Petrie's friends and all their family members were being held down. The grownups were all pinned to the ground by Sharptooth feet, while his friends were being held by their throats in the grasp of the remaining Fast Biters. His family and babysitter were being squeezed helplessly by one of the Sailbacks. Everyone was staring either at him or the two murderous orchestrators of the attack. Nobody else seemed to be coming to their rescue, and he assumed they were being held off by probably even more Sharpteeth. The entire valley might have been filled with predators.
Then, … Petrie noticed something seemed off. As he gazed at his friends, he noticed that one of them … was missing …
"D-Ducky!?" he gasped, "Where Ducky!?"
The only reply he got was a hiss from the male Sailback. He was standing just a few feet away from him with a terrifying, … evil … smile on his face. The Flyer looked away and felt the tears of hopelessness and despair welling up in his eyes. This was just the worst thing that could ever have happened to him. Here he was, at the center of attention for all the wrong reasons. He was marked for death as if wanted for murder, and nearly everyone he knew was being held hostage before his very eyes so that they could all watch him die a humiliating death at the hands of two Sailbacks who wished to avenge their son whom he killed … just to save someone who loved him and was trying to protect him when he suddenly decided to try and protect her for once. Now he realized just how much of a mistake that really was. This was the worst way for him to go out, and with most of the valley still against him and Ducky for their forbidden love, he felt that in his mind, he was getting just what he deserved. He had ruined all their lives, and he was about to pay for what he had done.
The male Sailback began growling at the little Flyer, and Petrie soon heard a translation from a very weakened Chomper …
"Did you actually think you were going to get away with the murder of our son?"
The Fast Biter holding Chomper stepped closer to the center of the circle to ensure they could hear his translations better.
Petrie gulped once he heard the translation, and a single tear escaped from his eye as he saw just how much trouble he was really in now.
Suddenly, the male Sailback seemed to … laugh, … and he bent down to get a closer look at the Flyer he loathed with a passion. He growled and roared at him with an evil smile.
"Ah, yes! I so remember you, little runt! I never forgot the day you deprived me of a meal of a Glider … with help from your annoying friends of yours," he hissed, and Chomper translated for Petrie to hear.
The entire group of hostages gasped, with Mama Flyer gasping the loudest of all. This just had to be yet another adventure the Gang had never told their families about, and it took Mama Flyer no time to guess just when it happened …
"Well, no matter. The reality is that you will be ripped to shreds in front of all your dearly beloved ones in just a few moments," hissed the Sailback with Chomper translating as he went along, "We swore upon finding our son's body in Black Rock that we would kill the one who murdered him, … and we are going to keep our word."
"No!" Mama Flyer screamed once Chomper finished his translation, and the female Sailback snapped at her to gesture her to "Shut up!"
Taking several deep breaths, Petrie looked up at his new mortal enemy and finally spoke …
"Me no know it your son, … and me do it to protect me Mommy!"
Chomper translated his words into Sharptooth for the Sailbacks to hear, and their response was hissing ferociously at the little Flyer as if they were insulted.
"You insolent, little murderer!" roared the female Sailback, "You kill someone without knowing he had a family!?"
"Oh, wait just a minute!" the male spoke up, "I can recall doing the same to another Flyer probably seven cold times ago. Now that I realize, you look so much like that beak face, only much smaller. I remember, his blood was so delicious!"
The Flyers in the female's hands gasped loudly once Chomper translated, but Petrie gasped the loudest of all. He could remember his night terrors being infested with Sailbacks claiming to have murdered his father when he was just a baby. Now, that, too, was becoming real. It just couldn't be. Could this heartless Sharptooth just so happen to be the one who killed the father he never got to know, a family figure he never got to have?
"Y-y-you … KILL ME DADDY!?" Petrie screamed as his body shook with rage. His tiny fingers clenched into fists as Chomper translated for the Sailbacks.
"So, we're both guilty of slaughtering each other's family! So, what!? Who cares if we're even!?" snorted the male Sailback.
"You murderer!" cried Petrie, causing the other leafeaters to gasp in shock from discovering perhaps a very dark secret that Petrie had never known throughout his young life, "You take me Daddy away from me! Maybe me happy me kill your son! Consider that revenge, blood breath!"
Immediately after hearing Chomper's translation, the Sailbacks promptly snapped at Petrie, but he squirmed out of the way just in time.
"NO!" wailed Mama Flyer, "PETRIE!"
"HOW DARE YOU INSULT OUR SON!" screamed the Sailbacks.
"HOW DARE YOU INSULT ME DADDY!" Petrie fired back after hearing Chomper's translation, and he tried to find a way to escape, but saw that every direction was blocked, and he knew that if he tried to fly, the Sailbacks could easily snap at him. Worse still, still no dinosaurs came to their aid; no grownups or children. What was taking the rest of the valley so long to arrive?
"We don't have all day to snort at you, so we are going to make this very simple!" growled the female Sailback.
"What you want with me!?" asked Petrie, breathing frantically.
"What a stupid question, you, stupid boy!" snorted the male Sailback, "You know the obvious answer to that question, don't you!?"
Petrie didn't reply to the translated insult as if he wasn't fazed by it, but the tears were still coming down, knowing the end was coming soon.
"Give yourself up to us now, and we will let your friends go," said the male Sailback with Chomper translating for Petrie, "Either that, or you will watch all your friends and their families … die!"
Petrie stood where he was, completely unmoving. His mind was spiraling with unhappy thoughts that made him feel very uncomfortable to be standing in front of all those who were closest to him. He just couldn't give himself up to a couple of Sailbacks who wanted to eat him, but he didn't want to let his friends or their families die a horrible death just like the one his night terrors had foretold to him.
"Don't do it, Petrie!" shouted Littlefoot, and the Fast Biter holding him hissed at him to be quiet.
"P-Pe-Petrie!?" stammered Cera, "D-Don't do it! H-help us!"
"Be brave!" choked Ruby as she struggled to breathe within another Fast Biter's tight hold on her throat.
Petrie glanced at his friends and felt something he had rarely felt before. Their encouragement gave him some strange feeling of … bravery, … as if it was egging him to stand up to those who wanted him dead … and, for once, protect those who still cared for him.
Then, he glanced up at the top of the nearby rock formation and noticed a large rock appearing to be wiggling ever so slightly. He held back a gasp as he noticed a certain someone trying to move that rock, and he immediately shifted his gaze to the Sailbacks to keep their attention on him.
"Fine!" he yelled at the Sailbacks, "But before you kill me, me have one last thing to say to me friends!"
"Petrie! Don't!" his mother yelled, but the female Sailback once again shut her up with a snap of her jaw, while Chomper hesitantly translated Petrie's words.
"Hmph!" snorted the male Sailback, "Not that it'll do any good, but what do you have to say?"
Once Chomper translated the Sailback's growls, Petrie glanced at everyone else present. He looked at Littlefoot, Chomper and Ruby, then he glanced at Cera and Tricia. He cast brief glances at Topps and Tria, and he noticed Topps' expression didn't seem to be one of loathing and fury, but it looked as though he was terrified of something. The Flyer looked at Littlefoot's grandparents, and at Ducky's family, and finally his own family still being squeezed in the hands of the female Sailback.
He knew he had everyone's attention, and he gulped and began to speak …
"Me sorry, everyone … Me sorry, Great Valley … Me sorry to all me friends … Me sorry, Mommy … Me put you all in danger just because me try to save me Mommy. Me know everyone in valley hate me now, but now me know me no can run away from me troubles anymore. Me in love with a Swimmer, but me happy and me no care what others think."
He briefly glared at Topps before he continued …
"Me ruin lives of everyone in Great Valley, but me not going to spend me life bringing myself down. Me no care if you hate me! You still me people, and me stay here until everything put right!"
"P-Petrie! Don't!" his mother stammered in shock.
"Me fight until me no can fight anymore! Great Valley still me home in me heart, and nothing can take that away from Petrie!"
"Petrie, what are you doing!?" gasped Grandma Longneck.
Petrie winked at her and gestured up towards the rock formation. The Longneck's eyes took notice of a large rock making tiny wiggling movements near the top of the mountainous rock, and she stayed silent to keep the Sharpteeth's attention away from it. She realized just what Petrie was planning.
Silence came and went, and the Sailbacks snickered at Petrie.
"Well, … are you finished with your stupid little speech!?" the female snorted.
Once Chomper translated, Petrie glared at the Sailbacks and put a determined look on his face …
"Go ahead! Kill me! Put end to me just like you do to me Daddy!"
"NAAAOOO!" his mother and all the children, except Donnie, screamed in horror.
The Sailbacks inched closer to Petrie and crouched down, and they opened their jaws as they came within inches of scooping up the Flyer. Their repulsive breaths blew around him, but he just stood there, glaring and unmoving as if he didn't care he was about to die …
Timing his judgment precisely, Petrie suddenly jumped off the ground and flapped his wings to lift himself …
A huge rock came crashing to the ground right where the Sailbacks were standing. A gigantic splash blasted water in all directions. Everyone screamed and closed their eyes as they all got sprayed with water. The Sharpteeth pinning the grownups down were all knocked over. Petrie watched and then gasped as he glanced down at the Sailbacks …
The rock had landed right on top of the female Sailback. The sail on her back had been crushed, and blood was pouring from her smashed belly. Her body seemed to have been practically cut in half from the impact. Not a single muscle in her body moved an inch. Her jaw was wide open with blood pouring out. It was so gruesome that Petrie had to look away to stop himself from vomiting, and it was then he saw that his family was free and were struggling their way out of the river, coughing after nearly drowning for a moment. His mother looked quite beaten, and his four siblings were all bruised.
But where was Wingfoot?
"HEY!" shouted a voice from atop the rock formation, … the very spot where the rock had fallen from, "LEAVE MY FUNNY FLYER ALONE!"
"Ducky!?" gasped Petrie.
At that moment, Threehorn roars and Swimmer calls drowned out the area, and Petrie saw dozens more Longnecks, Threehorns, Swimmers, Flyers and many more stampeding into the area. Hyp and his father, Mutt and Nod were among those in the large group that had so suddenly appeared, much to Petrie's surprise. He was especially shocked to find Sparkle also within the group, getting right to work with dispatching a few Sharpteeth with her horns. Just who could have possibly convinced her to come out of her beloved Pink Forest and fight? Petrie could only assume it must have been Ducky.
Swooper was making aerial attacks with Guido on his back. Mr. Clubtail was swinging his tail back and forth to deliver violent wounds to any who came near him. The bigger Sharpteeth all began to panic, and most of the Fast Biters released the children before cowering into the trees with fear.
Petrie brought himself back down to see if he could get a glimpse of Wingfoot anywhere within the immense chaos, but before he could have enough time to look, he was suddenly grabbed by something …
"AHH!" he screamed in fright … before he realized it was Ducky, hanging onto a swinging vine with her other hand.
"I gotcha!" the Swimmer shouted, and they swung directly towards two Fast Biters whom were still holding Cera and Tricia. The Threehorns were still trying to squeeze their way out, but the Fast Biters kept their firm grip and tried to bite into their heads.
Ducky brought her feet out in front of her just as they approached them, and she kicked the head of the Fast Biter holding Cera, while Petrie slashed his wing at the one holding Tricia. The Fast Biters roared in pain and released the Threehorns, letting them fall into the shallow portion of the river.
Neither the Swimmer nor the Flyer noticed … that Topps had watched the whole thing as he tried to get back up on his feet. He was gasping with surprise as he witnessed those two kids he had wanted to throw out … save his children …
… save his children. The only children he had …
"D-Did they just …," he murmured in disbelief.
Ducky let go of the vine and landed on her feet with Petrie in one of her arms. She released him just as she began to look back, … only to find the surviving Sailback charging right at them, growling with unimaginable fury.
Petrie gasped but had no time to think before Ducky suddenly grabbed him and placed him on her back. She grabbed his hands and brought them in front of her chest, and she turned around and started running as fast as she could.
"DUCKY!" yelled Mama Swimmer in horror.
"PETRIE! NO!" Mama Flyer cried out, but neither Ducky nor Petrie responded to their calls and disappeared within seconds with the Sailback pursuing them.
Ducky ran right into the neighboring forest after escaping the massacre, her feet aching with each step, her breaths becoming more pronounced. Sweat poured down her face as she kept her eyes fixed on the path ahead. She didn't even think for one moment about looking back, so Petrie did it for her. The Flyer had his arms wrapped around the Swimmer's chest, with her holding his hands tightly with her own, his wings tightly shielding her from just under the armpits down. He looked back from time to time to see if the Sailback was still hot on their tails.
"Keep running, Ducky!" he would say to his Sweet Swimmer each time, "Faster, Ducky! Faster!"
Ducky did as her Funny Flyer told, trying desperately to keep up her pace, but there just seemed to be no escaping from the vengeful Sailback. He was hissing and roaring with such loathing anger towards the two kids. First, they had deprived him of a Glider meal, then he had murdered his son, and now she had murdered his mate. It was all because of these two children that he had absolutely no family left, and now he wanted nothing more than to really take matters into his own hands. He didn't care if he died trying to kill them. This was about revenge; revenge against these two kids whom had destroyed everything he had ever known in his life. In his eyes, these children had to pay so that he could truly be taken seriously. He hated them both with a passion, and he wanted them dead by his own hands. He wished to give them a torturous, painful death.
Petrie looked back again and felt chills running down his back. All he could see was the Sailback. No one else seemed to have been trying to follow them. They were all alone; no sign of Littlefoot, or Cera, or Spike, or Ruby, … or even their parents. They had to fend for themselves. They had to deal with this hideous Sailback who desperately wanted to "teach them a lesson" … alone. It was a fact that made them shiver inside.
Ducky made her way out of the forest and back out onto open grassland. The Sailback was still right behind them, trying to snatch her by the tail, but kept missing as Ducky would leap from the left to the right and back to the left again each time he brought his jaw to the ground. Petrie clung tightly to his girlfriend as she carried him. They didn't know where they would end up. They just knew they had to lure that monster out of the valley somehow. Neither knew what to do other than run.
They soon realized they were heading straight towards Littlefoot's nest. They looked to their left and saw the entrance to their secret hideout, but they knew they couldn't take a chance trying to hide in there, so Ducky kept running straight ahead, right past Littlefoot's nest, and didn't stop. The Sailback kept chasing them. The beast seemed to be fast, but Ducky was just as fast, especially for someone her age. Petrie knew she was not one to be underestimated when it came to speed, and he was very impressed by it. He nearly smiled at her but quickly remembered they were in the middle of a perilous situation, and instead kept encouraging his Sweet Swimmer to just run.
"You do it, me Sweet Swimmer," he spoke with his beak resting on her forehead, "You great runner for Swimmer! Go, Ducky!"
Ducky smiled and chuckled at her Funny Flyer's encouragement, and she kept her legs going. She tried her best not to slow down. If she slowed even the slightest, it would surely be a fatal mistake.
Suddenly, the path they were on seemed to come to a dead end with no rocks or trees. It could only have been a cliff or a pit. As they came closer to the end, they noticed another forest on the other side. They looked to their left and right and saw just rocks on either side. The Sailback was still trying to bite at them from right behind.
They would have to jump …
Ducky wouldn't be able to make the jump on her own. If she dared to try, they would certainly fall to their deaths. It seemed as though the end was very near …
"Jump! Me carry you over!" shouted Petrie.
Shutting her eyes once she reached the ledge, Ducky took the most painful jump of her whole life. Petrie instantly squirmed his arms out of her grasp and grasped her back with his toes. He frantically flapped his wings to maintain as much height as possible. He kept his eyes down as he stared down at the pit and continuously flapped until he saw their shadows appearing on the ground just past it. The moment he stopped flapping, Ducky opened her eyes and grabbed the Flyer's arms again, wrapping them around her chest once more. Petrie closed his eyes and brought his chin against her forehead, and his legs wrapped around her waist as he once again sat comfortably on her back. The Swimmer shut her eyes as the movement of her arms forced her to do a few midair somersaults with the Flyer clinging tightly to her back. They kept their eyes closed until Ducky felt her feet touching ground again. She bent her knees to keep the landing as steady as she could, and she started running again. This prompted Petrie to open his eyes, his vision blurry as the somersaults left him dizzy for just one brief moment.
They heard a crash right behind them and knew the Sailback must have easily leaped across the pit and was still hot on their tails. They could not stop now.
They ran into the forest just ahead, and they found it was nowhere near as big as the previous one they had ran through. Ducky's feet began to tire, but she didn't stop. She would not stop until that Sharptooth was off their backs.
The kids found themselves approaching what looked like a downhill slope, but once they got to the edge, they gasped in horror and screamed …
There was no slope …
It was a cliffside …
Ducky's feet screeched against the ground as she tried to stop herself. Petrie brought his feet down to help her slow down. They shut their eyes tight and felt their hearts skipping beats. Ducky felt her tail scratching against the ground as their feet just didn't seem to slow them down enough. They screamed until they finally felt themselves stop moving, and they opened their eyes and dared themselves to look down …
Ducky's feet had come within just an inch from the edge of the cliff. The drop looked as though it was hundreds of feet. The sheer size of it nearly made them vomit. Ducky looked to the right, while Petrie looked to the left. They were surrounded on both sides by wall-like rocks. They were right on the west border of the Great Valley. The Mysterious Beyond was just one fatal jump away. The Sailback blocked the only possible method of escape, hissing at them with pure hatred.
"W-we trapped!" stuttered Petrie in horror.
"Oh, no, no, no!" panicked Ducky.
"We dead, Ducky! We dead!" cried Petrie in despair.
"Do not cry, Petrie," sniffled Ducky, feeling just as terrified as her boyfriend was, "We will … find … some way."
But even she couldn't think of anything to make her Funny Flyer feel better. They both knew they were doomed. This was it. It was all over. Their love for each other really would get them killed after all. From that fateful windy day, it was only a matter of time before their death sentence came to haunt them in their possibly final moments in this world together.
"I love you, Petrie, … my Funny Flyer," sobbed Ducky.
"Me love you, too, Ducky, … me Sweet Swimmer," whimpered Petrie, "Never let go of me."
"Never," replied Ducky, shaking her head, "We will go to the Great Beyond together. You will see your father again. I will see Judy and Nitha again. Yes, … yes, … yes."
They nuzzled their faces together as they watched the Sailback advance on them, slowing down with each stop he took.
"You killed my son! You killed my mate! You took away my future! You destroyed my life!" the Sailback growled, although Ducky and Petrie didn't have a clue what he was trying to say.
"Where Chomper when you need him?" quivered Petrie.
"I do not know," replied Ducky.
"And now … YOU WILL PAY!" the Sailback finished with a hateful hiss, gritting his teeth widely at the two children whom had destroyed his family … and his life.
Petrie suddenly saw some strange white flash, … and he found himself in that cave in Black Rock … staring at the Sailback's son, … and he watched his own view of himself leaping towards a rock just as the smaller Sailback charged at him …
His mind suddenly flashed again, and he snapped back to reality, shaking his head after experiencing such a strange flashback.
"Ducky, … me have idea," he whispered to Ducky.
"What is it, Petrie?" she asked.
Petrie gulped and very quickly explained his idea.
"Wait until Sharptooth about to charge and jump to the side just before he reach us."
"W-what?" gasped Ducky.
"That how me kill his son, so me sure it work here! Trust me!" panted Petrie.
Ducky stared at him as if he was out of his mind. He stared back with a look that told her he was pleading for her to trust him with his idea.
"Trust me," Petrie repeated, "Please, Ducky. It only way."
"If you insist," said Ducky uneasily, and their fixed their eyes on the Sailback once more.
The Sharptooth was slowly beginning to prepare for his surprise attack. They knew he was oblivious to the fact they were standing right next to a cliffside that would surely mean death to anyone who ended up falling off. He brushed his right foot against the ground several times and soon started running right at them.
"Wait for it," Petrie murmured right above Ducky's head, and she stayed still as he said it repeatedly at such a quick pace, "Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it, wait for it."
"Uh, Petrie?" shuddered Ducky as the Sailback got closer and was about to bend its neck down.
"Wait, wait, wait, wait," Petrie kept muttering quickly.
"Petrie!" panicked Ducky.
The Sailback opened its mouth. Its teeth were less than a hundred inches away from hitting the ground.
"NOW!" yelled Petrie.
Right on the cue, Ducky kept her hands grasping Petrie's hands, and she made a sudden leap to the right just milliseconds before the Sailback's mouth crashed against the ground. Ducky shut her eyes and listened to the crash, and she knew the Sharptooth had missed her …
She felt Petrie's hands … suddenly slipping away …
Ducky turned around and saw her worst nightmare coming true …
The Sailback's teeth had caught him by the bottom ends of his wings. The Sharptooth was sliding right towards the cliff. The Flyer was screaming in terror and crying in pain as he shut his eyes, knowing it was all over. Ducky's jump was just milliseconds too late. She had managed to save herself, but Petrie was about to go down with the one whom had hunted him.
Not even two full seconds after Ducky realized Petrie was doomed, the Sailback lost his footing and hit the edge of the cliffside. He roared in horror without opening his teeth so that Petrie couldn't escape, and Ducky could only watch as the Sharptooth's head tilted downward, followed by the rest of its body.
Petrie and the Sailback's helpless cries were soon reduced to echoes, and before long, it became silent …
Ducky felt a small tremor as she heard what she knew could only have been the Sailback hitting the ground hundreds of feet below. The Swimmer turned cold as she feared the worst. She slowly came to the edge of the cliff and looked down …
The Sailback lay dead on the ground, appearing to be so tiny after falling such a great distance, …
… but Petrie was gone.
"PETRIE!" Ducky screamed, but she got no reply, "PETRIE!"
Ducky knew the worst had happened. Her special Funny Flyer was gone. After many lucky escapes with Sharpteeth, Smoking Mountains, Sinking Sand and so much more, his luck had finally run out. Her best friend, the one she loved with all her heart and soul … was dead. Poor Petrie had suffered the fate he had so narrowly avoided in those last moments before finding the Great Valley; killed by the very Sharptooth whom had killed his father.
"Petrie!" the Swimmer wailed as she collapsed to her knees and buried her face with her hands, "My love! My Funny Flyer! My friend! My best friend! No!"
She couldn't bear the awful reality. Her love was taken away from her far too soon. Her special Gang had lost a great friend. The Great Valley had lost a brave, young Flyer. She had once again failed to keep him safe, and she had paid the worst price for it. She would never be able to forgive herself for letting her Funny Flyer down in the worst way possible.
"Poor Petrie!" wept Ducky in despair, "Poor, poor Petrie!"
"No! It can't be!" said another voice.
Ducky didn't even need to look back to find out who's voice that was.
"My baby!" wailed Mama Flyer.
The Swimmer looked back to find her parents, Grandma and Grandpa Longneck, Topps, Tria and a sobbing Mama Flyer. Judging from what she had said, it seemed to occur to Ducky that they had probably witnessed the terrible tragedy that had just taken place.
"Oh, Petrie!" wailed Ducky, "I am so sorry! I failed-ed you! I could not save you! Oh, I am so sorry, Petrie!"
Behind her, Mama Flyer had collapsed and began weeping into Mama Swimmer's chest. The Swimmer cringed and began hugging her friend to comfort the Flyer whom had just lost her special son, but it seemed to do no good. Tria and the Longnecks sniffled as they realized the scope of the tragedy. A friend had been taken away, and their own children would never feel the same again …
Ducky began listening for any sound beyond the cliffside, and she could swear she could hear … panting. The voice seemed to sound so much someone she knew so well …
"Wait a minute," she gasped, and she brought her head down and cautiously looked down the cliff …
All of a sudden, any feeling of guilt, despair or sadness was replaced with joy, relief and happiness.
There was Petrie, trying to climb his way back up the cliff at a very slow pace, panting as if he was completely worn out.
"PETRIE!" Ducky screamed in delight.
The grownups all gathered behind Ducky and looked down, and they saw just what she had.
"MY BABY!" Mama Flyer screeched as she was overcome with joy.
"HE IS ALIVE! YES, YES, YES!" cheered Ducky.
Everyone waited anxiously as Petrie made his way back up, taking deep breaths and slowing down even more. With each second that went by, Ducky only grew more anxiously. She hoped he would be able to make it to the top before tiredness overcame him and sent him plummeting right back down.
After climbing up several more rocks, with each climb seemingly taking so much effort, the little Flyer finally emerged and crawled his way to safety.
"Petrie!" cried Ducky, and she immediately lifted her Funny Flyer up and hugged him tightly, "You are safe! Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep, yep, yep!"
She began swinging herself left and right, rocking Petrie side-to-side as she hugged him. The Flyer became dizzy from her rocking, and he began breathing heavily.
"Oh, Petrie! I thought-ed you were gone! Oh, my Funny Flyer! I am so sorry! I am, I am!" Ducky wept as the tears kept pouring down her cheeks.
"It … okay, … me Sweet Swimmer," choked Petrie, "You think you can … let me go. Me no can … breathe."
Ducky loosened her hug and sat down with her precious boyfriend on her lap. The Flyer's vision became blurry, he started convulsing, and he began to turn pale. It immediately became apparent that something was terribly wrong. The Swimmer looked down at his wings, and she gasped as she noticed … blood.
She looked and saw a blood trail leading right to the cliffside, and she realized immediately …
"He is bleeding!" she shouted.
"He's bleeding out!" panted Papa Swimmer, "Quick! Somebody get some herbs and tree stars! Quickly! Before he passes out!"
Ducky stood up and carried Petrie back into the small forest with the grownups following closely. Grandpa Longneck and Mama Swimmer pulled off some tree stars while Topps and Tria grabbed some herbs.
"Set him down, Ducky," instructed Mama Flyer.
Ducky sat down, holding Petrie on her lap again, and the grownups set the herbs and tree stars down in front of them before gathering around them. The Swimmer looked anxiously as her Funny Flyer's eyes became a little wonky, and his beak opened a little, still trying to grab air through convulsions as saliva spilled out. He was right on the verge of losing consciousness, or worse, … possibly bleeding to death.
"Hold him tight, Ducky," said Grandpa Longneck, and Mama Flyer grabbed the herbs and began covering the bloody wounds on Petrie's wings. She rubbed them thoroughly and covered the spots where the bleeding had originated. They waited for a few anxious moments, and soon the bleeding stopped.
Mama Swimmer then grabbed some of the tree stars and wrapped them over his entire right wing, while her mate did the same to his left wing. The tree stars wrapped over his shoulders and covered both his wings completely.
Petrie was still gasping as if he was panicking. He was tremoring as if he was having a seizure, and he still appeared frighteningly pale.
"I think he's lost too much blood," said Grandma Longneck solemnly.
"Nothing will take my son away from me as long as I'm around!" said Mama Flyer determinedly, and she spotted a nearby Blood Sucker crawling on the ground and snatched it with her hand.
"Ms. Flyer, what are you doing?" asked Tria.
"Doing the only thing that will keep my son alive!" answered Mama Flyer, and she pressed the Blood Sucker against her own arm and flinched a little as she allowed it to suck out her own blood.
"You can't be serious!" gasped Topps in disbelief.
Mama Flyer kept flinching as she endured the agony until the Blood Sucker was filled with some of her blood. Her cerulean blue body paled a little, but she didn't care as long as there was some way to give blood to her precious baby, even if it meant giving up some of her own.
She brought the Blood Sucker to Petrie's left arm, waited until it latched on and squeezed it until all the blood had entered his body. As soon as she pulled the Blood Sucker off and threw it away, Petrie regained most of his color, his breaths became more stable, and he began murmuring slurry sounds with his beak.
"Petrie, … are you alright?" his mother asked gently.
Petrie's vision became a little clearer, and he felt his numbness subside. He looked down and wiggled his toes for a moment, and he saw he was sitting on his precious girlfriend's lap. Her arms were wrapped warmly around him. He saw all the elders looking at him, including his mother, who suddenly looked just a little paler than usual.
"M-Ma-Mommy?" he stuttered, "W-what happen to you?"
"You were losing blood, Petrie, so I gave up some of my own blood with a Blood Sucker and squeezed it into you," his mother explained.
Petrie was stunned. He couldn't believe his mother had gone that far to help him.
"It was the only way, dear. Otherwise, you would have bled to death," his mother spoke softly, "Don't worry about me, Petrie. I'll be fine."
Petrie noticed herbs and tree stars bandaging both his wings. He sighed as he came to the harsh realization that he may not be able to fly again for quite a while.
"When me get to fly again?" he asked sadly.
"Probably in a few days," his mother answered.
"Your wings had quite some deep bites in them," said Tria, "If I was a Flyer and had wings wounded like that, I wouldn't even try to fly for a couple of days."
Petrie sighed sadly and sunk his head in defeat.
"That … was the bravest thing I ever saw you kids do back there," said Grandpa Longneck impressively.
"You s-saw us?" gasped Petrie.
"We arrived just in time to … see you, well, … fall," said Grandma Longneck hesitantly.
"Ms. Flyer, … I am so sorry," said Papa Swimmer.
"About what?" said Mama Flyer awkwardly.
"Is it true?" asked Mama Swimmer, "That Sailback … murdered your mate?"
Petrie tensed and quivered upon hearing that. He sniffled as he thought of the father he never got to have, … taken away from him by a heinous monster when he was just a newborn.
"To me, that doesn't matter anymore," said Mama Flyer, "That son-of-a-tar pit is dead, … and we have my own son and his special friend to thank."
Ducky and Petrie blushed in embarrassment. Even such praise like that seemed just a little overwhelming.
"You know what that means, Petrie?" asked Grandma Longneck.
"What?" replied a dumbfounded Petrie.
"You've avenged your father, little one," answered Grandpa Longneck.
Petrie's eyes widened as the realization hit him. He and his girlfriend had brought an end to the very Sharptooth whom had taken his father away from him. That horrible monster whom had destroyed a part of his family so long ago had finally gotten what he deserved throughout Petrie's young life. In his eyes, he believed that his father was finally at peace now that his killer was dead.
He looked up at the sky and could swear he thought he could see his long-lost Daddy in the Great Beyond, smiling down at him right now, feeling so proud of him for bringing peace to his soul.
"Me think me Daddy smiling now," said Petrie thoughtfully as he kept staring at the sky, imagining his father smiling and winking at him, "He … at peace now."
The little Flyer sniffled and let a few tears fall as he smiled at the sky puffies and closed his eyes thoughtfully.
"Me love you, Daddy," said Petrie in a soft voice.
"What happened-ed to the other Sharpteeth?" asked Ducky.
"The rest of the valley killed most of the remaining Sharpteeth after you ran off," explained Grandpa Longneck, "Once only a few were left, they turned around and ran back through the Secret Caverns. They won't be coming back."
"All the Fast Biters were killed," added Grandma Longneck, "All the threats to the valley have gone, so now all we have to do is close the opening left by those Sailbacks."
"And close the opening at the Secret Caverns," put in Topps, "We don't want any more of those Sharpteeth ever coming back."
"W-what will happen to … Chomper and Ruby?" asked Ducky nervously.
"Littlefoot will continue to look after Chomper until he makes a full recovery, after which he and Ruby should hopefully get to move back into the Secret Caverns, which we hope to make safer than ever before," said Grandpa Longneck.
"And … our friends?" muttered Petrie.
"All your friends are safe," grinned Tria, "Everyone's safe and sound again."
Suddenly, Petrie remembered …
"Wait!" he shouted, "What about Wingfoot!? Me no find him after rock fall on Sailbacks."
The grownups sighed and sunk their heads. This confirmed the kids' worst fears …
"No!" Ducky and Petrie gasped.
"I'm afraid Wingfoot didn't make it," said Mama Swimmer sadly.
"No way!" Ducky gasped, and she paled as she realized something awful, "I killed-ed him!? Oh, no, no, no! I am so sorry!"
"Now, now, Ducky, we don't blame you for what happened to my old friend," assured Mama Flyer, "What you did saved the rest of us from becoming food."
"But I killed-ed him!" panted Ducky, "I killed-ed your friend! I killed-ed the one who always helped-ed look after Petrie and his brothers and sisters! What have I done!?"
"Ducky!" the grownups all shouted at the same time, giving the two kids a brief fright.
"You two need to stop blaming yourselves for everything that has happened in the last few days," said Grandpa Longneck in a stern voice, "You may think you have done absolutely terrible things, such as putting our whole valley in danger, or accidentally killing one of our friends, but you are not bad children."
"But, … we in love," said Petrie, blushing profusely as he realized what he had said.
"We are still terrible children for that," sobbed Ducky, and she and Petrie glared at Topps, "And now, … this Threehorn … wants to get rid of us forever!"
"Me think we should just … go!" lamented Petrie, "Goodbye forever!"
"Goodbye, friends! Goodbye, families! Goodbye, Great Valley!" cried Ducky.
Mama and Papa Swimmer and Mama Flyer all cast glares at Topps. The rigid Threehorn simply stared at the two children as if he couldn't make up his mind on what to say to them. He just maintained his blank stare and left everyone feeling uneasy and that time was standing still, … just waiting for him to speak.
"Go ahead!" said Ducky and Petrie in unison, their eyes fixed on the Threehorn whom had desired in ridding the valley of them for their forbidden love, a 'heinous crime', "Throw us out!"
The grownups tensed and stayed still. No one knew what to say next. If Ducky and Petrie had done their part and were willing to go ahead and face their eternal punishment, then there seemed to be no point in stopping them leaving.
"You, … y-you … saved my children," muttered Topps.
Everyone stared at him as if he had just bashed everyone on the head. A Threehorn who hated those children … praising them?
"W-w-what?" gasped Ducky and Petrie.
"You saved my children," repeated Topps.
"But … h-how you know?" stammered Petrie.
"I saw you," answered Topps, and his expression seemed to soften just the slightest, "I was trying to get back up after that rock came down, and I watched you swinging on that vine and taking out those Fast Biters who tried to cut our kids' throats."
"We wanted to thank you for that," said Tria, "We are very grateful to you for ensuring our kids' survival."
Ducky and Petrie just stared wide-eyed and open-mouthed at the Threehorns. It always felt so unreal to be praised as heroes by a dinosaur kind who thought little of others.
"Especially you, Ducky, for all the other children," added Grandpa Longneck, "How did you manage, anyway?"
"W-well, … I swam in the river and ran around the valley. I called-ed as many dinosaurs as I could to help, … then when I came back and saw Petrie in trouble with the Sailbacks, I climbed-ed up the rocks and found-ed this big rock. I looked-ed down and saw that if I pushed-ed it down, it would land right on top of the Sharpteeth, … so I pushed-ed it with all my might, and … I think you know what happened-ed after that. Yes, yes, yes," told Ducky.
"So, it was you who brought all those dinosaurs into the fight to help us at the last minute?" gasped Papa Swimmer, "Our brave little daughter."
"Yes," said Ducky sheepishly.
"Listen, kids, you must understand that we do not see you as bad children," said Grandpa Longneck kindly, "You are probably still thinking right now that you are terrible kids just because you fell in love with each other and broke a very strict rule in the valley, but today you have proven yourselves as little heroes. You may still want to blame yourselves for putting our home in danger and leaving some of our fellow residents dead, but you refused to let yourselves down when it really mattered. You saved us and our children, you defeated a couple of Sailbacks, and one of you avenged someone you lost so long ago. You put yourselves at great risk just to save our valley and reverse the damage you caused, you almost died in your triumph, and thanks to you, everyone is safe again. You may be in love with each other, but the bottom line is that you are brave, little heroes. We are very grateful for your bravery and heroism and are very proud of both of you."
Ducky and Petrie sniffled as they listened to the praise they were receiving. They weren't sure they deserved such high praise, but they knew deep down that they really had done something so brave that it was worth listening to such kind, heartwarming words.
In the back of their minds, though, they were still terrified of that banishment sentence. They were sure it was still coming, and they may still have to spend the rest of their lives in the Mysterious Beyond just because they had fallen in love with each other. They quivered and trembled in fear. Ducky continued to hug Petrie tightly on her lap. They nuzzled each other's cheeks and stared at their parents and the other elders with shining wet eyes.
"You … still going to banish us? We save our friends, … but you still going to throw us into exile just like you do to me uncle Pterano?" sniffled Petrie.
Topps once again found himself at the center of attention. Everyone was anticipating he would pass out that permanent banishment sentence just because Ducky and Petrie had special feelings for one another, … just because their hearts beat for one another, … just because they had passion for each other, … just because … they loved each other.
Everyone watched as the rigid, controlling Threehorn seemed to tense a little, and he looked as though he was trying to fight something off …
Could his mind really be where everyone thought it was in? Was this really the end of Ducky and Petrie's time in the Great Valley? Was this the moment that would seal their fates?
"I … I can't say it," said Topps suddenly, closing his eyes tight as if he was trying to hold back tears. He was gritting his teeth as if he wanted to stay angry, but something was off about him.
"What, Topps?" said Tria, "What is it?"
"I just can't say it!" said Topps again after a brief silence, "I … I don't have the heart to say it! Th-they saved our children. They saved our home. They went through so much just to save the Great Valley. What am I doing!?"
Ducky and Petrie were deeply shocked by the Threehorn's sudden change of emotion. His mind seemed to be in so many places, and he couldn't decide where it should be.
"Topps, … do you mean to say …" Tria gasped.
"I can't do it," Topps muttered once again, "They don't deserve this. I can't thank them enough for saving our children, and I don't think I will ever be able to express my gratitude enough."
"Mr. Threehorn?" said Grandpa Longneck, "Are you sure you have your mind made up?"
Everyone waited for a few tense moments as Topps stayed silent. They anxiously stayed silent as they awaited his answer.
"Ducky and Petrie, … your hearts may be in a strange place we've never allowed before, … but I know truly that they're in the right place when you mean nothing but good to come to all of us," said Topps slowly.
The two kids gasped in utter disbelief and astonishment. They couldn't think of any way to reply before Topps spoke again.
"I would say that your courage, heroism and devotion not just for each other, but for all of us and everyone in our valley, … is worth great reward," he spoke rather hesitantly, "I am voiding your banishment."
"What!?" Ducky and Petrie shouted with loud gasps.
"I will allow you both to stay here in the Great Valley," Topps finally said, "In my eyes, you have greatly redeemed yourselves after showing how noble you really are to us, and how brave you really are for children."
"You can't mean it," murmured a nearly breathless Papa Swimmer.
"We … get to s-stay?" stuttered Ducky.
"This still get to be our home?" gasped Petrie.
For the first time in as long as they could remember, the two loving children saw a genuine grin cross its way on Topps' face. He appeared to be true to his word. Tria and the Longnecks smiled and winked at them, and their parents were tearfully smiling with joy at the great news.
"Yes," nodded Topps, "This may be the path your hearts chose, but I've come to realize just how loyal you really are to us."
"I suppose that means something else should be in order as well," informed Grandpa Longneck, "I think we should propose that love between those of different kinds should be greatly encouraged only if such dinosaurs are willing to take that path. I know no one who does other than these two young children, but perhaps it's worth a start to see if such a rare occasion like this may ever happen again."
"As long as Cera doesn't get into any such thing, I suppose I'd be fine with it," sighed Topps.
"You never know, Topps," countered Tria, "Their Time of Great Growing is only a few cold times away, and with the many friends she has, anything is possible."
"You don't say," Topps flatly replied.
"Let's at least say that we are pleased to say that Ducky and Petrie are welcome to stay here with us," smiled Grandma Longneck.
Unable to contain their newfound excitement any longer, Ducky and Petrie stood up and joyfully hugged each other.
"YES, YES, YES!" cheered Ducky.
"YIPPEE!" whistled Petrie.
"Oh, Petrie! I cannot believe it!" shouted Ducky.
"Me no believe it, either, Ducky!" cried Petrie happily.
"C'mhere, my Funny Flyer!" giggled Ducky, and she tightly pinned the Flyer's bandaged wings down and pulled his beak into her mouth. In no time, Petrie felt her warm saliva splashing all over his beak and coating his face so delicately. He smiled and moaned in pleasure, and Ducky smiled and moaned happily in return, continuing to kiss and pamper her Funny Flyer as if he was her baby brother.
Topps simply looked away, unable to endure watching such an "awkward" scene, but the others all smiled and sniffled as they watched the redeemed couple. It was such a cute sight that they couldn't take their eyes off.
"Aww, look at those two," said Tria softly.
"Uh, … y-yeah," stammered Topps, feeling embarrassed by it all, "They're … quite … sweet. I'll just leave it at that. Anyways, I … think we'd better head back."
The Threehorn made to leave while Ducky and Petrie smooched for another few seconds until they broke off and began gasping for air. Eventually, they hesitantly broke off their hug and were instantly grabbed by their mothers. Mama Flyer wrapped Petrie tightly in her wings, while Mama Swimmer held Ducky in her arms, and the little Swimmer received nuzzles from both her parents.
"Oh, Petrie!" cried Mama Flyer, "I'm so proud of you! You have been so brave, my special little baby!"
"Mama!" said Petrie, blushing in deep embarrassment.
"You've made us so proud, little Ducky!" Mama Swimmer sobbed joyfully.
"We're so joyful for your bravery," sniffled Papa Swimmer.
"And we're so happy you and Petrie will always have a home with us!" added Mama Swimmer.
"Me, too!" replied Ducky.
Ducky and Petrie were overwhelmed with countless 'I love you's from their mothers, and the Longnecks turned to leave, along with Tria, and Papa Swimmer soon followed after exchanging an 'I love you' with his daughter. Then, it was just Ducky, Petrie and their loving mothers by their side.
Just as the four saw that they were alone, the two kids immediately squirmed out of their mothers' hugs, and Ducky enveloped Petrie in a tight hug while lifting one foot up. She used her other foot to treat him into another one of those bouncy hugs he loved so much. This felt like the perfect way to start celebrating after hearing the wonderful news. They would not be banished after all. They had earned their right to stay in the valley after braving two vicious Sailbacks and saving their friends, families and everyone else who called the Great Valley their home. This was redemption, and now was their moment to let their praise and reward sink in. It was the proudest moment of their lives, and they would be sure to remember it until the day they left for the Great Beyond.
"Me love you so much, me Sweet Swimmer Ducky! Yep, yep, yep!" Petrie cheered with a bright smile.
Ducky laughed and brightly smiled back with a reply that was just as cheerful, "I love you so much, too, my Funny Flyer Petrie! Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep!"
Their mothers laughed at their adorable moment and nuzzled them once Ducky had stopped bouncing on her foot.
"Just like we told you two special ones," chuckled Mama Swimmer, "As long as you never give up, there is always hope for something good to happen."
"And you've certainly proven that," added Mama Flyer, "We're both so proud and happy for you."
"Our sweet, loving, little babies," sniffled Mama Swimmer.
"Mamas!" Ducky and Petrie cried with their cheeks deep red in embarrassment.
"You were both so brave back there," said Mama Flyer, "I can't believe we actually got to see you take on someone so terrifying. I was absolutely frightened for a moment when I thought you were gone, my little Petrie."
"But you've shown us that you are growing up so fast, it's making me feel old," commented Mama Swimmer.
The kids chuckled sheepishly.
"We both love you very much," said Mama Flyer, and she and Mama Swimmer once again nuzzled their children.
"We love you, too, Mamas! Yep, yep, yep!" Ducky and Petrie replied in unison, and they all laughed.
"Well, children, I think it's time we went back home," said Mama Swimmer.
"Hmm, I think there is a very good way to celebrate being allowed-ed to stay!" giggled Ducky.
"What that?" asked Petrie, holding back a chuckle as if he knew what was coming.
Ducky turned her back and grabbed Petrie's hands from behind, and she pulled him right back onto her back and kept his hands pinned behind his back with her own arms behind both their backs. Petrie smiled brightly and giggled in excitement. He knew what was coming next.
"Let's have a kiddy hop all the way home!" cheered Ducky.
With the Flyer securely on her back, Ducky brought her two feet together and began hopping on both feet at the same time much like a Hopper. Petrie laughed and happily began sucking cutely on Ducky's head crest like a baby hatchling. The Swimmer giggled in pleasure from the warmth on her head, and she soon found a favorable, bouncy rhythm to her hopping.
"Oh, you two kids!" Mama Swimmer chuckled with the slightest hints of sarcasm, although at heart she found the whole thing to be so adorable despite being babyish.
"I just thought of an idea," said Mama Flyer, "Would you two like to spend the rest of the day in your special little spot?"
"I think that's a good idea, kids. You can even spend the night there if you want. After all, you've earned it with your heroic triumph," agreed Mama Swimmer.
Ducky and Petrie were delighted to hear that. They beamed while the Swimmer tried to maintain her bouncy rhythm with her feet, and she spoke rhythmically to make sure her jumps didn't lose their balance.
"That would be wonderful! Thank you so much!"
"You're welcome, kids," replied Mama Flyer, laughing after hearing Ducky's rhythmic answer, "I'll stop by to see how you're doing before the Bright Circle goes down, okay?"
"Okay," Petrie answered before he went right back to sucking on Ducky's head crest.
The two mothers watched as Ducky hopped away with a soothed Petrie relaxing on her back, and they wiped the last few tears from their eyes.
"Well, I guess I'd better go back and help the others close the opening," said Mama Swimmer.
"I'll go into the Secret Caverns and help them close that entrance off," replied Mama Flyer, and the two continued their slow journey back to where that fateful battle had commenced.
Ducky bounced her way across the valley with such happy excitement building in her chest. Petrie was just as excited as he rode happily on her back and behaved as if he was her baby brother. After everything that had happened that morning, the one and only thing they knew they needed was a whole day all to themselves in the one place they knew they could call their second home at heart. This felt so much like being rewarded with more than what they deserved, but they knew they deserved it all. They had proven themselves to be brave heroes to everyone in the valley, and now they could enjoy their reward: a special day in their special hideout with lots of love, kissing, playing their secret love games, childish dancing, and perhaps wearing those tree stars and their red shiny stones they really missed seeing. They could let the valley overwhelm them with praise and hero worshipping tomorrow. Right now, they just needed their quiet day alone to enjoy some privacy and pamper each other with so much love.
They saw Littlefoot's nest ahead. They knew they were so close to finding that narrow tunnel that would lead them to their new favorite place in the whole valley. In just a few minutes, they would have all the privacy they could ask for.
Then, they looked ahead and saw their dear friends gathered at the Longneck's nest …
Littlefoot, Cera, Spike and Ruby were all gathered around Chomper. The Sharptooth was once again whimpering, and Ducky and Petrie could see they were again putting new herbs and tree stars to rebandage his injuries. They felt sad for him and wished there was something they could do for the young boy.
Petrie immediately stopped sucking on Ducky's head crest and tried his best to behave like his normal self again. He didn't want to reveal his babyish side to anyone other than his Sweet Swimmer or their mothers.
"Hey, guys," the Flyer called as Ducky bounced right up to their friends and came to a stop.
"Ducky! Petrie! Are you two alright!?" Chomper panted as he tried in vain to endure his agonizing pain.
"I am okay, but Petrie is hurted-ed. He is, he is," answered Ducky.
"Me get bitten by Sharptooth and almost fall off cliff, but me climb back up to top," said Petrie, "Me wings hurt very bad. Me no can fly for few days."
"Again?" muttered Cera, looking at them in disbelief, obviously thinking of one other time when Petrie nearly went down with … that Sharptooth.
"Y-yeah," shivered Petrie.
"We heard about what happened at that cliff," said Littlefoot, "I can't believe you … actually got rid of him."
"Dad was actually speechless when they came to check on us," said Cera, "Whoever thought that a little Swimmer and a little Flyer would be so brave and save the day?"
Ducky and Petrie chuckled sheepishly.
"Are you okay, Chomper?" asked Ducky.
"Oh, it feels like it's never gonna go away!" complained Chomper just before Littlefoot rubbed on his neck cut with a few herbs, "OOOWWWW!"
"Calm down! It'll sting but it'll be over soon," assured Littlefoot.
"Geez! Stop being such a baby for crying out loud!" said Cera.
Ducky and Petrie cringed, and the Swimmer backed away one step.
"Technically, he still is," Petrie whispered in Ducky's ear, and she nearly chuckled but managed to hold it in.
"So, … Grandpa Longneck told us what happened after you got rid of that Sailback," said Ruby, "Is it true you're going to stay?"
With beaming smiles, Ducky and Petrie nodded, "Yes, yes, yes!"
"Cera dad say we allowed to stay because we brave heroes!" beamed Petrie.
"Oh, I'm so glad!" said a relieved Littlefoot.
"A Swimmer and a Flyer no more than seven cold times old defeat a pair of Sailback Sharpteeth? That must have really impressed my dad," commented Cera.
"Mm, hmm," nodded Spike in agreement.
Littlefoot brought his neck down and nuzzled his Swimmer and Flyer friends, and Ruby hugged the pair.
"That must have been so frightening," said Ruby thoughtfully.
"Ooh, it very scary," shuddered Petrie, "We so glad it over, though."
"And now we can all be happy knowing that we will always be together! Yep, yep, yep!" cheered Ducky.
Everyone smiled and let out a brief group cheer.
"So, what are you two up to?" asked Cera.
"We are going to go relax by the Thundering Falls," Ducky lied, and Petrie nodded along with her.
"Okay," replied Littlefoot, "Just so you know, I think you are the bravest Swimmer and Flyer around."
Ducky and Petrie blushed from the compliment and nearly quivered.
"Gee, uh, tha-thanks, Littlefoot," said Petrie sheepishly.
"Y-yeah," gulped Ducky.
"Have a good time, guys," said Ruby.
"You, too, and Chomper, we hope you feel better soon!" called Ducky as she began to walk away, still keeping her arms behind her back to hold Petrie.
"Thank you," Chomper muttered in a low voice.
Ducky inched closer to the entrance to the tunnel leading to their hideout. Petrie looked back to make sure none of their friends were looking. They knew they couldn't crawl their way in if Spike saw them. He would surely eat his way through.
As soon as Ducky was right in front of the hole, Petrie took a very quick glance back and saw that everyone had their eyes on Chomper.
"Now," he whispered in Ducky's ear, and the Swimmer immediately tiptoed her way in, making sure not to brush against the leaves covering their path. She took frantic tiptoe steps until they had gotten past all three of the leaves bordering the entrance. They knew that at this point there was no chance of them being seen, and Ducky returned to bouncing with her feet together while Petrie sucked on her head crest for some more babyish flavor of love. They whispered some giggling baby talk in rhythm to Ducky's bounces along the whole length of the tunnel of branches and tree stars, and once they rounded the right-hand bend, they closed their eyes like they would always do before entering, as if they wanted to imagine themselves waking up to a surprise.
Ducky brushed past the only leaf covering this end of the tunnel, and they knew they were in their special forest cave now. She felt her feet land delicately on the rock steps with each bounce she took, and after one last hop, her feet landed on moist grass, prompting them to open their eyes.
Everything was just as it was when they were last in here. Their red shiny stone neckwear, sleeping stars, pink tree stars and special flower were all right where they left them. The large tree star was still covering over that pile of sticks that had slept on a few nights before. The tiny lake glistened beautifully, and the smell of the pink tree stars filled their sniffers. It was all just perfect.
"Ready to celebrate, my Funny Flyer?" asked Ducky as she allowed Petrie to slide down her tail.
"Me more than ready for sweet day with you, me Sweet Swimmer!" he beamed.
The two lovers immediately grabbed their small collection of "things to wear whenever they slept here," and they wasted no time putting everything on the same way they had done before, starting with their sleeping stars, then their pink tree stars, their red shiny stone neckwear, and finally the pink tree stars for the top of their heads. They didn't care if the Bright Circle hadn't even reached its highest point in the sky yet. They loved the idea of wearing their sleeping stars over their crotches for a sense of excitement, and as they knew they would get to spend the rest of that day and night in their special hideout, they thought they mind as well spend it with all their "love stuff" on. In their minds, they could even see if anymore narrow tunnels or undiscovered places were in this part of the forest.
"Maybe we can explore more of this forest later," suggested Ducky, "We have the whole day to ourselves, and we have a whole cave and some forest to ourselves."
"That make me happy," nodded Petrie, "Me no like for us to be seen in these sleeping stars. That be very embarrassing."
"It would, it would, but just imagine us exploring tiny places like a couple of hatchlings," said Ducky thoughtfully.
Petrie laughed at the thought, and Ducky sat down on the wet grass and motioned for him to sit on her lap. The Flyer obliged and sat down, spreading his legs out and facing her, and she wrapped her arms around his back and pulled him closer so that their faces were touching each other.
"Petrie, … I wanted-ed to ask you this question, … but I did not know how," said Ducky nervously, her expression alone telling Petrie that this was going to be a very important question and that he needed to listen closely, "I know that you are a Flyer and I am a Swimmer, … but I hope that will not make you scared-ed of what I want to ask."
"What is it, Ducky?" asked Petrie a little uneasily.
"I know we are way too young and way too little right now, but I want you to know that I really love you with all my heart and soul, and I was wondering … when … we reach our Time of Great Growing, … would you like to, … um, … this is going to sound way too soon, … but … I wanted-ed to ask you if … you … would like to be my mate when we grow up."
Petrie gasped in surprise and stared into Ducky's pleading eyes. This certainly sounded very forward for him. Surely, no one would ever ask that question at the age they were at. They were only seven cold times old, and that was considered way too young for them to even find mates, even of their own kind. Ducky had grown to love Petrie so much that she didn't feel she would ever find someone as cute, caring or funny as him. The Swimmer had made up her mind so early in her life, and the Flyer didn't know how he could reply, but he knew she meant well and wished for them to be together forever. The idea of them being mates later in life was certainly quite nerve-racking, but if Ducky truly loved him, Petrie knew she was just the one for him.
"You really love me that much, don't you?" said Petrie thoughtfully.
"I do, I do, Petrie," nodded Ducky, "Are you comfortable if we grow up together … and stay together forever?"
Petrie smiled at Ducky and gazed at her beautiful face. He watched as her eyes fluttered and he let out a few breaths of excitement as he looked at her eyelashes. He gestured for her to smile, and she did just that. The Flyer was instantly aroused by it, and he stared at the end of her mouth and let out some unusual chuckles as saliva leaked from his brightly-smiling beak. Ducky could tell he was getting that strange feeling of excitement again, and she giggled and kissed his face all over to keep him calm and happy. She knew she had done her part well, and this had earned her a very happy answer …
"Me love you so much, Ducky. Yep, yep, yep," spoke Petrie in some cute, babyish voice, "Your face make me so excited when you smile, and you so beautiful me feel so happy when you hug and kiss me. Me no can ever get enough of your warm presence, and you care so much for me as if you me sister. Me will always try to keep you safe like you try to do for me, and me wish we keep doing this forever."
Ducky chuckled happily at his cute words.
"Yes," said Petrie, and Ducky let out a small gasp of surprise, "Yes, Ducky. Me would love to be your mate once we grow up. We be couple of baby lovebirds until our Time of Great Growing, and then we stay together … forever and ever."
"Really?" gasped Ducky.
"Yes, yes, yes!" answered Petrie with the brightest smile he could put on his beak.
With that, the two hugged each other as tightly as they could, with Ducky being sure not to put too much strain on Petrie's wing injuries, and they kissed each other's cheeks and made cute noises with their mouths. This just had to be the happiest moment of their childhoods. They had set their future in stone. They didn't care how young they still were. They knew deep down that their hearts belonged to each other and would always belong to each other. Their destinies were set to join into one happy love life, a Swimmer and a Flyer together as one for the rest of their time in this world. They would stay together, live together, grow up together, and go to the Great Beyond together. Their hearts had become one. The last nine days had felt like quite an emotional adventure, not to some unexplored place, but more like an adventure at heart. They could say now that love was an adventure in of itself.
The two stopped kissing and stared at each other, smiling while still hugging each other like a couple of snuggling hatchlings.
Suddenly, Petrie began to sing very softly …
"When me still a baby,
me no know where to go.
Me Mommy all me have to talk to,
but even she no know.
Then one day everything change,
and me life never be the same.
Me suddenly have friends,
but none like Swimmer with very cute name."
"Aww, Petrie," sniffled Ducky, feeling touched by that last part.
Petrie nodded, and Ducky began to sing herself …
"When I was just a little girl,
I just had one friend.
She taught me so much and I was happy,
but then life took a bend.
I never thought I would be happy again,
until that one day came,
when I met you, a cute little Flyer,
with such a cute funny name."
"Oh, me Sweet Swimmer," blushed Petrie.
"And that is just part of why you are my Funny Flyer, Petrie. Yep, yep, yep," said Ducky, "I will always miss Judy, but you have helped-ed me heal from those days long gone."
"Me will always miss me Daddy, too, but you help make me life feel more complete," replied Petrie.
"And think about it, Petrie. Your uncle Pterano will be back in three more cold times, and then you will really have everything you could want," said Ducky.
"Gee, you right. Me almost forget about that," gasped Petrie, remembering his uncle's promise to be that father figure he never got to have.
"I got-ed many new friends after I lost Judy, but best of all, I have you, a Flyer who cares so much about me that I could never want to love anyone else but you," smiled Ducky.
"And once me uncle come back, me will finally have father figure, and me still have loving Mommy and such special friends, but none more special than you," beamed Petrie.
The two sniffled and grinned at each other, and they stood up and held hands.
"Me love you, Ducky."
"I love you, too, Petrie."
"Together?" said Petrie.
"Together!" beamed Ducky.
With bright smiles, the two hugged each other, each pinning one of the other's arms behind their backs, and they began to rhythmically take baby steps, and take big bounces with Petrie's feet standing on Ducky's. It seemed that they had come up with yet another new dance; a hugging dance.
Happy with their rhythm, they started singing in unison …
"We are more than just best friends.
We're not just bold and brave.
Not just flying in the deep blue sky,
or swimming in the biggest wave.
We can show the world that we are special,
in more ways than one."
"We are different but one at heart," sang Ducky.
"Love happy adventure that never done," added Petrie, and their voices joined in unison again …
"Hello, Mommy, Daddy and Peaceful Valley!
Hello, Bright Circle with your harmony!
We will show the world we shall be forever family!"
The two briefly kissed and laughed before they repeated their final line.
"We will show the world we shall be forever family!"
With their lovely song finished, they rested their chins on each other's shoulders and took nice, slow rhythmic steps to settle down as if they were going to blend the ending of their song into a nap. However, they weren't quite tired just yet. Even after such a painful morning, they still wanted to spend as much time as they could playing and engaging in childish love activity before they settled down to sleep that night.
"Ready for new adventure, Ducky?" asked Petrie.
"A new adventure?" giggled Ducky.
"Now that we know we be mates when we grow up, our love for each other become new adventure itself," said Petrie.
Ducky smiled at Petrie's wise words and kissed his beak again.
"And now we shall start the next part of our lifelong adventure! Yep, yep, yep!" she beamed.
Petrie was so excited by that he shouted, "Yippee!" and they shared some lovable laughs as the Swimmer turned the Flyer around and hugged him around the chest, pinning both of his arms down.
Suddenly, they heard something knocking on one of the trees bordering their cave, and they found Mama Flyer peeking her head out from just below the ceiling of branches and tree stars.
"Mama?" said Petrie awkwardly.
"Sorry if I surprised you, kids, but I just wanted to stop by and bring you something," said Mama Flyer with a wink before she climbed her way down the tree and squeezed her way through the tiny gap between that and another tree, appearing to be hiding something behind her back.
"What is it, Ms. Flyer?" asked Ducky.
"Something I think will help you get lots of sleep tonight," smiled Mama Flyer, trying to hold back a laugh as she saw all the tree stars they were wearing, and she brought her hands out from behind her back. Petrie gasped in delight once he saw what she had in hand …
"Me snuggling stick!" cheered Petrie in such huge delight, and his mother placed his favorite stick into his beak.
"Now you have two snuggly friends to sleep with tonight, Petrie!" commented Ducky, earning a muffled chuckle from the Flyer.
Ducky carefully took the stick from Petrie's mouth and tucked it against his chest with his red shiny stone neckwear. She positioned it at an angle so that he could rub against it with his cheek.
"Oh, thanks, Mommy!" smiled Petrie.
"You're welcome, my little baby. Anything just for you," Mama Flyer replied with a wink and a smile, and as Petrie blushed in embarrassment he received a warm, pleasant kiss on the cheek from his mother, "That was a very cute song, by the way. I stopped to listen, and I heard the whole last part."
"Aww," blushed Ducky and Petrie.
"You two really mean that much to each other, don't you?" said Mama Flyer with a knowing grin.
"Yep, yep, yep," the two children answered softly.
"I just want you to know that no matter what you decide about your futures, … I will stand by you and be there for you, because I love you very much, … both of you, in fact," said Mama Flyer.
"Really?" gasped Ducky in surprise.
"Really, really," answered Mama Flyer, "I've seen how you've been such a wonderful, caring friend to my son, and if you ever decide that you want to stay together forever, I will be happy."
Ducky and Petrie smiled at this. They knew it was time to spread the exciting news.
"Actually, … Petrie and I have decided-ed that … we want to be together forever," chuckled Ducky with Petrie nodding along with her.
"Is it true?" Mama Flyer gasped in surprise.
"Yes, yes, yep, yep, yep!" the children replied, nodding their heads excitedly as Ducky bounced them up and down with her feet.
"Aww! I'm so glad!" beamed Mama Flyer, "Come over here and give a hug to Mommy!"
"With pleasure!" beamed the two kids, and Ducky walked right up to her, still keeping Petrie in a tight snuggle, and his mother enveloped them both in her wings for a hug that seemed to last forever. She kissed her son on the cheek before doing the same to Ducky as if she was her own.
"I'm very proud of both of you," she said warmly, "You have shown everyone that you are willing to never give up and always be there for one another. I think you are the two most special children I've ever known, and once you've passed your Time of Great Growing, we will be one very happy family."
"Me agree," chuckled Petrie in agreement.
Soon, Mama Flyer freed the duo from her wings and held their shoulders.
"Are you two all set and ready to explore your new future home like you said you wanted to?" she asked, letting out a small chuckle.
"Yep, yep, yep!" giggled Ducky and Petrie.
"Alright, kids!" smiled Mama Flyer, "I'm going to go and spread the happy news to your mother, Ducky, and I'll be back just before the Bright Circle goes down to check on you before you go to sleep, alright?"
"Okay," the kids replied.
"See you later, children," said Mama Flyer as she turned to leave.
"Bye, Ms. Flyer!" waved Ducky.
"Bye, Mommy!" grinned Petrie.
Mama Flyer waved back and squeezed her way out, leaving the two very happy kids alone once again. They felt their hearts leaping with excitement as they anticipated a very happy, … rousing … day ahead of them.
"Since I am just a teeny-weeny bit bigger than you, I can be the big baby, and you can be my little baby!" giggled Ducky.
"Me like that!" answered Petrie in a bubbly voice.
With that, Ducky grabbed both of Petrie's hands, and they both got into a crawling position. They began singing in baby talk as they crawled their way up the rock steps and into the branchy tunnel with rhythmic crawling and singing like a couple of hatchling explorers, hoping to find so much more in the forest they were ready to call their second home. Ducky occasionally sucked on Petrie's head crest to add to their babyish flavor, while he rubbed his cheek against his snuggling stick, and he enjoyed it immensely.
It was that very day that Ducky and Petrie's lives would change forever for the better; a day that defined their childhoods perhaps even more than all the adventures they had been on with Littlefoot and their friends. They had each other, they had a home in the valley, they had friends to play with, and they had families who would always look after them, but now, though, they had so much more than that. They had a future together, they had a future home in a forest they would so happily explore and eventually mark as their very own, and they had what was sure to be the happiest lives ahead of them. An adventure of love, friendship, determination and bravery had rewarded them with a happy future and a life of love that would continue to blossom even after they traveled to the Great Beyond to forever be together in the happiest places they could imagine.
Well, I'm very happy to say that despite all the horror that unfolded in the Great Valley, Ducky and Petrie are set for a very happy ending. Their heroism has earned them such a great reward, and they will spend the rest of their days living happily together in the Great Valley, forever in love. Just when it seemed that everything was about to fall apart, our two little heroes turned the tables on their own terms and became the brave children that everyone in the Great Valley will be talking about for many cold times to come. The Sailbacks are dead, Papa Flyer has been avenged seven years to the day he was murdered in cold blood, and the valley is once again a safe haven for all who survived the battle.
And to clarify, yes, the Sailback villain in this story is, in fact, the same Sharptooth we all saw in LBT XII, and I wanted to come up with some sort of backstory. Also, I had been contemplating for some time having Petrie come face-to-face with the Sharptooth whom I believe is responsible for his father's death (in my theory, at least), and the Sailback from The Great Day of the Flyers felt to me like the perfect one to fill in that role.
Whew! I can't believe I'm almost done with this! I have just the epilogue now to write, and it'll all come to an end, and I was only beginning to enjoy the journey all over again! I'm going to go ahead and start work on that, and have it up by Wednesday, and then I can finally relax and shift my priorities to something else. These two months have been difficult, but it's been fun.
See you soon with what will be a very happy ending for our two little heroes! :D