It was cold and wet, so very cold. He struggled trying to reach the surface but kept sinking further into the icy abyss. He was frightened, more so then he had ever been before, as he sunk further and his lungs burned. He couldn't hold his breath anymore and desperately gasped for oxygen that wasn't there. Water instinctly flooded into his mouth and lungs, suffocating him. Slowly his struggles began to lessen as his vision darkened. Finally they stopped all together. His last conscious thought was a plea for someone, anyone, to help.
-Central Park, New York 1919-
Francis Squirrel sighed as he dashed through the city park, trying to find something to distract himself from his recent loss and new found loneliness. It wasn't easy as everywhere he looked he saw families happily doing something togrthrr that caused a great pain in his heart. Everything was a constant reminder that he had once had a family and lost it all:
His mother, his father, his little sister- all lost to a freak storm that had shown up out of nowhere leaving him all alone.
Sighing, he leaned against a tree and looked to the starry night sky. Hi a parents had once told him that there was a Wishing Star up there and that if he ever found it and made a wish on it, his wish would come true. Wo he came out here every night and made the same wish on different stars, praying that maybe that star would finally be the Wishing Star he was searching for. Picking a star, Francis closed his eyes and made his wish:
'I wish... I wish for a family of my own.'
He kept his eyes closed for a moment half afraid to open them before finally daring to do so...
The field was empty as it had been when he entered. Shudders slumped, Francis had just turned to leave when a brightly flash shined from behind him. Quickly he spun on his heels and his hazel eyes widened. There, just five feet away was a soaking wet red squirrel kit that had not been there just a second ago.
At first he stood there frozen in shock before his mind finally kicked in and rushed to the lot's side. For the first time in a long time, hope filled Francis as he picked up the unconcerned kit before glancing to the sky. It seemed he finally found the Wishing Star. Smiling as the kit snuggles into his chest fur, Francis sent out a silent 'Thank you' before rushing back to his home.
For the first time in his short life the boy who only knew himself as 'Freak' woke up feeling warm and safe with no one yelling at him or banging on his cupboard's door. Die he die? If so, Freak didn't think He minded dying that much. It felt nice actually. He just wanted to lay there all day in the foreign feeling of safety, but he knew he couldn't. What if he wasn't dead? Slowly, Freak opened his eyes and glanced up.
Francis stopped humming the moment he noticed Amber eyes watching him but kept the kit firmly wrapped in his arms. He smiled at the kit, who was watching him closely with a weary tension.
"Good morning, Kit. Sleep well?"
The kit slowly nodded, eyes watching him with extreme caution that Francis couldn't help but notice. It was almost as if the kit expected to be attacked. He put on a friendly smile, trying to show the kit he meant no harm.
"That's good. Got a name, Kit?"
The kit spoke in a soft, almost unhearable, but Francis still heard the young squirrel's reply and felt his blood go cold.
An icy feeling filled Francis as a thought hit him, a thought he'd rather not even think. Licking his lips he kept his voice friendly, hiding his ever growing dread.
"And who calls you that, Kit?"
"Auntie and Uncle."
Francis' grip tightened a bit on the kit. He had hoped his assumption was wrong but apparently not. It seemed his Wishing Star had brought him a family member that would no doubt need him almost as much as he needed the kit.
"Well that won't do. How about I give you a real name?"
The kit stared him in the eyes for a moment before slowly nodding. Francis hummed in thought.
Alex-? No, it didn't seem right.
Xander?- No, it didn't seem right.
Francis? -No, that would just be confusing for the both of them.
...Maybe... Francis eyed the kit closely be fire nodding. It was perfect.
"How about Red?"
"Red," the kit repeated the word a few times be fire smiling softly and nodding.
"Red it is then. Well Red, I'm your new Brother: Francis Squirrel, but just call me Francis or Brother."
The kit's eyes widened before smiling brightly.
"I always wanted a Brother." The kit spoke softly.
"Me too, Red. Me too."