Epilogue – And Now to the Ocean

Author's Notes: Well, this is it, the final part of Guardian. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has read, and especially everyone who has reviewed, this story. Any and all comments are always appreciated. I hope that I have been respectful of Andrew Stanton's characters, and given a level of depth to the Tank Gang – particularly Gill - that was only hinted at in Finding Nemo. I hope you have all enjoyed reading this fic as much as I have enjoyed writing it. If you have enjoyed reading this fic, you might also like to read my other Finding Nemo fic, Finding Home.

"Come on, Peach!" Gill called, as he heard car horns honking. He had finally made it – he was back in the ocean – well, okay, technically on top of the ocean, inside a plastic baggie, but the ocean was right below him, which was close enough, and certainly closer than he had been to it in years. The Tank Gang were surrounding him, each one inside an individual baggie, as they were waiting for their final member, Peach, to join the rest of them in the harbour.

"Hurry!" called Deb.

"You can do it!" Gill called back encouragingly.

"Yeah, that's it! You can do it!" Bloat said.

"Just a little further," Gurgle added.

"That's the shortest red light I've ever seen!" commented Peach, from just above the rest of the Tank Gang.

"Come on, Peach," said Bloat.

With a triumphant exclamation, Peach at last made it, dropping down, in her baggie, joining the others. The Tank Gang were together, free at last, even if they were still trapped inside the baggies.

There was a general feeling of achievement, as the Tank Gang congratulated each other on finally making it to freedom. They laughed and smiled at one another, as Gill watched on. Breaking the AquaScum had taken time and patience, not to mention pebbles, fake flowers and a few pieces of miscellaneous plastic. Gill doubted that Doctor Sherman would ever be able to fix it. Still, he did feel a twinge of sympathy towards the dentist – despite everything, he had treated the Tank Gang well, and had never had any ill wish towards any of them – but harm could certainly be caused, even if someone had no malicious intent. Still, that was in the past now – literally as well as metaphorically behind them. The future awaited, out there – the ocean was in front of them all, just waiting to be explored, just waiting for the Tank Gang to go out and find a place for themselves in the wonderful, terrible, beautiful ocean that was a moorish idol's natural home. Of course, they were still in these baggies…the one small detail that Gill had overlooked in his meticulous planning of his most recent escape plan.

"Now what?" asked Bloat, staring out at the ocean from inside him own baggie.