I hope you guys enjoy this. I was attacked by a vicious plot bunny and somehow managed to finish writing this before family time. In one go, too. I was surprised. So, here you go.
In which Danny confuses the heck out of the Cirque before leaving to take a test.
A black haired teen wearing a white t-shirt with red trim and blue jeans was standing next to Mr. Tall's trailer, tapping his foot impatiently. He had been standing there for several hours, only moving to relive himself or to ask someone to bring him something to eat or drink.
Evra walked up to Mr. Tall, who was standing a little ways off, in the shade of a tree. "Mr. Tall?" he asked.
The absurdly tall man looked down at the snake teen. "Hmm?"
"Who is that? What is he doing here?"
"I don't know who he is," Mr. Tall said after a moment. "Nor do I know for sure why he is here."
Evra looked back at the teen to see him look at a watch he could swear wasn't there a minute ago.
"He's late," the black haired teen muttered.
"Who's late?" Evra asked, curiosity aroused.
"Des. He was supposed to be here seven hours ago," he crossed his arms and glared into space. "I can only get so much time for this, and I can't miss my next class. I don't spend enough time in school as it is."
"What's your name?"
The grumpy teen looked over at Evra, startled. "Danny," he said. "You?"
"My name's Evra. I'm part of the Cirque," he said proudly.
Evra nodded and Danny looked upset.
"How is it?" he asked, seemingly weary of the answer.
"It's great," Evra said. "Definitely better than where I was before. Here I'm free to be me. I can even leave if I want."
Again, Danny looked surprised. "So, you're not trapped or controlled or treated bad?"
Evra was shocked. "Of course not! Mr. Tall saved me from the last group that had me. They treated me like an actual snake. Here I'm part of the show, sure. But I'm not stuck in a glass case. I help set up and pack the Cirque. We're family."
Danny looked relieved. "That's good," he said.
"Why would you think we would treat anyone badly?" Mr. Tall asked.
Danny snorted. "Ever hear of the Circus Gothica?"
Mr. Tall frowned. "They are a very unethical group."
"You're telling me," Danny said as he held his arms above his head to stretch. "When Freakshow came through my town, he almost took me with him."
Mr. Tall looked the boy over. "If I remember correctly, Frederick only dealt with ghosts."
Danny nodded. "You're right."
"Then why would he take you with him?"
Danny winced. "I was on his train when he was leaving, along with my friends. It took all of us to stop the train. All the ghosts except Lydia took off the second they were free." Danny got a wistful look on his face. "I saw the police take him into custody. Best part of the day."
"I quite agree."
The group turned to face the speaker.
Desmond Tiny, holding his heart-shaped watch, stood at ease surrounded by Little People.
Evra shrunk behind Mr. Tall and glanced over at Danny.
Danny glanced at his watch and glared at Mr. Tiny. "You're seven hours late," he snapped.
Evra gaped and Mr. Tiny tilted his head.
"I wasn't aware I had an appointment with you…" he trailed off, hoping for a name.
"I'm here for Clockwork," the boy stated. "You were supposed to be here seven hours ago."
Mr. Tiny grinned. "Well, if you're here for Clockwork, you must have a lot of spare time."
Danny didn't let up his glare. "Not really. I'm late for a movie right now."
"I'm so sorry." Mr. Tiny's smile told otherwise. "I wasn't aware Clockwork had an apprentice that lived here."
Danny didn't rise to the bait. "I'm here to tell you to quit screwing around. The Time Stream is turning into a whirlpool."
"Well, that must be interesting."
"The Observants are having a meeting right now about whether or not to put you in confinement."
"They take so long to come to decisions I will have plenty of time to do as I please."
Danny snapped then.
"WILL YOU STOP TALKING LONG ENOUGH FOR ME TO PASS ON THE STINKING MESSAGE!" he yelled, green waves of energy coming from his mouth. The troop behind him stopped working and stared. In front of Danny was several tilted trees, clumps of blue among the shrubbery marking a Little Person, and a rather disheveled Desmond Tiny.
"I ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH ON MY PLATE!" Danny kept wailing, oblivious to his growing audience. "THE BOX GHOST WAKES ME UP EVERY FIVE MINUTES AT NIGHT! SKULKER HAS BEEN AFTER MY HIDE FOR TWO YEARS AND STILL WON'T GIVE UP! WALKER HAS A CELL RESERVED FOR ME IN HIS PRISON THAT I ESCAPE FROM ON A FREAKING MONTHLY BASIS AND PLASMIUS STILL WANTS TO KILL MY DAD, MARRY MY MOM, AND TURN ME INTO HIS EVIL SON/APPRENTICE!"
He paused for a breath before continuing. "BETWEEN THE ECTO-PUSES, VLAD'S EXPERIMENTS, AND ALL MY NORMAL ENEMIES, I BARELY HAVE TIME TO GO TO SCHOOL AND DO MY HOMEWORK! DON'T YOU TALK TO ME ABOUT WASTING TIME; I DON'T HAVE ANY TO WASTE! THE ONLY REASON I'M HERE INSTEAD OF AN OBSERVANT IS BECAUSE THEY'RE ALL AT THAT MEETING AND CLOCKWORK PROMISED TO MAKE UP AS MUCH TIME AS HE COULD SO I WON'T GET ANOTHER DETENTION OR GROWNDING BECAUSE I'VE BEEN HERE ALL DAY INSTEAD OF TAKING A STUPID FINAL THAT WILL DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT I'VE GOT TO REPEAT MY SOPHMORE YEAR! NEVERMIND THE NEW INVENTION MY PARENTS JUST FINISHED THIS MORNING IS GOING TO GIVE ME NIGHTMARES! IF I EVEN MANAGE TO GET ANY SLEEP THERE!
"I HAVEN'T EVEN BEEN ABLE TO VISIST MY FRIENDS IN THE GHOST ZONE BECAUSE OF DETENTIONS, GROUNDINGS, HOMEWORK I NEVER GET TO, AND ALL THE GHOSTS THAT WON'T LEAVE ME ALONE LONG ENOUGH TO GET EVEN AN HOUR OF CONNECTED SLEEP AT NIGHT. SO THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE SO MUCH FREE TIME WILL GET YOU NO SYMPATHY FROM ME!"
Danny stood panting for a minute while the troop of the Cirque stared at the devastation in front of the boy. The forest had been completely leveled for several yards. All throughout the mess, random spots of blue began to emerge. And Desmond Tiny was held in place by a column of green tinted ice.
"Now," Danny said, his voice slightly hoarse. "I'm going to give you my message, and you're going to do something smart for once and not meddle while the Observants decide your fate. Right?"
Mr. Tiny nodded as much as he could.
"Good," he went on in a more normal tone. "Clockwork has noticed that all of your meddling is turning the Time Stream into a whirlpool. The Observants, annoying as they are, have also noticed. If things get much worse, they have given me permission to pound you into a pulp before handing you over to them to confine. Personally, I dislike hurting humans. However, I have been told that you are not human, and therefore okay to hurt." He paused for a moment here to look at the leveled forest in front of him. "That wasn't even at full power," he said conversationally. "I could demolish the biggest city in the world in under an hour all by myself. But I choose not to. Nice talking with you, hope to never see you again. I have a test to take."
With that, he disappeared in a swirl of green.
I've read a couple of things here saying that Clockwork is annoyed by Desmond Tiny's constant interfering in the Time Stream. So I decided to let Danny do some venting in Clockwork's place.