Animaniacs Fan Fiction ❯ Yakko's Curse ❯ Decision ( Chapter 1 )
Yakko sat up straight in bed, his heart pounding with fear and his bottom lip trembling as he looked around the room. The images remained for a few moments, and he blinked rapidly to clear away the gruesome visuals, focusing on the outlines in the water tower. The toon pressed the heels of his hands on his eyes, trying to forget the nightmare that refused to leave him. Night after night, the grisly scene played out. Sometimes they disappeared for a while, but always they returned. Always the same one. The years that passed didn't affect the vividness of the horrible memories that played through his mind. Memories that had not happened yet were indescribably real to Yakko Warner.
Nightmares were his curse. By the animators' blessings, it was his only. Neither Wakko nor Dot suffered from the memories that had never happened, the memories that explained what they were, why they were zany. The flickering of multicolored flames passed through his mind's eye, and a familiar pang of hate welled up inside of him. He despised those who had given him the fuel for the nightmares. Their teasing as they came up with the most horrific backstory for the Warner siblings that they could. And they had succeeded.
When the nightmare had receded, Yakko yawned and curled his arms around his knees. His sharp eyes found each of his siblings' sleeping forms. Each was breathing deeply and peacefully, their faces relaxed and untroubled by not-real memories, by blood and insanity and death. Yakko was grateful, yet in his gratitude, he was more alone than anybody else he knew.
Every night, Yakko put his brother and sister to bed. When they were asleep, the toon would lie back and stare at the ceiling until he fell asleep. With a simple flexing of his zaniness as he relaxed, he was assured that no moan or whimper or scream would escape. If he made a noise, Wakko and Dot would wake and ask what was wrong. And the thought of telling them of the not-there memories was terrifying, especially since he did not know what repressed 'not-real' memories lay dormant in their minds.
After so many years of bearing the burden of his backstory alone, Yakko couldn't stand it. After breaking out of the water tower and meeting the people who worked at the Warner movie lot, one person, in particular, stood out to him as somebody who might be able to help with these memories. Yakko had been considering going to him for weeks, but the courage always fled in the dark night after the nightmares.
But as his eyes prickled with tears, the burden of the pain he'd carried for decades overwhelmed him. With great trepidation, he slid silently from his bed and, with another flexing of his zaniness, he turned into shadow and flowed through the cracks of the door and down to the lot. The shadows were deep, and he hurried through the still night with great trepidation, glancing around to make sure he wasn't caught.
When he finally reached the front door, he stood quaking. The lights were on, so he knew the man was still there, but for about five minutes, Yakko could not bring his gloved hand up to knock on the door. It was only when the lights clicked off that he knocked loudly, afraid of missing his chance.
Immediately the light clicked back on, and the sound of footsteps sounded loud and clear. After a moment, the door opened, spilling the warm glow of lamplight over the exhausted toon. Dr. Scratchansniff stood there, blinking at the surprise visitor. He studied Yakko, his face set with displeasure. After a moment, he stepped back and moved to close the door.
"I am in no mood for your antics, Yakko."
"Wait!" Yakko gasped, flinging his hand forward.
The door stuck as if it had hit a wall. Dr. Scratchansniff yelped and stepped back, his eyebrows high. Yakko swallowed and took a step back, afraid that he had destroyed his only chance. The doctor frowned at the expression of fright on the toon's face. Something was off about the normally zany creature. He looked tired, stressed, and there was not even a hint of laughter around his dark eyes. Instead, there was pain, and Dr. Scratchansniff placed a hand on the doorframe, leaning down to look at the Warner brother.
"Yakko," he asked, hesitant yet firm. "Are you alright?"
With wide eyes, Yakko stared at the doctor, unsure of what to say. He lowered his eyes and shuffled his feet, swallowing hard. After a few moments, the toon looked up. "I…You're our psychiatrist, right?" he asked weakly. "And th-that means you'll help if we have a problem, right?"
The doctor knew then that something was terribly wrong with Yakko. He hadn't teased, laughed, or done anything that fell in line with his normal behavior. Instead, he stood there, trembling and insecure, seeking help from a man that often despised him. The doctor pursed his lips then stepped back, attempting to pull the door back open. It didn't budge.
"Come in, Yakko," he said, yanking on the door.
Yakko crossed the threshold. As soon as he was inside, he brushed the door, which slid closed effortlessly. Dr. Scratchansniff stared at the door for a moment, wondering why it had stalled so efficiently when Yakko had screamed at it. Yakko hadn't planned anything loony or zany. It hadn't leapt off its hinges, fell onto the floor, or done anything remotely funny. So how in the world had the toon done it?
"It's not going to bite you," Yakko said from behind him.
Dr. Scratchansniff blinked then turned to appraise the toon in a better light. Yakko looked around, lost and almost helpless. He was afraid, that much the psychiatrist knew, afraid and unsure of himself. After a moment, the human turned toward the small kitchen.
"Can I get you anyzing, Yakko?"
Another long, dull stare was all he got for a moment before Yakko spoke. "A hot drink?" he asked.
"Hot chocolate?" Dr. Scratchansniff asked. Yakko nodded, and the doctor turned. "Please, have a seat in vhichever chair you vant."
The doctor prepared two large mugs and brought them out. Yakko was over by the bookshelves, his fingers easing over the spines. His gaze roved over textbooks, medical, historical, and so much more. He took the steaming cup and sipped it. His fingers stopped on a book about Warner studios.
"Zat is an interesting vone," the doctor said. He nudged Yakko's fingers away and pulled it out. "Zere's a whole history of animation from Varner Studios. I believe it even mentions your creation. Aha! Do zese men look familiar?"
It was a black and white photo of a group of men grinning at the camera. They looked merry as they held pens, pencils, paintbrushes, and papers. Instead of a positive response, Yakko looked ready to actually hurt somebody, not jokingly 'ouch' but full-on bloody murder. Dr. Scratchansniff froze as the toon's eyes turned red, and Yakko spoke through gritted teeth, his voice soft and dangerous.
"Yeah. I know them. The insensitive clods. The festering worms. The putrid things that shouldn't have been allowed to touch a paintbrush."
"Um…" Dr. Scratchansniff swallowed hard as the red eyes searched the faces of the men. Yakko's hands weren't shaking anymore, and he gripped the mug of hot chocolate tightly. The smell of burning chocolate filled the room, and with a yell, the doctor realized that the hot chocolate that he'd given Yakko was frothing and seething as if it were on a stove. The toon didn't seem to notice or care that the boiling liquid splashed onto his white gloves, staining them brown.
"Yakko, your drink—" the psychiatrist stammered, but before he could continue, there was the sound of cracking glass.
The doctor realized what was going to happen a split second before it did. Dropping the book, he dove behind his couch, covering his ears as the mug shattered, spreading the scorching hot chocolate over the walls and floor. Dr. Scratchansniff cowered as the floor heaved upward and the sound of flickering flames reached his ears. Peeking over the stained sofa, he saw the book floating in the air, fire consuming the pages as Yakko grinned maniacally at the burning picture.
"Y-Yakko!" the man screamed.
The sound of his name made Yakko turn. For a moment, Dr. Scratchansniff saw the promise of death in the usually jovial gaze, but after a moment, the toon's eyes turned back to their usual inky shade. Yakko blinked, his face scrunching up as he looked around. His expression was dazed.
"What?" he asked, his voice slurred. "What happened?"
Dr. Scratchansniff slowly stood up, watching Yakko's eyes move from him to the room to the still-burning book. He shivered, rubbing his arms.
"Did I do this?" he asked. When the doctor nodded, Yakko shook his head, a mournful expression on his face. "I'm sorry. I…I'll fix it."
Before the psychiatrist could ask how the toon planned to do it, Yakko raised his gloved hands and stood poised like a conductor. A shiver of power snaked through the room, and everything shimmered and flickered for a moment before the most bizarre sight that Dr. Scratchansniff had ever encountered occurred before his eyes.
Droplets of hot chocolate began to pull themselves from the stains on the wall, couch, floor, bookshelves. The droplets gathered together into the perfect shape of the mug that had contained them, sans mug. Seconds later, glass shards stitched themselves together seamlessly, settling into a mug around the floating liquid as if it had never been broken. The holes in the walls sealed themselves into an unblemished surface. The fire burned backward, the flicking noises strange and otherworldly, as the pages reformed from ash.
All of this happened in slow motion. As the book became whole, Yakko slipped his fingers into the handle of the mug and the book floated there for a moment, still on the page of the original animators from Warner Brothers Studios. Instead of setting it ablaze again, Yakko stared then turned away, his eyes closed as if he was in great pain. With a motion of his hand, the book closed and settled back into its place.
"Sorry, doc," he muttered. "Does it look better now?"
"Y-yes," Dr. Scratchansniff stammered, straightening up. "Yakko, how did you—"
"I shouldn't have come," the toon groaned. "It was stupid to think you could help me. Nobody can help me. Not you, not Wakko, not Dot. Nobody. I'll be going now. Sorry to waste your time."
The toon set the mug aside on a table then slunk toward the door. The doctor hesitated only a moment before springing over the sofa and snatching Yakko's arm. The toon jumped and stared at the psychiatrist. People didn't like to touch toons, and toons didn't much like being touched by people. It always felt unnatural. He stared into the blue eyes of the human.
"You zay I cannot help," Dr. Scratchansniff said, gripping the inked arm tightly. "But you 'ave not told me vhy you've come. Sit down and ve'll talk, ja?"
Yakko's gaze was locked on the pale peach hand that gripped his solid black arm. After a moment's deliberation, he followed the doctor back to the couch and sat down. The doctor released him, shaking his hand out for a moment as he tried to rid himself of the sensation from touching a toon. He sat down in his chair and crossed his leg over his knee.
"So, Yakko," he said calmly. "Vat are you here for?"