Land Before Time: Journey Through the Mists Retold
Back at School
The Gang is back!
When Grandpa Longneck becomes fatally ill, Littlefoot, Aylene, Cera, Ducky, Petrie and Spike set out toward the Valley of Mist to retrieve the Night Flower, the only cure for the sickness. With the help of two more allies, the group of friends will have to work together if they are going to make it through the treacherous swamp and avoid becoming someone's next meal.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Land Before Time; I am merely exploring an alternate story.
"In just a few more weeks and its Homecoming!" a teenaged girl with blonde hair said with excitement to her group of friends around the school lunch table.
"I know!" another girl replied happily. "You should see the dress I picked out! It's just the perfect shade of red!"
Aylene let out a small, unnoticeable sigh of irritation and rolled her eyes as she took a bite of her peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It had been three months since she started high school. And right now, she was sitting with a group of girls who were very nice and respected her as a person, which she greatly appreciated, but she wasn't particularly interested in what they were talking about.
Being a freshman in high school, there was one thing that she knew was inevitable: the first Homecoming week. It wasn't the idea of the week that irritated her; it was the drama that came with it.
She had seen it before, even before she entered high school. Mostly because the Middle and High Schools shared buildings and she saw older kids coming in and out of it. Also, her brother, Derek, would often tell the family about couples breaking up or making a big deal out of dating when Homecoming was approaching. On top of that, all the drama at the dance made Aylene loathe it even more. People breaking up, getting back together, or making a scene with how much they "love each other".
And by that definition, that usually meant girls clinging to guys or the couple kissing outside the dance room.
Aylene didn't have a problem with her parents kissing each other, they were at least married and she got used to them being playful with each other from time to time. But for some reason, seeing teenagers kissing made her cringe. Holding hands, she could tolerate, but kissing, forget it! She'd rather watch a Tyrannosaurus Rex devour its meal!
Upon thinking of that mighty dinosaur, Aylene gave a small smirk and clasped the green stone around her neck. If she weren't in school, she would totally use its power to open a portal and run into the world beyond hers: the world where she had true friends, where she found her strength and courage, where she and her brother rebuilt their bond, and where she and her friends became a legend.
The Land Before Time: the world of the dinosaurs
In that world, Aylene didn't have to hide behind a façade of being a quiet girl. She could just be herself: confident, brave, and adventurous. The beauty of it all was that the residence of that world embraced her and her traits. Well, most of her traits anyway. Her dietary needs still had made some dinosaurs warily. Still, being an omnivore in a land of herbivores was the least of her worries. There was also the danger of being attacked by predators.
However, it was those moments where Aylene could shine the most. It was because of those moments where she found out just how strong she could be.
While other kids battled acne, she battled vicious T-Rexes.
But right now, she was in an environment where she had to fit back into human society. While she didn't have a problem standing by her moral principles and helping others, she still remained a quiet, no attention-seeking girl. In a way, she almost felt detached from her schoolmates, which was something that always bugged her. She didn't want to feel like an outcast, but somehow that feeling always slammed back into her whenever she entered the school doors.
"And did you see the new boy today?" another girl suddenly spoke up, breaking Aylene's trance. "He's so cute!"
"Yeah," the blonde-haired girl nodded, "I hear he's from the capital city."
"Hey, there he is now."
Aylene looked up to where girl directed and saw the new boy walking in their direction toward one of the tables with a bunch of other boys in their grade. He was dressed in a dark blue T-shirt with jeans and black sneakers. He had short dark brown hair that was almost black and forest green eyes.
And around his neck was a blue stone.
As Aylene looked at the boy, she had to admit he did look rather handsome.
"Oh great," one of the girls groaned, "here comes Penny."
At the mention of that name, Aylene's face involuntarily tightened her face into a small scowl. Penny, also known as Penelope, was the most popular girl in school. However, her popularity was derived from her overpowering and assertive personality. Except for the teachers and other students who weren't afraid to stand firm, she could get others to do what she wanted because they didn't want to deal with her personality.
Aylene could only think of another person, or rather, a certain Triceratops with an assertive attitude. However, unlike Penny, the little Triceratops only behaved that way when she was either upset or under stress. She only commanded respect when times were dire and often showed skills of being a good leader. Penny on the other hand, demanded attention and submission all the time; something Aylene would not give her the satisfaction of. Which was one of the reasons why the two of them were at odds with each other, even if it wasn't on a daily basis.
Not to mention, Penny was known for flirting with the boys. Even if she had a boyfriend, she would always flirt with other guys that she considered to be her friends.
As much as Aylene wanted to give Penny the benefit of the doubt and not just label her as a bully like she did with a certain dinosaur named Hyp in the Land Before Time world, that was really hard to do. Especially since the popular girl was one of the very few who still called Aylene the "Dino Nerd", or by her last name of Carter, never by her first name. Aylene tried to tell herself that she doesn't know Penny's full story so she shouldn't judge her. However, that didn't stop Aylene from becoming defensive whenever she was around, or angry whenever she got her way.
Aylene face then turned to an irritated frown when she saw the scene. Just as she had suspected, Penny had approached the new boy and was starting to talk to him. Only the way she was approaching him, one could easily tell that she was trying to get his attention. Aylene just rolled her eyes: once again, another guy for the most popular girl in school to flirt over with. Probably trying to get this guy to be her date for the dance since she just broke up with her last boyfriend just one week ago.
"Man, why does Penny always get the cute guys?" one of the girls groaned.
"Because she's popular, that's why," another responded.
"Who cares about that," another shrugged. "We don't need dates to go to the dance. We'll just go together."
"Yeah, you're right," the blonde haired girl then turned to Aylene. "Hey, Aylene. Why don't you come with us?"
"I'm not really into dances." Aylene shrugged, finally speaking up.
"But it's your first homecoming, you have to come!" a girl with brown eyes insisted.
"No I don't." Aylene shook her head. "Besides, I've got other things I need to do."
"No offense, Aylene, but you're just wasting your high school days. You never go to any of the games, you barely talk to anyone, and you don't participate in school activities. Why are you always so distant from people?"
"I'm not distant from people, I just don't want to go to the dance, that's all."
"Okay, suit yourself."
Aylene just let out a deep sigh and went back to eating her lunch while the group of girls talked about their dresses and how they were going to get their hair done before the dance.
Once the day was over, Aylene knew exactly what she was going to do.
At the sound of the final bell, Aylene made her way to her locker, opened it, and pulled out her book bag. Because of all the hustle and bustle in the hallways of other students racing to get out of the building, she had to maneuver carefully when putting her schoolbooks inside her bag. When she managed to accomplish the task, she closed her locker and began to make her way toward the exit.
As she rounded the corner, she immediately slammed into something and fell backwards. She landed hard on the tile floor and groaned as mild pain shot through her hip. Although she had been hit harder than that before when she was in her special world, it still hurt.
"Ouch!" she clenched her teeth.
"Oh, I'm sorry!" a voice said. "Are you okay?!"
Aylene looked up to see a hand stretched out toward her. She then looked up and saw the new boy looking at her with a concerned face.
"I was in a hurry and didn't see you," he said.
"No, it's my fault." Aylene said as she took his hand.
The dark-haired boy then helped Aylene to her feet.
"Thanks," the girl said, brushing some dirt off of her shirt.
"No problem," the boy replied, "you sure you're okay?"
"I'm fine. By the way, my name's Aylene, Aylene Carter."
"That's a nice name. Mine's Ken, Ken Anderson."
"Well, my full name is actually Kenneth, but everyone calls me Ken."
"Well, that's a nice name all the same." Aylene simply shrugged.
Ken paused for a moment and glanced at the stone around the girl's neck. Aylene watched as his face changed into a subtle expression of surprise. She started to become suspicious and grabbed it, holding it tightly in her fist.
"That's a pretty necklace you have there." Ken simply said, his face returning to natural.
"Thanks," Aylene replied, "my grandma gave it to me."
"Yeah. Look, I don't mean to be rude, but I really need to get going. I'm supposed to meet my brother. See ya!"
With that, Aylene powerwalked away from the situation and toward the school exit.
"Long day?" Derek asked as the two siblings walked home.
"Majorly." Aylene dully replied. "The girls just won't shut up about homecoming."
"Heh," the elder brother smirked, "I take it you're not a fan."
"What tipped you off?"
"Gee, I don't know: the sour puss look, the lack of tone your voice, or the way you look so bitter about the whole thing?"
"Seriously, I don't get what the big deal is."
"I don't want to be a girly girl who clings onto a guy for every little thing. I can take care of myself; you've seen me do it. I don't want to be some damsel in distress."
"Trust me, you were never in any danger of being that. Besides, what's so bad about having someone there to help you? I've helped you before."
"That's different, you're my brother." Aylene groaned. "I'm not into puppy-dog love and you know that. And all the guys I get a crush on either turn out to be pushovers or they already have a girlfriend."
"Well, take it from someone who knows," Derek said, "not all boys will stay that way. Some of them will eventually grow up."
"You were never like that when you a freshman, though."
"Yeah, you're right. But that's mostly because of how mom and dad raised us. And thank goodness they did what they did, or else I would've gotten into a whole heap of trouble."
"Yeah." Aylene softly replied. "I'm just not interested in having a boyfriend right now."
"And that's perfectly fine." Derek shrugged. "Some times it's just best to have guys who are friends and nothing more. Same for guys to just have girls who are friends and nothing more.
"This coming from someone who has a girlfriend." Aylene grinned.
"True," Derek replied with a grin of his own, "but we also spend time with our other friends and not just each other. Besides, Rachel is an independent person on her own."
"I'm not saying she isn't. I like Rachel and I think she's good for you. At least you guys don't kiss in public."
"Hey, I'm saving that for when I decided to marry someone."
"Well, that's good to hear."
Both siblings shared a small laugh at the joke.
"Change of subject," Derek said, "are you going back to that world again today?"
"You bet." Aylene smirked. "I need a break from all of this. I'm leaving once I get my homework done. Do you want to come with me this time?"
"No thanks. I'm still recovering from the skateboarding incident, remember?"
"Oh, right. How's your wrist by the way?"
Derek held out his left arm, looking the blue cast encasing his wrist and the palm of his hand.
"Better," he said, "I'm just glad it was a minor fracture."
"I will say I thought you wiped out in style." Aylene smugly grinned
"Thanks a lot." Derek gave his sister a sarcastic expression.
The teenaged girl couldn't help but snicker at the comment while her brother gave a mild chuckle.
"Still," Aylene said, "it shouldn't be too bad. You can still come if you want."
"I know it's nothing major," Derek explained, "but I don't think it would be wise to go to a world where you have fight of Velociraptors on a daily basis with an injury that hinders your archery skills."
"We don't fight predators THAT often." Aylene raised an eyebrow. "The last few times you and I went back were actually very quiet."
"True, but I still don't want to risk it. But I'm not stopping you. Just promise me you'll be careful, okay?"
"Don't worry, I'll be careful."
"Good. Oh, and tell Grandpa and Grandma Longneck I said "hi"."
"You got it."
It was about six in the evening when Aylene finally finished her homework. After an incident where she went to the Land Before Time before finishing her homework resulted in her forgetting all about it and having to stay after school to get it done, she made great efforts to make most if not all of it was finished before she left.
"Hey, live and learn," she shrugged.
After she put her math homework away, Aylene got up from her desk and opened the bottom drawer of her dresser. She pulled out her trademark green two-piece swimsuit with black gym shorts and blue sandals. She spread them out on her bed and then pulled out her archery case, opened it, and took out her bow and quiver and placed them next to her swimsuit. She then took her gym bag and headed for the laundry room. She pulled out a beach towel from one of the cupboards, rolled it up, and stuffed it into her bag. She then went to the kitchen and pulled out some granola bars as well as the necessary spices she needed, being careful to make sure her mom or dad didn't catch her.
After that, she made her way to the bathroom and pulled out some bandages and sunscreen. Once she had all of the essential items assembled, she headed back to her room and changed into her swimsuit get up. When she was ready, she held out her Time Stone and commanded a portal to open.