ProfNigma Stories #10: It’s All Been Done #1iCarly/Victorious: It’s All Been Done #1[Warning – there is no sex in this story, please don’t hate me for that, but I hope you enjoy it nevertheless]November 28, 20131:43 AMVega HouseholdFreddie took a deep gasp as he jerked awake in the bed, awakening from one of the worst nightmares of his life. He turned and saw Jade laying in the bed next to him, and breathed a sigh of relief. Last time he saw her she was bleeding out and he was searching for help. But as he looked at her a second longer, he realized that she looked different- the streaks were back in her hair, which was a bit darker. And then he saw that this wasn’t their bed either.In fact, the whole room seemed wholly new and strange, but there was something that was still a bit familiar about it. It was pink and purple, and clearly the room of a teenage girl. Freddie leaned up more and looked over, seeing that, just past Jade’s side, there was another body in the bed. A slimmer brunette whose naked tan back was turned to him. It was like a flash of memories that came flooding back to him, and he knew exactly where he was.He carefully slipped from the bed, causing Jade to elicit a small groan, and after searching the dark floor with his hands to find male clothing he had to assume was his, he checked his pants for his phone, but what he found was something outdated. He nearly dropped it when he saw what was on the cover of the phone’s home screen- today’s date.Or rather the date nearly 7 years ago, which was clearly the current date, given all the information- Jade’s appearance, this room, which was clearly Tori’s, and even all the outdated stuff. And he knew when this was as well. This was the Thanksgiving break. The one which was supposed to be the three of them exploring and having fun with absolute freedom. What it actually was, was the moment that things changed for Tori and the two of them. The moment they lost her, and the girl lost part of the spark that made her so special.Freddie’s mind raced to Tori’s fate in his dream, somehow surviving with Spencer’s daughter… who didn’t even exist just yet if this was real life. He slowly took several deep breaths as he closed and opened his eyes, hoping he could wake up from what had just happened in his mind.He made his way from the bedroom down the stairs to the kitchen for something to drink, his mind racing with what this was and questioning what was actually real in his life.”If you’re wondering what’s real, you’re probably right…”Freddie nearly leaped to the ceiling from the surprise voice in the darkened house. He quickly prepped himself to fight whoever was speaking from the shadows.”Relax,” said the voice, who was sitting in the chair facing away from the front door. “I’m not here to fight you and for all intents and purposes, I don’t want to hurt you.””What…” Freddie managed, the voice seemingly moving. “Who are you and what do you know… what’s going on with me.””That’s actually a bit complicated, and… actually, let me turn on a light for you,” the voice said, his silhouette showed through the moonlight in the door. “But I will warn you that my appearance is a bit startling at first. Just a head’s up.””Just tell me who… or what you are!” Freddie said, loud enough to wake the girls, but that was the least of his worries.”I will… and don’t worry about Jade and Tori. They are not a part of this conversation. This is something for the margins.” A lamp came on by the chair and barely lit the room, but what Freddie saw facing him… or something like that… nearly gave him a heart attack.It wasn’t that the guy was wearing a nice suit or that he was a decade older that threw him off; it was something far more insane. The man with the voice had no face. No eyes. No nose or ears. Not even a mouth.”Whatwhatwhat… how are-“”Let’s not make a big deal out of this, alright Freddie?” the faceless man said, holding a coffee cup and taking a sip, and the liquid inside just dis-appeared into the blank canvas. “We have to discuss some things, and after the hell you just went through, I think you deserve to understand some things. But before I tell you this, I will give you the option of going back to what you may call reality.””What… how… what is reality?””Ah, now that’s a good question…” the man said, his voice sounding excited, but there was no way to actually tell under the circumstances. Be-cause where you are now, and where you were before… on that island… are both technically realities. Possible worlds. While this is a point in time where divergence can and does happen, that island was the same way… just further down the timeline.””You’re hurting my head…” Freddie said, crumbling onto a stool in the kitchen. “Can you answer my question without being cryptic?””Fine,” the man said, annoyance in his voice. “You have all these memories and thoughts and experiences from the last 6 or so years after this time right now, right?””Yeah…” Freddie said. “With my engagement to Jade, my job, and all the other stuff with it and everything.””Well, none of that exists just yet because that’s not where we are.” The man stood up and seemed to move around the room without taking steps. He just floated an inch off the ground, pointing and sliding his hands along the windows and table edges. “So, if you want, you can go back to desperately trying to save your fiancée in your time right now. Where all your friends and loved ones are dead.””There’s gotta be an ‘or’ coming because there’s no reason I would choose that,” Freddie said defiantly approaching the faceless floating man. “Who are you, anyway? What are you… or why are you saying and doing this?””There is an ‘or’ coming, and it carries a great weight, so I would suggest really thinking about what this choice could cost you.” The man stopped, and allowed his feet to touch the ground, looking Freddie in the eye… or at least where his eyes would be. “As for who I am… my name is The Illusory Gentleman, or Ill for short. And as for why… I’m here because mistakes have been made… and as your god, I’m here to fix them.”* * *Freddie was running for his life on the shore of Schneider’s Island, arms burning from the rowing, and the dull ache in his wrists from being hand-cuffed.”Anyone!’ he cried out. “Is there anyone here?! I NEED SOME HELP!”He had no idea how long Jade had left, knowing that bleeding was not going to fix itself and she didn’t have long even with his makeshift tourniquet. Freddie raced on his sore legs, hoping to flag someone down for some help, and after nearly two minutes of running, he saw a person atop a nearby ledge. It looked like sinop rus escort he was wearing a suit, and had short brown hair.”You!” he called out. “Can you please help me?””You can’t even help yourself,” the man called back, not turning around. “How, with all of this, can I help you, of all people?”Freddie shook his head, unsure what to make of this nonsense. “I don’t understand… whatever you want, I will give it to you… I just need some help. My girl… my wife… is bleeding out on the small island out there. She needs medical help like right away.””I know…” the man said, “And you’d give anything to help her?””No question,” he said, getting really impatient with this strange man.The man turned around to face Freddie and the young man nearly fainted as he stared into a pale featureless face. “Fantastic,” the man said, before stepping off the high ledge above Freddie.* * *”You’re the guy…” Freddie stammered, everything making some sort of sense at last. “You were in my dream… on the island.””Yes…” he replied, “but the dream part is entirely up to you. You said you’d give anything to save her, and this is where the bargain lies.””Stop bullshitting me… what the hell is going on?!” Freddie said, definitely loud enough for the girls to hear.”The offer is this. This day that we have just begun; not even two hours into it, is a big turning point for your life. Things change here, and some-one you needed by your side wasn’t there.””If you’re talking about Tori, then you’re wrong. She was still around… and she survived in my dream as well.” Freddie stared at the faceless man, eager to hear this explanation. “How is that losing her?””I never said losing. I just said she wasn’t by your side when you needed her to be,” the faceless man said. “This is the day that you crush her spirits and her ability to believe in love, and it costs a lot of people a lot of things. But before I say anything else, my friend, I need you to say it, 100% that you are willing to give up everything from your life the last 6 1/2 years.””Will I save Jade?””From dying on that island? You bet.” The man casually sat down back in his chair and resumed taking a drink from his cup. “In fact, unless you take a drastic turn, I don’t see you ever going to that island.””So what about what I know now…” Freddie looked pensive for a moment, reflecting on everything that had happened. “What about my dad, about Carly… about who my f*mily really is.””You can keep your memories, though I can’t imagine why you would want to. Better off filing them away as a bad dream.””But they still happened, right?” Freddie said, taking a deep sigh. “My biological f*mily is made up of two psychos and a deadbeat. Great.””Well… think about it this way,” the man said, crossing his leg over his knee. “If you have it all to do over again, what would you do differently?””Everything, of course…” Freddie blurted. “I’d never go there, I’d have stopped the killer before she did anything, I wouldn’t have slept with Carly, and-“”Little late for that one…” the faceless man said, with what sounded like a chuckle. “So, what I offered you that chance?””To do it all over again?” Freddie said confused, pinching himself just to be absolutely positive this wasn’t a dream.”From this moment on… do we have a deal?””I just want to know what this day of all days has to do with it. And why this involves Tori,” Freddie said, plopping down on the couch near the strange man. “And then I think we have a deal, Mr Ill””I mentioned that this is the day that changes things…” he said, setting his drink down. “If Tori and Jade were still so close, who do you think would have planned her wedding?””Tori would have…” Freddie said, slowly nodding. “Which means Carly wouldn’t have been involved at all.””That’s part of it…” Mr Ill said, with a tone that almost sounded like a smirk, “but there’s something else as well, but we can discuss that in a bit after you’ve made the call official.””And you promise that all of my friends and f*mily will be safe and alright if I agree to this?” Freddie said, feeling more and more uncomfortable with this… like making a deal with the devil.”Of course not…” he shook his head. “No one can guarantee anything ever. But I can tell you that your, and their, story won’t end up like what you just experienced. Is that enough?””Is this worth my soul?””Of course-” the man paused for a moment. “Wait, what? Your soul? You think that’s what I want?””This seems like some kind of demon deal or something like that… I don’t know,” Freddie said, throwing his hands up in frustration. “What exactly do you want?””To tell a story, Mr Benson… just to tell people a story.””Then yes… I can’t go back to what happened on that island… leaving Jade like that… letting it happen.” Freddie closed his eyes for a moment before getting out of the seat and extending his arm to the stranger. “Mr Ill, I want what you have to offer.””Great,” he said, pulling a briefcase out of mid-air. “Glad you made the right call. I knew I wasn’t quite done with your tale just yet. A soul? Really? Ha… what would I want with a fictional character’s soul?””Wait, what?” Freddie said, flabbergasted as to the words that were just uttered. “How the hell am I a fictional character?!””Free will.””What?” Freddie shook his head.”That was the price for your desire to avoid what happened in that Island situation,” Ill said, pulling a laptop out of his bag and opened it up and began to type.”So you’re just going to tell me what to-“”Freddie immediately stopped talking because he needed to know what this stranger had to say,” the man said as he typed, and Freddie was actually stunned that he couldn’t speak, and within a moment, he no longer had the desire to. “Neat party trick, right?”The Seattle-born teen simply nodded.”I don’t want you to get the wrong idea, k*d… I’m not here to puppeteer your whole life,” he said, before moving his head side to side as if he was rethinking that statement. “At least, not exactly. I’m a writer.””Of what?””Mostly romance, but as you’ve no doubt experienced, I’ve dabbled in horror and suspense a bit as well.””Wait…” Freddie said, his fist clenching. “Did you write or create or whatever what happened to me? The murders of my friends and f*mily?””Yes, but, it’s a bit more complicated than that and-“”Did you create me?””Now that…” the man clasped his fingers together and seemed to stare into Freddie’s very being, despite being eyeless, “is a very good question. The short answer is no. You were someone else’s creation… for a k*ds’ show actually. Well it was aimed at k*ds but there sinop rus escort bayan were some pretty adult jokes and references along the way and-“”So what is… this?” Freddie asked motioning between the two of them.”This,” he motioned back, “is the product of boredom mostly. Fiction based off of fiction. Fanfiction, if you will.””I know what that is,” Freddie said slowly, looking around for a moment. “Like the Galaxy Wars stuff I wrote in high school where the fleet commander is stranded on the planet of the women who are gorgeous, and he… wait a minute… why the hell am I telling you that?””Because I just wrote that you did. Specifically ‘Freddie over explains and reveals his nerdom and that he also wrote erotic fanfiction.'””You still haven’t explained why any of this is happening… or what I have to do with this fanfiction concept.””This is the part I was telling you about free will, and how this is the price, because once I tell you this, there’s no way for you to un-know it.” Mr Ill sat up and set his computer on the table before floating over to the window. “You are a character in a story. What I write goes, and while those around can and will react as if this was real life, this peek behind the curtain will assure you that what they are doing is not that. They are following a script I write, doing the things I choose for them to do. You’re no different… or at least you were.””How am I not? You are still controlling me, making me say things, right?” Freddie said, moving toward the window as well.”Technically yes, but what you just did there… moving to the window with me… I didn’t write that. Or think it. You did that all on your own. Free will.””So…” Freddie moved around the room, feeling a bit different, and for the first time, entirely unsure of what was going on here, “your price wasn’t taking my free will away… because I never had it. You’re giving it to me. Why?””Because I made a couple mistakes, obviously,” Mr Ill said, with a sigh.”You killed everyone.””No… Not that. I was actually always considering that that’s how this could end for all of you, pulling the two shows in for a massive bloodbath,” Mr Ill casually touched his face. “I was writing happily about you and the others having and sharing experiences, usually of a romantic nature together, and I just got bored. This chapter we’re in now is when I screwed up. I made you and Jade ‘break up’ with Tori, in a pretty shitty way, which she never got over, and yada, yada, yada. But what really got me upset, was losing readers and bad reviews.””Not the happiness or lives of people, but that people didn’t like what you did?” Freddie was utterly astonished. “You’re a real asshole.””Believe me, I know, but this is how I’m going to make it better. With you, and not me necessarily, at the helm of what you do, perhaps you will make the right choice.””So we’ll all act as free people? How does that work for you as the writer?” Freddie said, just going with this idea even if he couldn’t wrap his brain around it.”It doesn’t, and no, you won’t.” Mr Ill floated back to his chair and settled in before grabbing his computer. “This is where the burden comes in. I’m not done with the stories here, and too much free will and I can’t control the flow of action or people. So everyone else… the world around you, is my fiction. Mine to do with as I wish.””Until someone says they don’t like it and bruises your ego, right?” Freddie fired back snarkily.”Don’t get ahead of me, k*d. I shut this thing down, and you’re back on the island… and if I so choose to erase the stories- you’re nothing.” Though he was faceless, Freddie could still see the slight redness on the face from his growing anger. “Hang on a second…”For a moment, Mr Ill faded out, like a flickering light that seems only seconds away from going out for good. After nearly a minute of simultaneously being there, and not, he reappeared.”What, uh… what that?’ Freddie asked.Mr Ill would have rolled his eyes if he had visible eyes. He huffed out with barely checked annoyance, “That was another writer trying to get his say in on this… an annoying ‘glass half full’ optimistic pain in my ass douche of a ‘god.’ He’s the one behind Jade’s dream about you living with her during your senior year of high school. Big complainer about the story after this point. You’d think he would have enough universes to manage and stories he can’t ever get around to finishing to stay out of mine, but yet he feels the need to butt in that this is a bad idea. You do one team up with the guy and-“”Can we please get back to me and not…” Freddie motioned, wide eyed, “whatever the hell this is?””Of course,” Mr Ill said, adjusting his tie. “Look… everybody wants to be liked… to be loved. And I’ve created a world of pain and heartbreak, yes, but I’ve also given you, and the others, love and happiness along the way. Just like real life. I haven’t given you some completely perfect existence like others where logic is out the window for happy endings.””So I’m just supposed to exist in a world where everyone and everything around me is controlled by you,” Freddie said, his hands shaking. “How is that not supposed to drive me insane?””Suppose that’s a possibility…” the man said with a shrug. “But are you completely happy with how your life turned out over the last few years?””Everyone dying there at the end was kind of a bummer, if that’s what you’re asking,” Freddie said, rolling his eyes. “But I guess so. Everyone has regrets.””So look at this as an opportunity- you know how the story plays out. If all the pieces fall exactly the way that they are supposed to, then you know which falling pieces to avoid, and which to take advantage of… your actions will of course cause ripples, and perhaps change events, but some could argue, especially after that gritty finale, that you probably could risk that.”Freddie was silent for a few moments. He looked out at the yard where years ago, or technically hours ago, he, Jade, and Tori all made love in the Jacuzzi in the backyard. This was certainly a time where he was happy, and as he flashed back through all of the good and bad times, he really did see a bit of a break after this semester of college. Sure, he got engaged to Jade, but Mr Ill wasn’t wrong. Tori was never the same after this. Robbie tried to kill himself in a couple months. The others had pretty big changes that could hardly be considered positive. But he still had one more question. Maybe the most important one.”Is what Jade and I have… is it real?””Well, you tell me,” Mr Ill said, his cup suddenly full again. “You’re your own rus sinop escort person now. How do you feel about her? About any of the others?””I feel the same way… but if you did this… if you created all of this, how can I trust anything that I feel… or with that, how anyone else in my life actually feels? I just need to know what is real.””I’m actually still working on that one myself, actually.” Mr Ill reached for his laptop and seemed like he was scrolling up. “Let me tell you what my reality is, in what I’d call the real world, when it comes to you and all of… this. You, and all the people you knew until about three years ago- Carly, Sam, Spencer, Gibby, etc. were a product of a writer on a TV show for which all of this is based, and you were actually the supporting character to Carly. That same writer created a show about a special high school for talented teenagers, which is where all your LA friends came from. Your show went off the rails and ended with a terrible spinoff with Sam, and Cat, of course, from the other show which had been cancelled. Be-fore it ended though, I, along with hundreds of writers out there, saved you all for our own realities and stories so that you could live on.””Wow…” Freddie said, going to the kitchen to get a drink as this was making his mind explode. “So, everything I’ve known for the last-“”You probably think about the one night that changed your life often, right? The one where you and Sam finally slept together, and then Carly joined for a while of bliss.””Forever tainted, now, of course.””But still, that was actually the first thing I wrote with you, and from there, everything that has happened, has been my handiwork.””So the greatest and worst moments of my life…” he muttered. “Great. But that doesn’t answer my question about Jade. Because I feel like I can’t trust anything she has ever said or done now. I’m literally jaded.””Ooh, nice wordplay,” Mr Ill said, heading back to his chair once more. “But on that serious note, that’s kinda the price here. The unexpected virtue of ignorance. You have two choices. You can abandon everything here as you cannot trust it and disappear from the world as you know it and the characters will react accordingly. Or, you can accept that this is a pretty sweet life.””You made me the Truman Show, basically…” Freddie said, mind racing.”Did you miss the part where you have not one, but two, gorgeous women upstairs right now? Who want you? Do you have any idea how many men, and women, would kill to have what you have right now?” Mr Ill was clearly frustrated as he was getting flushed again, gripping his black hair. “I have given you everything any straight, red blooded male could want. I feel like the choice is pretty obvious.””For you, maybe…” the former tech producer shot back. “Is that why this fantasy happened in the first place? Sexual gratification? A chance to get with the chicks from the shows you watched? You sound completely sane and healthy.””Beside the point, and-“”What else is there to say here?” Freddie asked, beginning to get antagonistic. “I’ve already agreed to this change so that everyone is ok, and now the choice is up to me. You have no part of this, if I’m actually free, that is.””No… You’re right.” The faceless stranger reached for his laptop, closing it most of the way before offering a glance to the defiant character he had built himself. “I’m writing around you. You make all the difference here. You want to know if Jade loves you? She does. So does Tori, who loves Jade just as much. I know what you’re thinking too. If you left what would come of all of them. They’d be happy together. Not at first, just the two of them. But they could be alright eventually, and they have each other.””Not really my thought, but I appreciate that, I guess,” Freddie said, slipping his hands in his pockets. “I’m just not sure where I’m supposed to go from here.””You could accept the gift I’m offering you. Knowledge to avoid some real bad juju. Everything else- every touch, taste, feeling in this world is yours and is as real as you want it to be. Just promise me you won’t do the exact same thing all over again, and we’ll end up right back here. Or back on that island is more likely. This is your one chance to make a real difference.””So, one last question, and then I’m done, and-“”Sure thing…” Mr Ill said, standing to face Freddie, “You definitely need your rest. You have an early morning gym appointment with Tori if memory serves.””Right…” Freddie, remember what happened there, and how it changed the way he felt about her and what made him run from her in the first place. “If you are the writer here, why not just scratch everything you’ve written since this yourself and start all over. Why make me a part of it?””Oh that’s easy,” he said, straightening his tie. “If I had done that it would have been cheap storytelling. Just as bad as if I just had you wake up from a dream after the island murders, which by the way, you should probably do something about. Readers would be annoyed that it was all for nothing. Cheap writing. By making this more of a meta situation, with a character being the one to set the clock back, I believe I will be viewed as brilliant and inventive in my approach to making this all right.””Of course,” Freddie said rolling his eyes. “You’re 100% sane. How could I have doubted you?””Don’t be snide,” Mr Ill said, seemingly furrowing his non-existent brow. “I can’t control you personally any longer, but I could certainly drop a safe on you.””Wouldn’t cartoon physics be shoddy storytelling?” Freddie mocked with a grin.”Perhaps… but there are a lot more taco trucks in LA than there are in Seattle. You should probably remember that.”The faceless man, now with all his belongings, headed for the door with a simple salute toward his released character. Freddie wanted to thank him as much as he wanted to punch him, which, really, was probably where the name came from. So he offered the same salute back unsure of what exactly it meant.”Is this it?” Freddie asked. “Am I truly on my own here… with all these thoughts and memories?””No one is ever truly alone,” Mr Ill fired back. “Even existing solely in the margins of the story, I’m not alone. As for the thoughts and memories, I’d suggest getting over them. None of it had to happen. Just a possible reality and future for you. But that’s in your hands.””And if I happen to need you or your help again?””Ha…” Mr Ill laughed sardonically as he headed out the door. “Show up again to dig you out of a jam? Now if I became a recurring character in my own story, that would certainly be cheap writing.”Freddie shrugged and followed him out and into the doorway and watched the stranger disappear into the night, and stood there, feeling the cool night air cover him, assessing everything he had heard and experienced tonight. In a moment, knew exactly which side of the door he should be on, and gently shut the heavy door with confidence.