Disclaimer:It all belongs to Tom, Ken, NBC, and Sony. You have no idea how much I wished I owned Brady... The idea for this story belongs to Mr. Frank Capra, a wonderful director and genius. Author's Notes: This is based on that classic Christmas film, It's a Wonderful Life. There are a few differences. Brady will inherit the Black Building and Loan from John's brother (One that I am making up), not John. John is running Basic Black. I couldn't bring myself to have John die. It's going along with the same idea of the film, but there will be differences. Brady got the B&L because his uncle knew John was busy and he trusted Brady. Stefano will be my Mr. Potter. Remember in all of my stories Greta is John's daughter and therefore Brady's sister. And she has lots of princess money to be used for worthy causes. Summary: Brady sees what the world would be without him.
Author's Notes: This is based on that classic Christmas film, It's a Wonderful Life. There are a few differences. Brady will inherit the Black Building and Loan from John's brother (One that I am making up), not John. John is running Basic Black. I couldn't bring myself to have John die. It's going along with the same idea of the film, but there will be differences. Brady got the B&L because his uncle knew John was busy and he trusted Brady. Stefano will be my Mr. Potter. Remember in all of my stories Greta is John's daughter and therefore Brady's sister. And she has lots of princess money to be used for worthy causes.
Summary: Brady sees what the world would be without him.
"Lord, please help my brother, Brady. He's been working so hard to keep his business afloat," Belle could be heard praying.
"God, help my boy. Brady needs more help than I can give him," John also prayed.
"Brady and I have had our differences, Lord, but he needs your help now," Marlena pleaded.
"God, Brady needs a hand right now. He's my friend and I don't like seeing him so down," Shawn called out.
"Please, please help Brady. He's more than my best friend. He's helping Salem and keeping DiMera's hands out of so many people's lives. Please, God. Take some of the weight off of Brady's shoulders. He's doing to best he can. I don't like seeing the person I love more than anything hurting so badly," Chloe wept.
"Seems Brady Black needs some help," the angel spoke.
"Who's turn is it?"
"That's the problem, see. It's the clockmaker, Clarence."
"Still hasn't got his wings yet."
"We keep passing him up."
"Well, he's got to get them sometime."
"Clarence! Oh Clarence!"
"Yes, yes? You called for me?"
"Now, Clarence, there's someone who needs your help," Joseph spoke.
"Oh, I'd better see that they're wearing these days," Clarence began to scurry off.
"Wait, wait. You need to familiarize yourself with this young man."
"Who is he?"
"His name is Brady Victor Black. And he's in some trouble. Tonight Brady Black will attempt to end his life."
"But he's so young and healthy looking," Clarence exclaimed while seeing images of Brady.
"Just sit and watch, Clarence."
Clarence watched the seen at Salem High. It was a school dance. Belle had brought her big brother, Brady with her. Belle and Shawn were busy dancing, having a wonderful time. Brady stood at the punch table by himself.
Belle was dragging the beautiful, blue-eyed Chloe Lane towards her brother.
"Brady, if you're going to sit here and mope you might as well have company from someone who's sitting here and moping as much as you are," Belle said leaving Chloe standing in front of Brady. Brady turned, poured some punch into a cup and handed it to Chloe.
"How are you tonight, Diva?"
"Bored. And you?"
"But things are looking up."
"Belle's enjoying herself."
"Doesn't she always?"
"You have a point."
"I wasn't going to come. She made me."
"Not so much. I just didn't feel like it. I only showed up at school functions because Philip wanted to go. I've never really liked them."
"Me either. Diva, let's show these Salem High kids how to dance, shall me?" The song ended and another, swing song, came on. "Do you know how?"
"Surprisingly, a little."
"Let's get out there then."
"Lets," she let him lead her to the dance floor where they danced away.
What they did not see was Jason and some of the other jocks over at a big, red button. Very few people knew the button was for and even less what it was for. Jason knew and just as soon as he'd seen Ghoul Girl and Belle's brother hit the dance floor he decided what to do. Pressing the button the gym floor began to recede. Brady and Chloe did not notice, they were having too much fun. As people began turning away from the pool in the floor Brady and Chloe kept dancing and laughing. Finally it happened. They had stepped too far and Brady fell first, taking Chloe with them, getting them both soaking wet.
Brady had managed to attain something dry from the locker rooms while every one else was attempting to do the same. Brady would be walking home in Salem High gym shorts and a wife beater, while Chloe was stuck in of all things, a bathrobe. Walking through Salem's streets, Chloe began to twirl the sash of her robe and started to sing.
"Buffalo gals can't you come out tonight, can't you come out tonight, Buffalo gals can't you come out tonight..."
"And dance by the light of the moon," they sang together.
"Do you want the moon, Chloe? What if I got you the moon? No, no, I know, you want the brightest star in the sky."
"I'll take it," she answered as they walked on.
Getting a mischievous grin on his face, Brady noticed the sash of her robe trailing behind along the sidewalk. Placing his foot forward, he held the sash down, causing the robe to fall from her shoulders, leaving her in a bra and pair of panties.
"Brady!" She ran behind a bush while he laughed. He picked up the robe and held it out. "Some best friend you are. You know how I feel about public nudity. I have memories of this, remember?" She was in a light mood. She knew he meant no harm.
"I'm sorry, Chloe, I didn't think about that."
"You're forgiven, but only because you're my best friend and I love you."
"Okay, okay," he walked towards the shrubs, robe in hand, when John's car came speeding up behind them.
"Son, we have to go, you're Uncle's had a stroke," John said.
"Chloe, I'm sorry, I've got to go," he threw robe as she watched them speed away.
Brady's uncle passed away a few days later, leaving him his Building and Loan. Sadly, this meant that the trip to Italy Brady had been planning would be postponed indefinitely.
Work was slow, it took all he could just to make the building and loan stay afloat. Brady refused John's help. This was something his uncle had left him to do and he had to do it for him. He and Chloe remained best of friends, even while she was away at Julliard for four years. They spoke on the phone everyday, they saw each other when she came back for the holidays and the one thing that made him happy was that she was living her dream even though he was stuck in Salem.
Chloe's graduation from Julliard had approached and Brady was trying as hard as he could, working all day and all night to go to New York and see his Diva reach one of her goals. The Building and Loan, now staying afloat pretty well, ran into a few bumps that had to be taken care of. Brady missed his flight. He'd never been more disappointed in his life. However, Belle being th wonderful sister that she was called him on her cell phone so he could listen in on the entire ceremony. And he did get to speak to Chloe that day, for about an hour.
Two years went by, Chloe was a sensation singing on Europe's finest stages. She had not yet reached the MET. That was coming in four weeks. Two weeks after Christmas. For the first time since Chloe embarked on her touring she would be returning to Salem, receiving the sort of welcome war heros get.
All of Salem was milling around, making their small town presentable to their world renown. Banners, wreaths, lights, all were hung from every rooftop, lamp post, and street sign. People had welcome home Chloe banners hung from their windows. There was even to be a parade, which Chloe was less than enthused about. Brady was the only one she had told about her uneasiness. She had grown accustomed to being on stage, but being in Salem's spotlight never went well for her. Brady would sit next to her for the parade, holding the hand she was not waving with.
Brady's staff at the Black Building and Loan consisted of Kevin and Mimi Lambert. They loved their jobs and would do anything for Brady. They had helped him open Bella Fields, a housing development named for his mother. Much of Salem now lived in those homes. It held a special place in Mimi's heart, since she herself had once been homeless, not other less fortunate than her could have a nice and affordable place to live.
In the six years Chloe had been gone Belle and Shawn had also married, besides Kevin and Mimi. Philip was seeing Jan off and on, and Brady worked and worked. With both of his sisters married Greta had Austin, Brady remained single. His heart belonged to one and with her away with her success that left all of his time and attention on his little business.
After receiving the days payments, he handed the money to Kevin to take to the bank to deposit. Kevin walked through Salem's streets, happily, whistling, watching the people go about their business, make the town beautiful for Chloe.
Reaching the bank, the money tucked into his newspaper, Kevin walked in and spotted Stefano DiMera, Salem's most hated resident.
"Well, well, Mr. DiMera, a Merry Christmas to you," Kevin greeted him.
"What, pray tell, do you have to be so cheerful about. You are so close to losing your job at that miserable, little building and loan. You and your stupid, moronic wife, will be on the streets in no time," Stefano seethed.
Kevin kept his cool even though his beloved Mimi had been insulted. "Mr. DiMera, you may insult me, I won't like it at all if you insult Miriam, but I have something you will never have. I am surrounded by good people I care about and who care about me. I have my wife, the sweetest most giving woman in the world. Chloe Lane is coming back to town, she's probably here as we speak. She's a good person, she's succeeding. Brady, he's had troubles, but he's fine. Good people both of them. Not a thing you can do to stop," Kevin swatted Stefano with his newspaper, leaving the villainous creature dumbstruck.
Kevin walked right up to the teller.
"How are you today, Mr. Lambert?"
"I am wonderful. It's a beautiful day. We got a big deposit to make today."
"Brady must be jumping every time he hears a door open, hoping that it's Chloe."
"I don't think anyone could control his excitement. Especially about getting some time alone tonight."
"It's a wonder those two aren't a couple yet."
"My wife and I have told him that a thousand times," Kevin reached into the inside pocket of his gray suit, looking for the deposit. He didn't find it there, or in any of his other pockets. "I know I brought it with me." He looked some more not finding it, getting increasingly worried. He ran out of the bank and to the building and loan. Brady was no where to be seen, but Mimi was behind her desk working away.
"What's wrong, Kev?"
"Miriam, search everywhere, I don't know where it is."
"What? Where what is? Chloe's here. She and Brady went to lunch."
"Miriam, I lost the deposit."
"Kevin, that isn't funny."
"It's not a joke."
"Kevin, that's eight hundred thousand dollars. Nearly a million."
"I know that. Look everywhere," he began searching drawers, she followed suit. Two hours later they still hadn't found it, they'd torn the office apart.
Brady and Chloe walked in, smiling and laughing. Their faces showed shock and surprise when they found Kevin and Mimi going through every drawer and cupboard. Kevin had removed his coat and vest. His sleeves were rolled up past the elbows, tie undone.
"Kevin, Mimi, what's going on? Chloe and I come back from lunch and I find you've ransacked our offices."
"It's bad, Brady. Real bad. I screwed up, big time. You're never going to forgive me for this. I don't know how I let it happen, I honestly don't know what happened."
"Kevin what's going on?"
Back in his office Stefano threw the paper Kevin had handed him, with Chloe's picture front and center, onto his desk. To his surprise he found something lying on the now unfolded paper. Picking it up, he realized what it was and smiled, evil gleaming from him.
Back in the building and loan Brady and Chloe were now tearing the place apart along with Kevin and Mimi. Finally, tired of standing there and getting nowhere, Brady grabbed Kevin by his shirt and held him against the wall.
"Get out of here. Search everywhere you went this morning. Do not come back here unless you get the money back. Retrace your steps. Do it ten times if that's what it takes for you to remember where you last had that." Brady let Kevin go and he kissed Mimi goodbye and ran out the door without his coats. Mimi picked it up and ran after him. She found him in the street, scratching his head. She tapped him on the shoulder.
"Kev, sweetie," she held his coats out for him. He did up his shirt and tie, put his vest back on, suit coat, then overcoat, scarf, and gloves.
"Mimi, what am I going to do?"
"You're going to retrace your steps and you're going to remember everything you did today, and you're going to find the money. I know you will. I have faith in you and I love you," she kissed him.
"I love you."
"Go ahead, Kev. Everything will work out," she wrapped her arms around herself, cold, having not taken her own coat with her. She watched him walk ff, then headed back inside the office.
She returned to find Chloe there alone, picking things up.
"He went to look for the money, figure something out. He didn't really say."
"Kevin, he didn't really mean to do it."
"Brady knows that. He knows Kevin would never hurt him. He's just shocked. Feeling a little defeated."
Brady been walking through Salem all day and it was now night. Chloe had gone to the Penthouse and told John, Marlena, Shawn, Belle, and the rest of the family everything that had happened. Mimi had joined them after finding a very worn out looking Kevin at the bank.
Mimi placed an arm around her husband. "Did you remember anything, Kev?"
"I remember exactly what happened to it."
"I placed in between my folded up newspaper on my way to the bank. When I got there I started talking with DiMera and kinda gave him the newspaper forgetting the money was in it. He has it. And now we'll never get it back."
"You what?" Brady had walked in and no one noticed.
"Brady, I'm going to fix it," Kevin explained.
"I don't know just yet, but I'll fix it."
Trying to control his temper, Brady left. He made it to the bridge. Upon arrival he saw a man struggling in the water. Jumping into the icy water, Brady pulled the man to safety. He carried him to a little shack that he didn't remember ever being there before. He and the man sat in two chairs there. The man looked to be in his late sixties, gray hair where there was hair left. Old looking suit. He removed his suit and sat in a pair of long johns, waiting for his suit to dry. Brady had taken off his shirt and was sitting in his pants and a wife beater. The old man pulled out a book and began drying it off.
"What is that?"
"Tom Sawyer. Never go anywhere without it," the old man answered.
"What's your name?"
"What were you doing in the river, Clarence?"
"Saving me? What the hell are you talking about? I pulled you out of there, you were drowning."
"Have you had a bad day? You look like you could use some help."
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"You've had a bad day?"
"Yeah." By this time Brady and Clarence's clothes were dry and back on as they headed out. "Where you headed, I'll give you a ride."
"How bad was your day?"
"Why do you care?"
"How bad was it."
"I wish I was never born," Brady mumbled.
"I said I wish I was never born! Hey, where's my car? I must have parked it somewhere else."
Brady and Clarence walked along the Salem streets and Brady went inside Tuscany and sat at the bar.
"We can't serve you looking like that," the bartender told Brady. Brady looked at himself. His clothes were a mess, he had a cut on his lip, and his hair was terribly disheveled.
Maggie walked to the bar. "Is there a problem?"
"No, Maggie, tell this guy to serve me," Brady insisted.
"Who are you? I don't know who you are."
"Maggie, it's me, Brady Black. A pain in your ass, just like my dad. John Black my father. Hello, Maggie? This isn't funny."
"I don't know who you are. Aaron, take these two out."
Brady and Clarence were led out the door.
"What just happened with Maggie."
"She didn't know you, Brady."
"I never told you my name."
"No, but you mentioned it in there. Besides I knew it before then."
"I'm your guardian angel. Second class, though. I don't get promoted till I get my wings, and I don't get them till I help you."
"You said you wished you were never born. I'm just showing you what it would be like if that were true. A lot of people have been praying for you. I'm here to help. I'm your guardian angel."
Brady stalked through the streets, Clarence trailing behind.
"This isn't happening. You're crazy. First you say you were saving me from the river. Now you're my guardian angel. Not happening."
"It is happening."
Brady found a small, broken down house, and knocked on the door. None other than John Black answered the door.
"Dad, oh my God. Dad, it's you!"
"Who are you?" Isabella Black came to the door and John placed his arm around his wife.
"Mom?" Brady stared in disbelief.
"John, who is this young man? What's going on?"
"Dad, what's going on? Mom's dead, what is she doing here? Where's Marlena? Where's Belle, Tink? Why aren't you at the Penthouse? What about Grandpa Vic?"
"I don't know who you are, but you're upsetting my wife."
"I'm your son. I'm Brady Victor Black. Dad, you know who I am."
"I've never seen you before in my life and that's a fact," John slammed the door. Brady stumbled back, shocked and bewildered. "What the hell is going on?"
"This is what the world would be like if you didn't exist."
"So, if I'm not alive, then my mom never died. My dad and Marlena never had Belle. She doesn't exist?"
"Nope," Clarence answered.
Brady looked up and noticed the sign above the housing project: ‘DiMera Field'. A man walked by and Brady stopped him.
"Excuse me, what town is this? What happened to Bella Fields?"
"This is DiMera-ville, USA. And what are you talking about? I've never heard of this Bella Fields." The man walked on. Brady and Clarence walked away and came upon the cemetery. Brady stopped when he noticed the name on a grave.
"How did that happen?"
"Look at the ones next to it," Clarence said. Brady looked at four head stones in a row.
"Shawn, Philip, Mimi, and Kevin. How? Why?"
"Belle wasn't there to search for Alice Horton's ruby with Shawn and Philip. Mimi and Kevin went with them. You weren't there to rescue them and the four were killed."
"Because I don't exist, these people all died and Belle was never born at all."
Clarence looked towards the heavens, "Finally, he gets it."
"What...what about Chloe? What happens to her? She's singing on a stage in Europe, right?"
"Come with me," Clarence led them to the Salem Public Library. Inside the gloomy, dark, and musty building sat Chloe Lane. Dark clothes, pale skin, large glasses, frizzy hair and all. She looked so alone, dead almost. No fire within her. Not the passion he remembered in her.
"Why is she so lonely?" Her outward appearance, clothing and complexion, he had not noticed. He simply noted the emptiness in her eyes as she checked the books in and shelved them.
"Well, Belle wasn't there to befriend her when she came here. Philip continued to taunt her mercilessly. Shawn Brady was her only friend and then he died. She's been like this since that happened."
"She's been alone all that time?" Brady's heart was breaking. All because he had never been born, Chloe, his Chloe, his Diva, was alone and empty inside. "No, no, this can't be. Chloe can't live miserably. She has so much talent, so much to give to the world."
"You can fix all of it," Clarence said.
"Take it back."
"Take it back?"
"Yes, take it back."
Brady ran, fast as he could, through Salem's streets again. He reached the river. Looked all around for Clarence, anything.
"I should have never wished that. The world can't be like that. I can't let Stefano DiMera make all those people live in that horrible place. I can't let Chloe be lonely. I want to live again. I want to live again."
Just then Shawn Brady pulled up in his truck.
"Brady, what are you doing out here? Belle and everyone is worried sick about you. You need to get back to the Penthouse. I'm going to call them and let them know you're okay. You are okay, right?"
"Shawn, you know me?"
"Yeah, you're Brady. You're my cousin. Belle's brother."
"So, so, there is a Belle?"
"Of course there's a Belle. Who else would I be married to?"
"Don't call them. I'm on my way back."
"Okay. Oh, hey, a traffic cop had your jeep towed. You were double parked. They took it to the Penthouse. You want a ride?"
"No, no thanks, Shawn," Brady smiled, laughed and ran as fast as he could.
He passed by all the stores on Main Street, Ocean Street, everywhere.
"Merry Christmas, Salem! Merry Christmas, you stupid building and loan, I love you!" He passed Stefano DiMera's window. "Merry Christmas, DiMera! You have my money and I do not care!" He ran to the Penthouse, screaming, running, in a wonderful mood and knowing exactly what he needed to do.
Back at the Penthouse Belle paced nervously. John, Marlena, Bo, Hope, Greta, Austin, Philip, and Victor sat at the table. Kevin and Mimi were at the sofa. Chloe looked out the window, crying softly to herself. She was thinking, thinking that if Brady were here she'd be holding him, comforting him, trying to help in anyway she could. Because she loved him. More than just as his best friend, but she was in love with him. Every love aria she had sung had been for him. She always sang for him.
Suddenly he ran through a door, looking and finding Chloe staring back at her. Her eyes were glazed by tears that were about to fall, he walked to her, took her face in both his hands, and kissed her. Passion erupted, like nothing either had felt.
"I am so helplessly and hopelessly in love with you and I never want it to end, Chloe," he said before kissing her again. She wrapped her arms around his neck.
"I love you, Brady. I was so worried. Never leave like that again. What happened to you?"
"I realized that even though I'm going to lose my house and my job that I only had one regret and that I had to take care of that as soon as possible. My regret was I didn't tell you my feelings sooner."
"Funny, that's the one thing I regretted too."
"Brady, I don't want to interrupt," Kevin began, "But there are a lot of people here to see you." Brady turned around to see nearly all of the people he knew in Salem standing in the Penthouse living room. They had been watching Brady and Chloe's exchange. Besides the people who were already in the Penthouse they were joined by a slew of others. Shawn, Jan, Brandon, Nicole, Kate, Lucas, Sami, Roman, Eric, Carrie, Mike, Maggie, Mickey, Alice, Jack, Jennifer, Abby, Susan, Penny, Shawn, Caroline, Colin, everyone. They all passed up a basket, filled to the brim with all the money they could gather. Chloe put linked her arm into Brady's.
"Brady Black, richest man in town," she said.
"Son, your sister, grandfather, and I have something for you. Not a loan, just, we want you to have it. Think of it as us investing," John said as he, Greta, and Victor handed Brady three checks, all of which combined made up for the missing money.
A bell on their Christmas tree rang and everyone began singing ‘Auld Lang Syne'.
"You know, Brady, every time a bell rings and angel gets it's wings," Belle chirped between everyone's singing.
Brady looked upwards, "Atta boy, Clarence. Good work."
"I love you, Brady," Chloe kissed him. "Merry Christmas."
"I love you, my sweet Diva. You'll always have me."