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His fur was royal-blue, and his tail blade was just growing in.  It was no more than a shiny silver tip at the end of his tail, and it was bothering him.  Father was occupied with his latest project and Mother had her classes to teach, so I was left to watch the youngster and try to keep him from scratching his tail on the trees.  A full warrior, sure to be a prince in a few years, and I was babysitting my little brother.

<Little Bother,> I muttered.  Ironic how close "bother" was to "brother."

He tried to reach his tail again, but it wasn't quite long enough.  He glared at it, the expression on his small face so fierce it made me laugh.  Not noticing, my little brother climbed to his thin legs and wobbled a little, but only for a moment.  He was very sure-footed for his age.  Mother said that it took me far too long to trust my own legs.  

He looked around, and made his way straight for the nearest derrishoul tree.  I sighed and climbed to my hooves.  <Aximili, stop.>  I knew it wouldn't help.  He didn't understand language yet.  He knew his own name, vaguely I think, and could recognize the thought-speak of his family, but he didn't understand words.  

I hurried over and got between him and the tree.  <No scratching.>  His tail searched the empty air for some way to relieve the irritation.  I needed to distract him.  I stomped my front hooves and backed up, prancing.  Aximili loved to imitate.  

The discomfort in his tail forgotten, he picked up one front hoof, then the other.  Slowly, uncertainly and wobbly, but he did it.  Then I had an idea.  He was still young, but he had already shown greater courage on his four hooves than most youngsters.

I trotted two steps and stopped.  Aximili watched my hooves with a concentration that belonged on a much older face.  He tried lifting two hooves at the same time, arms and tail wind-milling for balance, and fell to his knees.  

<Come on, Little Brother,> I encouraged.

He stood up on his thin legs, one at a time, and tested each one.  I trotted again, encouraging him to do the same.

We passed nearly an hour in this manner, before he finally succeeded in lifting his front left and hind right hooves simultaneously.  Before the first sun set, he was trotting around the grass happily, clearly proud of himself.  But I wanted him to run.

At the time, I didn't realize what it would mean.  Maybe he was helping me to fill the empty hole where Loren and my son were supposed to be.  Maybe I wanted a connection with him that no one would be able to break, one that no one else had.  

In Andalite culture, teaching a youngster how to run completes one of our most ancient rituals.  Long ago, our ancestors had to run to protect themselves from predators.  Teaching a youngster how to run was the first step in teaching them how to protect themselves and the herd.  The elder Andalite is considered responsible for the well-being of the younger.  If harm comes to the youngster, it is concluded that the elder did not do his job.  Usually, a parent completes this ritual.  But Father was always been busy with political nonsense, loving but a little too distant.  And Mother loved her students almost as much as she loved her sons, but there were many more students than sons.  Her time was spread thin.  And he was confident on his hooves, trying to imitate my every move…

I darted away swiftly, teasing him.  He trotted after me, already a master at that, but I stayed out of reach.  <Run, Little Brother.>  I tried to do it slowly, but speed is necessary for the rhythm to be right.  

Then, finally, one-two-three!  A true, three-beat stride.  I laughed, delighted.

By the time the first star was visible and the second moon rose, we were running across the grass.  Not fast, but he was truly running.  All four legs working together in perfect synchronization, far younger than many Andalites managed it.  And his had completely forgotten about his tail.

<You are an Andalite,> I said, completing the ritual even if he didn't understand me, <Little Brother.>  Technically, I was supposed to say his full name, but it seemed too big for his little frame.  Someday, he would grow into it.

xXxXxXx

Captain Nerefir pinned a piercing look on me with his two main eyes.  His stalk eyes roamed, as did mine.  No militaristic Andalite ever looks in only one direction.  

<Why, Prince Elfangor?  I would think the two of you will distract each other.>

<No, sir.  I will be as hard on Aximili as I would be on any other aristh.  Harder, even, because I know of what he is capable.  I know the best ways to teach him.>

<Prince Elfangor, I think—>

<Captain, I taught Aximili to run.>

Captain Nerefir looked at me carefully.  That alone nearly gave me the right to what I was asking, and he knew it.  He also knew that I would be an asset to Aximili's instruction, there was no denying that.  I could scold and praise him as no other warrior could, and I had plenty of combat experience to pass along.  

Of course, on the other hand, I had interrupted a celebrated and respected captain.  A war hero.  The chances of him saying no on those grounds alone were high.

<On a few conditions.>

I tried, I really did, but I couldn't keep the smile out of my eyes.

<Stop that.  You look like a fool.>

I tried again but I don't think I succeeded.  

<You will not be his primary instructor.  There are other, more seasoned Andalites for that.  You will not shirk your responsibilities.  There are other warriors who rely on you.  Do not desert them for one aristh.  If Aristh Aximili has not proved himself exceptional by the end of our first mission, he will be taken home.  Bear in mind, Prince Elfangor, many successful warriors never set a hoof inside a Dome ship until their training is completed.  We could fill entire ships with arisths, but nothing productive would ever get done.  A few arisths are handpicked every session to go out on missions, for a variety of reasons.  Your brother was not one.  But you know all this.  So why am I explaining it?>

<I don't know, sir.>

<So that you, and young Aximili, understand that I have no qualms about sending him home.  Is that quite clear, Prince Elfangor?>

<Perfectly, sir.>

<Good.  Dismissed.>

I fidgeted on the transport the whole way home.  The moment it stopped, I was off, flying across the grass toward our scoop.

<Little Brother!>  I was panting, all three hearts working hard.  <Little Brother!>

He trotted out from the scoop, trying to look dignified.  <Yes, Elfangor?>

<You're on the GalaxyTree!  With me!>  I skidded to a stop, almost tumbling to the grass.

Aximili was too excited to notice.  His eyes widened and he pranced on the spot.  <Really?  I was chosen?>

I barely hesitated.  <Yes!  And Captain Nerefir decided that I should have a hand in your training.  He said that, being brothers, I would have a better understanding of how to teach you.>  If he ever found out the truth, he'd be humiliated and angry with me.  I wouldn't blame him in the least, but it was worth the chance to have my little brother closer.  If he was going to be fighting, better that he was doing it by my side where I could keep some extra eyes on him.   

Three weeks later, the GalaxyTree was launching.

I was annoyed, but not at all surprised, to see my little brother out of his quarters.  <Aristh!>

He jumped and turned, looking thoroughly caught.  <Yes, my prince?>

<You are under strict orders to be in your quarters during take-off.>

<I'm sorry.>  He hung his head and I directed my thought-speak to him alone, but kept the reproachful, irritated expression.  Warriors walking past would think I was privately scolding him.  

<Little Brother, it's not like the Academy anymore.  Out here, if someone makes a mistake it could mean lives.  A military functions because everyone is in his position, doing his job.>

<I want a job!>

<Your job is to learn.  Now go back to your quarters and wait for the all-clear.  Once we're clear of the atmosphere, I will not be needed for a while.  We can go up to the dome and you can whack out your frustrations on my tail.>  I snapped my tail and smiled teasingly.  <Or try to.  Good luck with that.>  I was trying to ease the blow of the reprimand.  Aximili seemed to understand.  

<Yes, Elfangor.>

All the way down to the bridge, I wondered if my little brother was ready for a deep-space mission.  Had I overestimated him out of affection?  If he got killed out here, it would be my fault.  I shook the thought away.  He'd be fine.  I would protect him and teach him everything I knew.  My Little Bother would come home safely.
My first Animorphs fic! This is a plot-baby of one of my other pieces that I am having some trouble with. And the random thought of "All the Dome ships, and Aximili got put on the one with Elfangor?"

The way I thought of it, the tail growing in might be like teething.

Yeah, faving without commenting sucks. Don't do it. You comment, I'll send love.
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:iconimpious-imp:
Impious-Imp Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2017
Augh

Nostalgia bomb.  Why u do dis?
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:iconavix215:
Avix215 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh my god. I love this. :O
PLEASE WRITE MORE!!! :D :D
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013
Aww thanks!!! I feel so loved!! This is just a one-shot, but I may write more animorph fics in general. In fact, I'm uploading one right now :)
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:iconavix215:
Avix215 Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
YAY!
can you link me once you've posted it??
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013
[link]

There you go!!! Hope you enjoy it!
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:iconavix215:
Avix215 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I LOVED IT!!! :o :o
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:iconalijdragon:
AlijDragon Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Hobbyist Interface Designer
Aimili-Esgarrouth-Isthill and big brother Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul.
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:iconalijdragon:
AlijDragon Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012  Hobbyist Interface Designer
i love ax
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012
i do to :)
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:iconhamsterand2dogs:
hamsterand2dogs Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2012
This was just lovely and the characterization was done just right. Not to mention it brought back memories of the first books I read from the series (#7 and #40) and how much I loved them despite being a little confused.
Thank you for sharing this great oneshot.
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2012
lol, you started with #7 and #40? hahahaha!!!!!
Thanks, i'm glad you enjoyed it. elfangor's character is tough, cause he does have that andalite arrogance, but it's slightly tempered by living as a human. its a hard balance
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:iconhamsterand2dogs:
hamsterand2dogs Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2012
Yeah... They were a gift from a family friend, but I still loved reading them.
You're welcome. His character is tough, but you did a good job writing in his POV.
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2012
thanks!!!
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:iconhamsterand2dogs:
hamsterand2dogs Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2012
You're welcome.
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:iconracehell:
racehell Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
T_T This is wonderful. I love the teething and the running ritual and the fact you noticed the plot hole. I always assumed it would be an andalite tradition to be on the same ship as your family, but your version is so much more touching. The relationship between the brothers is my favorite. Would you mind if I (try to) illustrate a scene from this?
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
not at all!!! i'd love to see it! send me a link!
i'm glad you liked it! i have a few ideas bouncing around about tom & jake that you might like. still in the works, but i'll get em done eventually.
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:iconracehell:
racehell Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
Cool! This something I did a long time ago... [link] its supposed to be a little girl, though.
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
aw very sweet. what i've discovered is that the animorphs fanfics on fanfiction.net are, for the most part, really good. it's as if the people who still care enough about animorphs are dedicated enough to write GOOD fics. harry potter is still a novelty.
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:iconracehell:
racehell Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011
Have you seen this? [link] I just love lackofa's andalites. Im afraid to start reading on fanfiction.net because I know I'll never stop. lol. I keep hoping with the new release the next generation will catch on... but that could also be a terrible thing. I have yet to find a truly satisfying hp fic. People keep sending me their faves and I'm like eh. Rowling did it better. I feel like Applegate made the animorphs universe really accessible to the fandom, but I am rather bias.
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011
oooh pretty!!! lol i like ax's cocky walk.
i heard that they're changing details to make it more accessible to the next generation. like ll the 90s references and stuff.
investigate my favorites: [link] I have a lot that you may like. i prefer one shots or even one-shot series.
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:iconchili19:
chili19 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
Really well done and I rarely if ever read fan fics online (hurts my eyes as I must stare so long at the screen) but this one I read from start to end.
It also inspired me to, finally, write on my own fan fic.
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
YAY!!!! send me a link when you post it :) i wanna read
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:iconchili19:
chili19 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
[link] mine is awfully written...writers block do that to you >.< but I had to get it down on print.
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011
i think it's quite sweet! definitely go back and edit it later, but i understand the need to just get it out. otherwise your subconscious will swallow all your brilliant ideas with a belch that always sounds like "gone forever, sukkah!!" at least that's my experience :P but it's always good to approach editing refreshed, rather than totally sick of looking at the damn thing. know what i mean?
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:iconchili19:
chili19 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011
yeah i do. but the grammar i have...don't mind that as I know my grammar sucks ass.
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011
i should say, i've seen way worse come out of college students in a college class, in a paper they expected to turn in.
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:iconchili19:
chili19 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011
oh okay...as I know my grammar isn't the best around (I have dyslexia and English isn't my first language)
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011
makes sense! those college students have no excuse. so trust me, you are not the worse offender by a long shot!
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(1 Reply)
:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011
i've seen way worse, trust me.
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:iconchili19:
chili19 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
yeah...once i get to finish it -.- man it's hard work
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:iconthesylverlining:
TheSylverLining Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
This is WONDERFUL. I am so serious; the tail blade 'teething' insight is just brilliant, and their interactions are perfect. I enjoyed the hell out of it, and frankly want more. Your dialogue is tight and in-character, and just - you've gotten inside their heads and culture so well. Very, very well done.
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
lol thanks!! expect more soon! (ish. finals soon.)
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:iconpofinluvr14:
pofinluvr14 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I. LOVE. THIS. Like you have no idea. 8D
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
:iconilavplz:

you made my day. thanks
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:iconpofinluvr14:
pofinluvr14 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're so welcome!! I love Elfangor and Aximilli pieces. 8D
And I adore your signature. =D
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
dude, i love yours!!

i do to. we saw so little of their relationship, but we hear so much from Ax. and elfangor is one of my favorites. because unlike a lot of ndalites, he sees the faults of his own people. that arrogance has been tempered.

i LOVE writing "off camera moments" or scenes that we did see from another pov. so expect more from me! i have a lot of ideas around Tom & jake's relationship.
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:iconpofinluvr14:
pofinluvr14 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! 8D

Yeeeessss... finally someone who understands. Most like Alloran because of the fun they can have with his angst. xD
I love reading those, so I can't wait! =D
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
alloran before he was infested is fun. those are some of my favorite fics but i've never had much inclination to write them.
i also have some ideas floating around about visser three thinking about how this mysterious, unnamed andalite (jake of course) has replaced the Great Elfangor as Biggest Pain in the Butt. or maybe after he knows it's jake. i have NO IDEA but i know that would be fun.
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:iconpofinluvr14:
pofinluvr14 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My favorite characters are Aldrea and Edriss. 8D I would love to see some more off-camera of Edriss especially.
I like the Jake replacing Elfangor idea for Esplin. :la: That would be interesting and definitely something I'd like to read.
One thing I've always wanted to do, but never had the courage to, in case I messed it up, I've always wanted to write a little piece about the developing individuality inside the mind of the buffalo in book 39. =D I'll play around with that idea some more and see what I can spin. But no one who watches me has read animorphs. xD
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
i do now!! can't wait to see what you come up with!
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(1 Reply)
:iconradishstick:
RadishStick Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Student General Artist
I really like this! I have no idea what it's about but I still think it's quite well-written :) is this the first part of this story? If so, maybe you should have a bit of an introduction where you explain basically what their physical features and surroundings are like. Other than that it is wonderful
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011
LOL, well, it's a fanfic!! As a pre-teen, i discovered the book series known as "animorphs." while the overarching plot is not as intricate as harry potter, i believe that the character development is deeper and darker. they're intense books that i continue to enjoy as an adult. you should definitely look into them.

aximili and elfangor are part of an alien race known as andalites. both of them play a huge role in the story. here is a cannon picture of elfangor off of one of the book covers: [link] as you can see, they have no mouth, so they communicate telepathically. hence, the lack of quotations, and elfangor's comment about directing thought-speak to his brother alone.

i am SO HAPPY that you enjoyed this, even though you have never read the books!! the fact that this made ZERO sense to you but you still enjoyed it makes me want to do a happydance. Thank you!!!!!
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:iconradishstick:
RadishStick Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Student General Artist
Heh, that's funny because I've always seen the animorph books around but I think I only ever bought one and didn't finish it. I was probably too young for it :) I thought it was just about people who could turn into animals! :P I did get a fairly good picture of what the andalites were like as I read but it was like, 'ok it's a person with a tail. There's a blade on the tail! They have 4 legs! And speak in thought! And have lots of eyes!' as I read xD like a growing picture :P It's well written and most fanfic isn't, so please keep going! :P
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
ugh, i know. well-written fanfic is impossible to find. this was just a one-shot, but i have several other ideas. and a few that would COMPLETELY spoil the ending if you havent read the books :P

no, the animorph books are about a huge interstellar war that earth gets dragged into. the Andalites are primary players in it. but the story itself is about 5 human kids, plus Aximili, who have the ability to morph (thanks to Andalite science). they have to hold off the invasion, slow it down enough so that when the andalites finally arrive in full force it won't be too late.

as you can tell, i LOVE them lol :D
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:iconradishstick:
RadishStick Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Student General Artist
and now I'm REALLY pissed because I wrote a beautifully long response to this and apparently forgot to press send -________________-
But yes, it's a good idea and a well-written one so please keep going and make your mark against crap fanfic!! :P
I remember seeing the Animorph books in bookshops but I think I only ever bought one and I didn't finish it. Probably because I was too young and it wasn't the first one so I didn't get the plot! xD
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
LOL I HATE when that happens

thank you! i will :)

it is not TOTALLY necessary, but it really helps to read them in order.
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:iconradishstick:
RadishStick Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2011  Student General Artist
Yeah, I can see that it would definitely help to read the Animorph books in order! :P ah well. Maybe I'll give them ago one day :)
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:iconyellow-tulips:
yellow-tulips Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2011
you shooooouuuuld :D
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