Two months, that's how long it had been since the Blot had been defeated and Mickey had gone back to the real world. It had also been two months since Oswald had been able to finally get rid of his hatred for the mouse. No longer was Mickey a thing of hatred for Oswald and Oswald could actually say the mouse's name without anger in his voice. Oswald could tell the world that Mickey Mouse was his little brother without envy for his fame and without hatred in his heart. Mickey had long since repaired the damages that he had inadvertently caused when he accidently created the Blot and Mickey had bought back Oswald's darling Ortensia back from being a petrified statue. Mickey had also helped out many of the citizens of the Wasteland with their own problems be they big or small.
Mickey had helped make Horace Horsecollar's detective agency the best of the best in the Wasteland and Mickey had saved many of the Gremlins from being trapped forever in cages of glass and steel. Yes, Mickey had done many things for the Wasteland, but nothing could compare to Mickey doing something that many of the toons thought was impossible and that thing was giving many of the toons the one thing that they had been missing, a heart. It was surprising really, no one was expecting to get a heart not even Oswald was expecting it. Although, Oswald should have expected something when Mickey would always tell him that he would get a surprise soon during their weekly talks. The weekly talks where accomplished by using the mirror in Mickey's room and the mirror on Mean Street. For some reason, the two mirrors had gained a connection to each other that allowed Mickey and Oswald to talk to each other. The only thing needed to make the mirrors work was to have both Oswald and Mickey standing in front of the mirrors and boom you had a way to communicate to the Wasteland and vice versa.
It was a little surprising to learn that they could talk to each other by using the mirror, but it was most certainly not a bad thing. The brothers decided to stay in contact with each other by using the mirror and they decided that they would talk to each other every Saturday. Oswald would tell Mickey how things were going in the Wasteland and Mickey would tell him how everything was going on in the real world. The mirror also gave the citizens of Wasteland a way to talk to Mickey as well and it gave the Bunny Children a way to talk to their favorite (and only) uncle. However, a month after the weekly visits began Mickey started acting oddly. Mickey was almost always grinning and while Oswald had quickly learned that Mickey was a rather cheerful person (mouse) Mickey would usually have a happy smile on his face, not a grin that just seemed to yell out 'I know something that you don't know!'
Of course whenever Oswald asked Mickey why he was acting so oddly Mickey would just smile and say it's a secret. Oswald would always ask why Mickey was acting so oddly at least once during their weekly meetings, but Mickey would never give him a straight answer. Mickey would just smile and say "It's a secret!" or "It's a surprise!" Needless to say, Oswald never got a straight answer out of his brother, but he did notice as the weeks passed by that Mickey seemed to be getting more and more excited about something. Oswald ended up finding out just what that something was when a total of two months had passed. Oswald remembered waking up early on Saturday morning like he always did only to feel a strange yet familiar weight in his chest. Oswald placed his hand over his chest only to feel the thump thump thumping that only a heart could create. Oswald was shocked, but in all honesty could you blame him? Oswald had lost his heart a long long time ago, but right now he was standing there with a heart thumping in his chest full of the warmth that a toon felt when they where remembered by people. It could not be possible, it had to be a dream, a wonderful dream that he would soon wake up from a feel sorrow about.
However, a quick (and rather painful) self-inflicted pinch to the arm proved to Oswald that he was not dreaming, he really did have a heart beating in his chest and this made Oswald the happiest Rabbit in the Wasteland. The reality of the situation just became all so much more dreamlike and happy when his darling Ortensia came up to him with a smile on her lovely face and a hand over her chest before she said "Oswald, I have a heart again!" Oswald placed his ear over her chest as if to confirm her words only to grin when he heard her gentle heartbeats. To make the moment all so much sweeter, Oswald's children (all 420 of them) came jumping up to their parents all while complaining about a 'thumping' in their chests. It was quickly reveled that Oswald and Ortensia's children had hearts and they weren't the only ones. As Oswald and his family quickly made their way to the two way mirror that allowed them to talk to Mickey, they ran into one cartoon character after another and said cartoon characters all had bright smiles on their faces as they revealed that they too had gained a heart of their own.
The toons with newly received hearts consisted of Gus and a handful of Gremlins, Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, and a couple of various other toons. No one knew how or why they had hearts, they just knew they had them and they could not be happier about it. Oswald however started to get a sinking suspension that Mickey may know why they had had seemed to have just gained hearts out of the blue. After all, Mickey had been going on about some sort of surprise so maybe this was the surprise he was talking about. However, if this was the surprise Mickey had been going on about than Oswald had to wonder just how Mickey was able to pull this off. Well, the only way to ask Mickey so with this thought in mind Oswald, accompanied by his family and the toons who had just gained hearts of their, quickly made his way to the mirror. Once they got to the mirror, the magic mirror reacted to Oswald's presence and worked its magic and within a blink of an eye the toons gathered around the magic mirror of Mean Street where able to see Mickey's room with the said mouse sitting in front of the mirror reading 'Throe the Looking Glass'. It was not to surprising to see the mouse there at the mirror, after all the mirror only worked when Mickey and Oswald where standing in front of their respective mirrors.
No, what surprised the toons was when Mickey looked up from his book and at the toons before he smiled and asked "So do you guys have your hearts yet?" Needless, to say the toons who had just gained their hearts where extremely confused. Just how in the world did Mickey know about them gaining hearts? Of course when they voiced this question Mickey just laughed and smiled at them before he finally explained how he know about them getting hearts and just what it was that Mickey had been keeping a secret from them. It seemed that a couple of days after Mickey had returned from the Wasteland Mickey told everyone at the Disney Company about his adventure. At first they were a little reluctant to believe the mouse, but they really didn't think Mickey would lie to them and it was really the only thing they had to explain why Mickey had been gone for so long and besides one always had to expect the unexpected when it came to Mickey Mouse and this was just one of those things that seemed to reinforce that little rule.
Strangely enough, the Disney Company had been looking for a way to bring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit back out to public attention and when they heard Mickey's story they immediately got an idea on how they could bring Oswald back out to the public. Not only that, but Mickey's story also helped them figure out how they could bring back a couple of the other forgotten Disney characters of the past back out into the world again. They decided to make Mickey's adventure in the Wasteland into a video game and they had immediately set to work on making the game as soon as they could. The end result of all of their hard work was a game that they proudly called 'Epic Mickey'. Oswald had immediately questioned why they called the game that, but Mickey quickly explained that he had nothing to do with naming the game.
Personally Oswald thought the game should be called 'Epic Oswald', but Oswald was just happy to know that thinks to the game he, his family, and many of the toons of the Wasteland could now go back to the Real World after so many years of being stuck in the Wasteland. The toons could officially go back to the Real World in two weeks, so the toons wasted no time in getting ready to leave the Wastelands and go back to the Real World where they truly belonged. However, what Oswald, Mickey, and the rest of the toons did not know was that the happiness that they had now would be completely destroyed and for a certain pair of brothers their worlds where going to be turned upside down by the very thing that they had thought they would never see again
It was a nice beautiful Saturday morning in the Wasteland and Oswald was in the best moods of his life. Today would be the last day that Oswald would talk to Mickey through the mirror because next week he and his family would be going to be going to the Real World to stay. The bags where packed, the kids where more than ready to leave , and Oswald had finally found someone to watch over the Wasteland when he was gone. Yes, everything was perfect in the rabbit's life and he did not think anything could get him down. Right now, Oswald was going to the mirror in Mean Street so that he could have one final 'mirror' talk with Mickey. Accompanying him to the mirror where Ortensia, Gus, animatronic Goofy, animatronic Donald, and last but not least animatronic Daisy. The Bunny Children had been left at home, but Ortensia would return to them after she had said hello to her brother-in-law. "It's almost hard to believe that you are all going to go and live in the Real World next week." Daisy said as she walked in step next to Ortensia. "Oh, are you going to miss us when we are gone?" Ortensia asked as she looked at the robotic duck.
Daisy just smiled before she said "Well of course I am going to miss you, you're my best friend after all!" Oswald just looked over at the female duck before he said "The three of you could come with us you know. You don't have to stay here in the Wasteland." Goofy just gave a goofy like chuckle before he said "That's awfully nice of you to offer to take us with you, but I think it's best if we stay here." The robotic Donald who was walking beside Daisy nodded at what Goofy said before he added in "Yeah, and besides if we leave who is going to help the new rulers of the Wasteland run this place?" Oswald chuckled slightly before he nodded and said "I suppose your right
" Although Oswald had not said it out loud he had to admit that he was going to miss his animatronic pals. They had been his friends since the day they were created and it was going to be slightly sad to leave them behind, but Oswald knew it was probably for the best. For the animatronics, the Wasteland was the only home that they knew and they would probably be better off here than over at the real world.
Oswald was about to think more about this particular subject, but the feeling of Ortensia putting her hand on her shoulder ended up stopping him from diving to deeply into his thoughts. "Come on Oswald we better hurry, we don't want to keep Mickey waiting." Ortensia said as she smiled sweetly at Oswald. Oswald nodded at her before he returned her smile with one of his own before he started to run toward the mirror. The others followed behind Oswald and within a few seconds the rather large group was able to reach the mirror. Once Oswald was in front of the mirror the mirror started to work its magic and within a matter of seconds the mirror immediately showed them Mickey's room. Mickey was already standing in front of his own mirror and when he saw them he gave them all a kind smile before he said "Hey guys, what's new in the Wasteland?" Daisy practically skipped up to the mirror before she said "Well, for one thing Horace is going to get his own TV show here in the Wasteland!" Mickey blinked in surprise before he asked "Horace is getting his own TV show?" Daisy nodded enthusiastically before she practically yelled out "Yes, isn't it great. It seems like Horace's detective agency has gotten so popular that they decided to make a TV show about it. I can't wait until they start making episodes, I just love detective dramas!"
Ortensia rolled her eyes slightly at her friend's excitement before she smiled and said "Before Daisy forgets to tell you, Horace told us to tell you hi." Daisy crossed her arms slightly before she looked over to the side and said "I was going to tell him that eventually..." Ortensia just giggled slightly at this and Mickey just smiled before he said "Can you tell Horace hi for me?" Ortensia just continued to smile as she said "I'll make sure to let him know that his greeting was returned." Mickey nodded slightly at her before he started to cough a little. The gathered friends frowned slightly when they heard Mickey coughing, but it was only Goofy who bothered to ask "Gee Mickey, you still have your cold?" Yes, it seemed Mickey had caught a cold about a week ago, but he had yet to get any better. The others where starting to grow ever so slightly worried about Mickey, but Mickey refused to let the cold bother him and he tried his best to not worry his Wasteland friends and his brother although Oswald had yet to actually vocally say that he was worried . Mickey gave a weak smile before he said "Yeah, I still have my cold but don't worry guys I'll get better soon." Mickey smile grew a bit stronger before he looked over at Gus and asked "Gus, have you found someone who can take your place as the leader of the Gremlins while you are gone?"
Gus nodded slightly before he said "Yes, I'm going to let Apollo take over. He has shown himself more than capable of watching over Gremlin Village and I trust him to keep everyone in line." Mickey smiled at this before he asked "So anything else that I should know about?" Donald grinned before he said rather happily "My tugboat has been fixed and I can now sail it around again!" Mickey looked at Donald in surprise before he said "Really, you where able to fix it? The last time I saw that boat it had been sticking out of a thinner pool in Os Town." The robotic Donald just puffed his chest out with pride before he said "I was able to get the boat out of the lake and I was able to get it fixed all by myself!" That's when Gus cleared his throat and gave Donald a look that seemed to say 'you better fix that sentence of yours or you're going to end up in pieces again.' Donald gulped slightly before he quickly added "With the help of the Gremlins of course!" The gathered toons laughed slightly at this before they heard someone calling for Gus. They all looked over toward the sound of the voice only to see a Gremlin calling for Gus to help him out with the machine that powered up the projectors in the area. Gus turned and looked over at Mickey before he said "I have to go and help him fix the machine, I'll see you again soon Mickey." Gus said before he flew over to the waiting Gremlin.
Once Gus was gone Ortensia clapped her hands together and said "Well, I think it's time that we let Oswald and Mickey talk to each other alone now. Come on everyone let's go!" The three animatronics nodded their heads before they all walked away from the mirror and out of sight with Ortensia following right behind them. Once they were all gone Oswald turned to say something to Mickey, but the sound of Ortensia calling his name ended up stopping him. Oswald turned toward the sound of her voice only to get a big hug and an even bigger kiss from the cat. When Ortensia broke the kiss she smiled at the now blushing Oswald before she said "I almost forgot to give you a good bye kiss. I'll see you back at home soon, ok?" Oswald just nodded mutely as he gave the cat a rather goofy grin. Ortensia just chuckled slightly before she broke the hug and walked away. Oswald watched her walk away in a daze before he was finally snapped out of it by the sound of Mickey chuckling behind him. Oswald turned and looked at his little brother through the mirror before he gave him a slight glare before he mumbled "S-shut up!" Mickey quickly suppressed his laughter before he grinned at his older brother and said "Hey, I didn't say anything. So who did you get to take over the throne when you're gone?" Oswald smirked at this before he said "You really want to know, huh? Well, too bad it's a secret!" Mickey looked slightly disappointed at hearing this before he asked "Come on, why can't you tell me?"
Oswald just continued to smirk before he said "Think of this as revenge for not telling me about the Epic Mickey game." Mickey frowned slight at that before he asked "You will tell me eventually, right?" Oswald just smiled a bit when he heard Mickey say that before he said "I will tell you
" Mickey just sighed and rolled his eyes before he started coughing again, only this time his coughing was much stronger. Not only was his coughing stronger but Mickey could feel what felt like a dull ache in his heart and for some reason Mickey started to feel kind of dizzy. Oswald frowned slightly as he watched his little brother cough, but his frown only grow larger when he noticed Mickey was swaying slightly where he stood. "Mickey, are you ok?" Oswald asked as he looked at his little brother. Mickey just shook his head weakly before he asked "Why, are you worried about me?" Oswald immediately crossed his arms and said "No, I'm not worried about you! I'm not worried about you at all!" Mickey just smiled weakly before he said "Sure you're not worried, whatever you say Oswald." Mickey than started to cough again and Oswald just continued to frown.
However, as Mickey continued coughing Oswald noticed something. Every few minutes Oswald would see what looked like small dips of what could almost be described as ink come dripping up into the air only to disappear from sight just as fast as it has appeared. At first Oswald thought he was imagining things, but the more he watched Mickey the more he saw it until finally Oswald knew that he was not just imagining things. It actually reminded Oswald of the time when Mickey was in the Wasteland. Whenever Mickey used a lot of thinner Mickey would always start dipping ink, from what Oswald had gathered Mickey did that because of how the Blot had become a small part of him when he entered the Wasteland world so whenever he used a lot of thinner or whenever Mickey would make a rather bad (read: mischievous) decision he would start dripping ink in a way that was sort of similar to how the Blot dripped ink, Mickey possibly did this to show how the Blot was a part of him. However, Mickey should have gotten rid of the Blot that became a part of him when he went back to his world.
Yet there was Mickey coughing his lungs out as he started to drip the smallest amount of ink. Oswald was starting to get worried, Mickey dripping ink was not a good thing it was not a good thing at all. Oswald also started to notice with increasing alarm that Mickey was starting to sway a bit more than he was earlier and his coughing just seemed to grow harsher. "Mickey, are you going to be ok?" Oswald asked slowly. Oswald watched as Mickey quickly shook his head no before he finally stopped coughing, but he still continued to sway side to side like a tree that was about to tip over. Mickey then looked at Oswald with a rather pathetic look on his face before he said in a week tone "Oswald, my heart hurts."
And before Oswald could even say a word Mickey collapsed right where he stood, the ink still dripping off of him in tiny amounts. Oswald immediately started to bang his hands on the glass as he shouted "Mickey? Mickey, get up! Don't just lay there get up, please!" Mickey however showed no signs of hearing his older brother's cries. He just continued to lie there as the small amounts of ink slowly dripped off of him and went up into the air before disappearing. Oswald continued to yell at Mickey and beg for him to get up or at least open his eyes, but Oswald's pleas where in vain. Oswald was dimly aware that the townspeople of Mean Street where openly staring at him, but he did not care he just wanted his baby brother to open his eyes. Oswald continued to bash his fists against the glass as if hoping that it would allow him to go throug it and to his fallen brother, but this unfortunately was not to be. No instead it seemed like the mirror decided to work against him because in the blink of an eye the reflection of the mirror changed from showing Oswald his fallen brother to just showing him a reflection of his own terrified face