The Nightmare Before Christmas Fan Fiction ❯ Roots ❯ He Needs You ( Chapter 8 )
Sally sat there, quietly sewing herself up. She finished sewing her leg back together then knotted the thread and snipped it with the scissors. That done, she handed the spool to Oogie.
"How long were you listening?"
"The whole time."
"Eavesdropping is wrong, Sally."
"So is planning to kill the Holiday leaders," Sally shot back.
Oogie snorted. "What do you want? Why are you here?"
"Jack's upset, and you're the only one who can help."
"Jack's upset at me. What makes you think he'll listen to me?" the bogeyman muttered.
Sally frowned. "Do you know how much he loves you?"
"Yes, he does."
Sally reached into her pocket and pulled out something that made Oogie freeze. It was a crude rock carving of a grasshopper. The kids were confused, but Oogie gently took it and studied it.
"After all these years…he kept it?"
"Yes. He did. He keeps it on his bedside table. He touches it often. He was reluctant to tell me where he got it for a long time, and when he finally did…It was the first time I've ever seen Jack cry." Oogie shifted, looking wary. Sally pressed on. "He loves you, Oogie. It's something I don't understand. He doesn't want your trust, your presence, your advice." Oogie frowned, but Sally held up a hand before he could speak. "He doesn't want it. He needs it. He needs you."
Oogie shrugged miserably. "He'll get over it. He always does."
"No, he won't. He never has. He's repressed it maybe, but he's never gotten over losing you. Any of the times he's lost you."
The bogeyman frowned. "Then why hasn't he sought me out? I'm always the one who tries to patch things up, and it always blows up in my face!"
"I can't answer what I don't know. Talk to him, Oogie. Please. Talk to him."
"Why? To bring citywide panic? They can't stand me in town."
"Which means it's past your bedtime," Oogie growled at the kids.
"Hey, we had a reason to be up!" Shock said importantly.
"Well…get to bed. I guess I'm going to Jack's house."
"Thank you, Oogie," Sally said gratefully.
"I have a question," the bogeyman said as they ascended from his rooms.
"You can understand Gaelic?"
"Um, a little. I can't understand all of it. Once Jack and I started courting, the doctor began giving me some lessons. 'Just in case,' he said. I didn't understand what 'just in case' meant until four hours ago when Jack walked into our house as a human."
"Yeah. He can't speak English in human form."
They fell silent and made the trek to Jack's house without anymore talking. To Oogie's great relief, they met nobody along the way. Oogie walked up the steep stairs unsteadily. Sally had stayed on the main floor, so they could have some privacy. Jack was lying in bed, curled in a ball. He looked so young, so unsure. Oogie swallowed and moved over to sit on the bed. He played with his pointed for a good five minutes before he had enough courage to speak.
"Jack? I know you probably are gonna hate me for the rest of our lives, but please hear me out. When I told Hecate all that stuff about you, when I planned to kill you and the other Holiday leaders, I was…very, very, very drunk. Please believe me. As much as I want to hurt you sometimes, I would never want to kill you. I-I love you too much. I swear I do. So…that's it. That's what I wanted to say. I-I'll just leave now. Never bother you again."
Oogie was about to stand up when a hand grabbed his arm. He stiffened, turning to look at Jack. The boy was crying as he crawled over and cuddled into Oogie's lap. Oogie let out a breath in relief, curling his arms around Jack. He lay back on the bed, holding him close. Jack sniffled.
"Why were you talking to that bitch?"
"She checks on me every once in a while. I fascinate her, or something like that. And, like I said, I was drunk."
"Don't talk to her again, Oogie. She is not worth it."
They lay there quietly, Oogie stroking Jack lovingly. After an hour, a shy noise sounded out at the entrance to the bedroom. They looked up to see Sally.
"Is everything alright?" she asked hesitantly.
Jack nodded. "Yes."
"Good. Good. I made food."
Jack smiled, looking up at Oogie. "Hungry?"
"No, smartass," Oogie snorted. "But I'll eat to be polite."
"Ooh, the bogeyman being polite! That really is a surprise!" Jack teased as he stood.
Jack laughed jovially. "Oh, how I love you, dear friend!"
Sally glanced back, feeling a little hurt. Jack noticed and snagged her, twirling her around until she was dizzy then pulling her close.
"And I love you, my beautiful wife," he said huskily, capturing her lips tenderly. She looked shy again, blinking up at Jack with her big eyes.
"I love you, but I don't know what you called me."
"He called you his beautiful wife," Oogie translated as they attempted the stairs.
They were too steep for the bogeyman and he gave a yell as he slipped down them. Sally and Jack ended up on top of him on the floor in the main room of the boy's house. Jack was laughing so hard he couldn't breath properly, while Sally was concerned.
"Are you okay, Oogie?"
"Peachy," Oogie muttered in embarrassment. He shoved Jack off of himself violently, but allowed Sally to stand herself.
"Aw, c'mon Oogie. That was funny!"
"No, Jack, it wasn't."
"If it was just the two of us?"
"If you're bothered because I'm here, don't be. I'm not the most balanced person in the world," Sally said kindly.
"I prefer elevators to stairs," Oogie said, smiling at her.
"Well, Creepy, I'd have to say I like your wife."
"Those closest to me seem to be made of cloth," Jack said with a laugh.
"What does that tell you about your preferences?" Oogie teased.
Jack smiled, but his stomach suddenly rumbled. "Food," he said with a nod.
"I made some worms' wort soup."
Jack paused then looked at Oogie. "Now would be the perfect time for you to tell me how to become a bone man."
Oogie looked away. "I don't want you to hate me…"
"I won't. I promise I won't, Oogie."
The bogeyman glanced at Sally then sighed. "You're never going to let it go," he realized sadly. "Fine. I eat you."
Jack blinked. "What?"
"Well, not me. My bugs. They eat you down to your bones. That's how you become a bone man. I didn't tell you because I thought you'd be disgusted and horrified and never want to be my friend again."
"I swear my bugs eat you! That's how—"
"No. Not that. That you would think that I would never want to be your friend again. I love you, Oogie Boogie. You're my best friend in the whole wide world. Just because your bugs think I'm tasty, that doesn't mean that I'm going to hate you. Now, let's turn me back into a bone man."
"Jack, it's really painful."
"Like I care?" Jack asked as he stripped his shirt off to reveal his sliced up chest.
He pulled off the kilt and then slipped the trousers off. Oogie gestured for Sally to come over.
"It gets really bloody, and getting bloodstains out of cloth is a pain." Sally nodded, and Oogie took a deep breath. "Ready, Jack?"
"Yes, Oogie. I'm ready."
The bugs shot out of the split seems, sensing Jack's permission. They ate and ate, and Sally watched in fascination. When there was no flesh or blood left, not even on the floor, the bugs rushed back into Oogie, who sealed himself back up and stood there looking hesitant. Would Jack remember this time?
Sally hurried forward and helped Jack to stand. His bones were pretty much sparkling white, and she found herself attracted to his naked form. He looked good…
"Wow. I can actually remember what happened!" Jack said cheerfully.
"Jack! You can speak English again!" Sally exclaimed.
"Of course I can, my love!" Jack declared, pulling her close. "I am no longer human!"
"You might want to put some clothes on," Oogie said with a snicker.
"Like you care?" Jack said with a laugh. "I used to run around naked all the time! Oh, the doctor caught me so many times! 'You must put clothes on, Jack! You can't just run around naked! What happens if other people come here, hm?'"
The two cloth beings laughed hard at his spot on impersonation of Dr. Finkelstein.
"Oh, that's good, Jack! I didn't know you could do that!" Sally gasped in delight.
Jack grinned then continued his impersonation. "Of course, Sally dear. Now, go get my scalpel. I need to deworm Igor again."
They both laughed until tears were streaming down their faces. While they were recovering, Jack went upstairs and put on some pants and a shirt, but didn't bother dressing up fancy. He didn't want to, and in front of these two, he could be as casual as he wanted.
They sat down to eat in companionable silence. Jack swallowed the last of the soup in his bowl then sat back.
"Sally, I'm going to teach you Gaelic. The kind that I speak when I'm human."
"Oh?" Sally asked, stacking the bowls and carrying them to the sink. "What brought that decision on?"
"Even though I was miserable, I could tell you were getting frustrated about not understanding me. I aim to fix that."
"I'm not a very good student, Jack," she said in embarrassment.
Jack winked at Oogie then crept silently up behind her. She turned to see why he hadn't responded, giving a little scream when she saw his grinning face staring right at her not even three inches away.
"I can think of a few…rewards," Jack purred, wrapping his arms around his wife. "Or even punishments, if you'd prefer to call them that."
"J-Jack…" Sally said softly, glancing at Oogie.
"I've missed you, Sally," Jack whispered, tracing her hip.
"Jack, we have a guest…"
"Don't mind me," Oogie said dismissively. "I should go before the others wake up."
Sally shook her head. "I-it's late, Oogie. Jack can just wait on what he's thinking. You can sleep down here."
"Sally, I really don't mind walking home," Oogie said.
"No! I'll make you a cot on the floor down here."
"Or he could sleep in our bed. He's very soft. That way, I don't try anything with you."
Sally looked at him like he had a second head. "You want him in our bed."
"Want is a strong word. I would prefer it to be just the two of us."
"Well then what exactly are you saying?"
"What he's saying, ragdoll, is that if I'm not, you two are going to be doing things that will embarrass you, as I will still be in the house."
Sally paused, looking Oogie over. "Jack…"
"He wouldn't do anything without both of our express permissions, I assure you Sally," Jack promised.
"Jack mentioned once that you're a screamer," Oogie said with a grin.
"Oogie, I will kill you," Jack said in Gaelic, but, to his surprise, it did the trick.
"Fine. You and I can take the elevator. Let's go. I'm tired."
Jack couldn't help but chuckle as he ascended the stairs. Oogie had a way with females that he just didn't have…Okay, he had it, but Oogie actually understood it, whereas Jack was left fumbling in the dark. He didn't bother getting into his nightgown, instead getting the bed ready by pulling back the sheets. Sally and Oogie were there in thirty seconds.
"That thing needs oil," Oogie said plainly.
"I'll do it tomorrow morning," Jack said as his friend situated himself on the bed. "Come along Sally."
"It won't hurt him, right?" Sally asked, hesitantly laying down on the burlap man.
"You're very light, my dear," Oogie said. "I can probably take Sandy's weight if I had to. I'm very durable."
Jack wasn't hesitant at all, leaping on Oogie like he was the bed. Oogie gasped.
"Damn you, Jack!" he laughed, curling an arm around him and pulling him to lie down.
"Damn yourself, bogeyman," Jack snickered, reaching over and holding his wife.
Sally giggled. "Dr. Finkelstein had to curb his own tongue once he made me. He was used to cursing anytime he messed up. But when I came along, he suddenly found cursing to be a bad habit. If I'm around, he still punishes Igor for it."
Jack laughed. "That should be the first Gaelic I teach you, Sally."
"Oh, really?" Oogie asked, subconsciously mirroring his hold on Jack on Sally. She jumped and he immediately removed his point. "Sorry."
"It…surprised me," Sally said.
"Sorry," he repeated.
"He's probably gonna end up holding you anyway," Jack said softly. "He's a cuddler at heart. Just don't tell anybody else."
"If all he does is hold me, I'm fine with it. Now, turn off the lights so we can sleep."
Jack reached over and pulled on the chain. The room dimmed, only the fireplace providing any light. Sally found herself quite comfortable.
"He is soft," she mused quietly. "Who would've thought?"
"Nobody. Not very many people get to touch me," Oogie said in the same soft voice. Jack's breathing was already deepening.
"Are you that scary?"
"I can be. Remember, 'I am the shadow on the moon at night, filling your dreams to the brim with fright.'"
She giggled at the reference to their yearly song. "Does that mean I'll have bad dreams tonight?"
"Maybe," Oogie said with a snort. "Depends on if you like scary dreams."
"Depends on the kind of scary," she admitted. She paused. "You're not so bad, you know. I don't know why everybody hates you."
Oogie sighed, tightening his grips on Jack and Sally. "It's complicated."
"I'm not very smart, but I'll listen if you want."
"Well…Jack's been mad at me for a long, long time. Everybody likes Jack. Ergo, everybody is mad at me."
"Doesn't seem that complicated."
"It feels complicated," Oogie said miserably. "I love Jack. He's my best friend. We've been through so much together…and so much apart. I can't lose him again, Sally. I can't."
Sally sat up slightly to see tears gleaming in the firelight. They weren't tears of joy this time. She kissed his cheek, tasting the salt of his pain.
"It's okay, Oogie. Everything will work out. I promise it will. Goodnight."