|The Kelbrid Wars
Author: Shane C PM
The Animorphs join up with the Andalites and Taruffs to push the ever-expanding Kelbrid back into their own portion of space, but it's not going well...especially when they find out the Yeerks are involved. If you read, review! Update speed depends on itRated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Drama - Chapters: 36 - Words: 55,888 - Reviews: 139 - Favs: 18 - Follows: 19 - Updated: 12-22-11 - Published: 03-03-05 - id: 2290396
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I had paddled out a good hundred yards when I did a one-eighty, turning to face back toward the beach. I saw Jake paddling out, but I also saw Cassie, Marco, and Tobias in the surf, staying about waist deep in the water. Through the ocean spray, I saw them first grow taller, then fall forward into the surf. I grinned as I realized what they were doing – going dolphin to play with me and Jake.
Jake reached me and slapped my outstretched hand, then sat up on his board and settled in to watch the set and choose a wave. Most of the other surfers were farther down the shore, catching the truly epic breakers, but I'd decided to start out slow. Surfing wasn't riding a bike – I knew it would take a couple of runs before I totally got my skills back.
I don't know if it was the surf, or the sun, or the fact that I knew that any minute, three dolphins that were my friends were going to be racing below me. Maybe it was all of those things, plus the fact that we'd saved the world again. I'm not sure, but I felt like my heart was full. I was totally and completely happy. Jake was the closest one to me, so I smiled and decided that he'd have to be the one to suffer for it. "Hey, Jake?" I said. He looked at me, and his expression must have been a mirror image of my own. He looked simply happy to be alive. Totally content. "I love you, cousin," I told him.
He didn't stutter even for a second. He just flashed his own white smile at me. "I love you too, Rach." His smile faltered for a half of a second, then returned full-force. "You know, I think that's the first time we've said that," he said, thoughtfully, but obviously pleased.
I felt like my smile was going to become a permanent part of my face. "Yeah, but you always knew it," I told him. "I know I did." He nodded, but before he could reply, and explosion happened a couple of feet away from his board. A nine foot long, gray missile shot over both him and me. A gray missile wearing a grin. Two more followed right behind it, and I laughed in pure joy.
(Whooooo!) came Cassie's thought-speech cry. Mild Cassie, always the most reserved among us, was leading the psycho-dolphin parade. (Man! I forgot how much fun that is!) Marco and Tobias' thought-speech laughter joined with me and Jake's human laughter. I watched them as they flew out to sea, breaking the water barrier and crisscrossing through the sky. I felt the sea surge underneath me as I watched them, and heard Jake let out his own cry of exultation.
I watched as he paddled ahead of the massive wave, and lost sight of him as it crested. I shifted my eyes down the rolling pipeline, and saw him emerge at the end of it, blasting down the wave as if he were shot out of a cannon. My own competitive nature took over, and I looked behind me, trying to find a suitable wave to either match or top his ride. A moment later, I was up on the board, grooving into a solid wall of water and heading toward Jake's own final destination. He ducked under the surface as my larger wave took me almost directly over the top of him, and I dove off of the board before the sudden stop of the wave could throw me. I broke the surface and saw him treading water a few dozen feet away, and the look we shared said the same thing – 'Nice! We still got it!'
I felt a solid nudge at the small of my back, and a bit of fear hit me. Getting hit in open water was rarely either an accident or a good thing. I relaxed as I saw the grinning bottlenose dolphin, and laughed. Even though his dolphin morph was identical to Cassie's, I knew instinctively that it was Tobias. "Nice ride, right?" I asked him. Instead of answering in thought-speech, he threw his dolphin head back and let out a chittering, dolphin exclamation. I laughed and motioned him to come with me as I paddled to shore.
Once he was close enough to shore to be considered beached, he began demorphing. I waited patiently until he was fully human, then held his hand as I carried my board to shore. A quick glance behind me told me that Jake was resetting for another ride, but I was ready to settle down and spend some quality time with Tobias. We got back to the beach towels and coolers that marked our camp, and we settled in to relax. I watched the water, seeing Jake catch another towering swell, until Tobias lightly turned my face to his. I smiled and let him kiss me, feeling as if the world were just perfect. We stayed connected like that for a few minutes, until I heard the shutter-click of a camera a little too close.
I turned toward the road, and saw a typical camera-jockey half-hidden behind a dune behind us. He was snapping pictures like mad. "You mind?" I asked him, trying to put an edge into my voice and not completely succeeding. He got the hint, though, and took off. I guess he knew about my grizzly morph. Tobias laughed.
"Can you leave him alone? I'm trying to kiss you – you could wait until I'm done to scare the paparazzi," he teased.
"Shut up," I told him good-naturedly, and locked him up into another kiss.
The next thing I knew, someone was clearing their throat. I broke from Tobias to again mildly threaten someone, but I saw it was Marco, looking extremely amused. Jake and Cassie were right behind him, arms around each other's waists. "I was just going to say that we should probably get going, if we're going to clean up in time for the party," Marco said, with a slightly obnoxious grin still in place.
"No parties, Marco," I said, more than a little distracted. Surprisingly, it was Jake that looked sheepish.
"Sorry, Rachel, but we probably should head out. I was the one who asked Marco to set up a coming-home party." I gave him a disbelieving look, and he explained further. "Not like last time – no superstars or other people we don't know. Just our families. I thought it would be good," he said, and I laughed at the uncertainty in his voice.
"Okay, I'm not going to kill you," I told him lightheartedly. "As long as it's just the families, I can live with it. Besides, I'm starving," I said, and I realized it was true. Tobias opened the lid of the cooler and offered me a saran-wrapped sandwich. I hesitated. "No, I think I'd rather wait. I've had enough of that kind of food to last me a lifetime. I want some real cooking."
Marco laughed, and offered both Tobias and I each a hand to help us up. "Well, if it's gourmet cooking you want, gourmet cooking you shall have," he said. "We're going to have some killer food at the party."
Tobias grinned as we all hiked towards Jake's piece of garbage Bronco. I didn't know about everyone else, but I was a little too tired to morph and fly home. "Be sure to invite Ax, if he's still on-planet," Tobias said. Marco grinned again.
"Already done, extra-crispy," he told Tobias. I automatically started to tell Marco to knock it off, but he beat me to it. "I know, I know, he's not a bird. I'm still going to have my fun." We all started to pile into the truck, and Tobias said something that made me feel better.
"I know we haven't finished it yet, but I'm still waiting on my paycheck for my first month's work on your movie, Marco. I'll expect that by the end of the night." I laughed hysterically as Marco stuttered, trying to make excuses as to why that wasn't fair, and Jake peeled out of the parking lot.