Animaniacs Fan Fiction ❯ Yakko's Curse ❯ An Ocean of Tears ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

The doctor watched as Yakko drew his knees up to his chest, hugging them. The toon's eyes scanned the room, as if searching for the words he needed. The silence stretched on for a few minutes before the Warner brother moved.

"Why am I here?" he asked, more to himself than the psychiatrist. There was a brief pause before he answered his own question. "I don't want to think about it, what those idiots did to me. But it won't go away. It won't leave me alone. The memories play out almost every night, Doc. I don't know what else to do, who else to go to. You're my only chance at normality."

Dr. Scratchansniff pressed his hands together, studying the toon. "I don't understand," he finally said. "You vant to be normal?"

"Want to?" Yakko asked dreamily. "Yes. I want to be normal. I don't want to be zany, to have the powers you saw a few minutes ago. I don't want to have nightmares every night about something that never really happened."

The doctor pursed his lips. A hundred questions swam through his mind, and he sorted through them for a moment before selecting one.

"I saw your powers," the human said slowly. "But I do not understand them. I thought you could only use them to do the funny business. But what you did vas not funny at all. It vas…"

"Terrifying," Yakko said. "I know."

"Vat exactly are your powers, Yakko?"

"That is a big question," the toon responded, gripping his knees tighter. "I can do almost anything I want. Funny is what I channel it into because I want to set a good example for my sibs. They don't know about the terrifying stuff, and I want to keep it that way."

"So, your siblings would not have been able to stop the door?"

Yakko shook his head. "No. They couldn't've done anything unless it was supposed to be funny. Slapstick and jokes and stuff like that is all they know how to do."

Dr. Scratchansniff leaned forward, his eyes locked on Yakko's drawn face. "But you can do more."

It was not a question, but Yakko nodded anyway. "Yeah. And you saw why it isn't a good thing for me to know how to do."

"Vat makes you so different from your siblings?"

Yakko worried his bottom lip as his eyes lost focus. "Because I remember what happened. Because I'm older and stronger and my memories aren't clouded with age. I'm the same age as I was when I came into existence. That's why the nightmares are so vivid. I'm stuck as a fourteen-year-old, stuck on the same horrible day even as time marches forward. I am nothing but ink and paint, so I cannot grow and change like a human child can. It wasn't drawn into me to grow and change. So here I am, a boy that will never grow up, a boy who cannot forget, who doesn't want to remember, but who has no choice in the matter."

Dr. Scratchansniff was thrown off for a moment. He had never even thought of toons as being frozen in time, but now that Yakko mentioned it, it explained so much. Yakko, Wakko, and Dot would forever be mischievous children, would never grow up and get married, would never be anything more than what they were drawn to be. The thought of not being able to change was frightening, and it took a great deal of effort not to show how scared he was.

"I see," the human said, sitting back. "I suppose that Mr. Plotz's plan to take avay your zaniness is a lost cause then."

Yakko shook his head, a bitter laugh spilling from his lips. "You might be able to de-zanify my siblings. But I wouldn't try it on me. Not unless you want me to kill somebody. The zaniness is the only thing that keeps me sane, as backwards as that sounds. If I don't laugh, I'll go insane and explode. Like what you saw."

Dr. Scratchansniff shook his head, "You couldn't kill anybody."

Yakko tossed his head back and burst into a horrible, screeching laugh. His voice warbled, and he gripped his stomach as tears flowed down his face. The fresh memory of red eyes full of fire passed through the doctor's mind, and with cold dread he knew that he was wrong. Yakko could kill people, and it would be easy, like stopping a door midway or dropping an anvil on somebody's head. Dr. Scratchansniff's stomach lurched as the image of what really would happen if Yakko dropped a real anvil on a human's head popped up, and he swallowed hard, clenching his jaw as the toon laughed.

Only when the silence had stretched on for a few long moments did the psychiatrist realize that Yakko had stopped. His eyes glinted, a touch of red in their dark depths. A small, sinister smile stretched his lips as he glared at the doctor.

"Do you want to rethink that?" he asked, his tone light and full of a humor that was darker than the night outside.

Dr. Scratchansniff removed his glasses and cleaned them on his shirt. He fumbled, and they dropped to the carpet. As he reached out to grab them, he saw his hands trembling, and he paused and stared at them, unable to think. When Yakko's gloved hand reached down, the doctor jumped away, falling over the arm of his chair. Scrambling to his knees, he squinted at the dark shape of the toon, his heart beating fast. Was Yakko going to kill him?

The blur stood up and the boy approached. Dr. Otto Scratchansniff let out a high whine, backing up against his desk. His vision was so bad that he squinted until his eyes were nothing but slits, trying to see if there was any red on Yakko's face. There was, bright and contrasting against the black and white. His limbs locked, and his mouth dried up as if he had swallowed a mouthful of sand. He didn't dare blink as the toon knelt down and reached both hands out.

Then his vision sharpened as the glasses were placed on his face. Now that he could see, he realized that the red was Yakko's nose. Instead of rage or a sinister smile, the toon simply looked tired. Tears gleamed in his dark eyes, and he held out his hand. Dr. Scratchansniff took it, and Yakko helped him up. The boy looked young again, afraid and unsure, and he turned away and hugged himself, his shoulders slumped.

The doctor felt foolish, and he warily touched him. "Yakko? Are you okay?"

"I hate what I am, doc," he whispered. "I hate myself so much. I've hurt people, doc. I've hurt them real bad. I don't want to. I tried to be normal, I tried, and I hurt people."

"Hurt who?"

Yakko waved his hand and the air shimmered again as he pulled a newspaper clipping from thin air. Without looking back, he held it out. Dr. Scratchansniff pushed his glasses up as he took it. The headline screamed at him: UNKNOWN ASSAILANT PLANTS BOMB, A WHOLE BLOCK DESTROYED! POLICE SEEKING DANGEROUS CRIMINAL! The paper was dated in the fifties, and the picture was of what used to be a building. All that remained was the scattered debris from whatever had been inside and shattered bricks.

Farther down was a picture of a man with his face half-blackened with soot. Bandages were wrapped around his jaw and the line below read, "All I remember is fire. Fire and red eyes!"

"You did this?" Dr. Scratchansniff asked, his mouth dry again.

"I didn't mean to," Yakko moaned, covering his face. "I tried to tone down the zany. People talked bad about me. I got away from my sibs on our day out and I was just so mad! I saw everything that happened that horrible night! I felt my brain go numb and the next thing I remembered was finding my sibs. I was covered in dust and blood! But it wasn't my blood! I don't remember what happened! I swear I don't! By the animators, you've got to believe me!"

Dr. Scratchansniff looked up from the article to see a crazy glint in Yakko's eyes, along with tears. The boy was just as afraid as the doctor was, maybe more, and Dr. Scratchansniff felt compassion stir in his breast for the second time that night. He set the newspaper clipping on his desk and approached. The doctor grasped the toon's chin, the same tingle of unnatural energy that always followed from touching a toon, but he didn't let go.

"Yakko," he said firmly. "Look at me." The frightened black eyes searched the doctor's face, and Dr. Scratchansniff shook his head slightly. "Do not vorry. I believe you."

The tears that flowed down the pale cheeks were of mingled sadness and relief, and Yakko sobbed, hugging himself tighter. The doctor released Yakko's chin and hesitantly placed his arms over the toon's shoulders, pulling him closer. Yakko let out a strangled noise and pressed against the thin chest, shivering with the force of his tears. Gloved hands clutched at the doctor's shirt, and Yakko lost it, howling like a wounded animal.

The pain that poured from the toon's wounded soul nearly overwhelmed the human. Decades of repressed tears, big fat tears that contained unfathomable agony, poured onto the floor, and soon they were standing ankle deep in saltwater. There was nothing funny about those tears, even as they splashed into the pool at their feet. Dr. Scratchansniff had known others with an ocean of unshed tears inside them, and it was Yakko's unique situation of actually being a toon that allowed that ocean to actualize.

The doctor held the toon tightly against him, stroking behind Yakko's ears and ignoring the growing sensation of unnaturalness that swelled through him. Now was not the time to shake the tingles from his body. There was no way that it was wrong to hold a boy who needed comfort, no matter if he was human or not.

Eventually, the tears slowed, but Yakko did not let go. He nuzzled the human, whimpering. Dr. Scratchansniff continued to scratch behind the boy's ears with one hand and patted the shivering creature's back. It wasn't until Yakko leaned into his fingers and looked at his hand that the doctor realized that it might be offensive. Yakko probably thought the doctor was treating him like a dog!

"I'm sorry, Yakko," the doctor muttered, withdrawing his hand.

"I do that for my sibs when they're upset," Yakko said softly, wiping his cheeks. He took a deep, steadying breath and stepped back, looking down at the pool of water that filled the room. His cheeks warmed. "Sorry about that."

Dr. Scratchansniff looked down, too. The water was above their ankles, and his entire front was soaked. His shirt clung to his skin and he tugged on it to loosen it from his skin.

"Eh, it's no problem," he said.

"I could fix it."

"If you vant."

Yakko took up the conductor's position again. The air shimmered as if heat waves rose from the water, and the pool leaped into the air at a silent command. Yakko smiled, glancing at the doctor.

"When's the last time your office was cleaned?"

"It's been avhile," the psychiatrist replied, a sad smile on his face. "Not in the budget."

Yakko snorted, his eyes gleaming in amusement. "Balderdash and codswallop!" he laughed then twirled gracefully. The water flew across the room, flowing and twisting just as gracefully as the toon. Droplets gleamed in the lamplight as they spread across the room. Every surface was wet for a brief moment then the water turned brown. What looked to be a backwards explosion occurred, and the dirty water formed a ball that hovered in the middle of the room. Yakko looked around, arching his eyebrow.

"Better?" he asked.

The doctor gazed appreciatively at the clean, fresh room, and he beamed, nodding. Yakko dipped his head then flicked his fingers and opened the window. The water flowed out and found the drain, the sucking sound loud and obvious. The air stopped shimmering, and Yakko stretched lazily, admiring his work. The glass sparkled, the carpet smelled fresh as summer rain, and the furniture looked brand new.

He found himself grinning like a fool. He felt light as air, light as a bird on the wing, and he twittered like a songbird as he skipped over to the chair. All of those tears were no longer inside him, and he loved how free he felt. It was shocking how much pain weighed in the heart and mind. Plopping down, he smiled at the human who was still looking around in wonder.

"Pretty cool, huh?" he asked, placing his arms behind his head. A yawn came to his lips, and he instinctively glanced at the clock. It was almost two in the morning! Yakko jumped up, looking toward the water tower.

"I think ve'd know if they were up," the doctor said.

"I-I've got to go," Yakko said, turning toward the door. "I shouldn't have come here…"

"Vell, you did. And I don't think you should stop," the doctor said solemnly, tugging on his shirt again. "How about you come by on Thursday?"

"I can't. My sibs would know something's wrong," Yakko said, hating that he couldn't stay, couldn't come back.

"Not if they're asleep ven you're scheduled."

Yakko turned to face the doctor, his eyes wide. "They don't take naps."

"No. They don't. How about Thursday at 11:30?"

"But I can't!"

Dr. Scratchansniff smiled, crossing his arms. "PM, not AM."

Yakko's mouth fell open, and he stared in shock. "You'd do that…for me? But you hate me!"

The doctor ignored that. "Vill you come?"

"I…Yes," Yakko said, a bit dazed. "Um, see you Thursday, doc."

Dr. Scratchansniff nodded, tugging on his wet shirt again. Yakko watched him for a moment then headed for the door. Glancing back one last time, a small smile decorated the toon's worn face. He curled his fingers and flicked them, and the wetness on the doctor's shirt leaped into a small bubble. It hovered for a moment then arced out the window and plopping on the movie lot pavement.

The doctor stood still, marveling at his dry clothes for a moment before a cool breeze brought his attention to the open window. He went to it and looked toward the water tower. Yakko reached the bottom of the ladder then turned into a being of shadow and flowed up through the cracks. And it was over.

Dr. Scratchansniff closed the window and drew the curtains. His mind was abuzz with questions, but he told himself to wait. Yakko would tell him in his own time. It wouldn't do to force him to talk. Stretching, the doctor turned off his light and headed for his little apartment above his offices. He was exhausted, and he fell into bed after changing into his pajamas. Before he could think on all of the amazing things that had happened, he fell asleep. Across the lot, Yakko lay down on his blessedly cool pillow and lost his mind to dreams instead of nightmares.