Chapter Seventy-Six: What Matters

Giggles woke up.
“Belle! You're okay!”
Petunia hugged her friend.
Belle felt her face.
Her Giggles helmet was gone, and she was at the tip.
“It was a group
hallucination controlled by the Haunted Maze Troupe!” She cried.
“They had a little noise-device thing that they used to control
“Explains a lot.”
TJ said bitterly.
“Where's Charlie!?”
Belle suddenly looked around for her best friend.
okay…but…” Petunia looked uncomfortable.
“Phew. Wait, where's
Sunny?” Belle looked around.
“Facing off against
Ruby Daryl.” TJ told her.
Lady Courage was
slammed into a brick wall, and only just got her countenance back in
time to dodge a Ruby Whip. Her left arm was already dead thanks to a
Ruby Dagger, and the fight had turned against her.
“I don't know what it
is about you, but I hate you more than I hate any of the other
Knights.” Ruby Daryl told her. His eye was blackening fast, and he
was certain that the little witch in front of him had left quite a
few other bruises over his body.
“The feeling is
mutual, jerk.” Lady Courage replied. This boy, her brother, had
tried his best to ruin her life along with her father, just because
she had been an unplanned pregnancy, and had been born a girl. He
hadn't been a true older brother at all. He had never protected her,
he had never believed in her or showed her things or loved her.
As far as Lady Courage
was concerned, Daryl and Sunny Jones weren't siblings at all.
She flew at him with
her baseball bat, which he dodged. He counter-attacked with a Ruby
Spear, which nicked her foot, making it tingle but not quite enough
to numb it completely. She spun around and clocked him fair in the
He screamed angrily. In
his fury, he fired a Ruby Blast. It threw the siblings in opposite
directions, Lady Courage hitting the side of a van and Ruby able to
stop himself with the Ruby Suit.
Lady Courage felt sore
and defeated as Ruby advanced on her.
“You're finished
Knight.” He said hoarsely, forming a final Ruby Blast.
There was a gunshot,
and suddenly the Power Box on Ruby's shoulder was shattered, the Ruby
Blast dissolving harmlessly to the ground!
“Wha-?” Ruby looked
around, confused, before copping a knee to the head, Giggles-style!
MY SISTER AGAIN!” Giggles roared in fury.
“Giggles!” Lady
Courage cried in joy.
“Darn it!” Ruby
growled. Not only was Giggles armed with the Lucky Seven Gun and the
ability to fly, she was also immune to the Ruby Power. Ruby wasn't
going to stick around, he got out of there quickly.
“Thanks Giggles!”
Lady Courage grinned as Giggles helped her up and flew both of them
into the sky towards the tip.
“Any time.” Giggles
grinned back. “Uh-oh…”
As proof that the drug
had worn off and Giggles was in fact back to reality, the Backpack
cut out, dropping both women in Pleasant Lake.
“Now I get why
Chuckles hates flying.” Lady Courage groaned as the pair finally
got airbourne again. “Where IS Chuckles by the way?”
“Well…” Giggles
“Is this real life?!
What if it's just fantasy again?! What if I'm still in the dream?!
What's going on?!” Charlie cried, rocking in the fetal position as
the Noble Knights of the Last Order looked bemused.
“It's a fault of the
family.” Thomas Begly told them later as he helped load Charlie
into his car. “We tend to overthink sometimes.”
“By the
way…Belle…what you said before to Ruby…” Sunny asked as the
pair got into the back of the car.
“You're as much my
sister as Madels is.” Belle said firmly. “Don't worry about it.”
Sunny beamed all the
way home.
It took three hours to
finally convince Charlie that everything was okay (a quick spin on
the Backpack fixed things).
“It's kinda scary to
think we now have enemies that can do that to us.” He said as the
group sat at Bills restaurant eating roast chicken with thick gravy
and vegetables.
“Maybe we should up
our breathing protection. Just in case.” Daniel shoveled down his
dinner. “I mean, who knows what the side effects of that drug are?”
“I swabbed some from
Belles helmet.” Peter Masters told them. “From the looks of
things it's not addictive, but you'll probably be having some weird
dreams for a few days.”
“How on earth do you
get access to things like that?” Sammy asked.
“Being a prosecutor
means access to labs and people who can run those labs.” Peter
winked at him.
Just then, Judith
Jofrey in her wig walked in looking harassed.
“Judy, you okay?”
Peter got up and offered her his chair. She sat down, frazzled.
“Revolver…he killed
Mark…and I just walked away and let him.” She shook with emotion.
There was silence
around the table.
“This is getting out
of control. Especially now that the Haunted Maze Troupe is back.”
Sunny held Melody tightly.
“Pleasantville is a
war-zone, and Demon is encouraging it for his own profits.” Tammy
Lara held Madeleine,
and looked at Belle and Ozzy. “I wish I could have been born
elsewhere sometimes.”
“I don't blame you.”
Betty had her mouth set in a thin line.
“Judith, I know
you're in a bad place, but if you truly love your sister you need to
join us. We can help you guys keep some sort of control until we can
get a decent Mayor in to clean the city up.” Peter told her.
“Betray my sister?!”
Judiths eyes snapped up with fire.
“If you don't, she
could be the next one dead.” Thomas said darkly. “Especially if
Jones is in bed with the March Hill Crusaders. They're going to want
“Marion and I are on
thin ice anyway. If she gets even a sniff that I'm working with you,
she'll kill me.” Judith groaned. “Especially now that Daryl has
pretty much told everyone I'm a liar.”
“Do you see now why
we want to end crime in Pleasantville?” Belle asked her gently. “If
you weren't part of a crime syndicate, you and Marion would just be
regular old sisters.”
Judith looked away. “It
doesn't matter right now.”
There was a brief
“I'll tell you what
DOES matter, and that's Belle and Charlie!” TJ suddenly spat out.
“Huh?” Belle and
Charlie looked at each other.
“You two!” Petunia
groaned. “You OBVIOUSLY have feelings for each other!”
“You keep up with all
this 'best friend' stuff but you two CLEARLY belong together!”
Sammy added.
“Guys, they're
oblivious. Just drop it, it's never going to work.” Sunny groaned.
Judith looked around,
before turning to Peter, confused.
“Just…go with
it…” He recommended.
Later on, Charlie and
Belle were in their tree, looking up through the leaves to the stars,
listening to the creek flow.
“I can't believe
them.” Belle sighed.
“Yeah.” Charlie
agreed. “We know what we have.”
“Exactly.” Belle
They were together, and
that was all that mattered.

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