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'Til Death Do us Part

A TTA fan-fic by Colin Feder (colin@toonzone.net)

 

 * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

 "NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!" Her voice screamed out. It was a cry that would haunt me for the rest of my life… however long that would be… "NOOOOOOO!!!! PLEASE STOP!!!!!" That was the beginning of the end…
"I don't know how it happened… I don't even know why it happened… but it happened. And there's nothing I can do about it now," Buster said as he stood over the grave of his loving wife, his one true love, Babs. "I'm just glad I was given this opportunity to visit you this last time, especially after having to miss your funeral, I really didn’t expect the trial to drag on that long… My execution is tomorrow. The electric chair is broken, so they are putting me in a bathtub and throwing in a toaster. Not a very noble way to go… at least, it's not how I expected to go."
"Come on Rabbit. Your time is up!" said the guard as he pulled on Buster's shackles. What was he to do but to just follow along with his orders?
"How did I get into this mess? Babs and I were leading the perfect life."

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Flashback, the toonsters have just graduated from Acme Looniversity. Toons are running all over the place, mainly away from the school. A few minutes pass and Buster and Babs finally leave the Looniversity for the last time.

"I can't believe it's over. I guess all good things really do come to an end… at least I still have you, Babs." Buster said.
"Don't you start talking like that! We've still got our whole lives ahead of us! Just because we've finished at the Looniversity doesn't mean we are done!" Babs responded.
"But, I thought you were going to college out of state." Buster said.
"I am… but that doesn't mean we can't stay together, Buster! You've been the world to me, there's no way I'm letting you go that easily, you know!"
"I know… but this isn't Acme Loo anymore… this is college. I've heard stories about college life… the parties… the people… everything. Babs, I'm scared! What if… well… what if something happens and you meet a rich college man. I don't want you to forget about me."
"Buster, I could never forget about you. I'll be in touch every day. I'll never let go. I won't allow myself to."
"Babs, you KNOW how much I hated that scene in Titanic… I still can't believe you made me see that movie."

Babs just giggled.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Forward: Buster is sitting in his jail cell, nothing to do but remember. He felt as if putting him to death would be good. He had been torturing himself every day since the murder. Torturing himself with tales of his life.

"I'll never let go…I won't allow myself to… that's the promise we made to each other the day we graduated. I had a bad feeling about everything that was coming, but I tried to keep a positive outlook on things. I was able to. At least until the day I got that phone call… I never thought I'd be able to recover from the impact…

* * * * * * * * * * * *
<Ring, Ring>
"Hello, Buster Bunny speaking."
"Hi Buster… it's me," said Babs
"Hiya 'Me.' <chuckle>. So, what's up?"
"Buster… I… I… I don't know how to tell you this…"
"What's wrong babe? Someone steal your Introduction to Psychology textbook, and you can't afford a new one?"
"<Sniff> Buster… This isn't a time to joke around. I met someone…"
"Well, it's about time… finally leave your dorm room?"
"Buster… I'm serious. We've been seeing each other for about a month and a half now…and we're pretty serious. I just… I just could never bring myself around to
telling you. I didn't want to hurt you."
"Oh…" said Buster, followed by a long silence. He didn't have much to say. What could he say? When Babs finally started talking again he slowly dropped the phone down on to the receiver.
Buster just stood at the phone, staring down, looking like a part of him had been ripped away...

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Forward
"I never thought I'd get over her… I was in a severely depressive state for months. I couldn't figure things out. I couldn't figure out whether or not she had betrayed me. I was definitely feeling betrayed… and alone. I was never able to get over her. Every thought that entered my mind was 'Babs, Babs, Babs.' Life didn't seem like it was much worth living any more, but I went on."
"I was seeing my psychiatrist for several months. I couldn't get over the depression. My psychiatrist at times seemed like he didn't even know what to do. 'It'll be okay Buster, everyone breaks up with a girlfriend at some point in their life.' That seemed to be the theme of ever session. But Babs was more than just a girlfriend… she was my soul mate."

* * * * * * * * * * * *

"Like, Buster. It's not the end of the world. You and Babs will be together again. You two, are like, soul mates, or some junk." Shirley said, trying to encourage the downtrodden bunny.
"I know we are, Shirl… but there's something deep down inside me that keeps having this feeling… it's not a good feeling either."
"Buster. Like, I'm not sure what to tell you. But, when was the last time you left your home? Like, I mean for something other than a doctor's appointment. I think you need to go out for a walk through Acme Park, or some junk."
"That might not be a bad idea, Shirl. It would give me some time to think, as if I haven't been doing enough of that lately. Why not! Hey, would you like to come with me, Shirl?"
"I do love to, but I have plans now. Sorry! Take the walk anyway, the time by yourself will, like, do you good."

(Buster voice over)
"So I took the walk through the park. At first it didn't do a whole lot of good. I was flooded with memories that Babs' and I had together… The playground reminded me of the time I poured a bucket of sand over her head when we were two… The lake reminded me of the time I dumped a bucket of water down her back when we were six… The water fountain… well, the water fountain speaks for itself. I almost turned around and went back home. But I didn't! I ventured further into the park. I think that walk did me a lot of good. I was definitely able to get my mind off Babs…"

"Oof… Hey! Why don't you watch where you are going!" Said the voice in front of Buster.
"Oh, I'm sorry." Buster said, staring down at his feet.
"That's okay… just watch where you are going next time."
"I truly am…" Buster looked up to see a female rabbit staring at him. A rather attractive female rabbit at that "…sorry. Uh… uh… are you okay? I didn't hurt you did I?"
"No, I'm fine. But you look like you've seen better days."
"You could put it that way. One of my friends suggested I take a walk to help clear my mind." Buster explained.
"Well, I hate to interrupt people clearing their minds. <Giggle> I hope you feel better…"|
"Buster… Buster Bunny. And you are?"
"My name is Heather Lockhare."
"Um… y'know… I think I could use someone to talk to right now. Wanna go some where and just talk? I'd really appreciate it," asked Buster.

<Voice over>
"I didn't really know what was going on between myself and Heather, but a relationship was forming. I knew I needed to get over Babs, but something inside me kept telling me to not give up hope. Some small voice telling me that Babs will be back. Heather and I would spend a lot of time together. We'd go to the movies, take walks in the park, and so on… however we didn't want to commit to anything… not yet anyway."

* * * * * * * * * * * *

"Off to dinner… if they really want to kill me, they should just keep feeding me this wretched cafeteria food, and I thought the food at Acme Loo was bad. Well, I wonder what they are calling dinner tonight…Hmm… Stuffed Shells"
Buster carried his tray of stuffed shells to his usual table in the prison cafeteria. He pretty much kept to himself. He didn't need a "boyfriend" as he was about to be sentenced to death. Fortunately, none of the inmates seemed to latch on to Buster. Apparently Buster just didn't fit into their circles. As he shouldn't. He wasn't like them… or so he believed.
During his meal he let his mind wander… he hadn't heard from Plucky and Shirley in ages… he had often wondered how their kids were doing. He still had trouble believing that Plucky and Shirley had gotten married, especially after how they treated each other all throughout their years at Acme Loo.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

"You are cordially invited to the wedding of Plucky Duck and Shirley T. Loon" Buster read of the invitation. "Well, damn! I never thought this would happen! Although, they do seem perfect together… when they aren't arguing. I wonder how long this will last."
Buster made the RSVP promptly. He and Heather would go to the wedding together. The past few months that they had spent together made Buster feel like a new rabbit, and he had hardly "shown her off" to his friends. What better time to do so than at Plucky & Shirley's wedding?

Time passed, and soon Plucky and Shirley were about to exchange vows. Buster and Heather arrived at the church and took their seats. Not more than five minutes after they had arrived had Babs appeared. Buster heard her voice as Babs was talking with Fifi, but thought otherwise, after all, Babs hadn't been back to Acme Acres since Thanksgiving break of her Freshman year, and here it was, almost a year and a half later.
Hearing the voice bothered Buster. Finally he turned around and saw it was Babs. What's worse, Babs had shown up alone. Buster started to feel like a heel. Something inside him hoped that her boyfriend was out parking the care, but he knew he wasn't.
"Umm… can you excuse me for a minute Heather?"
"Sure Buster."

Buster walked past the crowd that was slowly filing in. Among some of the guests he passed included people such as Brian and Harl from Toonzone; Christopher Walken, who was chasing after Brain & Pinky; and many others. Buster finally made it to Babs. He slowly approached her. He really wasn't sure what to make of the situation. They hadn't spoken to each other since back when Babs broke up with him.
"Hi Babs."
"Buster…is that you? BUSTER! How are you doing?? I'm so sorry I haven't written, called, e-mailed, faxed, beeped, sent a message via Morse code, or sent a singing telegram! School's been crazy… and I've got Finals in two weeks… and… and…"
"It's okay Babs. I understand. Life's been a little weird for the both of us."

Organ music starts playing.

"I think it's time we take our seats. I'm sure I'll see you at the reception." Buster says this as he makes sure Babs sits down before he goes back to his seat with Heather.
The ceremony started. Soon all eyes were facing front. It was a beautiful service. Plucky & Shirley looked stunning in their wedding attire. Romey, who was acting Minister, had just started the ceremony.
Buster tried his best to keep his attention on the two up front, however he couldn't help but constantly looking over at Babs. Heather noticed this, but decided not to say anything…at least, not yet. The entire service continued on in this way…
"I now pronounce you Husband and Wife. You may now kiss the bride and get the heck out of here, I have chain-links to go edit!" Finished Romey. With that, Plucky & Shirley kissed and the organ player played the music. The newlyweds exited the church to a crowd of people, anxious to douse them with counterfeit money.

Later on at the reception, all was going rather well. There was music, dancing, food…one couldn't ask for a more perfect setting. Out on the dance floor, The Siren was trying her best to teach the crowd The Macadamia Nut. However, there was one who wasn't interested. Buster wasn't interested in doing The Macadamia Nut. Buster's mind was on other things.
"Go talk to her." Said Heather, after Buster refused to dance the Electric Slide with her.
"What?"
"Go talk to her!"
"I guess it couldn't hurt."
"You've been avoiding her all night! It doesn't help that you've been sitting behind the centerpiece, trying not to be noticed. It's embarrassing! I came to this because I thought we could have a good time together, but if you are just going to sit there and sulk, I'll leave. Go straighten things out with her so you can feel better and we can have a decent time."

Buster couldn't react to the statement. Heather had never spoken to him like that before…but she was right, hiding behind the centerpiece at the table isn't fun. Finally, before he could decide not to, he jumped up and headed over to Babs' table.

"Hi," he managed to say.
"Well, it's nice to see you've moved from behind your centerpiece."
"Listen… I… I… We need to talk. Would you mind stepping outside for a few minutes?"
"I know we do."

Buster and Babs' headed outside the reception hall, unnoticed. Buster really wasn't sure what he was going to say, but he knew he had to say something.

"Babs, ever since the day you told me you had a new boyfriend at college, and you wanted to break up with me… I… I was devastated. I didn't think I could go on living. I didn't leave my house; I couldn't do anything. I felt like a part of me had been killed. You were the best thing to ever happen to me, you know that, and when you told me you had moved on…well…"
"Buster, I know how you feel. I felt the same way about you. Michael and I didn't work out. Every moment I spent with him, I couldn't help but think about you. He was no comparison to you. However, when you didn't write, I was worried that you had moved on and decided you didn't want me in your life anymore. When I got the invitation to Plucky & Shirley's wedding, I almost said no. I knew you'd be here, I didn't think I'd be able to face you. We had such high expectations for each other…I guess we've both grown up…and apart."
"But Babs, I don't want to grow apart. You still mean the world to me, and nothing will ever change that."
"But what about your date in there?"
"Oh…Heather. We're not serious…I think. We've known each other for about a year now. I could never take our friendship past anything more than that…friendship. She knows it. It was her who practically pushed me over to talk to you. In a way, I'm glad she did. Babs… will you marry me?"

Babs just stood there. She didn't know how to respond. She wanted to say yes… but the words weren't flowing out of her mouth.

"It doesn't have to be right away. Finish school first… I'll be here, waiting. Babs, I've known this for quite some time, and if I don't do this now, I'll never do it. Please say yes Babs."
"Buster…I… I…Yes, I will!"

Buster was overjoyed. He hadn't felt this happy in months. Babs just stood there, confused. Buster grabbed Babs' hand and ran back into the reception.

"EVERYONE… I have an announcement to make." Buster said as he tapped a spoon to his glass. "Babs and I… are getting married!"

There was a sudden silence in the room. This had seemed very sudden. It wasn't the reaction Buster had expected. Babs just stood there next to him… laughing nervously.

"Buster, are you sure this is the right thing to do?" she whispered to him.
"Babs, I've never felt more sure about anything in my life!"

Plucky and Shirley approached Buster and Babs.

"Why, I like, can't believe it…or some junk. I never thought we'd see you two back together, let alone get married."
"You couldn't stand it that I was getting married and you weren't, could ya, Buster?" Plucky joked.
"Like, Congratulations you two!"

Shirley and Plucky started to applaud their friends; soon the entire room did… Buster took a quick look around, sharing one of the happiest moments of his life with all his friends. As he looked, he noticed one person not clapping…
Buster walked over to Heather.

"I hope we can still be friends…"
"<Sniff> You know we can…I…I just didn't expect you to come back announcing a wedding when I told you to go talk to her. I guess a girl has to stop dreaming some time, huh?"

Buster just then realized how blind he had been. Heather had fallen for him without him even noticing it. He had just let down the one person who he had been able to pour his heart and soul out to since Babs left, and now he felt as though he was letting her down, too.

"<Sniff> Buster, don't worry about me. I'll be fine." Heather said sullenly.
"Heather…I'm sorry. I was blind to it. You know I've been in love with Babs the whole time, I wish I could have seen that you were falling in love with me, it might have made this whole night seem easier…"
"Buster… go join you fiancé. <Sniff> I said I'll be fine, and you know I will."
"Heather, I'm here for you, if you need me."

<Voice over>
"I was there for her all right…there until she moved away a week later. I seemed to be good at destroying lives. I really did want to continue being friends with her, but I guess she didn't think it was possible. I knew it wasn't going to be possible either. Babs was home for 3 days, and I spent every moment with her. Totally forgetting that Heather had ever existed. Some friend I turned out to be."

During Babs' visit home, we did all that we could to start preparing for the wedding. I got her the engagement ring…we even decided on a date, June 18, 2002. Life seemed too good to be true…

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Buster lay in his prison cell, just looking up at the ceiling. Considering this was going to be his last sleep, he couldn't sleep. How could he sleep knowing that in 8 hours he was set to be electrocuted? He was still scared…who wouldn't be. The Electric Chair is one thing… but a bathtub…and a toaster? You'd think they'd have a better back up these days. This is the 21st Century after all.
As Buster laid in his cot, staring at the ceiling, he remembered his wedding… he remembered how beautiful Babs looked in her mothers wedding dress… how much fun they all had at the reception… and who could forget the honeymoon?
"Yo Rabbit! We normally don't do this, but you got a visitor!"
"A visitor? Who would be visiting me at this hour?"
Buster was led into the visiting room. When he sat down, he looked up and saw the last person he wanted to see…
"Hello, son."
"Hi Dad."
"What are you doing up so late? I thought your grandmother insisted on having you in bed by 9:30."
"Dad. You know why I'm here. I never got to say good-bye to Mom… I don't want to miss saying good-bye to you. I want you to know that I forgive you for what happened."
Buster wanted more than anything to give his son a hug at that moment. His son was the smartest 8-year old he knew…and he wasn't just saying that because he was his father. He would miss his son… he would miss him more than life itself.
"I love you, son…"
"I love you too, Dad. Please tell Mom I love her when you see her."
Buster tried his hardest not to cry, as did his son. Before Buster could say anything else, they were told their time was up. Buster was escorted back to his cell. On the way back he remembered his son's birth…
* * * * * * * * * * * *

"BUSTER BUNNY I'M GOING TO KILL YOU!!!!!!!!!! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME???" Babs screamed out in agonizing pain.
"Come on, Honey… just a little bit more… you're almost there!"
"I don't want this kid to come out… it's too pa-A-A-A-A-A-A-Ainful."
"Would you rather our child come out as a teenager?" Buster joked.
"THIS IS NO TIME FOR JOKES!!! THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!!!"
"Come on Babs… we're almost through this."
"WE'RE? WHAT DO YOU MEAN WE'RE? YOU'RE NOT DOING ANYTHING! I DON'T SEE YOU TRYING TO PUSH SOMETHING THE SIZE OF A GRAPEFRUIT THROUGH A STRAW!!!"
"And to think this is WITH the drugs…" Buster joked.
"I'M GLAD YOU THINK THIS IS FUNNY! AAAAAAAAAAAUUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!!!"
Suddenly Babs heard crying…
"Congratulations, Mrs. Bunny… It's a boy!" said the Doctor…pulling the earplugs out of his ears.
"Oh my god! Buster… we're parents!"
"I know we are…mom." Buster said with a smile. "And I couldn't imagine a better person to be a mother."
"Now comes the hardest part… picking a name for our son."
"We’ve got some time for that…I'm going to leave you and our son alone for a minute. I'm going to go let everyone know you two are okay." Buster said with a smile
as he left the hospital room.
Buster entered the waiting room to a room full of his anxious friends.
"Well," started Shirley, "is she like, alright?"
"Yeah, Buster… what happened in there?" wondered Hamton.
"It's a boy!!" Buster announced.
When Buster made the announcement, congratulations came from everyone.
"So, when can we see the little tyke?" Asked Plucky.
"They should be okay now. Let me go check." Buster said as he poked his head back into the room. "You ready to show off our son?"
"Of course I am." Babs said, holding the newborn close.
Buster goes back into the waiting room.
"Come on in, guys."

One by one, they slowly filed into the room. They all looked at Babs and the newborn with awe.

"Aww, he is, like, so adorable!" exclaimed Shirley.
"He looks just like his father…" commented Hamton.
"So… what's his name?" Plucky asked.
"We haven't decided on a name yet." Buster said
"Well then, why not name him after his Uncle Plucky?" Plucky suggested thoughtfully.
"I don't think so, duck." Babs snapped back.
"It was just a suggestion," Plucky said.
Suddenly a voice came from the back of the room.
"How about Babster?" said a young male who looked like he'd been staring at a Linux monitor too long.
"BABSTER? WHAT KIND OF NAME IS BABSTER? NO SELF-RESPECTING SON OF MINE WILL BE NAMED BABSTER. WHAT KIND OF FREAK ARE YOU??" screamed Babs as she clobbered the young male over the head with the vase of flowers that was sitting next to her bed.
After allowing Babs a few moments to settle down, another voice rose from the back of the room.
"I have an idea for a name.," said Brainatra, walking towards the bed. "What do you think of Baxter"?
"Not bad... I kinda like it... What do you think, Buster?" responded Babs.
"I like it too... Baxter it is. Thanks, Brainatra!" Buster said happily.
Brainatra smiled and acknowledged them both. He couldn't be happier helping them name their baby.
Little Baxter thanked Brainatra by simply crying…

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Buster stared at the wall of his jail cell, remembering the crying. He couldn’t sleep hearing that sound night after night for at least 6 months… and he couldn’t sleep now, with his inevitable death no more than 4 hours away.
Buster had no idea how he’d be able to pass these last 4 hours of his life. He’d spent the last day remembering his life, but suddenly it seemed like he had nothing to remember. Had the time since Baxter’s birth been that uneventful? He knew there was the important stuff with Baxter’s life… his first word, his first steps, and so on… but nothing seemed incredibly important in * his * life…

Buster was suddenly startled by a noise outside his cell…

There was a new inmate being brought in, and the police were having problems getting the new inmate to his cell. Buster climbed out of his bunk and went to see what was going on. The new inmate was the guy who had been robbing residents of Acme Acres for the past 5 years.
"I remember reading about that guy in the paper. It’s about time they caught that jerk…" Buster thought to himself. Soon after, Buster began to think… "My house… it was robbed 3 years ago… I wonder… could this be the same guy who had broken into my house? Maybe I should place all the blame on him then… it was because of him that I felt the need to have that gun in the house. It's not right for someone to feel insecure in his or her own home… and after we had been robbed, I didn’t know what to do. I guess that gun was my way of making me feel safe. A toon gun… with toon bullets… the only way to kill a toon, not that I would ever really want to use it…on anyone…" Buster finished his thought and decided he would try to get some sleep…
Sleep… how could he do that… He’d be sleeping eternally in a matter of hours, so why waste his time with it now? Sleeping hadn’t been the same since Babs’ death… No longer having to share a bed with the woman I loved… it had been a long 12 months… Why did Babs’ have to die… why…?

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Baxter comes in to the room shouting, "Mommy, Mommy… you got mail! It looks important!"
Babs smiled and graciously took the afternoon mail from Baxter… the daily ritual that she had been enjoying ever since Baxter learned to hop on his own. It was always amusing, every piece of mail always looked "important." Half the time it was some stupid card from the magazine club asking why she hasn’t bought a magazine in the past 12 years…
"Well, look at this… it’s time for my college reunion already… it doesn’t seem like 10 years. Buster and I were married after a year graduated… Baxter was born 4 years later, and now he’s five… that would be 10 years. Well doesn’t time fly when your raising a little devil… and then having a kid on top of that!" Babs figured as she looked over the letter. Babs put the letter down and got back to cooking dinner… it was Carrot Casserole night.
Buster got home from work at 5, and, like clockwork, Baxter ran up to his daddy and gave him a huge hug.
"DADDY!" screamed Baxter.
"Hey there big guy!" said Buster, as he returned his son’s hug. "What did you do today?"
"Well, at school, Plucky Jr. made Wendy Woodchuck eat paste… Hamhock spent the day cleaning up the play corner… Monstrosity chased Lil Speedy all day, but that’s not new… Poketoon was a rerun today, it was the one where Clash found the weird WigglyFuzz and Team Flocket tried to steal WigglyFuzz from Clash, so mommy took me to the store and I bought a poster with all 2453 Poketoons on it… as well as a Pickaflu action figure, they were out of Maroof… then I went over to Billie’s house and we played on her swingset… and then I came home and brought mommy the mail and she got something important… and…and…"
"Gee kiddo, sounds like you had a busy day. Why don’t you go wash up for dinner?" Buster said, as he sent Baxter scampering off to the bathroom to wash up. Buster headed into the kitchen where Babs was putting the finishing touches on the night’s dinner. "Hi Honey, I’m home."
"So I heard… how could I not hear Baxter going on about his day?" Babs said with a smirk on her face.
"I really think he gets that from your side of the family."
"Well of course he does, Buster… you aren’t the fast talker… that’s me!"
"I know…I know… I do remember high school… vaguely. So, what was this important letter Baxter said you got?"
"Oh, it was nothing… just a letter from the old alma mater… it seems that my 10 year reunion is coming up soon. I’m not sure if I want to go, though."
"Aw, you really should go Babs. You haven’t seen your old college friends since you graduated and moved back to Acme Acres."
"Well… they are holding it at the Acme Acres Sheraton. It might be fun… I’ll think about it. Now, though, it’s time for dinner." Babs said as she set the plate down on the table. "BAXTER! It’s time for dinner! Come get it before we feed it to the dog!"
Baxter ran into the kitchen. "Please don’t give my dinner to the doggie Mommy… hey… we don’t have a doggie!"
Babs smiled at her son… it worked every time… they sat down and ate the carrot casserole Babs had spent the entire day making.
Baxter was the first one finished as usual. After he finished his dinner, he quietly spoke up… "mommy, daddy… would it be okay if I went and watched my Poketoon video tapes?"
"Did you finish your homework, Baxter?" asked Babs, being the good mother she was.
"You bet I did, mommy!"
"Then yes, you may go watch your videos," Buster finished.
"YAY!" shouted Baxter as he ran into the living room and put in the video…
"I really don’t get what the kids see in that show?" Buster said, after Baxter left.
"Well, you see Buster. There’s the show’s main character… Clash… he’s out to become a Poketoon hecatomb, however, you can’t become a Poketoon hecatomb until you contact them all."
"Um… what’s a Poketoon… and how many of them are you that you have to ‘contract them all’? …I really don’t like the sound of the contracting."
"A Poketoon is an infectious disease… and there are 2,453 of them that Clash has to catch before he can become a Poketoon Master," continued Babs.
"An Infectious disease… 2,453 of them… he’d be dead by then…"
"Well, the show’s catch phrase is ‘gotta contract them all.’ And I really think that it’s a harmless show. It’s not as bad as the JelloFlubbies"

Buster moves towards the door leading to the living room and just listens.
"Join Clash, Foggy, and Schlock 52 times a week as they journey to contract all 2453 strains of Poketoons!" said the voice coming from the TV.

"For some reason Poketoons really sounds familiar… was it in the news recently?" Asked Buster.
"Well, there were those 234 episodes that caused some seizures in children over in Disneyland… those aren’t airing in Acme Acres though."
"Hmm… wasn’t there a minister or something who took Poketoon toys and sprayed them with antibiotics?" Buster asked.
"Oh… you saw today’s paper, didn’t you? That was the front page story… apparently some minister… actually I think it was the minister who performed our wedding, said that Poketoons were evil and that society should be ‘cured’ of the menacing plague that is Poketoons. The minister was quoted as saying ‘This show promotes the contraction of fatal diseases as form of human sacrifice!’ and the crowd around him apparently responded with ‘He's lost it... it's just a harmless kiddie show!’ Interesting, huh?"
"I suppose," began Buster. "Maybe I’ll go sit in there with Baxter and watch it to see what it’s all about…"

With that, Buster got up and headed into the living room where he say down to watch Poketoon with his son. Babs staying in the dining room, sitting… staring at the invitation to the reunion.
As Babs was staring at the invitation, she started to think how great it would be to see all of her friends from College again. She hadn’t seen any of them in ten years. Babs made up her mind… she was going to go.

<forward two months>

The past two months had just flown by. Babs had completely forgotten about the reunion. Then, one day, Baxter comes running in with the mail…

"Mommy, Mommy! You’ve got mail! It looks important!"
"Thank you, Baxter." Babs said, smiling. Her smile eventually turned into shock. Baxter had just given her a letter from Michael. The same Michael she had gone out with in College. Why would he be writing her? She opened the letter quickly…

"Dear Babs,

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other, and I heard you were going to the reunion next month. I’ll be getting into town about a week before the reunion. I’d really like it if we could get together sometime before the reunion; there are some things I need to talk to you about. I’ll talk to you soon.
~michael"

Babs didn’t know what to make of the letter. She hadn’t spoken to Michael since they had broken up, and that was at least 12 years ago. Babs knew she didn’t want to tell Buster about the letter… and if Baxter mentioned the letter to Buster, she wasn’t sure how she’d get out of it… she could always say it was a letter from Mortimer.
Babs felt uneasy for the rest of the day, but she tried her best not to show it… all she had to do was get through the day and she’d be fine.

A few weeks had passed by… the reunion was next week and Babs was really looking forward to it. She had completely forgotten about the letter that she had received earlier.
Babs was vacuuming the living room when suddenly the doorbell rang.
"Who could that be?" Babs asked herself as she walked over to the door. She opened the door to see Michael standing outside her door.

"Hi Babs, long time no see," said Michael with a charming smile on his face. Babs just stood there. "So, are you going to invite me in, or do I have to break down the door?"
"Heh heh… sure, uh… come on in." Babs hesitantly opened the door and showed Michael into her home.
"Pretty nice place you got here. So, how have you been, I haven’t seen you since graduation. Been keeping yourself busy?"
"Well, um… after college I moved back here, got married, had a kid, you know… the usual stuff."
"Hmm… that just might make this all a little harder then…" started Michael.
"Make what a little harder?" Babs started to worry.
"Babs, I can’t tell you know. How bout we talk over dinner? Tonight… say around 7?"
"Uh… sure. I can get out of the house for a while. I’ll see you around 7… now get out of my house." Babs said as she pushed Michael back out the front door. Babs wasn’t sure what to make of the visit. She had known he was coming, but had made no attempts to avoid him. Why would she want to avoid him… and what did he mean by "that just might make this all a little harder then"? Babs certainly had reason to worry. What would she tell Buster? She couldn’t just leave for the night without a good explanation. How would Buster feel if he knew her old college romance was in town and had asked her out to dinner? Babs began to realize she was just being silly. She continued on with her usual routine.

The night seemed to go by rather quickly, and Babs was afraid of that. Soon enough, it was time for Babs to go and meet Michael. Babs was getting ready to go when she suddenly remembered, she hadn’t made plans to meet Michael somewhere. What if Michael showed up at the house? Babs finished getting ready and rushed to the front door… it was too late. There stood Michael, talking with Buster. Babs felt really awkward in the situation. She hadn’t told Buster about Michael for a reason, and now here they were, at the front door of their house, talking. Babs was scared.

"So Babs, how come you didn’t tell me you were meeting an old college friend tonight?" Buster asked.
Babs just stood for a moment. "Oh, you know… um… can we please discuss this later, Buster?" Babs wasn’t sure what to make of the situation at all. What had Michael told Buster? Did he say too much? Did he say anything at all? Babs knew that Buster could take things the wrong way. "Well, um… I’m going to be going now. Baxter is spending the night at my mother’s. The house is all yours. I’ll be back later. You don’t have to wait up for me."

* * * * * * * * * * * *

"You don’t have to wait up for me…" the words kept running through Buster’s mind. It was the last conversation Buster would ever have with Babs… the last conversation he would want to remember. He still had trouble believing what had happened after she had left that night. He had no idea what had possessed him to do what he did… but he did it…

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Buster thought nothing of the little "date" Babs was going on. Michael had mentioned to Buster that he was a friend of Babs’ from college. Of course, Michael had neglected to mention how much of a friend of Babs’ he had been in college.

Later that night, Buster was in the kitchen getting a snack out of the fridge. He noticed something hidden behind the breadbox. He figured it was something Baxter had hidden, so he picked it up and read it. While reading it, he noticed it certainly wasn’t Baxter’s.

Buster finished reading the letter and decided he’d find out who "Michael" really was. Fortunate for him, he knew where Babs kept her stuff from college. He checked her Freshman year stuff first, a yearly progression seemed the logical way to go about this. He noticed that Babs had held on to several letters from the guy that she had been dating… what was his name again? Buster really didn’t want to pry into his wife’s personal possessions… but he thought something was up. He read through one of the notes…

"Babs,

I’m sitting here in Advance Elementary Calculus right now… boy is that name ever an oxymoron. I just wanted to let you know how much I truly do love you. I know we will be together forever. I look forward to seeing you tonight on our date. I hope you will be wearing that outfit you know I love so much. I’ll see you at lunch…
Love always,"

Buster then got to the name at the end of the letter and read it with great fear… "Michael." Buster remembered now… Michael was the reason he had lost Babs in the first place back then. Buster continued to read through some of the other letters. As Buster continued to read through the letters, the hatred towards Michael he had since the day Babs broke up with him began to resurface. Buster wasn’t sure what would happen. There were many questions he wanted answered. What was Michael doing here… it was obvious… the reunion… but that wasn’t until next week. He must have had some other plans. Buster began to show the jealousy that he had worked hard at keeping pent up inside him.
Suddenly, he heard voices outside… Babs and Michael were back. Buster was worried, so he decided to listen in on the conversation they were having. He was determined to not lose Babs to him a second time.

Babs and Michael were standing outside the front door to Buster & Babs’ home. Buster was on the other side of the door listening to the conversation Babs and Michael were having. He had a bad feeling about what was going on outside that door.
"Babs, there’s a reason I wanted to talk to you tonight," Michael began. "Ever since we broke up back in college, I haven’t been able to have a stable relationship with anyone. You were the best thing for me Babs… I… I want you back. That’s why I came here. I came back hoping to be able to win you back…"

Meanwhile, on the other side of the door, Buster was devastated by the conversation he was hearing. Buster made his way into the bedroom safe and slowly reached for his gun… ever since their house had been broken into a three years before and the robber had held them at gunpoint; Buster felt it necessary to have the gun. He’d never used it though… he wasn’t even sure he knew how to operate it… but something drew him to that gun.
Buster always thought he could trust people, which is the main reason he forgot the gun’s existence. However, now that his marriage was in jeopardy… for the first time ever in their relationship, he didn’t know if he could trust Babs. He was about to make a move that would cost someone his or her life.

"Babs… every day for the last ten years, you’ve been the one I’ve wanted. I must have been blind to that back then, but I’ve never been able to get over you."
"Michael… I’m… I’m sorry… but…" Babs started.

Before Babs could finish her thought, the front door opened up. Buster stood there, unsure of everything, pointing the gun at Michael. "Get away from her." Buster said angrily. "GET AWAY! NOW!"

"Buster… I can handle this." Babs said. "Buster… calm down… nothing is going on."
"Babs. I lost you to this jerk once before, and it’s not going to happen again. Either he leaves now, or I pull the trigger."
"B-b-buster… you wouldn’t"
"Don’t tempt me Babs. It almost killed me all those years ago… and I’m NOT going to let it happen again. Now… I’m giving you until the count of 3 to …"
"C'mon, you really think he'd pull a loaded gun on me?" Michael said, in a cocky tone of voice
"Don't push your luck!" Buster says through clenched teeth
"I know the routine..." Michael began, "the husband is jealous, and who could blame him? So he pulls an unloaded gun from the closet to scare Mr. Handsome
away..."
"Michael, this isn't funny!" Babs said with the utmost concern
"Just wait 'till I get going!" He said as he pushes Buster backwards. "I'm not falling for it, so give it up! I'm back for what *you* let slip away first, and that's that!"
"Buster…Michael… stop it!" Babs screamed.
"1…"
"Buster!!!"
"2…"

Michael just stood frozen in his place. "This isn’t happening," he kept saying to himself over and over. He knew he had to move… but his legs were frozen in place.

"NOOOOOO!!! PLEASE STOP!!!!!"
"3…"

Suddenly it seemed as though time came to a complete stand still. Buster pulled on the trigger and the bullet flew from the gun… it was a slow motion sequence that would haunt Buster forever.
"NOOOOOOOO!!!!!" screamed Babs as the bullet flew through the air. As the bullet flew closer and closer to Michael, Babs realized she had to save Michael’s life. Buster had let his jealousy take over and Babs didn’t like what she was seeing. She then jumped in front of Michael… Buster was shocked…

"BABS… NO!!!!" he screamed… and in the blink of an eye, it was over. Babs was lying on the ground in a pool of her own blood. Buster looked at the gun in disgust, finally realizing what had just happened and threw it on the ground… he had just killed his wife… the one he had loved his entire life… "What have I done?" Buster asked himself, knowing full well what had just happened. It wasn’t long until the police arrived and Buster was arrested.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Buster was in pain. Remembering the details of that night… the night that had haunted him every night since it happened. He sat up in his bed… in a cold sweat.
"I’m sorry Babs…" Buster said under his breath, knowing that it meant nothing now. Buster had commited the crime, and had been sentenced. Now it was time for him to face the music… in less than 2 hours it would all be over. Buster would no longer feel the pain that had been haunting him for what seemed like forever.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Buster sat in the courtroom, waiting for the jury to return with the verdict. The trial had lasted several months. Many of Buster’s friends had testified; the minister who had married Buster and Babs testified as well. Michael also blatantly lied on the stand.
Buster’s attorney knew he wouldn’t be able to win this case, but he tried his hardest. The case was presided over by one of the toughest judges in the system…Judge Gookie. There was no hiding anything from him. Judge Gookie wouldn’t let anything get away, and Buster was sure that he knew Michael was lying. However, the verdict wasn’t up to the Judge to decide… it was all the jury. Buster was truly scared.
The jury slowly filed back into the courtroom. After hearing months of deliberation, they had finally reached their verdict.
"Would the defendant please rise," Judge Gookie said to Buster and his attorney. "Head Juror, how do you find in the case of Buster Bunny vs. the state of California?"
The head juror rose slowly… "Your honor, we, the jury, in the case of Buster Bunny vs. the State of California find the defendant, Buster Bunny, guilty, on all charges brought against him."
Buster listened to the juror as they decided his fate…
"Buster Bunny, this court finds you guilty of all charges. You will be sentenced to death by means to be determined at a later date. This court is now dismissed"

* * * * * * * * * * * *

"This court finds you guilty of all charges… guilty… guilty…" The words just rang through Buster’s head. That was truly the beginning of the end. Ever since that day Buster had been sitting in this jail cell, watching the world go by. He thought he had lived a good life. He was happy… but he still can’t figure out what had gone wrong. It was one of those things that Buster was never able to figure out…
Buster heard a rattling at the cell door. He knew it was time. Buster was slowly led down to a room where he would be executed. He knew it was time. He slowly followed the officer escorting him down to the area where the bathtub had already been filled.
Standing in the room was an executioner, and the same minister Buster had had so many encounters with in the past. The toaster that was going to be used to electrocute Buster was sitting on a stool next to the bathtub. There was a one way window in the room, Buster was unaware of the window… and who was on the other side.
Buster slowly sat down in the bathtub.
"You again? Why I didn't see this coming all those years ago..." wondered the minister to himself out loud. The minister soon started to give Buster his last rites. Buster sat in the bathtub and a solitary tear rolled down his cheek…
"I’m sorry." Buster was able to muster. The minister had just finished reading the last rites and the executioner slowly picked up the toaster. The toaster was slowly lowered, closer and closer to the bathtub.
As the toaster moved closer to the water, Buster started to become content with himself. "Goodbye…" he said, right before the toaster hit the water…

* * * * * * * * * * * *

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Babs woke up screaming. This had been the worst dream she had had in ages. It was too real, that was what had scared Babs the most.
Babs sat up in her bed and called Buster on the phone. "Buster, you’ll never believe this dream I just had…" and she started to tell Buster about the dream…

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Buster jumped up out of his bed… there he was… in the same jail cell he had been in for the past few months, asking himself the same questions… wondering the same thoughts… He had been having this same exact dream for months. However, today it would all end.
Buster was escorted out of the cell, just like he had been in the dream so many times before. Taking this trip almost seemed second nature to him.
He finally arrived in the execution area, and was seated in the bathtub. It was the same room that had been in his dream, with the same people, saying the same things.
The Minister finished the last rights, and the executioner prepared himself for the execution. The executioner slowly starts to lower the toaster into the bathtub… It was his first time performing the Toaster Electrocution, and wanted to make sure everything went right. Just as the toaster is about to hit the water, the telephone in the execution room rings…
"WHAT?!?!" screamed the executioner... "You've got a call from the mayor! Make it quick, I've been wanting to try out this toaster for months..."
Buster slowly picks up the phone. "H-h-hello...?" he says nervously into the phone.
"Buster Bunny? I'm not sure I know how to explain this but..." the Mayor begins as The door to the execution room bursts open. A certain pink bunny is there in crutches
"Buster!" Babs cried out
"Babs!" Buster says after a brief moment of utter shock. "But how? When? You were dead, I was at your grave!"
"Buster, you know about the family plot, don’t you? My mother has had that tombstone put up there for years. I’ll bet you didn’t even notice there was no date of death on the tombstone…"
"I… I never noticed that."
"I suppose this means I don’t get to test out my toaster now," whined the Executioner.
"But… but what happened? Normally you don’t get placed on to death row unless there is a body… we saw the body… and the death certificate." Buster started.
"I was dead… for a while. By the time I had gotten to the hospital… I was pronounced dead. I’m not really too sure what happened, but I remember waking up in a dark enclosed area, I had lost my memory, so I left Acme Acres. Somehow, my memory came back, and I remembered it all. Then I saw a headline in the newspaper ‘Buster Bunny’s Death Sentence to by Carried Out Tomorrow.’ I knew I’d be able to save you, so I came back… now here I am. Alive and well."
Buster was escorted back to his cell, where he would serve out the rest of his sentence. He always looked forward to his daily visit from Babs, who he knew was waiting for him back at home. It had all happened… but not the way Buster had dreamed. Buster had in reality shot Babs, not on purpose, of course, but it had still happened. All the events had unfolded in the same way… but the outcomes were very different. Buster knew he’d be out of jail soon enough, and that he’d have his loving family waiting for him.

The End

 

 

-----
Legal Stuff:

Heather Lockhare, Baxter Bunny, Wendy Woodchuck, Hamhock, Monstrosity, Lil Speedy, Poketoons, Pickaflu, Maroof, JelloFlubbies © Colin Feder.
Clash, Foggy, and Schlock © Romey, used with permission.
Most other Characters ™ & © Warner Brothers.

Many thanks to the following:
Romey (for helping me along with the story, and appearing as the Minister)
Harley & Brian (for appearing at Plucky & Shirley's wedding)
The Siren (for wanting to teach the Macadamia Nut)
Brainatra (for suggesting the name Baxter for B&Bs Son)
Christopher Walken (for being a really freaky guy)
Gookie (for appearing as the Judge)
Warner Brothers (for creating these characters for me to work with)

Any resemblance to the characters in this story and the ones who appear on the television program Tiny Toon Adventures is purely intentional.

Word of the Day:
Hecatomb = a sacrificed victim
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