo shrugs. "I don't know." His voice too is a little breathless. He notices Vick's dress, especially the low neckline since he is taller. (Modo's turn for a fulfilled forbidden fantasy.) He points to the region of the neckline. "Uh... Nice dress."

Vick looks down at hte dress, or in her opinion the lack there of, and jumps back further. She looks back, blushing slightly, at Modo and his outfit. "You look pretty sharp yourself." She runs her fingers through her short hair nervously.

"You two having fun up there?" They look down to see Vinnie grinning. " 'Cause it looked like ya are to me!"

"Vinnie. Shove it and let's get out of here," says Throttle.

"Just give me five minutes to get rid of this dress." She turns to go up the stairs. "Uh... One question. Where ... Oh. Thanks, Vin."

Exactly five minutes later, Vick comes back down saying, "You're stuff's up there too, Modo." He looks at her.

"Where?" Vick shakes her head. Sometimes she forgets they can't hear Vinnie's thoughts.

Lucky them.

I heard that, Sis.

Vick laughs. "The master bedroom. Turn right. Last door in the hall." Modo says a quick Thank You as he breezes past her. Everyone has already packed, Vinnie even packed hers. They found Throttle's clothes in the gardening shed. "So?" Vick asks. "What do we do know?"

"We could crash Rachel's party," suggests Throttle.

"Actually," says Vinnie. "Since Di mal Cek is over, we're probably safe now."

Suddenly, Modo runs down the stairs with his normal pants and boots on. He's holding his T-shirt in his wilding waving hand. "Go! Now! Go!!"

No one asks twice. They high tail it out of there. About two miles away they finally stop.

"Bro? What happened?" asks Throttle.

Modo smiles. "Happy Di mal Cek." Everyone groans and Suddenly Vick squirts him in the face with manaberry juice.

"Cool!" Vinnie grabs the sports bottle and squirts the juice on his face, arms, and chest. "Now on to Rachel's." Mischievous laughter.

The End.

Happy Halloween!!