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Chapter 12 - Undercover

(1 of 5)
4 yrs ago, Dimmsdale tragically lost 10-year-old Timmy Turner. Now, it's covered by a darkness that's killing magic. Resurrected, Timmy returns to save the city, the world, and maybe even discover the truth about his death....

Chapter 12 - Undercover

Chapter 12 - Undercover

Oberon High School, one of many school-based hot spots for an anti-magic field. It looked normal enough, what with the tall brick building surrounded by trees, open, grassy yards for outdoor lunches, and a fairly decent fence to keep kids in and perverts out. Timmy looked up at it and frowned. What on earth was a pair of devices doing stashed in a high school? The elementary school was obvious; the younger the child, the better chance they had a fairy. It wasn't often that young teens had fairies, but Timmy supposed Crocker wasn't going to let anything slip by.

His plan that morning, cooked up after three days of being confined in bed by Wanda, was simple. Pretend to be a student, search the school for the traps and nullifiers, destroy them, then get out; he thought it was brilliant. Wanda, and even Cosmo, did not.

"What if they recognize you?" Wanda had pointed out as she and Cosmo put together a magically created breakfast for the three of them earlier that morning. The green-haired fairy had spent twenty minutes constructing a scale model of the Eiffel Tower out of bacon, and twenty seconds splattering it all over himself, which meant Timmy was spending the same amount of time cleaning up his godfather. "Technically, you're undead! What if the guys that hunt ghosts come here to hunt you?!" she went on worriedly and her hair poofed itself to resemble an electrified set of porcupine quills, "The guys from that one organization... the ones that have been chasing Caleb for years and started chasing Danny only a year ago... what if they catch wind of an immortal and decide to add you to their list?!"

"No one's going to know, no one's gonna find out. They've got their own problems to worry about." Timmy remarked confidently, finger-wrestling Cosmo for the fun of it, grinning as it took the fairy's entire grip to hold onto his index finger. He easily flicked it and pinned his godfather's arm to the tabletop. "Besides, Dimmsdale believes that I'm dead; my grave is in the cemetery to prove it, and it still has that dummy Caleb put together for me. Who's gonna bother to think that Timothy Neogene is really Timmy Turner when they can go dig that up and find 'my' ten-year-old body?" he added on and Wanda turned a faint shade of green to match her husband's hair.

"I wish you wouldn't be so graphic, Sport." she mumbled and picked up the pair of Fenton Phones they had used the night of the failed mission, "We'll be in New York to see what Caleb found out about that switch; call us with the Phones to wish yourself there when you're done." Handing him one of the earpieces, she added a shaky smile. "Please be careful, okay? We love you, you know that, and we don't want anything to hurt you." the fairy murmured.

"I'll be fine, Mom." Timmy had teased back and she winced.

In retrospect, calling her that probably wasn't the best idea, but it was too late to take it back and he was already standing in front of Oberon High with a backpack loaded with gadgets and bottles of liquids the android had insisted would be of assistance, and a homesick feeling that probably was the reason why he had taunted Wanda. With a sigh and shake of his head, he entered the high school, radar in hand to locate the devices. He hoped for a nullifier, something he could take out on his own without the aid of his fairies or the Battle Staff he'd left at home.

Pictures and stories of Cousin Danny's high school days did not prepare Timmy for the hustle and bustle of hundreds of teens crowding the halls. The chatter, the laughter both real and not, the scents of dozens of perfumes and colognes, it was overwhelming! Covering his nose and mouth to avoid breathing in the pungent air, Timmy ducked into the first isolated corner he could find. Too much noise, too many distractions; his head was throbbing painfully from the assault on his senses. If he didn't do something about the sensory overload, he was liable to just run out of the school in screams.

Concealed by both the shadows of lockers and his dark blue ensemble of jeans, boots and sleeveless turtleneck, the young immortal set to clearing the mess mentally. He closed his eyes, shutting out the bright colors of designer clothes and the latest fashions from The Gap's spring lineup, then let his mind drift as he relaxed into meditation. Arms folded over his chest, head bowed as his sense of self rose above the clutter of high school normalcy, Timmy felt the world fade into the background. The babbling, the aromas, the feel of dozens of people around him, it was all receding as he stretched for that perfect moment of nirvana, for that comforting little corner of the universe where he could curl up and be protected from the ills of mortal life.

"Nice necklace. Does it come in gold?" a girl's voice asked suddenly, breaking Timmy's concentration and bringing his awareness crashing back into the reality of the here and now. The urge to thrust his fist out in retaliation was only barely restrained; it took a fair amount of mana to support the zen-like state and this intrusion just wasted it all.

"No, it doesn't. It was given to me as a gift." he growled, opening his eyes to see a pretty face blink at him curiously. Timmy blinked back, then narrowed his eyes. She looked familiar; she sounded familiar, too. That hair, those clothes, those eyes; who was she?

"So it's a custom piece? Wow! That must have been really expensive!" the girl purred and flicked her hair back, "I'm Trixie Tang, queen of the A-List high school teens. Of course, you've heard of me." Timmy stared at her in disbelief. This was Trixie?! Four years hadn't hurt her at all! Was this because her home in the protected zone allowed her to keep her 'magic', her hopes and dreams? Had she been made immune to the depressive darkness that overshadowed the whole city? He slipped on the sunglasses that allowed him to see fairy godparents in their disguised forms and looked her over quickly. No fairy. So there wasn't any magic to help her cope with life.

If his death affected all of Dimmsdale to the point that even Vicky thought fondly of him, in her own strange way, then why didn't it do anything to Trixie?

"No. As a matter of fact, I haven't." Timmy finally answered, quelling the hurt for later. Trixie blinked again, this time startled by the response she received. "But if you're part of the A-List, perhaps you know of someone I am looking for." he went on, a plan forming in his head, "He goes by the name of Remial Buxaplenty."

"You know Remy?" Trixie asked and smiled, pulling Timmy out of the shadows, "Then you must be an A-List student! C'mon! Let me show you the popular spots!" They hurried down the hall towards a door marked with a golden star and painted a rich violet. Trixie opened the door and pulled him through, laughing with delight. "So what's your name? I haven't seen you here before." she went on cheerfully. Somehow, her voice was more irritating than Timmy remembered.

"Timothy Neogene." he answered curtly, looking for an excuse to escape his former crush, "And I'm kind of busy right now, so...."

"Ooh! I've heard of you! You're the kid who hangs out with that New York billionaire, aren't you?!" Trixie cooed.

"If you mean Trump, no. I doubt I'd want to hang around with him. Real estate tycoons are a bit too dull for my liking." the boy grumbled as they walked down a regally decorated hall. Candlelit chandeliers adorned the ceiling and provided the soft glow that lit the path, marked by a plush red carpet with intricate designs woven from golden thread.

"This hall is one of several used only by the popular teens." Trixie remarked, seemingly ignoring his prior words, "It's quiet and keeps us away from the unpopular people." She broke into another brilliant smile and waved at a pair of boys milling by a stoic waiter and his tray of delicacies. "Hello, Tad! Hello, Chad! I'd like you to meet Timothy!" she greeted brightly, dragging him towards the two boys, "Timothy, these are two of the top popular teens here in Oberon High, Tad and Chad."

Both young teens stopped their idle chatter to look Timmy over, searching for something about him that would warrant exile from the A-List and possible future exclusion into the bottom rungs of the social ladder. Timmy shot them both a warning glare. He was still hurt from Trixie's obvious lack of caring that he had died and was in no mood to be ridiculed for the amusement of others.

"I don't have the time for this." he growled, "Just tell me where I can find Remy and get out of my way." Tad and Chad stared at him in surprise, jaws dropping open at the blunt tone of voice he used, then pointed down another hall.

"He's in the afternoon break room. He's usually there for about ten minutes before he heads off to algebra class." Tad replied and smiled weakly, "Nice diss, though. Quality A-List material!"

"Timothy, right? Cool outfit. Tommy Hilfiger?" Chad added sheepishly.

"If I wanted designers, I'd hire my own." Timmy answered shortly and walked off, "And I told you I don't have time to waste on you." He had only gone several feet away when he learned that the plush carpet of the A-List hall worked against him as easily as it worked for him. "Hey!" he exclaimed as Trixie grabbed and hugged his arm, smiling brightly.

"Oh, do you really have to talk to Remy? Why don't we go to class and then have lunch together?" she purred, "I brought my personal chefs today. Did you bring yours?"

"I gave them the day off." Timmy muttered, "Now, will you let go of my arm?" Trixie dug in her heels, pulling back as he tried to move onward.

"Really, really!" she pleaded, "You don't want to bother Remy today! He's been grouchy ever since he had that weird break-in at his house!" The boy stopped and looked at her in confusion. That sounded like panic in her voice. Was Trixie panicking? Why? What did she have to worry about, living in luxury in a magic-rich safe zone? He thought that over, frowning. If that was the case, then maybe Remy's power, backed by his fairy's magic, was causing a pocket of stress for the other rich kids. Especially for those without fairies. That was something to look into later.

"I suppose Remy's security isn't as up to par as I thought?" he wondered aloud and Trixie shook her head.

"It's first-class, all the way. But someone got through and trashed his mansion about three days ago. He's been really sore since then." she whispered and glanced around, "To be honest, I'm glad someone got under his skin. He's been acting all weird and super-confident ever since that day."

"What day?" Timmy asked, putting on a puzzled and concerned expression even as he grinned internally at the mayhem he caused the blonde. If it was bringing him down that low, then it was worth the fog he lived through while trying to recover from that night. Trixie suddenly broke into another smile and shook her head.

"Break's almost over! Let's get to class!" she cheered and dragged him down yet another hall to a classroom door.

Class as a popular student was far different from class as an 'Other'. Timmy sat at one of the desks, studying the anti-magic device detector in his hands. The teacher had tried to take it away as well as demand his identity, but his name and a flash of a hundred-dollar bill got him off his case. Timmy made a mental note to request extra funding from Caleb; pretending to be an A-List student was going to be costly. He'd just handed off his grocery allowance for the next two weeks, and all that was left in his wallet was enough to pay off utilities if he kept dinners on Cosmo and Wanda's chore list.

"It's nearby. Probably in the science class lab." he muttered and tapped at the keys of the radar, "There's two of them; one is on the other end of the school. Crocker doesn't make this easy." Trixie sat by him, watching him with interest.

"What's that?" she asked, pointing at the device. Timmy tucked it back into the pouch at his side, ignoring the question. "You're so cold, Timothy." she added in a petulant tone, pouting as she gave him a puppy-eyed look.

"Maybe, but it doesn't compare to you, Ice Queen." Timmy grumbled, sitting back and closing his eyes for another round of meditation. Going undercover as a popular teen to get close to Remy and discover his connections to Crocker was going to be very unpleasant. Already he could feel his nerves fraying; to think he once obsessed over this girl! Back when she was a real person, with real feelings and a strange sort of affection for him that was manifested in slightly gentler oustings from Popular hangouts, Trixie Tang was someone he had placed on a pedestal in his mind. A goddess among girls, especially during an age where he insisted he had no interest in girls yet.

Timmy heard a faintly defeated sigh and tried to push her out of his thoughts. He turned his focus to his list of spells and ran through the incantations a few times. Despite his near mastery of just about all levels of healing magic, his offensive lineup was still weak and far from any amount of true leveling. The botched mission only confirmed his fears; as he was now, Timmy didn't have the power to free Dimmsdale. He could spend a hundred lifetimes smashing gadgets and gizmos, but in the end he would fail. Exactly how he wasn't sure, but he was positive he would fail his mission.

The bell rang for lunch and Timmy looked up at the clock to be sure of the time. Once the students and faculty were out eating, there would be no one to interfere with his sweep of the high school. He left the classroom with the other students, then darted away to escape Trixie as she called his name.

"For the love of God, go away!" he muttered under his breath and spotted a janitor's closet not far from the science lab. With a grin, he dashed inside and waited until he heard the girl's footsteps fade away. Lifting his arm, he tapped at the keys on the white band, bringing up the map of Dimmsdale. There was a great deal of gold now, thanks to Caleb and Danny Phantom, but those black spots, the locations of the anti-magic control towers, worried him. No, Crocker would not make the task of bringing down the field any easier.

"Well, I'd better get to work anyway." Timmy sighed and left the closet. The lab room was close by and empty, so he headed inside to start searching. Radar in hand, he began a scan of the room. Beakers and vials filled with strange liquids of various colors lined the tables and shelves. He smiled as an old memory surfaced, thoughts of Cosmo and Wanda screaming 'Do it! Do it! Do it!' as he worked on a science project bringing a much needed burst of warmth.

The radar beeped and he snapped out of the moment of reminiscing to study it. It was a few feet away, somewhere. Caleb was still working on perfecting the locator, and was forever blaming its inaccuracies on Crocker's erratic signals. Most of its problems lay in the fact that it used a mix of technology and magic to hunt down the devices, and it couldn't identify the signals as being from a capture unit, a nullifier, or a destroyer.

"Be a nullifier, please, be a nullifier." Timmy muttered, searching around himself for anything that looked out of place. One would think that an advanced piece of technology would stand out among the myriad of homemade science projects, but this was more proof that Timmy was not prepared for high school. Teenagers had more resources at their disposal than a bunch of ten-year-olds. "Man, how am I supposed to do this now?" he grumbled, scowling at one of the devices made by a student, "Stupid Crocker and his stupid pieces of junk!" It beeped at him and he lifted an eyebrow in return, glancing at the score-sheet by the assembly of mechanical parts. He peered at it more closely and whistled in surprise. "A.J.? Wow, he made this? I guess he just got into science a lot more than I remember...." he remarked.

The detector beeped again and Timmy left his old friend's project in favor of finding the device. He knelt to open the storage doors of the counters and lab tables, nudging aside jars, microscopes, and Bunsen burners in his search, muttering to himself in frustration. None of this was fair. One slip on the jungle gym, those infernal monkey bars in that confounded dome shape, and now he's stuck wandering Dimmsdale on an endless search and destroy mission for all eternity. And there was no one he could place the blame on for the whole thing; he was the one who wished Wanda and Cosmo would have the day off to do anything they wanted so long as it didn't involve him in any way whatsoever, he was the one who thought he'd be perfectly fine climbing those bars on his own to finally reach the top. He'd done it before, once, with the fairies' help.

And so there was no comforting pink helmet and soft green air mattress that day, and Francis sat like some behemoth king on top of the dome, chortling his pizza-face off as he shoved away other boys trying to climb the bars. His friends told him not to do it; as long as Mr. Glandular-Problem squatted up there, making his feeble attempts at a jungle call, any attempt to unseat him would end in disaster. Heck, even Tootie told him he'd be stupid to try it, but she'd root for him anyway if he did. But Timmy had been confident in himself, in the training that he'd received from his fairy godparents, and up the dome he went, willing to face even Francis for the chance to prove his ability to climb the thing and maybe curry a little favor with Trixie.

"Ugh! Finally!" Timmy growled, grabbing a silver case from within one of the storage compartments. Looking it over, he decided that it was definitely the nullifier unit. He snapped off the sensory array and studied it. "It can't sense me anymore, so it won't be able to nullify my magic." he murmured and brightened, "Hey! If I take this to Caleb, he can analyze it and improve the radar even more! I guess bringing him trashed parts doesn't help much, but if he's got a working nullifier, then he can really come up with some cool gear!" He shoved it into his backpack and checked the radar again.

The second device had moved.

"What the heck?! Is someone moving that thing around?!" Timmy exclaimed, baffled by the relocated spot on the radar screen. Determined to find out what was going on, he raced out of the lab and followed the halls, moving closer to the destination point marked by the radar. With the nullifier disabled, he was free to use his spells on whatever the second unit was, and he'd have to rely on them without the Battle Staff to do most of the physical wrecking.

The radar was leading him outside; Timmy could hear the other students milling about the yards and gathering points. Rather than burst through the doors and possibly get run over by Trixie, he chose to duck into another classroom and climb out the window. Dropping into the hedges that surrounded Oberon High, Timmy shed the backpack and leaned it against the wall for later recovery. Traps were dangerous things; triggering either the capture unit or a destroyer would set off a damaging chain reaction and he couldn't afford getting his gear and the nullifier destroyed. Once the second trap was history, he'd return for his pack and escape.

"Okay, now where is it?" Timmy muttered, heading out into the ocean of students. They were divided up into groups; the social ladder still ruled supreme, with the popular students gathered at the choicest spot in the yard, a tree-shaded hill that offered good view over the rest of the teens. The social outcasts, the 'Other' kids, were confined to a lowly bench on the outer fringe of the yard. He stopped to see them, and froze.

Chester McBadbat and A.J. Ibrahim, his two oldest and closest friends, sat there in their usual isolation, but Tootie sat with them, talking and laughing along with the older boys. How did that work? She was twelve; she shouldn't even be in high school! And when did she become friends with his friends? Was he that far gone in the past? Timmy watched them from a distance, heart twisting painfully. Chester and his eternal braces, he chatted excitedly as he gestured almost wildly; A.J. commented now and then, his focus mainly on a laptop he held, fingers flying over the keys; Sanjay in his glasses and forever optimistic smile sitting by them, pointing out things on the laptop screen; Elmer, the Boil Kid, barely putting in a word or two as he kept himself in a defensive posture. Timmy blinked; the boil wasn't on his face anymore, he noticed. Had it finally been removed? And was that his other pink hat Elmer was wearing? In all the days he'd lived, there had only been two pink hats Timmy ever possessed; one that he wore now in private for the sake of keeping some connection to his past, and the other he gave to Elmer long ago, to give the boy a dream to look forward to.

"If ever the real Timmy Turner fails to fulfill his duties, you will be the new Timmy Turner."

Guess he wasn't comfortable with the role.

And Tootie seemed normal enough, though she would often rub at her head and look distant, as if trying to recall something. Timmy slipped on the sunglasses and scanned her figure. There was Andromeda, her fairy, sitting in her lap in the guise of a geisha on the cover of a book. He removed the shades and sighed forlornly.

"I really miss you guys." he whispered, brief moments of their childhood adventures flickering in his memory, "Do you miss me too?"

"There you are!" Trixie's voice sang as she latched onto his arm again and began leading him to the hill, "I didn't see you at lunch! Where were you?"

"Business." Timmy muttered, thinking through a list of stories and excuses in order to get away. She pulled him to the table where the A-List students sat and introduced him to the group. He recognized Tad and Chad already; there was Veronica, the second most popular girl in school, with her cheerleader outfit and near manic obsession to become Trixie herself. That same manic obsession once included Timmy as well, as she harbored a secret crush that scared him more than Tootie's variation, more so as she had the potential to turn violent if she so much as thought he was spurning her. The rest were new faces he'd not paid much attention to, or were new to the city entirely. He tensed as he spotted Remy at the head of the table, lording over Populars and non-Populars alike. The blonde glowered at him, baring teeth ever so slightly; obviously, he recognized the young immortal from the night of the break-in.

"Our club is always on the lookout for cool new kids." remarked one of the newer boys, the glint of dreams to be fulfilled still shone in his eyes, "So your name is Timothy Neogene? It sounds oddly familiar." The Populars with dull eyes seemed to stiffen in anticipation, ready to tear into him if he suggested they use the 'sacred' name in its stead.

"I attended several social gatherings with Hounder in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Barcelona and Rome. The Italian Winter Olympics were the most amusing of them. Hounder was an unnamed sponsor for the American team." Timmy answered truthfully, glad that appearing at the boring parties finally came in handy. To be honest, the trip to Italy had been more of a treat, and one that Cosmo and Wanda had done on a spur of the moment. He'd wished for a fun retreat from the drab droning of Fortune 500 CEOs and the two whisked him off for a few days of watching the Olympics. The boy stared at him in surprise and Timmy smiled. "We may have passed each other there, but I'm not good at remembering the little details." he added coolly and the group as a whole relaxed, assured that they were in the presence of a true comrade.

"Hounder? I've heard he's richer than all of us combined and more reclusive than a Yeti!" Tad remarked in surprise, "How did you meet that guy?!"

"A family friend. I've known him for as long as I can remember." the brunet replied and shot Remy a challenging glare, "Though, honestly, I really don't care at all whether you include me in your little local club or not. I have more important things to deal with."

"And it's that attitude that guarantees you a place on the A-List!" Chad declared and the teens lifted bottles of soda in a toast. Timmy kept his eyes on the blonde overlooking them, frowning just a bit in restrained confusion as Remy picked up his backpack and pressed on the clip that held the front flap shut. At the same time, Timmy's radar sounded a double beep; the device it had been tracking just disappeared from the scanner.

"Ah?" he gasped softly, glancing down at the black hip pouch that held the radar. "The scanner's saying the trap is gone. It couldn't have left the campus, though; it was planted here for a purpose." he thought, puzzled, then narrowed his eyes at the blonde boy sitting at the head of the table, "The signal vanished when Remy pressed that clip on his backpack, and the detector reported earlier that the device had been moving. His backpack must be the anti-magic trap!"

Remy set the pack down and threaded his fingers together, smiling as he rested his elbows on the table and his chin on his hands, a mockery of Saturday morning cartoon villains. Set by him on the table was a purple candlestick, a gold crown logo emblazoned on the wax.

"You may be a part of our super-elite club, but I'm worried for the rest of my dear friends. It would be most unfortunate if they caught that awful cold you have. You know, with that runny nose, endless sneezing and hacking cough." Remy told him pointedly, smile growing wider. Timmy matched the grin. He already knew what was coming.

"Funny. I feel perfectly fine. I don't have a cold at all." he baited, running gloved fingers through his hair in a cocky gesture.

"Oh? Pity. I wish you did." Remy purred. The group waited in a tense silence, eyes glued to Timmy. Remy leaned forward in anticipation, smile growing wider with imagined triumph. Even Trixie swallowed and stepped aside from the brunet, her pretty Asian face paling further.

Timmy only smiled and folded his arms over his chest. This was kind of funny. Had Remy forgotten about his immunity, or was he just in denial about it? Maybe he should read Da Rules more often; Lord knows Timmy ransacked it constantly himself, searching cover to cover for a loophole, and quite often multiple times in the same day. Never knew when Da Rules changed until he made a wish and found it blocked.

"I said, I wish you did have a disgusting cold that would ban you from the A-List!" Remy hissed, eyes now focused furiously on the candlestick. A drop of wax dripped down very much like a sweat drop. Timmy made a show of yawning, then slid onto a corner of the table for a seat.

"Remy, Remy, Remy... wish all you like, it will never come true." he remarked lightly, "Don't you know? Not all wishes can be granted. There are rules to life, and none of them apply to me."

"Timothy, stop it. Don't cross Remy. He can do things no one else can." Trixie whispered in warning, eyes darting up to his face before dropping down to stare at the grass, her body stiff and arms held rigidly at her sides. Just from looking at her, the young immortal could feel a strangely hot energy, a compulsion to explode at something or someone and she was doing all she could to contain it within herself.

He couldn't help it; he gave her the same reassuring smile he had given Tootie, then turned back to eye the backpack as he gathered up the mana for a spell. The circle shone beneath him, hidden by the table so no one could really see it spinning just below their feet.

"Don't worry. He's not the only one," he murmured and mentally released the Lightning spell. Remy jumped aside with a cry as the bolt shot down and destroyed the trap hidden in the backpack. The other teens leaped away from the smoldering wreckage in shock, chattering excitedly as they crouched and covered their heads, scanning the skies in search of where the next bolt may strike. Trixie stared at the remnants in disbelief, wide eyes turning to stare at Timmy's face as he gave Remy a smug grin. "...with power." he finished and slid off the table with a satisfied sigh, "Strange weather we're having today, huh, Remy? I'd like to see you try to wish that away. Assuming, of course, you even have the influence to change the laws of nature." He waved a casual good-bye to the group, then walked away to reclaim his own backpack.

More mysteries now. Why would Remy carry around an anti-magic trap while Juandissimo was with him? What was he doing that kept the rest of the A-List from making any sort of stand against him? Why were the Dimmsdale rich kids just as miserable as the others if they lived in a safe zone? And Trixie was acting strange. He wasn't sure whether to be bitter about her lack of caring or concerned by her random shifts in mood and sides.

"I'll find out soon enough. More training and a better plan, and maybe I'll actually become the Hero Dimmsdale needs." Timmy murmured, then sighed again, this time more dejectedly as his shoulders slumped down, "Or I'll just keep screwing up until every fairy in this city turns to dust. Why can't being a Hero be easy?" He picked the Fenton Phone out of his pocket and clipped it to his ear, "Wanda? The anti-magic field on the high school is gone. I wish I was in New York with you and Cosmo."

He disappeared in a blast of smoke and magic, leaving only tag-along Trixie behind to watch in a stunned silence.


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