Disclaimer: I do not own Animaniacs. Yakko, Wakko and Dot and all of the other characters belong to their own respective owners. I only created Tiger and Caress and some other original characters. I claim no rights to any of this. This was made purely for entertainment. No profit is made off of this.
Just An Experiment
Chapter Sixty-Two: Off One Last Time
One week later…
“So cold . . .” The Tiger started to tremble.
Aroma tried to get near him. “Do you need a blanket?”
Zenny and Dot were both keeping a close eye on their own kids. It was important not to let The Tiger change back, but at the same time, they did have their own family to worry about.
“I don’t know. I just feel cold.” The Tiger rubbed up and down on his shoulders. “I’m cold, momma. I feel scared.”
“He’s trying to take control,” Yakko said, remembering how Tiger acted when they first met.
“Then get him out Yakko,” Dot whined. She couldn’t take it anymore. “He can’t change around here.”
“She’s right. He’ll tear everything up and destroy us,” Zenny agreed.
“He’s my son!” Aroma protested. “He hasn’t changed yet, we can’t just kick him out onto the streets.” She looked over at Yakko for some kind of support.
“We’re not kicking him out,” Yakko said firmly. There were no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. “He’s staying right here.”
“He’s gonna change,” Dot protested. “Yakko, I know he’s your son, but-”
“I won’t mess this up!” Yakko yelled. “Don’t you get it? I don’t know why the rip is slowly mending, but it’s gotta be because of him. He changed back to the warner he should be.”
“But he’s not a warner,” Zenny protested. “We made the mistake once of not locking him up when we had the chance. He’s a monster!”
The Tiger started to shiver even more. ‘Monster. I’m a monster…’
“He is not a monster! He’s my son, Zenny!” Aroma disagreed vehemently.
“He has the monster inside.” Dot looked over at Yakko, trying to make him see. “It was okay at first. He was acting normally, Yakko, but he’s getting too nervous and too scared and no one can make him feel better. You know what that means. You’re putting everyone at risk keeping him here.”
“I’m sorry!” The Tiger whined as he rocked back and forth. He looked over at his momma. “Momma? Where do I go?”
“Nowhere!” Aroma growled at Dot and Zenny. “He’s part of this family, he’s not going anywhere!”
“He’s still The Tiger! And The Tiger is gonna gain more control, Aroma!” Zenny yelled at his sister. “I’m sorry, I am. But he’s not really your son, and he just cannot stay here.”
“Yakko?” Dot tried to give her biggest and best round eyes. “What about the others? What about my kids? What about your babies? Please big brother? Think?”
“Yakko, we cannot kick him out.” Aroma looked dead on at Yakko. “He’s not the bad one.”
“He’s just A Tiger, Yakko,” Dot tried to remind him. “He’s a future Yakko’s son, he’s not yours. He doesn’t even belong here.”
Tiger continued to rock. He was about to be thrown out into the cold again, he knew it. “I don’t belong here?”
“You’re my son.” Aroma went over and stroked The Tiger’s head. “Big or little, future or past, you’re my son.”
“Maybe that’s why he won’t change back completely.” Zenny looked over at Yakko.
“W-what are you saying?” Aroma frowned. “You want Yakko to just take him and drop him off in the future somewhere?”
“He does belong in the future, Yakko.” Dot agreed with Zenny. “Maybe you should try it?”
Abandoned. He was about to be abandoned again. The Tiger closed his eyes.
‘They’ll abandon you Tiger! The pain, it’ll hurt! You can’t handle that! Give into me!’
‘You’ll hurt momma.’ The Tiger whined to himself. ‘You hurt her before. You hurt her. I won’t give in! I just . . .’ Tiger felt a strange sensation of warmth on his shoulder. He looked up and saw Yakko holding onto it.
“I won’t abandon him,” Yakko said firmly. The tone wasn’t loud, but it was a harshness that left no room for nonsense. He would not change his decision.
“Think about what you’re doing,” Zenny reminded him. “You know what his other self is capable of! You’re going to put your own family at risk?”
“No.” Yakko took a deep breath. He looked over at Aroma. “Are you coming too?”
Aroma didn’t know what to say to that.
“Yakko? No, you can’t go!” Dot whined.
“I won’t abandon him!” Yakko yelled at her back. “I won’t put anyone else at risk, but he’s not going to be dropped in the future alone somewhere!”
“You’re crazy!” Dot yelled at him angrily. “He’ll change and he’ll kill you! Don’t you see?”
“Then I have to take that risk,” Yakko said. He took The Tiger’s hand. “Come on, let’s go.”
“You’re nuts, Yakko!” Dot yelled at her brother some more. “Completely insane!”
Yakko didn’t listen to her. He couldn’t explain it, but he had a gut feeling he couldn’t do it. His instincts just wouldn’t let Tiger go.
“Watch all of my babies.” Aroma went over and hugged the very angry Dot. “Please?”
“You’re nuts.” Dot started to cry. “You’re both nuts.”
“He’s not evil.” Aroma repeated again. “He’s my little boy, deep inside.”
“Aroma? Don’t leave the others alone just for one,” Zenny said.
“I’ll be back soon, I know it.” Aroma simply said. It was nighttime and Caress and the babies were sleeping soundly. She wouldn’t wake them up. “It’s just a feeling I have. He’s going to be okay, I just need to be there.”
‘Feeling?’ Yakko looked over at Aroma as she started to get ready to leave. ‘Aroma’s instinct too. Just what is instinct?’ He looked over at Tiger. He was willing to gamble with his life by leaving with the waryes that held The Tiger inside of him. Aroma was willing to risk her very life with a dangerous creature that lurked inside of Tiger, that had once killed a future her. And yet, both their instincts were telling them the same thing.
Don’t abandon him.
Yakko continued to hear Dot cry and yell at him as he and Aroma left with Tiger.
The Tiger looked at both Yakko and Aroma holding his hands. “W-what’s going to happen?”
“We’ll be fine,” Yakko smiled at Tiger. “You’ll see! We’ll find a nice place, just us three.”
The Tiger smiled. He shivered only once more before he started to feel warmth surrounding him. He closed his eyes. All the coldness inside was starting to disappear.
“I wonder where we should go?” Aroma asked. “Any suggestions?”
“How about Hawaii? That’d be nice,” Yakko laughed. “Yeah. We’ll go catch a plane.”
“Hawaii? Sounds nice I guess,” Aroma shrugged.
“Oh well excuse me, Miss Therapy,” Yakko chuckled. “Even Hawaii’s not fancy enough for you?”
“No,” Aroma chuckled back. “I was thinking out in the country somewhere. That’s where Zenny and I had stayed. It’s more quiet out there, maybe he’ll feel better.” Aroma smiled at Tiger. “What do you think?”
Tiger looked at his momma. ‘She’s risking everything…’ He nodded his head.
“But Hawaii will have oceans and waves and cool breezes, and lots of people to annoy!” Yakko reminded her. He smiled at Tiger. “Come on. You’ve never got to have fun talking with people yet. Well, besides Ralph. Plus, you’ll see the ocean! You’ve never seen that, have you?”
Tiger shook his head. “…”
“Course not. You haven’t seen a lot of things. You’re just beginning to explore the world!”
“But . . . the thing inside of me . . .” Tiger looked over at Aroma. “It could kill you, momma.”
Aroma just smiled and squeezed his hand. “Stop thinking so negatively, Tiger. Momma’s okay, I’m right here. I’ll always be right here.”
“No matter what.”
Tiger turned his attention toward Yakko.
“Big or little, no matter what.” Yakko smiled at him. “Til the ends of the universe, we’ll be here.”
Tiger smiled. No, he was completely warm again. The fear deep within him was also disappearing as he felt his parents hands wrapped in his. His mommy’s on one side, and his daddy’s on the other. “I.” Tiger smiled happily. “I feel.” Tiger grinned from ear to ear. “I feel better mom and dad!”
Yakko and Aroma both stopped to look at him. For the first time, he had a gigantic happy grin plastered on his face.
“I don’t feel afraid anymore!” Tiger laughed. “We’re gonna be okay, aren’t we?”
“Yes, Sweetie!” Aroma cheered. “We’re going to be just fine.” She looked over at Yakko questioningly.
Yakko knew what she wanted to ask. ‘To the tower? No, not yet. Dot and Zenny don’t feel right around him anymore, they’re not gonna help anything.’ He just smiled at her. “Hawaii, here we come! Hey. Let’s go hang in Honolulu.”
Tiger felt like bouncing. “Honolulu? Sounds funny, dad!” He laughed and started to sing. “~Someone’s happy to see me today. Someone’s happy to see me today. They give a smile and they brighten my day. Someone’s happy to see me today!~”
“~Who is happy to see you today?~” Aroma started to sing with him. “~Who is happy to see you today? Who’s giving you a smile and brightening your day? Who is happy to see you today?~”
Tiger looked over at Aroma and then at Yakko. He grinned and continued his song, changing his words. “~My parents are happy to see me today. My parents are happy to see me today. They give me a smile, hip hip hooray. I feel special, I’m loved today!~”
It was true. Tiger knew it in his heart now. He felt it in Yakko’s touch, in Yakko’s words, and saw it in Yakko’s smile. He was even risking his life to stay with him. The recordings were wrong. The scientists were all wrong. Yakko was hid dad, and Yakko didn’t think he was evil. He thought he was a good boy. Tiger smiled at his mommy. “I love you, mommy.”
“I love you too.” Aroma smiled at him.
Then, Tiger turned to look at Yakko. “I love you too, daddy!”
“…” Yakko didn’t know what to say. “…I…” Aroma looked over at Yakko and smiled encouragingly. Yakko nodded and smiled back. He looked at Tiger. “I love you too, son.”
Tiger’s grin became even bigger. “And I love Caress.” His nose was turning a bit more brown now. “And I love Enchantment.” His fur was changing from it’s black to a grayish color slowly. “And I love my little brother, and I love Zenny Junior, and I love Cutie Pie and Ember!” He laughed and started to bounce more. “And I love bouncing! Boingy, Boingy, Boingy! And I…I…”
Yakko and Aroma had been watching him change very happily Until he started to get funny.
“Momma. I don’t feel so good.” The Tiger’s strength was depleting very quickly.
Yakko tried to keep him on his feet, but The Tiger was just too big. He gently set him down on the ground.
Aroma was on Tiger’s other side. “It’s okay, Honey. Do you have a temperature?” She felt his forehead. “Ow!” She pulled her hand back and saw it singed. Yakko grabbed her hand gently. “Burned? That’s not good.” He pulled out some gauze and wrapped it around her hand. He looked down at The Tiger. He was curling up in a tight ball, obviously in a lot of pain.
Aroma ignored her own pain as she watched him. “What’s happening? Is he changing again?”
“I don’t know,” Yakko said worried. “Come on Tiger, it’s okay. Don’t let him come back. Don’t let him!”
Suddenly, Yakko and Aroma were both blown away by a powerful wind. There was a bright flash of white that blinded them both as they landed. When they came back to their senses, they both ran straight to where The Tiger had been.
The completely black and grown up The Tiger was gone. What remained . . . was the little warner Tiger again.
Aroma stepped forward slowly, not being able to believe her eyes. He wasn’t tall anymore, he was little. His fur was black and white where it should be. His nose was a deep cherry red again. His tail was just his regular little tail again. “Tiger?”
Yakko walked forward too. ‘He changed back? Into a warner?’ “Tiger?”
In mere seconds, both Yakko and Aroma were both on the ground, holding onto the little warner.
Tiger slowly opened his eyes and looked around. He saw his mommy and smiled. “Hi mommy.” He started to yawn. “I feel like I’ve overslept.” He turned to look at Yakko and smiled. “Hi. My name’s Tiger.” He waved at Yakko.
Yakko felt a bit sad at first. All the progress he had had with Tiger was gone now. He had never met the little warner Tiger before, just the waryes. “Hi, there.” He pointed at himself. “I’m Yakko!”
“And I’m Tiger!” Tiger laughed. He looked over at his mom. “Momma? I’ve missed you! Yeah, they finally brought me back to you!” He hugged her as tight as he could.
Aroma held onto him tightly and couldn’t help but cry! “My little Tiger! My little warner Tiger, you are finally back!”
“Warner Tiger?” Tiger laughed. “Momma, I’ve always been a warner. I think?” He lifted his arm and smelled under his armpit. “Well, I smell like I warner.” Aroma grinned and continued to hug him tightly. “Momma!” Tiger choked. “Momma!”
Yakko understood. “Easy, Aroma. The kid can’t breathe.”
“Oh.” Aroma loosened her hug just a bit. “Sorry, Sweetie! I’ve just really missed you.”
“I know momma, I missed you too.” Tiger grinned. He felt tons better now that he was with his momma. He wasn’t stuck in the cold dark room anymore. “Oh, mama?” He looked around. “Where is everyone?”
“We’re out. We’re out for good.” Aroma gave him a tighter hug, then loosened it. “No more scientists. No more observers. We’re free.”
“I’m free? Really? How momma?” Tiger had to ask.
Aroma grinned at Yakko. “Because of you.”
Yakko grinned back just as wide.
“You freed us? Hey, thanks, mister Yakko!” Tiger laughed. “This is great! We’re on the outside!” He hugged his mama again. “Where’s Caressy, momma? And Enchantment, I want to see them again.”
“Hey. I’m not just a mister,” Yakko informed him. “I’m your dad, Yakko. So, call me dad . . . or Yakko . . . but not mister, I’m not a mister.”
Aroma laughed a bit. “He’ll get to know you again, Yakko. Don’t worry. Now, let’s go back to the tower.”
“What’s a tower?” Tiger asked.
Yakko felt happy. He wanted to smile as wide as he could. He wanted to bounce and laugh and run! He finally did it! He had made The Tiger change back. But.
He couldn’t. He still knew, that Waryes was out there.
It was too perfect. He looked around suspiciously. ‘I’ve got him to change back. I bet this is the first time it’s happened. So much stuff has been changing lately, we’ve gotten ahead of Waryes. Meaning…’
Yakko stood ready. He had a special cookie on him just in case. This cookie, was not like the others. Instead of giving lots of energy or enhancing the natural abilities, it was suppsed to weaken them severely. He only had two cookies of the kind, but he held one tight and ready.
“Yakko?” Aroma smiled. “Are you okay?”
“Ewww . . .” Tiger pointed to the ground. “What’s that thing crawling away?”
Yakko lost his concentration as he heard Tiger’s statement. He quickly looked at where Tiger was pointing. A little worm. White and wiggling, trying to get away undetected. That didn’t work. “I know who you are.” Yakko bent down to glare at the worm. “Finally in your original form, The Tiger?” The worm just continued to wiggle.
“Yakko?” Aroma looked down at the worm as well. She held Tiger extra close.
“Don’t worry.” Yakko smiled as he looked up at Aroma. “I know their weakness.” He pulled out a small anvil and held it over the worm. “Weight of any kind.” He didn’t drop it though yet. He was about to finally be rid of The Tiger, he’d never hurt this little Tiger again. ‘Everything’s too perfect.’
And as he predicted, right before he attempted to squish The Tiger, Waryes showed up.
Yakko had predicted it and stood ready. They had gotten ahead of Waryes, and he wasn’t gonna lose his hold! As Waryes tried to use the element of surprise to grab The Tiger and Tiger, Yakko shoved the cookie right in his mouth!
Waryes started to choke. He was starting to panic as he started to stumble backward. ‘No! No way, there’s gotta be a way out! I’ve always been on top! How?! How did he do it?! I had Tiger changed, I had The Tiger changed, everything was perfect!’
One mess up. Waryes had stayed out of the way as much as he could. He had just seen his plans foiled though, he had to change it. But Yakko knew?
“Not as dumb as I look, am I?” Yakko gave Waryes a strange smile. “Face to face finally, huh?”
Waryes was on the ground. He didn’t even have enough energy to stand up. “Almost.”
“You’re the one responsible for everything!” Yakko yelled at him. “I oughtta just . . . grr!” He took a deep breath and smiled. “But hey, me getting angry wouldn’t be a good idea right now. Instead, we’re gonna have a little heart to heart.”
Aroma glared at Waryes.
“Now, now.” Yakko smiled at her. “Smile Aroma. Let’s not get angry. Warners should never get angry, remember?”
Aroma whined slightly. She started to bounce with Tiger, so she could reduce her anger. “Come on, Tiger! Boingy, boingy, boingy!”
Yakko went over and felt around Waryes. He found his pink and purple lightning balls. “Oh, you don’t need these anymore. 2007 will treat you just fine. Although.” Yakko started to take off his glove. As weird as it was, he knew Tiger and The Tiger probably picked it up from him. He made a small incision on his palm and touched Waryes’ palm. ‘Whoah! Okay, that feels weird.’ Yakko quickly covered his hand back up with his glove. “Yep, looks like your going to stay awhile.” He started to scratch his glove he had just removed. “Man, this feels weird.” He smiled at Waryes. “So Mr. I Wanna Destroy Everything! Tell me. How do I stop The Tiger?”
“You can’t.” Waryes grumbled. “I’ve made sure you never could. You won’t get a closeness like you did with the Tiger your female is carrying. Never.”
“You made him believe somehow, didn’t you? That I wasn’t his dad? Why? Because I can change him back, can’t I?” Yakko grinned. “Admit it, wormy!”
“No! You never will!” Waryes yelled as loud as he could. His voice was even losing strength though. “Never. I made sure…”
“Somehow. You did it. You convinced him. When did you do it?” Yakko yelled at him. Waryes wouldn’t reply. He just gave him a wicked smile. “The past.” Yakko looked over at Aroma who was still holding Tiger very tightly. “I’ve gotta go.”
“Go? Go where?” Aroma whined. “Yakko? Tiger’s here now.”
“Go back to the tower. Dot and Zenny will see he’s fine, they’ll let you back in.” Yakko gave her a sad smile. “It’s not over yet. I’ve got less than a year to stop him.”
“What?” Aroma’s eyes grew wide. “You mean, the other one? Yakko, he was ready to kill us!”
“And some Eternal petals in the mouth later, he started to flee for no reason,” Yakko reminded her. “Warner’s right, I’ve got to change them both back. Waiting around a year isn’t really my style anyhow.”
“Lousy warner.” Waryes grumbled.
“Too late.” Yakko just smiled smugly at Waryes. “Now, let’s see. Where do you belong? Once you get your powers back, you could be a handful. No, I think there’s only one ‘Warner’ who could handle you.”
Yakko grinned when he saw Warner. Just in time. “I’ve only got one of these cookies left.” He held up the other cookie.
“Yeah, but I’ve got tons of them!” Warner said confidently as he bent down to pick up Waryes. “I’ll watch him carefully, Yakko. You just take care, and don’t mess anything else up. You screwed up everything before, and then you unscrewed it by screwing it more! And I just don’t get it anymore.” Warner groaned. “Just good luck.”
“Yakko. He wanted to murder us.” Aroma tried to talk some sense into him. She bounced Tiger a couple times. “Everyone’s back together, like it should be. Can’t we just go home?”
Yakko smiled sadly at her. “He’s scared of me, I saw it in his eyes before he disappeared. I didn’t get it at first, why he said not to follow him. Those petals made the Tigers weaker Aroma, he can be changed back into Tiger.” Yakko rubbed his son’s head. “Into Yakko Junior.” He looked at Aroma straight on. “Give Caress the name Sparkles for me? And tell her that her daddy is gonna be okay?”
“Yakko?” Aroma didn’t like the way he was talking.
“I was thinking really hard about names the past week. The littlest one would like the name Com because he turns out to be really good with computers, but I don’t know if you would want to name him that. Giggles was the name of the last one too, it’s obvious to see how she got that. Although, Dot’s was named differently, and Caress had been named Shy, but she should have been Sparkles.”
Aroma looked at Yakko in surprise. “You have been thinking, haven’t you?”
“Just tell everyone not to worry. I’ll be fine, and Waryes is out of the picture. I’ll change back Tiger, and everything will be just fine. Okay?”
“…Yakko…” Aroma held onto Tiger tighter.
“Ma! Air!” Her son choked again.
“And please remember to give him more air?” Yakko chuckled.
Aroma loosed her grip. “Yakko. I’ll…”
Yakko tilted his head slightly and grinned. “Trust me, it’ll be okay.” He rubbed Tiger’s head once more. “You take care, Junior.” He looked over at Aroma.
And got hit with a kiss.
Tiger made a disgusted face as he saw his parent’s kissing above him. “…ewwwy.”
Aroma backed off first. “Take care and don’t get hurt!”
“I won’t.” Yakko was grinning from ear to ear. That kiss, it was . . .
Soft. Simple. Smoooth. But Aroma’s tongue had done some talking in it too. Now, if that’s what she meant by kissing her nicely, he could start doing that!
Tiger groaned again as his parents started kissing again. “Ooky!”
Yakko grinned. “I will definitely be back,” he laughed. He turned around and pulled out Waryes’ ball. He was just collecting bright idea balls all over the place. “First stop. Had to be when we first came to Anima. Somewhere around there.” He looked up at the sky. ‘Tiger would have felt really scared and alone. Come on, think. More exact…’ Then, he got it. The shirt! Tiger first picked up that shirt pretty early, that should be good enough. He looked back at Aroma one last time. “Tell Wakko sorry I couldn’t say goodbye, and tell Dot that her older brother admits that she is kinda cute.” Aroma smiled. “But you’re by far the prettiest.”
He opened up his ball and he was gone.
Figures. He’d say something nice right before he left on a dangerous mission.
Aroma held Tiger close to her heart. This time, Yakko would not be protected in his journey by anyone. ‘Be careful, Yakko. Please be careful.’