A/N: meep.


"Huh. 'Wander.' I like the sound of that."

He hummed and skipped and yodeled. He danced and kicked and strummed his banjo. He smiled, smiled, smiled.

Then he stopped.

"Hey, Silvia?" His voice was breathless with excitement, his eyes turning wide and gooey, his teeth biting his lower lip as he turned to his companion.

Silvia looked at him, unimpressed. "What?" she said irritably. "Wander, if this is another one of your..."

"Look!" he squealed, barely containing himself as he pointed over off to the distance.

She looked.

"Oh, no," she groaned, flopping her head to the ground. "Not again."

It was a mysterious cave entrance.

"Wander, please don't –"

She lifted her head, then looked around.

"Wander? Wander!"

Then she sighed. It was a familiar ritual.

"Aaand, he's already gone, isn't he?"

Resigned, she walked into the cave. Then stopped. Blinked twice.

"What the –"

She could barely believe her eyes.


He was staring at something, frozen so still that he almost looked like he had been petrified. Wander never was so still.

She ran over to him, worried.

"Wander? Are you okay?"

She took a glance at what he was staring at – a wall covered in gibberish. What? Before she had time to inspect it further, Wander became unfrozen. He turned to her, a smile on his face. But it wasn't Wander's smile.

He looked at her, and the light from the entrance made his wide eyes glimmer eerily.

"It never hurts to help," he said.

Silvia stared at him, bewildered.

"There isn't a mountain too high, a valley too low, or a river too wide to keep apart a pair of pals like Wander and I!"

Wander was never scared. Not of anything – not Lord Hater, not Emperor "Awesome," not Lord Dominator.

Alright, there was that one time with the creepy ghosts in the forest. But that was different. It was a fear of the unknown, of the strange and mysterious – not fear for life. It was different.

Now, though, something was wrong.

"Hey, I think we should leave this planet. Go exploring! Find another planet. Leave. Here, here's the Orbble Juice." He pulled out the container, looking ecstatic at it's sight.

Silvia was worried.

"Are you sure, Wander? I mean, you don't want to explore this planet? We just got here." After Lord Dominator had destroyed almost all the planets, Silvia and Wander had begun exploring all the newly birthed life on the broken planets. Wander never had wanted leave before they had explored a planet's full potential.

"Sure? Yes, sure! I'm very sure. We should leave. Leave, now!" Wander moved his hand to make the bubble that would take them into space.

Silvia's tail wrapped around his hand before he could.

"Wander, what happened back there?"

"What? Happened? What are you talking about?"

Wander blinked wide, innocent eyes, but something about it seemed false.

Wander had never been good with hiding his emotions.

"Is it..." She thought back to the last cave they've been in, "some evil enchantment? Pictures of cats you never were able to save? A threat to our galaxy?" She scowled and brought her hands up, miming a boxing position. "I swear, if Lord Dominator is trying something again – "

She paused, looking over at Wander. She had expected him to say something about friendship and love and Dominator, but he just looked... sad. She let down her fists.

"Hey, Wander," she said. "We're best friends. You can tell me anything."

He looked up at her, and his eyes were so old that for a moment, she wondered if this was really Wander.

"Silvia," he said then, trying for a smile, "we sure are best buds for all the universe, but..." He touched the brim of his hat.

"There are just some things I can't talk about."

"Thanks, Syl. That was the most important part."

"Hey, hey, wake up."

"W-w-w-wha-wha-what!" Wander jolted up from his sleeping position, straight as a rod. Then he coughed, and his body returned to its normal furry stick-shape.

Sylvia eyed him skeptically. "I never wake up before you. Are you sure you're okay, buddy?"

"W-wha-what? Of course I'm okay!" As if to prove it, he pulled out his banjo and started strumming.

"Hey, we're off that planet

and everything is just dreary

Hey, we're off together

and they're not here –"

He coughed, stopped strumming, and put his banjo back into his hat.

Silvia sighed.

"Look, Wander, we need to talk."

"T-talk? What? We don't need to talk." He glanced up, nervously, then back down, then up again, eyebrow furrowing as if something had just occured to him. Then –

"Oh no! My morning duties! I need to go, Silvia! I need to... I need to help, help, help!"

Then he was gone.

"W-wait, Wander –!"

"Aaand... you're already gone."

She stared at the spot he had stood a moment earlier, worried for her best friend.

"Love that part of you, buddy."


He was back. She allowed herself a smile, relieved.

"I'm back!" he said, cheery as ever. "Just had to have a good talking to with Ms. Old Myrtle, and make sure everyone who needed any help got some help. Like I said, never hurts to help."

"I'm just glad you're here."

After that, things returned to normal, strangely enough.

He hummed and skipped and yodeled. He danced and kicked and strummed his banjo. He smiled, smiled, smiled.

And now, it was Wander's smile again. Happy, unrestrained. Squealing voice, the unholy glee at the sight of any person in need of a little help.

Silvia marvelled at the change, and was just glad that her best friend was alright again.

"The helper seeks to help others because he knows what it is to be helpless."

A month later, she found herself back at the cave.

"Wander?" she called, looking at the gibberish on the wall. "What does this mean?"

No answer.

She frowned, and looked around.



She later found him curled by the wall, wide-eyed and terrified.


(Wander was never scared of anything.)

(Wander, what are you so scared of?)

(Please, talk to me.)