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[personal profile] last01standing
Title: How the Sky Looks Different from the Ground
Rating: PG
Characters: Tobias, Jake, Marco, Rachel, Cassie, Ax
Summary: The AU where Tobias isn’t an animorph.
Disclaimer: I am not KA Applegate and plan to make no profit for this endeavor.

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How the Sky Looks Different from the Ground

I woke up in stages. My head was throbbing. I couldn’t feel anything below my right elbow. There were voices hovering somewhere above me, things I didn’t quite understand and didn’t want to.

“---Can’t believe you’re thinking about this again---“

“---different this time. We actually---”

“---Elfangor’s son. How do we know this is even ---”

“---Visser Three’s gunning for him. If we let him walk out, we’re good as---”

I moaned and shifted. All of the voices went quiet at once and when I woke up again the world was quiet. My nose twitched. I was in a barn of some sorts. My right wrist was splinted and wrapped tightly in gauze I sat up. My body screamed. I looked down to see a patchwork of burns lacing most of my skin. I tried not to cry out in pain.


There was a guy sitting on an upturned bucket about a yard from myself. He was my age but bigger then my slight stature. He had dark hair, dark eyes and a hint of authority around him.

“Jake?” I said.

A second later I remember my operative theory of the past year.

Yeerks. I lunged at him screaming in pain as the burns tugged mercilessly at my skin. “You’re not going to take me,” I muttered. “No. No!”

“Calm down,” Jake said, dodging nimbly out of the reach of my sloppy attack. “I’m not going to hurt you but you can definitely hurt yourself.”

“Yeerk,” I spat.

Jake blinked. “How do you know about the yeerks?”

“You’re going to pay for what you did to Grace. You’re not going to take me.” I clapped a hand over either ear. My right wrist throbbed at the motion.

“Tobias, calm down,” Jake said. “It’s not what you think.”

“Then you didn’t blow up my house to smoke me out? You didn’t send a girl to follow me around for days just to get close to me? I’m not going to let you win this one.”

“You know you’re really not the same guy you used to be,” Jake said lightly.

“Yeah, well. That makes two of us.”

Jake smiled and shook his head. “You know there’s a war going on here, right?” He leaned forward with earnest eyes. “Well then let me tell you something; it’s not entirely one sided.”


“Let me tell you a story,” Jake said. “It starts in the old construction site a little more than a year ago. There was this fight and a spaceship crashed as four kids were taking a shortcut home from the mall.”

I remembered that. The rash of UFO sightings. The manhunt for the teenagers setting of fireworks. It was all overshadowed by Grace’s disappearance a few days later but I remembered that.”

“And there was a survivor of this crash,” Jake continued. “An Andalite Prince named Elfangor who told those kids that there was a fight going on. That their planet was in danger. He gave us away to fight.”

The andalites. Grace whispered in my ear. They’re the only things yeerks are really afraid of.

“Elfangor?” I asked. “My supposed father, the alien? In case you forgot, that’s not really physically possible. There’s no way an alien could have a human kid. It’s basic anatomy!”

“We got a tip from someone deep in the yeerk organization,” Jake continued. “All of a sudden everyone quite interested in this kid named Tobias. He didn’t know why but we knew you had to be important.”

“But I’m not!” I insisted. “I’m just a kid.”

“So are we,” Jake said, a smile twisting up his face. “And we figured if the yeerks were interested, we animorphs needed to be interested too.”

“Animorphs?” I echoed.

Jake laughed but it sounded hollow. “You see Elfangor---your father---gave use a gift. Something we could use to fight the yeerks.” He glanced around the room. “Guys, looks like it’s showtime.”

From the stall two down from mine, a wolf prowled out and smoothly started changing shape. A snake writhing on the ground started growing legs and arms. A grizzly bear lumbered in from outside, shaggy brown hair and enormous stature melting into Rachel. A bird fluttered down from the rafters, and started to grow.

Jake cleared his throat. “Marco, Cassie and Rachel you already know.”

I wasn’t paying the slightest bit of attention to any of them though. I was watching the hawk that had sprouted four blue legs. It looked like a centaur except for the blue fur and the stalk eyes swiveling back and fourth from the top of his skull.

“And this is Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill. We call him Ax for short. He’s--- well he’s your uncle, I guess. Elfangor’s little brother.”

Despite everything a pang swept through me. Family. Real, albeit slightly bluer then expected family.

« It is a pleasure to meet you. » Ax said and offered me a hand.

His hand was weak with too many fingers, but an unexpected peace settled over me. “Likewise,” I said around a constricting throat.

I coughed. “So which one of you was my cat?”

“That would be me,” Marco said, hissing a little as the snake tongue turned back into a human one. “And you’re welcome.”

“The yeerks think you’re dead,” Jake continued ignoring the distraction. “The press is calling it a gas leak. A tragic accident.” He sighed. “Which is our best case scenario but you have to understand you can’t go back.”

“Back to what?” I said, still distracted by the alien’s prescience.

Cassie stepped forward. “The way we see it, there are two options.”

“One option,” Marco grumbled.

“Two options,” Cassie asserted. “First, you can leave town. Change your name and change your identity. Disappear and start life over. You can forget about all of this.”

I thought of Grace not leaving town when she’d had the chance. I though of her tombstone and what bravery had bought her. I thought of Elfangor, this elusive real father, giving tremendous power to four humans in his final moments.

“I can’t just leave,” I whispered. “You said there was—”

“No!” Marco exploded. “Don’t you get it? There is no option two. There is no other way. You’ve got to leave and forget any of this ever happened. Am I the only one who remembers the last time?”

“Last time?”

“We recently had someone else in a similar position to yours,” Jake explained stoically. “It didn’t work out.”

“What happened to him?”

“He’s dead,” Rachel said firmly.

Five sets of eyes found various places on the floor. I swallowed. The yeerks thought I was dead. My life here, with my aunt, it was gone. I couldn’t miraculously reappear without alerting the yeerks to my presence but I couldn’t just leave knowing full well the dangers that were out there. “What’s the second option?” I asked again.

Jake pulled up the bucket he’d been sitting on and grabbed a small blue box from underneath it. He turned it over once in his hands and said, “This power we have? The ability to become any animal. We can give it to you as well. You can stay here and help us.”

Something twitched in my stomach. The pain from the burns and my mangled right arm was almost unbearable. I took a deep breath.

“Take your time, Tobias,” Cassie said. “Well understand if you just walk away.”

“Might even prefer it,” Marco muttered.

“I’ll do it,” I said almost inaudibly.

“What was that?” Jake asked.

“I said I’ll do it,” I repeated, sitting up just a little straighter.

“That’s my boy,” Rachel said.

Jake glanced to Cassie and then handed the blue box to Ax. In the alien’s hand it started glowing slightly, accentuating the light pattern around it’s rim. I felt an unexpected wave of clam wash over me like this was something good and something right. « Press your hand to the side of the device. »

The box was warmer then I had expected and there was a tingle that snaked up my arm. I thought of soaring through the sky like a bird of a prey, thought of tearing through the forest like a wolf. I let my hand drop to my side. “What happens now?” I asked.

Jake clapped me on the shoulder. Marco eyed me with suspicion. The alien gave the blue box to Cassie. Rachel smiled at me. “Now we fight.”



To everyone who made it to the end of the story, thank you for reading and to all those who took a time to comment, thank you even more. I hope you enjoyed it!

(no subject)

19/3/09 20:45 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Eee! I liked it a lot. I love Tobias and I love Tobias fic and he was wonderfully IC. Thanks for writing it.

(no subject)

21/3/09 03:35 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Thank you so much!

(no subject)

20/3/09 13:10 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
whee! fluff conclusion, really, but cute. I like Marco's reaction.

Got plans for any other stories in the Ani fandom?

(no subject)

21/3/09 03:38 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
It's not that fluffly. I mean I did blow some stuff up. quiet now! I have a reputation to uphold!

Nothing really on the table in the Ani fandom right now but I bounce around fandoms quite a bit. I'm sure to be back eventually. (I actully do have another Ani!fic but it is a Scrubs crossover...)

(no subject)

29/3/09 20:18 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Yeah, I'd actually already gone ahead and read that story while I was waiting for you to update this one. It's cute and fluffy with a well-worked (if simple) plot as well. Nice to see some quality Ani fics around.

Anything in particular you do when getting in character to write for Ani?

(no subject)

31/3/09 16:32 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
I actually wrote these two fics at the beginning and end of my attemps to actually finish the series (I'd quit at about book 40 back in the day) so if there was ever a time I had the characters imprinted it was then.

First person is always hard for me. Honestly you're only really seeing half of what was actually written. The rest was cut and reworked and played with until it sounded right. And I still hate 1st person but it doesn't sound authentically animorphs unless it is in first. So no real tips. Just read. One liners are easier then narrative so dialog heavy's also a good way to go....

(no subject)

28/3/09 16:24 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
I'd like to take the time to thank you personaly for writing this fic. I read the story as you updated it, though I never had any comments to make. I'd just like to say how much I enjoyed your writing.

(no subject)

31/3/09 16:27 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Thank you so much. It's always nice to have people reading, especially in a fandom as ghost town as animorphs. I had a ball writing it.

(no subject)

1/4/09 00:26 (UTC)
Posted by (Anonymous)
Animorphs isn't as dead as you might think. The Animorphs Fan Forum is still up and running, and Capnnerefir even has a realy good continuation of the series in the fanfiction section.

(no subject)

1/4/09 00:28 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Sorry, forgot to log in before posting.