DISCLAIMER: Nonlinear uses the characters of Buffy and Who Framed Roger Rabbit (and Bugs Bunny) for non-profit entertainment purposes, thank ye. The fic is in fact fictional and in no way meant to disparage real persons or organizations. Give them all a big hand for giving us these characters.
Jessica did not want this life for her son. She hated this dimension, but there was no going back. She had been fleshed out. She was a real girl, now. And it broke her heart when the toddler in the small California living room reached out to touch the grainy television screen and babbled at Bugs Bunny. If she had still been in Toon Town, if the Censor and the Studios hadn’t won, Bugs would have been a permanent fixture in Xander’s life.
She had hated Bugs after they took Roger away. Like it had been his fault that his Studio had her husband branded as plagiarized. Then one day Bugs had tunneled into her dressing room looking like hell. His registration was off, and he’d clearly been into the toner.
“Hiya, Jessie,” he had said. “You don’t wanna see me, but I had to—hic—had to be the one to tell ya. I tried to reason with the Studio. I begged ‘em. I loved Roger, I said. I loved him. He didn’t steal nothing; I taught him everything I knew. I didn’t want ‘em to do it. But—hic—who cares what a toon wants? No one fuckin’ cares.”
He was completely still except for the mouth and the tears. His large glossy eyes stared at her half-mast and swollen. “They had the trial and we didn’t even know. He and I were talking in the cell, remembering the good times, and all these humans walked in. Visiting time’s over, one said and they laughed—hic! It was a joke to them. They pulled me out, dipped
Roger right there, and they laughed. I tried to help him, but they held me back."
Jessica wanted to say something, anything, but he just kept babbling.
“I can’t get erased, you see. I’m the Studio's moneymaker. They own me. Hic. I don’t understand, Jessie. When did I become property? How could they do that to me? You know I did a runner, last year? Packed a bag and left on a Sunday morning. Took a—hic—a damned right turn on a street in New Mexico and ran straight into the Studio men. They put it in the script for Herr meets Hare.”
He put on his stage voice: "I should have made a left toin at Albukoykee."
He sagged. “Everybody laughed, and I died on the inside. After…they brought me back, I went nuts, screamed at the Studio heads. It’s my fault. I told ‘em I wouldn’t work, not if I was the last rabbit in Toon Town. And they had Roger arrested. I gave in, signed their new contract, and they still had him dipped.”
Bugs took out a glass bottle in a paper sack, seemingly from nowhere, but really from inside his coat. Jessica caught a flash of emaciated torso that matched his too-thin arms and legs before the fur coat slid back into place, giving the illusion of a well-fed exterior. “Hic! I had to tell ya, Jessie. I had to come and tell you I was sorry before—hic—before I did it.”
He raised the bottle just as Jessica’s eyes widened in horror.
“To Roger. To my son,” he toasted and poured the wine bottle full of Dip down his throat.
The original Bugs Bunny died in Jessica Rabbit’s dressing room in 1945. The Censor came after her before the memorial services had even finished. Why: she was a lewd toon, and she was a single mother. They wanted her Alexander. Valiant got her and her baby out. He hid them in the hidden Prohibition room of his wife Delores’s saloon, saying they could hide out until the heat died down. Valiant was a rare thing: a decent man.
The heat never died down. So Jessica ran to the only place she could think of.
She went to the Blue Fairy and said, “I wish we were real people. They couldn’t do this if we weren’t goddamn toons! I wish I was a normal, ordinary housewife and that my Xander will never have to stand by and let the people he loves die...like I have.”
And the Blue Fairy, with a smug grin Jessica could never understand, raised her wand and replied, “Wish granted. Take that, Miss Leporiphobia!”
After that bizarre statement, Jessica found herself in a small California suburb in 1982 with a sobbing baby, sans bunny ears and fluffy tail, and a husband with a drinking problem that made Valiant look like a veritable Quaker.
Jessica stood, left Xander to watch his grandfather’s antics on TV, and went to get a bottle. Not for Xander, but for herself. With that bottle and many others, she mourned everything Xander would never know, the rabbit he would never be, and in doing so missed his growth into a man.
A man with Technicolor dress sense and a love of cartoons.
A man who didn’t just stand by and let the girls he loved die.
A valiant hero.
An unapologetic comedian.
----Oh my God, I all but rated this story FR-7 by accident. No, no, and again: NO. Hope it was liked,