The Animorphs Fan Art & Fic Competition


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Round Two | Fan Fiction | Entry #2
See my Modhat
blue_rampion wrote in anicomp
Round: Two
Category: Fan Fiction
Title: Feral
Author: kleenexcow
Rating: PG
Summary: After a difficult battle, Rachel finds Tobias at her window.
Warnings: This takes place some undetermined time after #13, The Change.

I turned off the faucet and leaned my forehead against the cool tile. Tasteless vapor coated my mouth. The shower had been so hot that I winced at the pain in my palms as I squeezed residual water from my hair. My skin was patchy pink and I’d used almost an entire bar of soap, but still I didn’t feel clean.

We tried not to kill humans. Usually, we succeeded. Usually.

I put on a t-shirt and pajama bottoms, damp from the steam. Maybe it’d been foolish to bring them into the bathroom with me, but I didn’t want to walk into my bedroom without clothes because I knew he’d be waiting. Nights like these, he always was.

Nights like these. Rubbing away a clear spot on the mirror, I could see a spot of blood I’d missed, right at my neckline. I’d saved Marco’s life tonight. But in the moment, that moment when I’d held the ultimate power and severed a man’s lifeline, I didn’t feel compassion. I felt like a warrior. You know what I’d thought?

Die, Yeerk. Die.

Maybe some of the others thought it didn’t affect me, didn’t touch me. But it did. Later, it always did. Sometimes remembering the screaming made me feel dirtier than anything physical. I wiped the blood away with a piece of toilet paper and flushed it down the toilet.

I threw open the bathroom door and gasped, almost involuntarily, at the shock of fresh air. Everything seemed clearer out here, and I could hear the whisper of his feathers through the open window.

“Tobias,” I said.

<Can I come in?>

“Sure,” I said. I think I held my composure enough that if it’d been anyone else, they wouldn’t have noticed the quiver in my voice. But Tobias could hear better than anyone else. Tobias knew me better than anyone else.

He fluttered in through the open window and perched on the back of my desk chair. < Rachel… > he trailed off, uncertain. <Do you want to talk about it?>

“No.” I wanted his hands; I wanted to be held. “I just want you to be human, okay?” Maybe together…

<Okay,> he replied. <I’ll morph.>

And that word stopped me. I pulled my hands back and wrapped my arms around myself.

Morph.

The one night I most needed him to be boy and not animal, most needed an anchor! I shivered, not with cold, but with betrayal.

“Morph?” I asked.

<Demorph,> he corrected, but the damage was done.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I was wrong. I think I need to be alone tonight.”

<Sure,> he said. His voice sounded casual, but how well we knew each other went both ways. <Whatever you need. But promise me you’ll call Ax’s scoop if you get too dark tonight, okay?>

I didn’t say anything, just watched him fly into the silent night. I climbed into bed and pulled the covers up all the way to my chin.

Tobias had already given in to the feral thing inside of him.

How long until I did the same?

I closed my eyes. It took hours before I could fall asleep.

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Tobias had already given in to the feral thing inside of him. How long until I did the same?

Ah. Morph vs demorph-- a huge issue with the Rachel/Tobias pairing, what with one being the word Tobias thinks and the other the one Rachel clings to.

This pairing will never *not* break my heart.

Favorite Lines:

- I knew he’d be waiting. Nights like these, he always was. OTP squish ♥

- I’d saved Marco’s life tonight. But in the moment, that moment when I’d held the ultimate power and severed a man’s lifeline, I didn’t feel compassion. I felt like a warrior.

and

Maybe some of the others thought it didn’t affect me, didn’t touch me. But it did. Later, it always did. Sometimes remembering the screaming made me feel dirtier than anything physical. This is so my head!canon Rachel, you have no idea.

- I wanted his hands; I wanted to be held. Don't we all sometimes- totally get this.

- Tobias had already given in to the feral thing inside of him. How long until I did the same? UGHHHHHH (but in a good way)

Edited at 2011-04-25 09:10 pm (UTC)

This hurt my heart. D: Poor Tobias and Rachel.

And this line: Tobias had already given in to the feral thing inside of him.

I never really thought of Tobias's situation as him giving in to his "feral" part and how that totally is a parallel to Rachel's inner darkness as well.

You touched on the best part of the Rachel/Tobias pairing. I love how they are both human and beast, and how being together helps them remain human.

The other commenters already pointed out my favorite lines. ("I wanted his hands; I wanted to be held." "Tobias had already given in to the feral thing inside of him. How long until I did the same?") Very beautifully done.

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