Kim and Casey trained hard, but they had quite a few mishaps the first couple of days after their trip to the gallery at the top of the tower. Just as Mitch had aged back down to a child, both Kim and Casey had aged rather quickly to adult size. They were all suddenly awoken one morning by a massive tremble of the tower.
“What the heck is going on?” Kim yelled as she raced into Casey’s room.
“DADDY!” Mitch screamed as he rushed in behind her and dove into his father’s arms. Their relationship had become much more affectionate as Casey had grown to look more like the father that Mitch remembered, despite the total change in his attitude from the real world to the time world. “I’m scared. The tower never did this before.” Kim screamed as she saw Mitch flicker as if he weren’t really there just as another rumble shook the tower.
“The tower seems to be under attack of some sort, and somehow it is affecting Mitch as well,” Casey told them both. He grabbed his staff from beside his bed and instantly his pajamas were changed into his wizard robes. The robes were different now though. Before, they had been plain black with a silver layer underneath. Now the black material had shimmering blue flames coming up from the hem of the robe and the ends of the sleeves, as if the cloth were a view screen for the flames.
“Sweet robes, Dad,” Mitch told him before another massive shudder rocked the tower, making him hug his father tightly again, as he blinked almost completely out of vision.
“Maybe if we go back up to the gallery, we can see what is going on,” Casey told them as he led the way out of his room. Mitch held hands with his parents as they hurried up to the top of the tower.
“I don’t see anyone or anything out there,” Kim said as she stared down from the windows.
“I have a hunch,” Casey said. “Tower, please show me the portraits of all those wizards yet to be.” Nothing happened. “Show me the portrait of the very last time wizard.” The portrait of Darien suddenly appeared in front of them.”
“I don’t understand, how can Darien be the very last time wizard, if you are the current one?” Kim asked.
“If your brother Keith dies in this realm, then he will die in the real world as well,” Casey explained. “If he dies in the real world at the age that I was when Mitch brought me here, then he and I will never meet, and Mitch will never have been born.”
“If I am never born, I can’t become the time wizard to follow Darien, and bring you here to take my place,” Mitch reasoned.
“So let’s go get Keith away from whoever it is that has him,” Kim said. She still couldn’t quite accept that her Uncle Clyde was the villain that Mitch claimed him to be. The man was constantly coming over to their house and spending time with them. He brought her candy every time he showed up to babysit her and her brother. He couldn’t possibly be the monster that Mitch said he was.
“We have to get there quickly,” Casey said. “Something tells me we don’t have much time, despite being at the center of it. I hope we are both ready for this. Tower, show me the quickest way to get to my… the one I am here to rescue.”
Following the lights on the floor down the castle to the lowest level, Casey and Kim grabbed a few necessaries on their way to the exit of the tower. When they reached the door, both Casey and Kim turned to look at Mitch.
“We will fix this, don’t worry, son,” Casey told him.
“You know I haven’t said this before, but I am really proud to be your mother, Mitch,” Kim said softly. “I can’t wait to meet you in the real world and watch you grow up instead of growing down.”
“I wish… I mean I will like that too, Mom,” Mitch told her. They all hugged before Kim and Casey walked out the door of the tower. “Take care of each other; remember if anything happens to the two of you, I won’t exist.”
“Hey, Mitch, have you ever turned someone into a toad?” Casey asked.
“No, of course not, Dad,” the boy responded.
“Well darn, I was going to ask you to change her back to a human, but I guess she was born this way,” Casey said with mock disappointment.
“Not to worry, Mitch, I will make sure he stays alive,” Kim announced. “I am the only one that will get the fun of killing him.”
“I’m doomed. My life is in the hands of crazy people,” Mitch moaned melodramatically as he walked back into the tower.
“He’s got your sense of humor,” Kim and Casey both said at the same time, and then they both laughed.
“Well I guess he really is our kid,” Kim said shaking her head.
“Yeah, between the attitude and the humor and his big mouth, I don’t think either of us will be able to deny him,” Casey replied. “I will NOT be the father he remembers though.”
“You’d better not, or I really will kill you,” Kim told him sternly.
“I actually hope you get to hold me to that,” Casey murmured.
“Ok, that’s it,” Kim snapped. “I have had it with the cryptic comments from you two twerps. You make it sound like I won’t be around for Mitch as he grows up. Start explaining as we start walking, you flaming … wizard you.”
“I would love to say that the flames weren’t my idea, but I guess they kind of had to be,” Casey said trying to change the subject. “I must be much more creative than I thought I was.”
“Yeah, yeah, you’re rainbow sprinkles special, and your dress is admittedly almost cool,” Kim told him. “Now back to me. What do you know that you aren’t telling me?”
“Dang it, it’s a robe, not a dress,” Casey complained. “And I’m not sure….”
“If you tell me that you aren’t supposed to tell me, I am going to beat you with your own staff.”
“And you wonder why I am gay when the only female in my life right now is so mean to me.”
“AH HA!!!!!!” Kim screamed. “You finally admitted it. YES! The boy in the black dress is finally out of the closet.” She proceeded to do a happy dance all around Casey as he rolled his eyes in exasperation. “Hey! Wait a minute. You just said that so I would change the subject, didn’t you?”
“Note to self, the female of the species does eventually catch on.”
“The male of the species is about to catch a club to the back of his head,” Kim growled. “Come on, out with the story since you just came out yourself.” She suddenly grabbed Casey and hugged him. “I’m proud of you for saying that, you know. I know even in a joke, that couldn’t be all that easy to say out loud.”
“Stop ruining your reputation with these tender moments,” Casey complained as he pulled away from her. “I guess I did say it out loud, didn’t I?”
“Yeah, now say the rest of it,” Kim prodded. “Why do you keep talking like I won’t be…. I won’t be, will I?”
“Nothing is carved in stone,” Casey told her.
“Crap! I thought you would correct me.” She sat down hard on the ground. “What happens to me?”
“To hell with shouldn’t, Case!” Kim yelled. “Tell me, please. How…. When…. What happens to me? Please tell me I don’t die giving birth to him. At least let me know that I get to hold him.”
“You are with him for a little while, he said,” Casey gives in. “You get killed riding your motorcycle to his second birthday party. He has no memories of you, only of me being a jerk the rest of his life because apparently you and I were best friends and I couldn’t handle losing you.”
“Well, I am pretty incredible,” Kim laughed, but there wasn’t any real humor in it. “So no dykes on bikes for me.”
“No what?” Casey questioned.
“Never mind,” Kim told him. “That was just me joining you on the outside of the closet.”
“You’re…. I mean you like,” Casey stumbled through his words.
“I’m as gay as you are, RuCasey,” Kim confirmed.
“Hello, boy in a dress…. Drag queen… RuPaul… ringing any bells yet?”
“For the last freaking time it is NOT a dress,” Casey fumed. “It’s a robe…. Which is like a really long shirt… with style… and umm flames, yeah really macho flames.” He started laughing at this point. “I give up, it’s a dress, but it is a really comfortable one and I like it, so there.”
“You know, if you repeat this ever I will have to kill you, but I am starting to see why you and I are friends,” Kim said. “Ok, here’s the deal. We get back to the regular world and you keep me away from Harleys and I will keep you from being a jerk.”
“That’s the way I plan for it to go, yeah,” Casey agreed. “Now come on, we got a lot more walking to do.”
“Hey, where are we going to sleep tonight?”
“Are you tired already? Some barbarian queen you turned out to be,” Casey teased.
“I’m just saying neither of us has a pack of any kind,” Kim retorted. “No food, no water, no tent, no sleeping bags.”
“I get the picture,” Casey cut her off. “I will handle where to stay if you can handle getting us food. I am not going to sample the fruit again either.”
“What about a drink? I don’t know about you, but I’m thirsty,” Kim pointed out. Casey waved his staff in front of her and a glass of blue liquid appeared in front of her. “Is that….”
“Blue raspberry lemonade koolaid,” Casey finished for her. “It’s my favorite flavor.”
“Sweet, you do have some taste,” Kim smiled and gulped the drink quickly. “It’s my favorite flavor too. I warn you now, my brother is totally creeped out by it. He calls it smurf blood.”
“Well, you and I will just have to either win him over to the blue side, or torment him constantly with our exceptional taste in drinks.”
“Yup, you and I are definitely going to be best friends all right,” Kim grinned and tipped the glass to him in a salute.
They walked a little farther when Casey suddenly smacked his head and yelled out, “I’m a doofus!”
“No arguments from me,” Kim snorted. “What led you to the same conclusion though?”
He waved his staff over a couple of sticks and suddenly in front of them were two rough terrain bicycles.
“Bicycles?” Kim blurted. “You made bicycles, with all your magic powers you couldn’t make us a car?”
“Do you know how to drive?” Casey retorted knowingly.
“Point taken,” Kim surrendered. “Well, the bikes have to be faster than hoofing it. Let’s get going, but for the record you get the girly one.”
“Purple is not a girly color,” Casey defended. “And you can’t have the purple one even if you did want it. You get the green one, and good luck with it.”
Kim froze in place as she was about to mount the bicycle. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Every green bicycle I ever had, I crashed,” Casey told her. “My parents have had two green cars. Both were totaled in accidents with me in them. My kindergarten best friend had a green wagon that tipped over on a hill with me in it.”
“Just because you’re a klutz, doesn’t mean I am,” Kim told him. “But I will remember to not get you anything green unless I am mad at you.”
“There you go being nice again,” Casey replied. “You’re going to lose your bitch status if you keep this up.”
“Remind me why I like you,” Kim groaned.
“Every big brutish lesbian needs a cute, talented, creative gay boy to balance out the negativity in her brusque nature,” Casey grinned.
“Keep digging that hole, princess flaming dress,” Kim told him. “I can bury you in it later.”
“OH! I didn’t think of that,” Casey admitted. “I can’t ride a bicycle in these robes.”
“What robes, fancypants?” Kim smirked.
Casey looked down to see that his robes had transformed into a black body suit with the same shimmering blue flames on the legs and sleeves and silver stars scattered across the rest. “COOL!” he grinned.
“Yeah, gorgeous, you’re a regular Tommy Hilfiger,” Kim said sarcastically. “Can we go now? I am getting hungry and tired and want to make more mileage before we stop for the night.”
“Do you think I could become a clothing designer?”
“Geez, when you come out of the closet you do it with gusto, don’t you?” Kim laughed. “Seriously, you can do anything you want. You are a lot smarter, a lot stronger, and a lot more talented than you give yourself credit for. Now if you make me say one more nice thing to you today, I am going to shove that stick of yours… No… never mind… a gay boy would like that too much.”
“KIM!” Casey cried out as his face went stop sign red. “You are so crude.”
“Barbarian queen remember? Crude is in the job description,” she told him as she pedaled away on her bicycle.
A couple of hours later, Casey called out to her. “We gotta stop for a bit. My legs are killing me.”
“Thank god,” Kim whispered.
“What was that?”
“My legs are hurting too ok?” she snapped. “I’m hurting all over actually.”
“WHOA!” Casey exclaimed as she stood up off the bike. “You grew.”
“Holy growth spurt dress man, so did you,” she returned. “You look old enough to be my dad now.”
“Not if you look in a mirror, I don’t,” he pointed out.
Kim looked down at herself and grinned. “Wow! I am hot. Look at this rack.”
“I’m trying not to if you don’t mind,” Casey complained. “And really? Rack? I bet you would get pissed off if a boy called them that.”
“Damn skippy I would,” Kim agreed. “Only babes can call them a rack.”
“Well I call them creepy, so can you put on a shirt that covers them up better, please?”
“I bet you liked boobs when you were a baby,” Kim teased.
“Did not,” Casey corrected. “I absolutely refused to breast feed and had to drink formula.”
“Yet you really didn’t know you were gay,” Kim mused. “I may have to rethink my previous opinion of your intelligence.” One wave of his staff and Kim was covered from head to toe in a shroud like garment. “Very funny. You keep it up and I will just strip naked in front of you.”
“You are sadistic bitch enough to do it, too,” Casey surrendered and changed her outfit back to the tube top and mini skirt she had been wearing.
“Thanks, this is going to be a lot easier to hunt in,” she told him.
“Hunt?” Casey gulped nervously.
“You said you didn’t want a vegan dinner tonight, so that means furry woodland creature makes the ultimate sacrifice for us. Do you want rabbit, squirrel, or whatever happens to come along?”
“Ummm I’m thinking mac and cheese actually,” Casey said looking a bit green.
“Look, I will take care of getting the meat and getting it ready to cook, but you have to do the cooking,” Kim told him.
“Why don’t you cook?”
“Because I can’t, ok?” she snapped. “Lesbians fix plumbing and cars and ride motorcycles. Gay boys cook and design clothes and fix hair.”
“That’s pretty stereotypical don’t you think?” Casey asked her.
“I cooked one meal for my family, and everyone got sick including me,” Kim answered.
“Point taken,” Casey observed. “You kill it and I’ll grill it.”
“Ok, you grab firewood, and start the fire,” she laid a hand on his shoulder at looked him in the face directly. “Real fire would be preferred to sparkly flames on your clothes and I would rather you wouldn’t start the fire out of your butt again.”
“You and me both, but actually I was thinking of something along these lines,” Casey replied with a wave of his staff at some nearby trees that transformed into a very nice looking Craftsman style cottage with a built in brick barbecue grill on the back patio where they were now standing.
“Ok, intelligence may be iffy, but talent is not doubted at all,” Kim said in awe as she looked around the house he had created.
“Thank you, the blue bedroom is yours, by the way. I get the purple room.”
“Of course you do,” Kim grinned. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.”