It's not very deep or anything; I just wanted to write some Finding Nemo fanfiction, so I decided to do a few vignettes. I hope you enjoy this until I figure out a real plot. -_-

Disclaimer: Characters and events belong to Pixar, not me. This is for fun and no profit; please don't sue. Thanks.

And so, without further ado: the Pelican Scene from Marlin's POV!

Pelicans Are Your Friends

By Victoria

Dory was exhausted.

Marlin could hear it in her voice as he swam around on the surface of the water, peering at boat after white boat. "Are you excited? I'm excited," she nearly monotoned, almost yawning.

Argh, they were so close! "Come on, Dory, stay with me," he begged, turning around in the water to see her nearly tipping over, falling asleep where she floated. "Wake up, Dory!" He slapped her with his fins gently, and was rewarded by her eyes fluttering back open. "We've got to—"

Suddenly, Dory's large eyes got even wider. "Duck!" she cried, staring past him and into the expanse of blue sky.

Marlin blinked at her, not comprehending, then twisted around to see – a bird. It was a big bird, but with a beak that huge it obviously wasn't a duck. "Silly, that's not a duck," he said matter-of-factly, used to correcting Dory in these little matters by this time. She really had a hard time remembering things like species! "That's a—" And the light dawned. What the heck am I talking about!? "A pelican!" he cried, grasping Dory's fins and staring at the oncoming bird. He heard himself yelling in terror even as Dory let out a high-pitched squeal, and then the beak snapped shut upon them.

Hot and slimy, Marlin thrashed instinctively in the pouch of the pelican's beak; the last of the water that had been scooped up along with Dory and himself enveloped them both, and Marlin scrabbled for a hold on anything that would keep himself from the menacing hole at the top of the beak that led to the pelican's throat. Meanwhile Dory was in hysterics: "Wha—what's going on? It's dark! What's happening!?"

"We're getting eaten, that's what's happening!" Marlin grunted as the swinging pouch sloshed him up against the blue tang. He could feel panic setting in; it was an uncomfortably familiar feeling. "I have to get out! I have to find Nemo! I can't—waaugh!"

Suddenly the water was draining out of the pouch as the pelican tipped his head back; his tongue flicked at the two fish, and the next thing Marlin knew, he was sliding down the wet, slippery, warm, slimy throat of the bird. No! NO! Not here! Not now! "No!"Marlin grit his teeth and pressed his tail against the wall of the throat; he spread his fins and after sliding a few more centimeters, he came to a stop, Dory resting on his back. "I did not come this far to be breakfast!" And with that, he started scrambling back up the pelican's throat, pushing with his fins and thrashing his tail as if swimming against a current. "Come on, Dory, we aren't getting eaten today!"

Whether Dory remembered where they were or how they got here was unclear – she had a knack for forgetting the important details at bad times. But her breathless 'okay' and imitation of his movements were encouraging. "It's like swimming!" she gasped out after a moment. "Just keep swimming, just keep –"

"Stop that!" Marlin groaned. "This isn't swimming, there's no water, we're about to be—"

But just then the pelican's upchuck reflex seemed to kick in; the muscles around Marlin and Dory spasmed, and suddenly Marlin was sliding back into the pelican's mouth, sans water. He immediately grasped the tongue of the pelican, wrapping his fins around it firmly, and was glad that Dory did the same; they weren't going to be swallowed again without a fight!

Just about then the pelican opened his mouth – to reveal another pelican! What is this, 'eat the clownfish' week!? Marlin thought incredulously, but before he could further contemplate the matter, he and Dory were flying through the air to land on the wooden deck, propelled by the pelican as he pitched forward.

Marlin didn't stop to consider their sudden freedom; now that the most immediate danger was gone, he was aware of his gills beginning to dry out. He had to get back to the water. He had to get Dory back to the water. They couldn't die now, not when they were this close! "I've got to find my son!" he gasped out, spasming against the deck, flinging himself up into the air and away from the pelicans. "Come on, Dory!"

Dory didn't say anything, but Marlin could hear the wet slap of her body on the deck and her labored breathing; she too was probably feeling the effects of drying gills. The pelicans were yapping about something or other, but at least they weren't following their lost meal …

"Hey, hey wait!" cried one of the pelicans. "I've got something to tell you!"

Sure! That you're hungry! Marlin gasped for breath and heaved against the deck even harder, trying to flop away faster without much effect. Not … getting … eaten … again … Nemo, I'm coming for you! I'm coming! "Don't stop, Dory, he's crazy," he managed. Dory was probably just scatterbrained enough to follow the pelican's orders—

Splat.

Marlin froze, half-arched off the deck, and stared at the white puddle mere centimeters from his body before allowing his gaze to travel upwards. The pelican was poised behind Dory and himself, mouth half-open; Dory was gasping against the deck next to him, her eyes wide, observing everything like a frightened minnow.

And everywhere else – on the boats, the deck, the sails – there were seagulls.

"Mine?" inquired one innocently.

No no no no no! We're dead! But they were so close! How could they get out of this? He had to get back in the water; it was getting harder to breathe. But he and Dory were literally surrounded.

The pelican leaned closer and Marlin watched his beak warily. "Don't make any sudden moves," the bird whispered slowly. "Hop into my mouth if you want to live."

Marlin directed his best fishy glare at the pelican, his body heaving with each labored breath he took. "Your mouth, huh?" he gasped. What do you think we are, idiots!? Dory can be dumb, but— "And how does that … make me live?" Need water …

"I know your son. I can take you to him," the pelican answered, his eyes fixed warily on the seagulls, probably making certain they didn't steal his meal.

Now how did a pelican hear about tha—oh. Right, when they were flung out of the other pelican's mouth. Well, if that wasn't a load of bull! "Yeah right," he muttered darkly.

"No, I do!" the pelican bobbed his head slightly, and his beak seemed dangerously close. "Little clownfish like yourself, has a gimpy fin on one side!"

Marlin's brain ceased all functions at the phrase 'gimpy fin' – it was too small a detail to be a lie, too unusual to be a coincidence. So what if it was a pelican, the pelican knew his son! "That's Nemo!" The clownfish flapped his tail happily, flinging himself into the air—

And inadvertently, he started the feeding frenzy. The nearly-forgotten seagulls raced in, diving upon Marlin and Dory with pecking, prodding beaks, shouting "Mine!? Mine!? Mine!?" as they attacked. Immediately Marlin came back to his senses with a rush of terror as he was tossed to and fro in the air, beaks pecking and barely missing as the gulls sought to swallow him; he was vaguely aware he was screaming, and he could hear Dory's yell somewhere below him and to the left, hidden by the white birds.

Out of nowhere, a large beak snapped him up from the gulls' frenzied fighting.

Marlin had never thought he would be grateful for a pelican's beak, but as he fell into the warm, wet pouch, relief flooded him. Only a moment later, Dory had been slipped in next to him, and another wave of relief crashed over him as the tang gasped out, "Well, that crowd sure ain't friendly!"

"Yeah," Marlin rasped in response. His gills were far too dry for comfort. He needed water, and he needed it now—

Fortunately for both fish, the pelican was no fool; the beak opened a third time as the bird cried out, "Fasten your seatbelts!" and dropped his beak into the harbor, filling it with cool, salty water. Marlin took a deep, relieved breath and asked, "What's a seatbelt?"

There was no time for questions, though, and if Dory knew the answer – she very well may have, after all, as she was a tang of many talents, including reading human – she didn't reply. The water was sloshing crazily as the bird swam; the pelican had his mouth half-open and Dory had poked her head out to watch the scenery fly by.

Fish aren't made for this, fish aren't made for this, was Marlin's predominant thought as he swam up the few inches to join Dory, but morbid fascination made him watch anyway. It was definitely like nothing he'd ever seen before; he could see the topsides of the boats from above them and everything kept tilting crazily every time the pelican turned to fly in another direction. The wind whistled, Dory was whooping happily beside him, and he could hear the seagulls' continuous inquiry ('Mine? Mine?') from somewhere behind them. We'll never shake them! That many gulls could take down a pelican, couldn't they? But he couldn't give up hope. He was so unbelievably close; Nemo was right here, somewhere in this harbor, and the pelican knew where. He was closer than ever to his son; they had to get away …

Why were they flying straight for one of the sails!?

"Hold on!" the pelican managed to say, even with a mouthful of fish and water. Dory's delighted cries changed to something more terrified, and Marlin grasped not only the edge of the pelican's beak with one fin, but also Dory, adding his voice to hers. If the pelican messed this up, it wasn't going to be pretty …

Turning on its side, the pelican soared through the small space between the sail and the mast. The gulls, far too numerous to imitate the stunt, slammed unceremoniously into the sail.

Marlin couldn't decide whether to whoop or to faint from relief, and settled for sighing deeply and letting himself fall deeper into the pouch as he finally relaxed. Dory swam down to join him, overjoyed like a little child. "Did you see that!? Wham! All those gulls slammin' straight into the sail! I'll never forget that! Pelicans are completely amazing!"

The pouch shook at these last words as the pelican started to laugh. "Pelicans are amazing, eh? Well I'd say you're pretty amazing yourself – especially you, Marlin. You're quite the dedicated father, you are."

Marlin recovered from his relieved spell and swam back to the top of the pouch. "How did you even hear about me?" he couldn't help asking – but there were more important questions on his mind as well, and without waiting for an answer he continued, "Where's my son? You've got to take me to him right away!"

"P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way Sydney," Dory recited proudly; Marlin groaned softly to himself, but couldn't suppress a smile of happiness and relief. Thank goodness for Dory. She was nuts, she'd gotten him into some of the craziest situations, her 'condition' was annoying and she couldn't remember the name 'Nemo' to save her life—but she had helped him, too. In more ways than one, he thought absently, remembering the whale.

"That's the very address!" The pelican enthused, snapping Marlin from his reverie. "It's an amazing thing you two have done, getting this far. But I haven't even introduced myself! I'm Nigel. I know you, Marlin, if only by association. Your son was thrilled to hear you're coming, you know. The word is out everywhere; we all know about your quest, and I don't think I've met a single animal who doesn't think you're the most dedicated father a fish could ask for. And who's the lovely blue fish I've had the delight of meeting today?"

Dory giggled and gave her name. "Thanks so much for your help, Mr. Pelican," she said.

"Now now, don't thank me yet!" Nigel laughed, sloshing the water again. "Wait until we get to Nemo, and then you can thank me."

"Thank you," Marlin murmured, but he had begun to tune Nigel out by that point, his mind going to his son. I'm coming, Nemo … I'm finally here. It's all right, son … Daddy's here.

Author's Notes: Um … right. Hope you enjoyed. Please leave a review; many thanks!

~~Victoria