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-Three: The Chase Is On!

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Anima 2007…

Yakko tried to stay out of sight as he saw his past self and family leaving the shirt shop. ‘That’s right. They said the red didn’t fit him.’ He was starting to remember. After everything that happened, a lot of little details had disappeared from his mind. He continued to stay out of sight but followed his past self along with the others. He only stopped to hide behind a tree when he saw Journey.

“Hellooo!” Journey ran up to the past warners “I bring everyone cookies.”

“Cookies?” The past Wakko exclaimed. “How? We get cookies?”

“Yu-huh! I have a new family now. They wanted me to give you cookies for bringing me here.” Journey smiled. “They gave me a new name too. It’s Journey.”

“Well, that’s great.” The past Dot eagerly took a cookie. “Wow. These are really good cookies.” Everyone took one quickly, but Caress casually handed the Peanut Butter Pecan to Tiger. Tiger slowly munched on it.

Yakko smiled. ‘Journey. My little niece.’ Wakko clearly didn’t know a thing. He had treated her just like any other little warner. He noticed Tiger’s slow munching. ‘Yeah, I remember. That kid was always a bit spooky. That’s why I ignored him.’ He shook his head. ‘No thinking about that. This is strictly look and see, no changes.’ He couldn’t risk anything more than he had to.

Yakko watched as the past warners talked to Journey. He watched her take off and he watched himself around Aroma. He was starting to remember just where he had first met her. ‘Heh. Paddleball.’ He chuckled to himself as he watched his old self go through looks of wonderment, of realization, of shock, and maybe a bit of anger.

Yakko had to go get some kind of covering around himself before he could head toward the den. When he wasn’t spotted by the others, he could look like himself. No one would suspect him. When he was around the others, if need be, he’d be ready. He just bought a long coat that had a hood for the top he could hide behind very quickly.

He didn’t want to be seen, have to disappear, and go through everything like an old recording over again if he didn’t have to.

Although, in the end it was just like a recording. He moved from place to place, but he just watched his former self throughout that week. Many times he could only hear conversations since the warners tended to hang out in the activity rooms. At least it made things easier on him. Nothing major happened that he hadn’t remembered. He was obsessed with having a match with Aroma. He was reading the books and holding Enchantment, trying to prove he could be a father. It was nothing new. Until.

He was sipping a simple drink, just listening like always.

“Yakko?”

“Good going kid.”

“I added ears.”

“Good going kid.”

Yakko knew by the sound the kids were just drawing again. He had never cared that much about the actual drawing at the time. He was more focused on the books.

“Lookie Yaddy! Lookie! Lookie!”

“Good going kid. Nice job.”

“Look Yakko. I drew Uncle Zenny and Auntie Dottie kissing.”

Yakko started to spit out his drink. ‘What did he say?!’

“Good going kid.”

‘Good going kid?!’ Yakko started to sip his drink again. ‘I don’t remember him saying that. Was I really not paying that much attention?’

“Uncle Wakko?”

Yakko was listening very intently. Tiger was actually talking to Wakko?

“Yeah?”

“What does Yakko like?”

“Yakko? Oh, he likes all kinds of things. He likes running and playing. He likes paddleball. He likes playing instruments, like the piano. And he likes to talk a lot and tell jokes.”

“Oh? Okay.”

Yakko watched as Tiger was coming out of the room. He had heard himself starting to talk about a paddleball game, but that wasn’t where his interest lied. Yakko slowly got up and followed him. Tiger had started to search everywhere for a paddle ball. When he finally found one, he started to stare at it. He tried to start hitting the ball against the paddle but he was really bad at it.

‘Wrist.’ Yakko couldn’t help but think. ‘You’ll be good, just work on your wrist position.’ He saw his other self coming after a time though and put on his hood. He turned his back and acted like he was interested in something else. He could no longer see Tiger anymore, just hear the conversations.

“Hey kid, how’s it coming?”

“Ummm…okay, I guess. I’m not real good yet.”

“Well, it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. Your mom and I are proud of you no matter what you accomplish in life.”

Yakko tried to hide a groan. ‘I really said that? Oh man, that was bad! Straight out of a book.’

“Hey Tiger! I hear you’re getting better now. Momma said you were sick or something.”

Yakko smiled. ‘Zenny Junior tried talking to him?’

“Sort of I guess.”

“Hey Tiger? How come you are still named Tiger? See, I’m named Zenny ’cause I was the first born. You were first born, weren’t you?”

“Yeah, I was. Then it’s Caress and Enchantment. Then the new baby will come.”

“Well, how come your mommy and daddy don’t change your name? You should be named after your daddy ’cause you’re the first born son!”

“Yakko? I should be named Yakko?”

“Yakko, Jr. Yuh huh. That’s what mommy said. So how come your name is still the code names?”

“I don’t know. What’s wrong with it?”

“Momma said all our names were codes for bad things, so she wanted to change them. How come your family hasn’t changed names brother?”

“Br-brother?” Tiger looked at Junior oddly again.

Yakko sighed sadly as he heard Junior continue on his explanation on Brothers. He wasn’t interested in that though. ‘It was so obvious. I should have changed his name to Yakko. Especially after he heard what Zenny Junior said!’ he whined to himself.

“How come you call Zenny your daddy now? How did you earn his love?”

‘Earn his love?’ Yakko frowned.

“Earn his love? I don’t know. Daddy was there for me when I was born. He said he always loved me, even when I wasn’t there.”

“Oh. Because he knew you before you were born. Are you good at paddleball?”

“Me? Naw, I’m not. You look like you’re not much either.”

“Yeah, but I’m gonna be. I’ll get really good.”

‘Trying to earn my love through paddleball.’ Yakko knew it. That’s the only reason Tiger ever picked up a paddleball in the first place. Zenny had come back over and taken Zenny Junior away to go fluffy fishing. Tiger had stayed behind, trying to play paddleball. Then, Aroma came and got him.

Yakko followed incognito to the fluffy fishing area, but he saw the exact same thing he did that day. The fluffy screaming, Aroma running to him, assuring he was fine. ‘I just stayed there.’ He watched as his other self continued to talk to Wakko. ‘I should have gone to him. Told him it was okay too.’ He just didn’t understand it yet. If only he could do it over. ‘Can’t interfere.’ He would stay with his decision. So far, the universe’s future was looking great. He just couldn’t interfere.

Day in and day out, week after week. Yakko was getting tired of hiding, but he couldn’t just leave. He had to know. When was it? He had taken to following Tiger around everyday, instead of himself. He watched the boys progress with the paddleball. It was very slow. He still didn’t know how to hold it right. No one was there to show him how to hold it right.

‘Maybe he just dreamed it?’ Yakko was beginning to wonder. ‘It’s been over a month and nothing. I never thought I said it to him, that didn’t make any sense. Maybe he did just dream it? I was ignoring him constantly and he was changing so much.’ Yakko decided to give it just a bit longer. After that, he would have to go with his dream theory. He placed his hood on just in time though as he saw himself sneaking out.

‘Oh yeah. Our match.’ He grinned. Now that had been lots of fun. But he couldn’t go watch it, he had to keep his eyes on Tiger. He hung around outside of Tiger’s room and was surprised to see him starting to come out. ‘Tiger? This late at night? Oh.’ Yakko watched as Tiger went over and got a drink. He had just gotten a little thirsty.

“Hey there. Didn’t your mommy kiss you goodnight?”

Yakko suddenly became very quiet. He glared at the warner talking to Tiger.

It was Waryes. Waryes had been grinning from ear to ear. “I hear your mommy didn’t kiss you goodnight.”

“She will.” Tiger frowned.

“Make sure she doesn’t forget. Mommy’s who love their kids never forget.” Waryes smiled deceptively. “My kids’ mommy would never leave them for the night without a goodnight. She won’t be able to have a peaceful sleep either. Why don’t you go and give her a kiss goodnight real quick?” He gestured behind him. “She’s on the corner on the outside of this den.”

“Oh.” Tiger looked behind him. He started to wander off outside.

‘Wait a minute. What?’ Yakko quickly started to follow.

Tiger had started to go up a small hill. Yakko watched and saw Wakko eating candy on top of the hill. ‘Oh yeah. He did catch us. Did he talk to Tiger again?’

Tiger headed up farther up the hill. He slightly smiled as he saw his momma.

“That Tiger kid! He’s…he can’t be mine!”

‘What?! You mean, he was here when I said it?’ Yakko felt so bad. Especially as he kept listening to his old self below.

“He doesn’t talk, he doesn’t joke, doesn’t riddle, doesn’t run, doesn’t do anything normal! Caress and Enchantment, those two are mine. I know that, I can’t deny that.”

“Is that why you ignore him? You think he isn’t yours?”

“Think? I know! You know, they must have started out with a different mate, and then he died or something, then they picked me. I mean . . . that kid isn’t mine.”

Yakko hung his head. ‘That’s why. He overheard me ranting at Aroma.’ He understood now. Waryes had set it up that way. The Tiger probably just helped him along with that idea as he grew older.

“Harsh, Yakko. Just ’cause Tiger’s somehow really bad, he’s disowned it?”

‘Oh no Wakko, don’t say that.’ Yakko yelled at himself. But it was too late, and it had already happened. Tiger started to run away. Yakko felt so low. He had even slipped up a bit. Wakko was starting to look back.

Yakko quickly hid again. He started to walk off. He understood now. That’s why Tiger never believed him. He had said it. He had just been so frustrated, and Tiger had acted so different. But Tiger had been his. The boy never stayed to listen to the rest of the conversation though.

Yakko continued to follow Tiger around. The boy was aimlessly walking around by himself outside. After some time went by, Tiger started talking very strangely too.

“I’m a Tiger. I’m bad.”

‘The recordings.’ Yakko remembered. Tiger was probably thinking about the recordings again.

“Caress does not love me. Momma doesn’t love me. Enchantment doesn’t love me. I’m nothing. Yakko never loved me. He doesn’t even think I’m his. He never searched. He’s hated me ever since he met me. He sees evil in me.”

‘I didn’t see evil, I was just confused.’ Yakko whined to himself.

“Caress goes to him all the time. Even mommy wanted to play with him instead of coming to kiss me goodnight. She can’t even kiss me goodnight anymore.”

‘She would have,’ Yakko thought. ‘She was going to come back right after the game.’

“Did momma know? Was it true?” Tiger looked up at the moon. “Did momma put me in there? Is that why I have the evil code name? A name they won’t change?” He wiped a tear from his eye. “Yakko, Jr. I could never be good enough to be named that. I’m evil.” He started to cry harder.

Yakko closed his eyes in shame. The recordings were becoming true to Tiger. ‘Your mom never put you in there. And I didn’t mean to keep your name the same because you were evil. I just wasn’t ready for a Yakko Junior yet.’ Yakko looked up at the moon. ‘He wasn’t even 10 yet. He wasn’t! Not even a decade old.’ Tiger was not even a decade old yet, he was still under definition considered a baby warner. To humans, a little older than toddler. An undeveloped mind.

“I am evil. I don’t deserve love. I don’t deserve to bounce. I don’t deserve happiness.” Tiger took a deep breath. “I deserve only cookies. No love, just cookies. No love, just cookies.”

‘Why did this have to happen?!’ Yakko yelled at himself. ‘He was way too young to handle that! He was…he was just a baby!’

“Screw him Tiger. He never gave a damn about you.”

Yakko knew that voice. He knew it well. He covered himself up, hid behind a tree and peaked out. The Tiger. Yakko knew he couldn’t change things, but he wanted to so bad! The Tiger was befriending him? ‘He did know him? He knew him now? He came right when he was at his lowest.’

Waryes had known just what he was doing.

Yakko heard The Tiger talk about him. He watched The Tiger show Tiger just how to handle the paddleball right. Talked about how they were both in the same place, heard the same recordings. Heard The Tiger convince Tiger that Journey was giving him bad cookies, and gave him his cookies instead.

That was it. That was it, that entire night had been set up by Waryes. That was the beginning of the end for them.

‘Just a baby . . . he trusted . . . ‘ Yakko started to walk away. He should have known it. Little warners were so accepting, so trusting of everything. They were just too small and inexperienced. Most likely, Tiger had blamed himself for everything. After all those years, he was living with that guilt.

It hadn’t been his fault though. Yakko knew it. It wasn’t completely his fault either. They were being manipulated. Yakko grabbed a pink ball. He had only used purple. Even if they saw him, they wouldn’t remember him. But, he had seen what he needed to know. Why Tiger never believed him.

Now, it was time to go. He had to make things right.

He closed his eyes and searched for Tiger. He didn’t want to, but he remembered the cruelness hidden within his eyes ‘…he was just like The Tiger…’

What he despised the most, he had become.

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Who cares…who cares when…

‘How do I make him stay away?’ Tigers growled. He couldn’t hear Tiger within, but he didn’t feel his true power anymore. He was weaker. Tiger was old enough to know how to hold his power back from him. He had been too weak before when he took over, but Tiger’s will was keeping Tigers power down.

“~In the morning, in the evening, ain’t we got fun?~”

Tigers was enjoying a drink while he listened to a local singer on stage, trying to figure out his next move. He knew it wouldn’t be long before-”

“Yakko Junior?”

Tigers growled as he heard Yakko’s voice behind him. He glared as he turned around.

Yakko just looked at him. Red angry eyes. Completely black. He looked exactly like The Tiger almost. “I know you’re deep inside, Junior, and I won’t give up. Don’t worry.”

Tigers instantly jumped up from the table . . . and ran?

‘I knew it!’ Yakko grinned. ‘He is weak!’ He started to run after him. “Aw come on now, what’s the rush?!”

Tigers continued to run. “Leave me alone or I’ll kill you!”

“Kill me? Wouldn’t that instantly send Yakko Junior back?” Yakko laughed. He started to bounce as he ran. “Boingy, boingy, Boingy! Come on Junior, come on out!”

“Quit calling me Junior!” Tigers yelled at him angrily.

Yakko had a priceless look on his face. “How come? Is your daddy embarrassing his little Yakko Junior? Should I just call you Yakko like a big boy?”

“Quit calling me Yakko period! I’m The Tiger now!” Tigers started to run again, but Yakko stayed on his tail. “I’m The Tiger now! There are no other Tigers like me.”

“Come on Yakko. Come on out, we’ll have a paddleball competition.” Yakko brought out his paddleball. “I’ll bet you’re really good. It’s just for fun too, there’s no earning love by it.”

“Why are you even saying that? My name is The Tiger. His name is Tiger. Not that he can hear you anyway.” Tigers couldn’t take much more of the Junior reference.

“Tiger is a code name. I’ll never call him Tiger again, even if he wants me too,” Yakko said with certainty. He knew just how Tiger felt about the name now. No, he’d never call his son Tiger again. He was Yakko Junior, now and forever.

Tigers tried to leave to another time. Yakko followed. Tigers left to another time. Yakko followed. Tigers kept moving from time to time, waiting out the weakness the Eternal had caused. Yakko stayed right behind him, trying to bring out Tiger. He yelled out why he said such cruel things about being his dad. He yelled out about Tiger’s mom. He yelled out about Caress. He yelled out about the happier times they could have if he just came out.

Unfortunately, Tigers was still strong enough to fight against Tiger. Most likely, Tiger wasn’t hearing a thing. Still hiding from his own conscience, not being able to take the pain anymore. Yakko never gave up though. Through countless times he followed. A couple times, Tiger had ditched him for a little while, but he always found him again. His will was too strong, and he knew how to feel him out faster and better each time.

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Who cares where…who cares when…

Tigers couldn’t believe his luck. For once, that warner Yakko wasn’t behind him. He had fallen back a bit when he landed on the ground wrong in a very high jump. Yakko’s cookies he had been using to keep up had started to fade at precisely the right second.

He knew he didn’t have long. ‘I’ll make sure he never follows me. Never again.’ He started to head down a street, calmly whistling. He didn’t have to worry about Yakko for at least half an hour. He had messed up his leg pretty bad. He was a warner and he’d heal fast, but he’d be down long enough for Tigers to damage him in another way.

“~Every morning, every evening, ain’t we got fun.~” The Tiger sang as he skipped through the streets. “Not much money, oh but honey ain’t we got fun.~” He walked up to a house and knocked on the door politely. The song was okay by itself, but it needed more pizzazz. Only the kind of pizzazz The Tiger could ever give it. “~Gonna kill him, Gonna kill him, won’t that be fun…” He started to tap his foot impatiently. “~Gonna hang him, gonna bleed him, won’t that be fun…~”

The Tiger grinned as he watched the door open. “Well, hey there Dr. Otto Scratchansniff.”