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toasty old naughty list birth wise men
cinnamon Feliz Navidad a Christmas memory lawn ornament coming of age
tradition winter wonderland ghost donkey
comfort new hot chocolate coat black ice
rat king ghost of Christmas present family traditions diet glowing

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4. birth: The New Addition

Date: 2011-01-24 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: A couple years into the future
Notes: Baby Chester! I've had the scene of Chester's birth in my head for a while, so it felt natural to write something for this prompt. Alice's comment about what sets Victor off has to do with his going Creative in the climax of "Secundus" - suffice to say, he doesn't tolerate harm to his wife.

Alice looked down at the tiny bundle in her arms. Two blue-green eyes stared back up at her from a pale little face. She’d asked the doctor about those eyes, puzzled about where they’d come from. The doctor had explained that all babies were born with blue eyes, and that, judging from the faint green ring around the pupil, they would probably darken to green by his first birthday. She chuckled – his eye color was about the only thing her new son seemed to have taken from her (or would take, more accurately). In every other respect, he was a Van Dort, just like his father.
She heard the door open and looked up. Victor was standing there, looking both incredibly nervous and oddly hopeful. It was certainly a far cry from the way he’d looked before, bursting in and furiously demanding to know what was going on – only to actually see what was going on and faint dead away. She resisted the urge to thank him for that, however. Much as she’d needed the laugh during the painful business of giving birth, she doubted he’d appreciate it. “They t-told me I could c-come in,” he said, lingering in the doorway, hands on his tie.
Alice nodded, then beckoned him closer with a jerk of her head. “Come meet your new son.”
Victor hesitated a moment, then came to the side of the bed and crouched down. His already large eyes widened as he took in the baby. “Goodness, he’s – he’s so small,” he murmured.
Alice evaluated the child for a moment. He was rather small – certainly smaller than she’d guessed. “He didn’t feel that way coming out,” she muttered without thinking.
Victor blushed bright red. “I’m s-sorry for – i-interrupting like that,” he said, pulling at his tie. “I just h-heard you scream and--”
Alice winced. She didn’t blame Victor at all for his sudden intrusion – she knew better than anyone that the best way to set him off was to threaten her. She’d tried to keep her mouth shut, she really had, but the pain had gotten the best of her near the end. “It’s fine,” she told him. Then, feeling a spike of worry, she added, “Are you all right? Did you hit your head when--”
“N-no, Doc caught me at the last second,” Victor admitted, blushing harder. “I – you--”
“Let’s not talk about it,” Alice cut him off. Honestly, she would be fine forgetting the whole messy, disgusting birthing process herself. Her memories could skip straight to that happy moment after everything had been cleaned up and the midwife had shown her how to hold her new son.
Victor looked relieved and turned his attention back to their child. “He’s so pale as well,” he commented.
“A Van Dort through and through,” Alice told him. “Look, he even has your black hair.”
Victor looked at the few minuscule wisps on the top of the boy’s head, then sighed. “I’m still t-terribly nervous,” he whispered.
Alice understood exactly what he was getting at. Not long into her pregnancy, Victor had confessed that he wasn’t sure if he was father material. Not only was he the naturally clumsy and nervous type, there was also the fact he was a Touched to consider. He was absolutely terrified he would hurt the baby. Alice had done her best to quell his fears (and had admitted a few of her own in the process), but she could understand his still being worried. “I’m a little overwhelmed myself,” she told him. “But I know we’ll both do the best we can for him. I’m never one to back down from a challenge, and neither are you.”
Victor smiled at her. “He’s a challenge now, hmm?”
“Well, what with him probably going to have us up at all hours of the night, and having to figure out why he’s crying, and changing dirty diapers. . . .” Alice smiled lovingly down at their baby. “But he’s our challenge.”
Victor reached out and lightly stroked the baby’s cheek, causing him to try and nurse the finger. Victor chuckled. “Yes. Ours,” he agreed, putting his free arm around her.

2. old: Beating The Odds

Date: 2011-01-26 02:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: Far future
Notes: Just a short thing about Victor in his old age. The concept just popped into my head -- and let's face it, we all know about mad scientists meeting premature ends. Ironically, this Victor actually outlives one of his counterparts! The other major Victor/Alice story idea I have, "The Solicitor's Ward," has Victor dying at age 82/83.

Most Touched didn’t live to a particularly old age. Everyone knew that. It was far more likely with those Somewhat and Severely Touched, but even those only Slightly Touched were at risk to suffer a premature death, whether from an experiment gone wrong (or right in the worst possible way) or from an angry mob. A Touched’s life span simply wasn’t the same as a Regular person’s.
Victor had known this long before coming to Secundus. After he went a bit Creative, he mentally prepared himself for the idea that he might not live to see old age. He wasn’t the type to fiddle around with dangerous Inventions usually, but he always knew there was the possibility of something going very wrong and ending his life early. He updated his will regularly, made sure his wife (and when they were born, his children) would be safe in case of any emergency, and generally did his best to find the good in each day. After all, each one had the potential of being his last. He was determined to enjoy whatever life he had to the fullest.
Which is probably the reason why I’m around to see my 85th birthday, he reflected with a chuckle as his son Vincent served up the cake to the various friends and family attending the celebration. Well – that and the fact I don’t think I could ever miss a slice of the March Hare’s cake.

25. glowing: Made In Their Image

Date: 2011-01-27 03:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: Vague future
Notes: Okay, yeah, I'm sure you can guess what this ficlet's all about. To be fair, the prompt IS "glowing." It took me a day or so to figure out just how to build the story around the butterflies, however. The Essex Skipper and Duke of Burgundy are real species of European butterfly. The clockwork butterfly has been mentioned in a couple of Victor's (http://community.livejournal.com/charloft/2494537.html) entries (http://community.livejournal.com/charloft/2505167.html) at [livejournal.com profile] charloft, while Ferdinand the riding butterfly has a proper story here (http://8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com/1878.html?view=1878#t1878).

Victor loved butterflies, there was no question about that. He adored every single type, from the Essex Skipper to the Duke of Burgundy. He even loved their usually drab cousins the moths. He could find something beautiful and wonderful in any species from Lepidoptera.
His affection was expressed in a number of different ways throughout the years. As a child, he simply chased them and tried to catch them in jars, fascinated by their pretty colors and ability to fly. As a young man, he progressed to studying them, devouring books on the various types, producing detailed sketches of captured specimens, and quietly dreaming of a career in lepidopterology. And as a Touched. . . .
Well, as a Touched, he made his own butterflies to love. From the bread-and-butterflies he bred for the reconstruction of Wonderland Park, to the clockwork butterfly he made at Doc’s lab, to the giant riding butterfly he named Ferdinand, Victor Created and adored them all.
But, even with those fantastic creatures to his credit, his favorites would always be a rather simple variation on the butterfly – the results of his very first project after gaining a hold on the madness. After all, he would tell people, they were technically the creatures that had ushered him, slowly but surely, into the realms of Touched-dom. He owed them a debt of gratitude.
And besides, glowing butterflies looked beautiful against the night sky.

5. wise men: Equals

Date: 2011-01-27 04:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: Vague future
Notes: A quick piece that popped into my head after studying the prompt. Victor mentioned (to himself) in Chapter 5 (http://docnvictorsgirl.weebly.com/sec05.html) of "Secundus" how inadequate he felt talking science with the others - I decided it was worth exploring. Plus, this was another chance to use Doc in one of these stories. Poor guy needed more airtime, so to speak.

“I used to feel a bit inadequate around you sometimes.”
Doc looked up in surprise. Victor was leaning over the case of the Deep-Thinking Mind-Reading Helmet (Work in Progress), looking rather embarrassed. “You did?” Doc replied, frowning. This was a rather unpleasant confession for Victor to make. “I always did my best to treat you as an equal.”
“I know – it wasn’t anything to do with you, really,” Victor assured him. “I felt the same around Richard and Sir Christopher and – L-Lewis. Anyone who was Touched, a-actually.”
Doc straightened up, deciding his maintenance on the wiring of the main console wasn’t quite as important as this conversation. “Why?”
Victor half-smiled, looking even more embarrassed now. “Because I thought I could never match up to you in intelligence. Do you remember the first tea party of Richard and March’s that I attended? When the talk started to veer toward my interest in butterflies, I immediately wondered what right I had to talk science with you and the others. After all, I was nothing more than a hobbyist entomologist.”
“That wouldn’t have made a difference to us,” Doc told him firmly. “We love talking science no matter the skill level. And it’s not like many of us have all that much formal experience. I know for a fact Richard never attended university.”
“I know, I just – you must know I have a bit of a p-problem when it comes to self-esteem,” Victor said, blushing.
Doc scowled as various unpleasant memories involving Victor’s parents popped into his head. “I do indeed.” Pushing the dark thoughts away, he regarded his friend curiously. “Why bring this up now?”
“Well – it just occurred to me that, if you’d asked my younger self if he’d ever feel like the mental equal of any of my Touched friends, he probably would have burst out laughing.”
Doc smiled. “Is he happy to have been proven wrong?”
Victor grinned back, looking ever-so-slightly mad. “I believe he is.”

15. donkey: Out-Stubborning Nell

Date: 2011-01-27 04:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: Very near future
Notes: I initially worried about what I could do for this prompt. Then I remembered the phrase "stubborn as a mule" and decided donkeys were close enough. (Later the phrase "stubborn ass" popped into my head. . . .) As you might imagine, this takes place during the harassment ongoing from Chapter 6 (http://docnvictorsgirl.weebly.com/sec06.html) of "Secundus" (refresher: as I play him, Victor's right after Chapter 5). If it seems like I hate Victor's parents - yeah, I rather do. Nell in particular. Let's face it - we have evidence in canon that she's emotionally abusive. (And the Everglots are just as bad - no wonder canon Victor and Victoria hit it off so well.)

Victor slammed the door behind him, then immediately felt guilty as four heads popped out from the aisles to see what the noise was. “Sorry, that w-was rude of me,” he called out in apology.
Marty, standing at the counter, frowned at him. “That’s not like you,” he noted. “What happened? You were all happy when you went out.”
“Mother,” Victor groaned. “I bumped into her and Father on the street, and immediately she started going on about the shame I’m bringing to the family and how can I associate with ‘such people’ and how I need to come home right away, and Father just kept nodding along. . . .”
Marty shook his head, looking stunned. “She just does not give up, does she? I’ve met donkeys less stubborn than her. And I lived in the American West – I knew my fair share of donkeys.”
“She’s just very – determined,” Victor said, rubbing his forehead. “She knows what she wants, and she won’t rest until she gets it. I’ve seen her like this before.” He groaned. “Maybe I should act like I’m brainwashed. She might eventually come to the conclusion I can’t be ‘fixed’ then and leave me alone.”
“I dunno, Victor,” Marty said. “I don’t think this is going to end until you finally cave or one of you dies.”
Victor couldn’t help but nod. “She thinks I’ll give in,” he admitted softly. “It’s what I’ve done before, more or less. I hate confrontation, and I hate making her upset. It would certainly be easier to give in.”
“But you’re not, right?” Marty asked, starting to sound a little worried.
Victor stiffened his spine. “No. This is different. I’m tired of never standing up for what I want, and this – this is more important than anything before.” Trying to sound hopeful, he added, “And if I’ve held out this long, it’s obvious I’ve inherited at least a little of her stubbornness.”
Marty nodded. “Yeah. Let’s just hope you got enough.”

3. naughty list: Middle Child Syndrome

Date: 2011-01-29 04:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: Some years into the future
Notes: A story for what I worry is the forgotten child of this Victor and Alice. When I was thinking up potential stories for this prompt, I realized that I'd kind of been neglecting the male half of Victor and Alice's twins. Chester's the oldest and the one who's common to all worlds, and Lorina's the girl and the future next Touched of the family - it was easier to focus on them. Feeling guilty, I decided to give Vincent his own story to make up for it. The title comes from something I read on TV Tropes (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MiddleChildSyndrome) about middle children feeling a bit neglected because they aren't the oldest or the baby. Vincent's technically one-half of the youngest kids, but again, since his sister's the only girl. . . .

“It’s not fair.”
“Life isn’t fair,” Victor retorted, glancing over at his son in the corner. “Besides, you did break a plate by running in the house. Having to sit in the corner for a hour sounds plenty fair to me.”
“I helped Mum clean it up,” Vincent groused, slouched over on himself.
“Because you wanted to, or because she told you to?” No reply. “Complaining to yourself isn’t going to shorten your sentence.”
Vincent was silent. Victor sighed. He hated playing jailer – being the disciplinarian wasn’t something he enjoyed. But Alice was busy with supper, and it was better for someone to be around and make sure the punishment was actually served. At least I can work on my notes while I wait, he thought, looking back at the desk.
“. . .you just love Chester and Lorina more.”
Victor’s head snapped back up. “What?”
“Chester’s the oldest, and Lorina’s the girl,” Vincent elaborated, sounding a little sniffly. “You like them better than me.”
Victor felt like his heart had just received a jab from a red-hot knife. “Oh, Vincent. . . .” He got up and crossed the room to kneel down by his son. “That’s not true at all.”
“Is so.”
“Is not,” Victor countered firmly. He gathered Vincent into his arms. “Mum and I love you all equally. Chester may be the oldest, and Lorina may be the girl, but you’re our beloved little boy. And nothing will ever change that.” He lightly squeezed his son. “Besides, you’ve seen how much trouble your brother and sister get into. Everybody ends up in this chair sooner or later.”
Vincent smiled a little at that. Victor smiled back. “Don’t ever think we don’t love you, Vincent. You’re an important part of this family, and nothing will ever change that.”
“Thanks, Dad,” Vincent replied softly. “I love you too.” They hugged. “But how much longer do I have to sit here?”
Victor checked his watch. “Half a hour,” he reported, making Vincent sigh. “I don’t like it any more than you do, if it helps.”
“Then tell Mum to stop punishing you.”
Victor laughed. “We’ll survive. Besides, if you sit quietly for the next twenty-five minutes, I think I can convince her to let you off a little early for good behavior.”

10. coming of age: Be A Man

Date: 2011-01-30 04:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: Vague nearish future
Notes: I've been in a wedding mood lately (watching "Say Yes To The Dress" while on the treadmill will do that to a person), so after examining this prompt for a bit, I decided to try and relate it to Victor and Alice's wedding. After a moment, the initial idea of "Victor doesn't feel ready before Secundus, but he does after because of his experiences there" popped up. It took me a bit to get the proper feel for what I wanted to say, though. This was trickier than expected. (And I may sympathize with him a little, being a 24-year-old attending college while living with my parents. Though I do pay rent, admittedly.) And yes, the Mulan song inspired the title.

When his parents told him that he was going to marry Miss Victoria Everglot in January, Victor’s first reaction was panic. Married? How on earth could his parents expect him to get married? He was only nineteen! Yes, all right, that technically qualified him for “manhood,” whatever that might be. He was certainly no longer a child. But – but he didn’t feel like a real adult yet. He’d never held a job, never paid a bill – he was still living with his parents, for God’s sake! Not to mention he’d never even had a girlfriend. Girls made him nervous, frankly. How could Mother and Father expect him to go from this to supporting a wife? His frightened protests that he wasn’t ready went unheard however, and Victor spent the next few weeks alternately hoping that the wedding would make him feel more grown up, and dreading what would happen if it didn’t.
Then Doc Brown and his flying steam train appeared on the scene, and Victor was whisked away to Secundus. At first, he saw it merely as a chance to have an adventure and avoid the terrifying specter of arranged marriage. But as time went on, he began to see it as an opportunity to live his own life and perhaps start growing up for real. He had a job – a simple one, but it was still a job. He was responsible for anything he wanted to buy, having to pay his own way (more or less) in the world. And, as time passed, he even got his first girlfriend in the form of Alice Liddell. Feeling better about this whole business of becoming an adult, Victor started to make plans for the future – perhaps finding a flat of his own one day, or taking his turn at creating something fantastic like his Touched friends. And he made a promise to himself to try and experience everything the city had to offer.
Of course, he ended up experiencing quite a bit more than he’d expected. After going a bit Creative, defeating the Queen of Hearts, and pulling the shattered remains of his sanity back from the brink of oblivion, he felt he’d changed a lot inside. He felt stronger. More mature. More – adult. So, shortly after he turned twenty, he decided he was ready for what had scared him so much when he was nineteen.
And as he kissed Alice in the First Church of Steam, in front of their cheering family and friends, he truly felt like a man.

20. black ice: Slipping And A’Sliding

Date: 2011-01-31 02:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: Vague present
Notes: My initial conception for this prompt was a darker fic involving a carriage accident, but I decided I'd had enough of that with the last card and decided for this brief comedy piece instead. The inspiration was an incident with ice my other Victor, [livejournal.com profile] deadgirlsliekme, had while trying to help a friend in his old game (trying to rescue her, he slipped and fell over himself), and one of Alice's idle animations with the Ice Wand in "American McGee's Alice" (she freezes a patch of ground, tests it, slips, and falls on her bum). The title is from a tune I know I heard in a commercial at some point, but I can't remember which.

“Now then, what would you – whoa!”
Victor suddenly found the left side of his body trying to go in a different direction from his right. He scrambled to try and keep his feet, slipping and sliding dangerously. A glance down revealed he’d managed to step on a patch of nearly invisible ice. “Oh! Oh dear – aah!”
“Victor!” Alice grabbed his arm to try and steady him. “Stand still – if you can, that is. . .maybe you should lift that foot--”
Before Victor could even think of doing that, though, said foot shot out from under him, pulling him – and thus Alice – to the ground. They landed in a tangled heap, Alice on top. “Oh! I am s-so sorry,” Victor said, embarrassed beyond belief. “Are y-you all right?”
“Fine,” Alice assured him, pulling herself up and leaning over him. Victor found himself vaguely grateful he’d been there to cushion her fall. “This is far from the worst tumble I’ve taken. Are you all right?”
“I think so.” Victor did his best to ignore the warmth of her body against his and did a quick check. “Leg hurts a bit, but it’s not broken or anything like that.”
“Just landed on it wrong? I’m not surprised,” Alice said. “Here, let’s get ourselves up.”
They disentangled themselves and regained their feet, being extra careful not to step on that frozen patch of sidewalk again. Victor dusted himself off, not looking at her. Why did these things have to happen to him? Especially when he was out with a gi – a friend? “I am sorry about that,” he apologized as Alice fixed her skirts. “I g-genuinely d-didn’t see that ice.”
“It’s fine. Accidents happen.”
“S-still, I wish I weren’t so clumsy.”
“Oh, everyone’s clumsy on the ice.” Alice looked up at him with a chuckle. “Let me tell you about the first time I tried out the Ice Wand. . . .”

1. toasty: Warm Hearts

Date: 2011-01-31 03:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: Some years into the future
Notes: Part of me wanted to do a much darker fic involving the house burning down for this prompt, but the nice family piece featured here quickly won out. (I'm sure my characters are grateful.) I knew, though, that I'd have to do something in the prompt dealing with Alice's fears about fire - when you think about it, she and Victor are both rather messed up. They're just messed up in strangely compatible ways. I think this turned out appropriately sweet, though. And yes, Vincent gets the biggest speaking role of the kids in this one because I felt I was neglecting him earlier.

“We should have marshmallows!”
“Oh, we should, should we?” Victor said, grinning at Vincent as they sat around the fire.
“Yes,” Vincent nodded. “Then we could toast them and eat them.”
“Maybe next time,” Victor said, licking his lips as he imagined it.
“You ever think of making a marshmallow butterfly, Daddy?” Lorina asked, tilting her head.
Victor shook his head. “Too sticky. It took me long enough to find a way to make peanut-butterflies that wouldn’t automatically get their wings stuck together. And if I make them out of solid marshmallow, there’s a good chance they’d melt in the first rainstorm.”
“Too bad,” Chester said, warming his hands on the fire. “They sound fun.”
“Even mad science has its limits, I’m afraid.”
Chester nodded, then glanced back at where his mother was sitting in her chair, reading a book. “Don’t you want to join us, Mum?”
Alice looked up. “I’m fine,” she said evenly. “And you’re sitting far too close. Scoot back a bit.”
Chester frowned, but did as he was told. “I didn’t think I was sitting too close,” he murmured.
“Trust me, you were,” Alice informed him. “You never know when something--” She stopped, then shook her head. “You just always need to be careful around open flame.”
“But it’s so warm over here!” Vincent got up and wandered over to his mother, feeling her hand. “And you’re all cold!”
Alice looked from him to the fire. She did her best to keep her expression neutral, but Victor could see the flickers of fear in her eyes. “I’m fine,” she said, voice a bit distant.
Victor frowned. He really wished there was more he could do for her phobias. He’d done his best to assure her, time and again, that he (and later the children) weren’t going anywhere. But, much like he’d probably always feel a bit guilty about the death of Lewis Carroll, there was probably no way to stop her from worrying that fire was going to claim her family once again. Which led to nights like these, where she froze while the rest of the family enjoyed the warmth of the fireplace. . . .
Then, suddenly, an idea came to him. “Vincent, why don’t you sit on Mum’s lap to warm her up?” he suggested.
“Would you like that, Mum?” Vincent said, looking up at her. “I’m all toasty.”
Alice grinned back down at him. “I’d like that very much,” she said, moving her book so he could climb on.
Vincent happily got up and snuggled into his mother. Alice hugged him back, then looked over at Victor gratefully. Victor gave her a smile, then mouthed the words, “We’re not going anywhere,” to her.
And for the first time, it looked like Alice really believed him.
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