Magic of the Kingdom - 6 - Unlikeliest of Heroes

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Josh Peterson has just scored the job of a lifetime - or at least the best job he can hope for without leaning on his parents for references - as a janitor at The Magic Kingdom, but when fate intervenes and he finds himself alone with the costume of his favorite Pixie Hollow character, his life takes a whole new turn.


“Pixie emergency!” Silvermist called out as she ran towards the nearest employee restroom, Iridessa in tow.

Rosetta looked up from signing an autograph and gave Tink a glance, before returning her attention to the small crowd of girls.

Tink popped her head in the door, finding only Silvermist, and a closed bathroom stall. “Everything alright?”

“Dessa had a bit of pixie dust problems, but luckily nobody noticed.” Silvermist nodded.

“Just a dry heave... I told you this was a mistake,” Iridessa groaned from the bathroom stall.

“You’ll be fine.” Tink said as she walked in. “First day jitters. When’s the last time you got some water?”

“About when we started.” Dessa stated.

Silvermist nodded, “I was going to take her to she Pixie Soda shop.”

“Good idea. It’s not that hot yet, but something cool to drink will help a lot.”

“Maybe something light to eat too.” Silvermist agreed.

“I... kind of skipped breakfast,” Dessa answered sheepishly. “I was too nervous.”

“Thats no good at all.” Tink sighed, “You have to eat and drink regularly doing this, Dessa, otherwise you’ll end up really blowing Pixie dust.”

Dessa couldn’t help herself and giggled a little as she emerged from the stall, making a beeline for the sink to wash her face. “You guys are great... You know that?”

“We’re Disney Pixies. We have to stick together.” Silvermist echoed Tink’s previous statement to her.

“Exactly. Like Alice we’re not ‘official’ princesses, but we are park ambassadors. We’re everywhere,” Tink giggled. “And everyone looks out for us because of that, too.”

Silvermist showed Dessa a quick trick with her eye makeup and then showed her how to put the makeup away as Ariel had shown her. “I learned that from a mermaid,” she giggled out. “Well, one of them anyway. You’ll probably end up having zip lock bags all throughout the park.”

“I know I do,” Tink laughed. “I want you to stick with Silvermist for awhile, ok?” Tinkerbell stated. “Pixie orders,” she teased. “We’ll meet up at the Pirates of the Caribbean after you’ve had time to eat and drink something.”

~oOo~

Silvermist took Iridessa to the same place she had eaten before, and smiled waving to everyone, “Hi! I brought a friend from the Hollow. Everyone meet Dessa. She needs some ice water and something light to eat, if thats ok?”

“Hey, welcome back!” the manager, an older woman with graying reddish brown hair said warmly. “In case she forgot to tell you, pixies eat free, so stay as long as you want, and have as much as you care to,” she said.

Silvermist giggled, “Can I get a coke and a light chili burger.” she paused, “And the story why we Pixies get to eat free here.”

“Coming right up. And we’ve got a nice baked potato with your choice of toppings that should go down easy, Miss Dessa.”

“Thanks.” Iridessa smiled sheepishly.

Silvermist whispered, “Dessa’s got the first day to earth jitters bad.”

The manager chuckled a bit as she placed the girls’ drinks on the bar for them, while the short order chef hustled and bustled about in the back preparing their orders. “Ah, I know just how you feel. When I first started working here I was just a waitress looking for some extra money on the side. My first lunch rush, I spilled three drinks, dropped two trays, and almost fell on a customer. I just knew I was going to get fired.”

“Really?” Iridessa perked up a little. “What happened?”

She laughed. “Walt walked through the doors, walked up to me, and said “Katie, you’ve got to relax, or I’m going to have to start charging you for the dishes.”

“You knew Mr. Disney?” Dessa gasped. “You don’t look old enough.”

“Aww, thanks sweetie. I’ve been working here a long time, and I only met him just a few months before he passed. I was just 16 when I started. Oh, and to why Pixie’s eat here for free.” she added, “Because cherie, my niece loves Pixies, and your Tinkerbell was so kind to her when she got lost in the park once, that we instantly made it policy.”

“Awww,” Silvermist giggled. “That’s our Tink,” she said as the chef passed two plates over the back counter, one laden with different toppings alongside a sliced open baked potato - from a pile of cheese to sour cream and a big gob of butter - both in separate cups, as well as another cup of bacon bits, so Iridessa could pile them on however she liked.

“You can wait till the Pixies eat sweetie.” they heard a woman say to a little girl as she gasped and yelled ‘Pixies’.

Silvermist laughed softly as she stood and walked over to the table. “Hi there Dew drop,” she said warmly.

The cute young girl smiled brightly and her eyes lit up. “Hi Sibmerist.” She giggled. “Pixie howwow was kwozed.”

“Yeah,” Silvermist giggled, “Fairy Gary has his dust keepers sweeping the place to get any latent dust for reuse, so us pixies are wandering the park today - more than usual.”

“Ohhhh.” The little girl answered..

The girls mother smiled wryly. “Would you mind signing her book, and we’ll let you go back to eating. I’m really sorry.”

“Oh, no it’s fine, really,” Silvermist giggled softly. “I’d love to!” she said, as Iridessa came over to sign it next. “Our first duty is to you. We just stopped in for a quick snack.” She leaned closer to the pair and stage whispered, “This is the place to be for pixie spotting.” She winked at the girl, who giggled delightedly as Iridessa joined them.

“Dessa! Dessa!” The little girl giggled as Silvermist passed the girl’s autograph book over for her to sign next.

“Well hi there Sunbeam,” Iridessa giggled. “Are you having fun today?”

The little girl nodded, “Uh huh.”

“You know, I think I have... Somewhere...” she said, pretending to dig through her leaf pouches where she kept her light. “Ah there you are,” she said, producing a universal free adult+child meal pass. “A Mad Hatter dropped that earlier,” she winked.

“Oh that Hatter loses all sorts of things.” Silvermist giggled, “He blames me for stealing his hat; can you believe the nerve of him?”

“Noooo,” the little girl giggled.

“You tell him the next time you see him.” Silvermist said, grinning just a little, “That Silvermist could never take his hat. You think you can do that for me sweetie?”

“Otay!” the girl giggled excitedly as Silvermist and Iridessa each gave her a hug before returning to the bar..

Kate had a big grin, watching the girls sit down again. “You Pixie girls melt hearts.”

Iridessa giggled softly. “I... I can’t believe I just did that. That was so much fun.”

“It gets easier and easier as the day goes by. Just make sure before you come here tomorrow from Neverland you eat a good breakfast, and drink plenty of water.” Even Silvermist was beginning to question Gennine’s methods. Jade was doing well so far, but a few days of the kind of coaching Tink and Peri talked about would have done her some good, she thought.

“Yeah... I’ll do that,” Dessa answered sheepishly.

Kate spoke up at that. “Stop by first thing, if you want. We serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner here.”

Iridessa brightened a little at that and nodded. “Thanks, I think I will. Maybe a nice big stack of pancakes dripping with syrup...”

“Now you’re making me hungry,” Kate laughed softly. “I’ll make sure Greg has some ready and waiting for you with a tall glass of orange juice on the side.”

Iridessa reached her hand across the bar to squeeze Kate’s. “Thank you... I mean it.”

~oOo~

“Oh look!” Silvermist giggled as they were on their way to meet the other pixies, but they just had to stop. “It’s Wendy Darling!”

“Oh, Silvermist and Iridessa from Neverland!” she said brightly. Unlike Alice, she had a very natural upper class British accent. Uptown London to Sarah’s trained ear, having spent some of her formative years there when she was younger, and her sister just a baby.

“Wendy Wendy!” Silvermist cheered, “We must find Peter Pan!”

“That dear, silly boy,” Wendy laughed. “I’m sure he’s around here somewhere, probably up to mischief again,” she said with a sly grin.

“Like always, fighting Captain Codfish I’m sure.” Silvermist giggled and sprinkled some fairy dust on Wendy from her small pouch. “The other pixies are over at Pirates cove. Would you like to join us?”

“Oh! Well normally I simply detest pirates,” Wendy laughed, “But if I have all of you to protect me, then I’m sure I’ll be just fine.”

“I didn’t see you here yesterday.” Silvermist stated, “Did you come here from London looking for Pan?”

Wendy laughed softly as she walked with the pixies, and a couple of tourists with video cameras. “Why yes, actually. Peter has been sending me letters for ages of his grand adventures, so I finally agreed to come for a visit, and perhaps to stay awhile.”

“Oh! Are you moving to Neverland, Wendy?” Iridessa asked. “Neverland will be much more fun with you there.”

Wendy laughed softly. “I do so miss it you know, the never meals and the enchanted neverwoods. I think I shall have to consider it strongly, if only to keep Peter in line,” she teased, getting a giggle out of the videographers. “How are you liking the mainland Iridessa?” Wendy asked cheerfully.

“The flight in was a little bumpier than I remember,” Iridessa giggled quietly. “But Tink and Sil helped me get back on my feet.”

“Oy, more pixies,” a man who could pass for Johnny Depp’s double said as he turned to a lady pirate by his side. “Tell me you see them too?”

“OH! It’s Captain... Wait you're not Captain Codfish,” Silvermist stated as she walked around Captain Sparrow, looking him over carefully.

“I am not, nor have I ever been a codfish, cuttlefish, or swordfish,” Jack replied. “I am in fact the one and only Captain, Jack Sparrow, and who might you be, flittery... pixie thing.” He turned to Angelica again, at that. She glanced away.

Silvermist giggled, “Do you have a hook?” she grabbed Sparrow’s sleeve. “How about a peg leg?”

Jack wrinkled his nose slightly in distaste. “Not last time I checked. You sure you’re not thinking of Barbosa then love? Big, carries an undead monkey, wears a very fetching hat.”

Silvermist put her fists on her hips. “You’re not the same Captain that hates Peter Pan, so you’re ok. I’m Silvermist, and this is Iridessa and our friend Wendy.”

Angelica, who had been watching the whole display with mild amusement, finally leaned over, arms folded, and stage whispered, “I think she likes you.”

“We pixies like everyone.” Silvermist nodded.

Wendy curtseyed nervously. “You’re a pirate then?”

“Am I a pirate...” Jack echoed with a distasteful, disbelieving tone. “Wait, am I a pirate?” he asked Angelica.

“You pillage, plunder, steal ships from under English noses... Yes, I think you qualify as a pirate - barely.”

Jack nodded approvingly, and then, as if only just catching the ‘barely’ remark a moment later, stared disbelievingly at Angelica.

“He’s never been to Neverland!” Iridessa stage whispered, nodding firmly. “I would definitely remember that twiddly beaded beard.”

“What? I never!” Jack laughed. “I make it a point never to sail to places where I’ve never been, therefore I could never have been to Neverland.”

“Well if you ever go.” Iridessa stated, “It’s the second star to the right and straight on till morning. You seem nicer then the pirates we have. Maybe you can keep them in line.”

“Me? I’m dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest, honestly,” Jack replied with a slight grin. “I believe the rest of your pixie crew boarded ahead of you, but seeing as I couldn’t get Angelica to confirm nor deny that I was in fact not seeing pixies, it’s taken me a moment to reconcile that I’m indeed seeing you now.”

“Don’t look at me,” Angelica answered. “You and your wild fantasies about pixies on the Black Pearl...” she said, trying not to grin. “But if there were pixies aboard, it would be nice to have more of a woman’s touch around.”

“Oy, there will be no touching of pixies aboard my ship,” Jack insisted. He then turned back to Silvermist, reaching a finger out to touch her forehead.

“Boo,” Silvermist said, and Jack jumped slightly, causing the gathered crowd to giggle.

“Right then, hide the rum and let’s make sail!”

“Ready to make sail!” Angelica barked, causing Jack to jump again.

“I hate it when she does that,” he grumbled.

Silvermist giggled as she and Iridessa rejoined the other Pixies aboard the Pearl. “That’s not captain Codfish. Did you know that?” she mocked whispered.

“Nope, he’s much more fun!” Tink giggled.

Peri added, “We made him think we were just figments of his imagination.”

“I think that girl human likes him,” Iridessa stage whispered and giggled..

“Oh! Speaking of girls,” Silvermist pulled Wendy into the group of Pixies. “Wendy’s here!”

“Wendy, Wendy!” Tink said excitedly. “it’s been ages!” she bubbled as she hugged the poor girl.

Wendy giggled softly. “It’s been too long, Tinkerbell," she said as the ‘show’ began.

“Right then!” Jack said as he stepped to the center of the deck. “Pirating! Pirating is all about attitude, and thinking on your feet. Unless you’re sitting down, in which case it’s about thinking on your backside.”

“Arrr,” Silvermist giggled and pulled an air sword. “Avast ye.” She was really getting into the pirate pixie thing at that moment.

“Now, see,” Jack said, doing the stereotypical Jack Sparrow double-finger point, “There’s a figment of me imagination who gets it.”

“Tie the bilgerat to the mast and um...” Silvermist looked to Angelica for help.

“Let the Lost boys get him?!” Tinkerbell called out.

“I was going to say... twist off his toes one by one, but that sounds more fun,” Angelica laughed. Suddenly the ship creaked and shuddered hard, and one of the extras posing as a crewman let out a startled yelp as he fell from the rigging into the water.

“That wasn’t supposed to happen,” Jack said, trying to remain in-character. Without even thinking, SIlvermist sprang to her feet. The man floundered to keep his head above water, so she took a deep breath and dove off the edge to save him.

“Lower the longboat!” Jack shouted. “Man and pixie overboard!”

The extras, some of whom were in fact trained for this sort of emergency, threw out a floatation device while others quickly worked to lower a period-looking but quite functional longboat to the water. Meanwhile Silvermist had the man in her arms, keeping them both afloat as best she could as they began to swim the short distance toward the floatation donut together.

As the ‘pirate’ extras helped the man into the longboat, Angelica stuck out her hand to help pull Silvermist in after him.

“That was either the bravest, of craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” she said, trying to keep in character. “You’re a hero.”

“I’ll drink to that,” the half-drowned man laughed as he lay back in the boat, letting the others haul the boat back up with them in it.

“I’m not a hero, I’m just a pixie.” Silvermist shook some of the water off herself. The crowd seemed to think otherwise though, as the moment Silvermist stepped back on deck, everyone, from guests to actors, clapped and cheered, and Jack approached, removing his hat.

“For service above and beyond the call of duty of what I am now certain is not a figment of me imagination, I name you... Silverbust, or whatever it is, honorary pirate for life. I’ll even give you me hat,” he said, as he placed the hat squarely on her wet head.

“You don’t have to.” Silvermist giggled. “It’s a Pixie’s honor to help those who are in need.” she covered her face and sneezed shivering a little. The water was quite refreshing, but she had gotten some up her nose and it tickled badly.

“Oy, let’s get you back to shore then ey?” Jack said. Angelica nodded.

“There are some blankets in the cabin,” she said, gently taking Silvermist’s arm. The other man had already been led back there as well. Silvermist was actually surprised to find the ‘captain’s cabin’ was in fact a very modern looking medical area, where one of the other extras was checking over the man who had fallen over.

“Oh but I’m just flitterific. I don’t need anything.” Silvermist answered. “I’m just glad he's ok.”

“Thanks to you,” the man laughed softly. “It’s not that I can’t swim, but in all that pirate swag, and the shock of being thrown over, it all happened so fast. I owe you one, Miss Pixie.”

Angelica closed the door, though she kept her accent, which suggested to Silvermist that it was her real one. “Let’s at least get you dried off and make sure you’re okay,” she said as she took down a clean, white towel and offered it to Silvermist.

“Really, I’m fine. It’s no different from taking a refreshing dip in the pool, hot as it is out there,” she giggled.

“That was really crazy, and brave.” Angelica said, “And you are doing such an awesome job even now of staying in character.”

Sarah laughed a little. “I’ve had some lifeguard training,” she finally admitted. “I guess it just sort of took over when I saw him fall. The water looked deep enough for a safe dive, so I just jumped right in.”

“It’s a real lake. The only danger is the track, but you had more than enough clearance off the sides. Just don’t ever do that off the back,” the woman who played Angelica advised, as someone knocked on the door, and Wendy poked her head inside.

“Everyone - literally everyone - wants to have their photo taken with the heroic water pixie before we disembark.” She giggled.

Silvermist giggled softly as she finished drying her hair as best she could. “Ok.” She followed Angelica back out, to another round of cheers. “It’s nothing any water fairy wouldn’t do.”

Silvermist and her Pixie Hollow friends posed for several pictures together, with guests, with Wendy, even with Jack and Angelica. A Security guard came up after everyone got off the boat,

“We’re closing the boat ride down for the day. We have a couple divers to come in and look at the ship to see what happened.”

Angelica nodded. “We’re at a loss as to what happened. It almost felt like the boat hit something, but there’s not supposed to be anything down there for it to hit. We’ll stay here and greet guests for a little while longer.”

“We should find Fairy Mary and report what happened, before she hears some ghastly second hand report,” Rosetta giggled.

“I agree.” Silvermist answered. She was still wearing Jack’s hat.

“Where did you learn to save people like that Silvermist?” Fawn asked excitedly. “You were amazing.”

“Oh, it’s a water pixie thing,” Silvermist giggled as they started off together, not wanting to break character. “I’ll tell you the whole story after we get back to Neverland.”

Iridessa nodded, “Must be. I was terrified when he fell in.”

“You know,” Vidia spoke quietly, “That’s the second accident involving that event, but the first one was fatal. I think you really saved that man’s life.”

“Oh there you are!” came an older woman’s voice as Maleficent approached them. “You have the entire kingdom in a tizzy young lady. Bothersome pixies,” she said with a smirk, but winked at Silvermist. “Your ‘Fairy Mary’ is looking everywhere for you. I suggest you make all haste to Pixie Hollow.”

“On a scale of one to ten, how much trouble am I in?” Silvermist asked. The queen simply laughed.

“Yes, trouble. I wonder what fiendish punishments she’ll have for you, for saving a man’s life?” she said, trying not to grin. “Now, run along, little pixies. I have a princess to poison.”

“Wow,” Tink shivered a little. “Was the Queen smiling? We’d better get back to Pixie Hollow.”

The girls made their way back as quickly as they could, though with the sheer size of the park, it took them awhile, especially as news began to spread, and more and more stopped them to ask if ‘it was true’. Silvermist stopped a couple times to take more pictures with some of the guests that were on the ship as well, but they finally arrived outside Gennine’s office.

“Come,” Gennine called as Silvermist knocked. She poked her head around the corner.

“Ah, Silvermist, there you are,” she said. If Silvermist’s wings could droop, they probably would, as she came into the office. “You’ve had a busy day,” she said, and then paused to laugh. “Oh, heavens girl, stop looking so nervous. I just want to know one thing. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” Silvermist answered, brightening a little. “I almost lost a shoe, but the pirate is ok , and that’s what that counts.”

“You’ve probably heard, one of our actors was killed in a similar fall back in 2009,” Gennine sighed. “If you hadn’t gone in after him, it would have been two, and the deathknell for the Pirate attraction for certain.”

“I’m a lifeguard,” Sarah answered wryly, breaking character, since it was just Gennine. “It’s just what I do when I see someone in trouble.”

“It’s a good thing I sent you girls out on the park then.” Gennine stated. “Well the big wigs heard about it already, and they’re wanting to do a big Pixie party tonight for all you girls. So until then, consider yourselves on a well deserved break. You can stay and go out into the park as your characters or as yourselves, or you can go unwind if you prefer.” She grinned proudly.

Silvermist emerged from the room and smiled broadly at the girls, “We can go back to Neverland till tonight. Disney is going to throw us a big party, fireworks and everything. Gennine says we can either go out and relax in the park as our pixies, or go back out as ourselves. I kinda want to return Jack’s hat to him.”

“They’re still over at the lake doing photo ops,” Alessa stopped to speak up at that.

“I want his autograph so I’m switching to my street clothes.” Sarah giggled. “I’ll tell him the wind blew his hat to me or something silly so he can’t refuse.”

Tinkerbell laughed, “I guess its paid time off, so lets all get undressed and go out and enjoy the park?”

“Sounds like fun!” Rosetta bubbled excitedly, causing Fawn to laugh.

“Okay, now I’m sure of it. You are Rosetta.”

“You guys go ahead,” Iridessa said. “I think I’m going to find a nice quiet corner to hide in until tonight.”

“Oh no I can’t let you go alone.” Rosetta frowned, “We’re friends after all.” she said, giving Iridessa a big hug.

“B-but we only just met,” Iridessa not so much protested, as questioned Rosetta’s response.

“So? We’re best friends.” Rosetta answered.

“Can’t have flowers without lots of wholesome sunshine, Dew Drop,” Silvermist chimed in at that. Iridessa giggled a little.

“Thanks guys. I need this job... I mean I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t absolutely want to be Iridessa too, but... I’m just going to stop talking now.”

Tink giggled as she put out her hand, and Silvermist, recognizing the familiar gesture, put hers on top of Tink’s, and soon the others followed suit.

“Faith,” Tink said.

“Trust,” Periwinkle added.

“And pixie dust!” they all said in unison.

~oOo~

A bit later Sarah, now dressed in a short white floral skirt and a bright blue tanktop, approached the two pirates who were standing in the shade and chatting quietly when Jack looked up.

“... You look somewhat familiar. Have I threatened you before?” he asked. Sarah laughed.

“I drank all your rum.” she answered.

“Ah, that would explain why the bloody rum’s gone,” he answered, as Sarah dangled his hat on the tip of her finger. “Oy, now where did you get that?” he asked, as she stood up on her tiptoes to place it on his head.

“You wouldn’t believe it, but I was just having a stroll near Pixie Hollow, when the wind blew that right in my face. It is yours, isn’t it Mister Sparrow?” she asked sweetly, and Jack laughed.

“Captain! Captain Mister Sparrow, errr, Jack,” he said. Angelica was trying hard not to laugh now.

“So Captain Mister Sparrow, could I get your autograph, since I found your wayward hat?” she half-teased. “Yours too, Miss Angelica.”

“Oh, um, sure I suppose.” Jack pulled a couple of his locks of hair aside, straightened the hat, and signed the book, handing it to Angelica. “Are you sure you didn’t find that from a figment of me imagination?”

Sarah giggled. “If it was a figment of your imagination, then I wouldn’t have been able to find it,” she answered sagely and nodded. “But if I did find it from a figment of your imagination, I’m sure she would want you to have it back. A captain’s not a captain without a proper hat.”

“Now, you see,” Jack said, turning to Angelica, “This is a figment of me imagination who gets it.”

Angelica laughed and leaned over and whispered, “Your hair's still a bit wet sweetie.”

“Eep,” Sarah giggled as she touched the top of her head.

“Bloody good thing it’s real... Well... real imaginatively real. A wig would’ve gone off into the drink the way that figment dove off the ship like that.”

Olivia, who had been watching the entire exchange nearly in tears from laughter, finally spoke up. “Jack, Angelica would you mind posing for a picture with her?”

“Ah, it would be an honor and a pleasure,” Jack answered. “In front of me Pearl then?” he asked as the three of them moved into the sunlight, where the ship now sat awaiting a dive team inspection, and posed for a couple of pictures.

Sarah gasped quietly as she looked at her book, touching Olivia’s shoulder to get her to look too. Not only was it signed ‘Captain Jack Sparrow’, it was also signed ‘Johnny Depp’. Sarah looked up again, and Jack grinned and tipped his hat, bringing a finger to his lips afterwards.

“Oh my God,” Olivia whispered.

Sarah giggled and wiggled her finger, and then cupped her hand to Jacks ear, “You're invited to the Party tonight if you want to come, thank you so much.”

“Oh a party. I love parties. Especially rum parties. Or rum without the party,” Jack rambled, and Angelica laughed.

“We shall be there for certain,” she said.

“Yes, we will,” Jack added, nodding.

Sarah gave Jack and Angelica a hug, waving over her shoulder as she and Olivia walked away, “Oh my God, That really was Johnny depp.. Annie’s going to freak.”

“I’m having trouble not freaking,” Olivia giggled quietly. “I knew something was off. I mean the actor who normally plays Jack is good, but that was perfect. I told you I thought Johnny sometimes snuck in,” she whispered.

“I really want to experience that attraction properly,” Sarah sighed. “Hopefully they’ll fix it.” They stopped at the pixie soda shop and Sarah pulled out a $20. “Can I get a coke please?”

“Sure thing sweetie,” Kate replied warmly, doing a doublet ake. She stared at Sarah for a moment or two, but then just grinned. “Well what do you know, you’re my thousandth customer today. Drinks are on the house,” she said, as she poured up a fresh soda, as well as what she knew to be Tink’s favorite drink - vanilla coke.

“Oh thanks.” Sarah giggled and put the twenty away, but pulled out a $5 and put it in the tip jar.

“You girls enjoying the park?” she asked warmly as she placed their drinks on the counter for them.

“Oh we were on the Pirate ride earlier, and got to meet Jack Sparrow.” Sarah giggled.

“Oh and this brave pixie jumped off the boat and saved some guys life.” Olivia added..

The Hatter’s familiar squeak chimed in at that, “You know I heard about that. As Bob as my witless I’ll never call her a hat thief again.”

“I was here a few days ago, and I meant to get your autograph, can I get it now Mr. Hatter?” Sarah asked and offered him her book.

“Wouldn’t you rather have a manualgraph?” Hatter asked with a grin as Alice crept up behind him.

“Teasing pretty girls again I see!” Alice said, causing Hatter to jump right off his seat, swat at the air in an animated fashion, and spun around with his hands on his hips.

“Why I never! I was simply giving her my manualgraph!” he protested.

“I’ll take yours as well Alice if you don’t mind.” Sarah giggled.

“Oh!” Alice giggled. “Well that’s certainly different then! Of course you can have my manualgraph... But what is a manualgraph exactly?” she asked, looking between Sarah, Olivia, and the Hatter. The only one of the two who actually knew, who Sarah was, was Alice.

“Don’t ask me,” Hatter answered. “She’s the one who asked!”

“No, I asked for an autograph,” Sarah laughed. “You asked me if I wanted a manualgraph instead.”

“I did?” he asked, looking up from signing her book. “Are you sure? You might have a tea cup in your ear? I could check?”

“Oh I’m good, but I believe you did.” Sarah giggled.

“Well if you insist. The customer is always wrong,” Hatter nodded firmly, making an elegant show of writing ‘Hatter’ before he finally looked appraisingly at the signature with his tongue out to one side, and then crossed the t’s. “There. Alice?” he turned entirely the wrong way to look for Alice, who tapped his shoulder.

“I’m over here,” she said, and he jumped again.

“Oh don’t sneak up on me like that! Silly girl,” he giggled, passing the book to her.

“I didn’t sneak up on you - at least not this time,” Alice giggled. “You know perfectly well that I’ve been standing here the whole time.”

“I know perfectly well that you snuck up on me is what I know,” Hatter protested. “Accusing me of harassing pretty girls was it? Why I never!” he repeated.

“Never indeed,” Alice laughed. “Except for Wendy, Tinkerbell, Silvermist and Rosetta, Jasmine, Anastasia and Drusilla!”

“Now wait just a minute, hold on!” Hatter interrupted.

“What?” Alice asked as she passed Sarah’s book back to her.

“You specifically said pretty girls!”

“Yes?” Alice replied.

“Well how can you include the Tamerlain sisters on a list of pretty girls? That’s like including pixies on a list of fruit trees,” he replied with a giggle. “Oh! Cinderelly!” he called out, racing off after Cinderella as she walked by, and began singing, “Cinderelly Cinderelly night and day it’s Cinderelly!”

Alice giggled as she watched him go. “And off he goes again. I suppose I had better make sure he doesn’t get into any trouble.” She smiled brightly at the girls. “Do enjoy your stay though!”

“Thanks Alice.” Sarah giggled, pausing to sip her coke. “I wonder what the other girls are doing.”

Olivia laughed, “We all agreed to break off in small groups, but I think it was more so that we could have a second date.” she winked, “Darn that Pixie.” she teased.

“Those pixies are trixy,” Sarah laughed as she lay her head on Olivia’s shoulder. “This really is the happiest place on earth. And I’m still trying to hold in a fangirl scream at meeting you know who,” she squeaked out.

“Hey!” Peter Pan snuck up behind the two, “Did you know if you kiss that you’ll grow up?”

Sarah jumped slightly and giggled. “Then it’s a good thing we haven’t any kisses,” she answered with a grin. “Oh, Peter, would you sign my book?” she asked.

“Oh sure, I’ll sign it!” Peter replied. “Have you two seen Wendy? She just came in from London today.”

“We have,” Olivia bubbled. “She was on a pirate ship earlier, surrounded by pixies!”

“But Pixies are good.. And Pirates are bad.. Were they helping Wendy fight the pirates?”

“Oh, these were good pirates,” Sarah said with an affirming nod. “Captain Sparrow and his crew were giving a pirating lesson aboard the Black Pearl.”

“Until the ship struck a reef and sent someone overboard,” Olivia added. “And one of the pixies had to dive in after him.”

“That sounds like the pixies I know. Risking their lives even for a smelly pirate!” Peter laughed, handing Sarah’s book back to her. “If you see Wendy, tell her I’m looking for her, and that I’d like to give her a kiss,” he said with a grin as he held up a thimble on the tip of his finger.

Sarah giggled, “Sure thing.”

“Never a dull moment,” Kate laughed softly. “Can I get you a refill?”

Sarah nodded. “Sure. One more please.”

~oOo~

Vanessa, the pixie formerly known as Rosetta approached Olivia and Sarah, “Got a 9-1-1,” she sighed. “I know that Kelly said not to bug you guys but I mean it’s a serious 9-1-1.”

“I knew it,” Olivia groaned. “I knew Kelly was up to something.” She shook her head. “What’s up?”

“It’s Jade. I was talking to her to see if she had a place to stay or if she was already rooming with someone and she locked herself in a stall.. and I’m not talking in the public restrooms either.. the other ones.”

“I’ll go with Vanessa, you find Gennine?” Sarah asked Olivia.

“I dont think we should involve Gennine at the moment.” Olivia shook her head, “But is Kelly with her still?”

“Yeah, Kelly, Carol, and Morgan are with her trying to calm her down. I feel so fuckin’ awful,” Vanessa sighed. “If only I’d kept my trap shut.”

“It’s not your fault,” Sarah shook her head as they started off together. “Any one of us could have said it. I mean we were just talking about my housing situation yesterday.”

“... And now I’ve made it worse making a big stupid scene,” Jade sobbed as the girls entered the private actors’ restroom. She was sitting on the floor, with Kelly and Morgan - aka Vidia, sitting on either side of her and holding her, and Carol kneeling close by and holding her hand. “I should’ve never come here... I don’t belong here... I don’t know what I was thinking.”

“Shh, yes you do,” Kelly said. “You’re a perfect iridessa. You’re a better Dessa than I am a Periwinkle. I mean I’ve got tattoos I have to cover with waterproof makeup before I’m allowed out of the dressing room.”

Jade looked up as Sarah, Olivia and Carol came in, and frowned. “Carol I’m so sorry... I didn’t mean to make you run off like that. I just...” she stopped to catch her breath, choking back a sob.

“No, it’s okay. I went to find Olivia. I was worried about you, that’s all,” Carol said as she knelt in front of her. “Jade, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to pry.”

“It’s not your fault,” Jade sniffled. “I’m just scared that if they find out I’m homeless that they’ll fire me. I need this job. I’ve been turned down so many times, I didn’t know where else to apply. The people at the shelter said I can stay as long as I want, but I’ve been there three months now, ever since...” she trailed off, at that and shook her head.

Carol shook her head, “You're not homeless anymore., I have room for you. And if my roommate Starla gives shit, I’ll smack her down. We stick together right? Pixie dust and all that.”

Jade laughed a little as she wiped her eyes with a piece of what once might have been tissue, now covered in running mascara and eyeliner. “Thank you...”

A female security guard popped her head in, “I’m going to have to ask you girls to leave-” but Sarah shook her head and showed the woman her employee badge. The woman frowned. “Oh... Oh I’m so sorry,” she said. “I’ll watch the door if you need some privacy,” she quickly added.

“Just a sister emergency.” Sarah nodded as the guard closed the door again.

“I’m sorry I’ve been such a flake to you guys,” Jade sniffled as she slowly got to her feet, with Morgan and Kelly’s help, and then hugged them both, followed by Carol, Vanessa, and then Sarah and Olivia. “I was just so scared...”

“For what it’s worth, Gennine probably knows already,” Olivia spoke up at that. “She does serious background checks on all hires. If she hired you, it’s because she believes in you as much as we do.”

“It’s true,” Sarah laughed a little. “My Dad’s lawyer called wanting to know who I pissed off to have both FBI, CIA, and Interpol background checks being run on me.”

“Interpol? Really?” Jade cracked a smile and laughed.

Sarah nodded. “Gennine is a former Broadway talent scout so she knows what she’s looking for. Granted that also makes her a little eccentric sometimes,” she teased. “But we all were included on the decision to hire you, and Fawn, and Rosetta, and Vidia. We literally would not be whole without you.”

“And we really do take care of each other,” Kelly added. “These two knuckleheads took me shopping the other night because I mentioned how Periwinkle gives me a chance to step outside my old life, stop being this tough biker chick and be someone more fun, and less intimidating.”

“And now she’s thinking about moving in with a girl from the park you’ll meet later.” Sarah giggled.

“Yup,” Kelly laughed. “If I can weasel out of my lease it’s a done deal, all thanks to these two, and now, our little family’s even bigger. But even if Vanessa couldn’t help, someone else would. Even Maleficent would give a kidney if it meant saving one of our own.”

“Thanks guys...” Jade sniffed again as Morgan offered her a fresh tissue. “I... I’m really not used to this. I mean it’s bad enough being half black and half Japanese, but add being homeless on top of it and it’s like you don’t exist anymore,” she sighed as someone knocked on the bathroom door.

“It’s Merida - could someone pass me my bag?” a young woman with a thick Scottish accent called through the door.

Jade glanced over, at that. “It’s okay... I’m... I’m okay now. I’m sorry for ruining your date, guys,” she sighed as Sarah opened the door, motioning for Merida to come inside.

“You didn’t ruin anything sweetie,” Olivia answered. “It wasn’t even a date despite what Kelly said,” she added with a dry laugh.

“Sorry,” Merida said sheepishly. “Dinna mean to interrupt but my wig tape is inching south at an alarming rate.”

“It’s fine.” Olivia answered, “Just some family problems,” she continued as she handed Merida her bag.

“Oh, I know from family problems,” Merida answered as she tossed her head forward to let the wig dangle, so it could be removed without getting hair in the tape. “Half my family’s crazy, the other, in a prison or a graveyard,” she said as she worked quickly to tear off more tape, clearly trying to take as little time as possible. “If there’s anything I can do,” she added, as she began to press the wig into place against her wig cap again, “Please don’t hesitate to ask.”

Sarah grinned a little. “Come to the Pixie Party tonight? If you don’t have plans of course.”

Merida laughed. “Oh, aye, me, a bottle of wine, and the Daily Show. Shall I come as myself or as Merida then?” she asked, straightening her wild mop of fiery red hair.

“Oh, either,” Sarah giggled.

Merida smiled and turned to Jade, the most distraught-looking of the bunch, and gave her a hug. “Hang in there sweetie. We’re all here for ya,” she said, and then quickly put away her ziplock bag and turned to leave.

Jade cocked her head slightly and then laughed. “... I just got a hug from Merida. I think I want to live here.”

“C’mon,” Vanessa said as she took Jade’s hand. “Let’s go out into the park together this time. I’ll buy you guys ice cream.”

“With sprinkles?” Jade asked. “Ooh I like sprinkles,” she said, momentarily reprising her Iridessa voice, which caused a chorus of giggles.



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