The Way We Were

My final story for this saga. If you don't wanna be confused, look for my other three stories leading up to this one! Cheers :)

(I don't own any of Ferngully aside from my created characters, and my rewriting of the book/movie is a little different so as not to be exactly the same.)

My Characters: Rose, Damian, Grace, Cliff, Alice, Roman, Rai, Treena, Tamsyn, Bobby, Carrie, Rosalyn, and Julian.

Chapter 1

He awoke feeling strange. This wasn't the first time. It seemed to be happening more and more lately, these dreams of a beautiful girl he can't quite see clearly and who was always calling to him for help. He shook his head. He wasn't going to worry about it today.

"Pips! Let's go!" a voice called. He rushed downstairs. His mother and father were sitting there conversing. His mother looked up and smiled at him as he passed by.

"Good luck today!" she called.

"Thanks!" he said, waving back.

"Come on! Honestly, what do you do up there that takes so long?" Rose asked, annoyed. She was standing there with her arms crossed, scowl on her face. She had her long red hair twisted on her head to keep it out of her eyes.

"And good morning to you too, sis," he smirked. He grabbed his 5 year old little niece, tickling her and making growling noises. Grace squealed with delight.

"Don't flip her upside down!" Rose scolded, exasperated, as he was doing just that. "She pukes after."

"But she loves it," he replied, turning Grace back the right way. She giggled. "See?"

"One of these days..." Rose said menacingly. She was gonna let Gracie throw up all over him and see how he liked it.

"Yea, yea," he said absently. He was thinking about his upcoming challenge.

"You'll be fine," Rose said, reading his mind. She remembered her final testing to become a warrior too. It wasn't easy.

"Is he going to crack my skull open?" Pips asked, referring to Damian.

"No," she laughed. "He's only a judge. He won't be sparring with you this time."

"Okay, good," Pips said, feeling relieved. Damian was almost unbeatable. Whenever Pips won a sparring contest, it was by his teeth.

"And anyway," Rose went on, "I think I tired him out last night pretty good, so he would've lost anyhow."

"Aw, Rose!" he yelped. "I don't want to hear that stuff..."

"That's what you get for making my kid puke," she pointed out. Gracie caught up to them after having thrown up in the bushes.

"I'm sorry, Gracie," Pips said. "I won't do that anymore."

"No!" Grace cried. "I like it. Don't stop!" He just shook his head, laughing. Rose rolled her eyes. He was 15 turning 16 soon. His life was set. He had followed his father's footsteps as a warrior, as did Rose much to their mother's dismay. Rose, however, was good at healing others too, and since she had Grace, she spent more of her time doing just that instead of going out on duty. That was Damian's job. They soon arrived to their destination.

"All right, bro," Rose said. "Go get 'em." He nodded, and went to join the others. He kept getting flickers of his dream in his mind, the one with the girl. He wondered if he knew her somehow. He shook it off. His focus needed to be sharp. This was a very important day.

Later...

The celebrations were winding down. Pips wasn't one for attention being put on himself, but he couldn't help but feel proud of today. He had passed. He was a warrior. Even his father was pleased.

"You'll do good, son," he had told him. "I wish your uncle had been here to see this." Pips wasn't clear as to what had happened to his Uncle Julian. He was only ever told that the man had died when he was three years old. Nobody ever gave him anymore information than that. His father, Cliff, was a reserved kind of man, tall and sported dark hair with a rugged complexion. His mother always said she took one look and never looked anywhere else, and his father indicated when he met his mother she appeared fiery from her wild, vivid red hair and bossiness, which she fully denies. Cliff was busy running their community most of the time, but he did save time for his granddaughter. It was always known that Rose and Damian would be a family. Damian had kind of just appeared one day and never left. No one knew who his family was, so Pips' mother, Alice, had taken him in. Pips didn't remember this much as his sister and Damian were seven years older than him. Then when Gracie came along, they became very devoted grandparents and he became the devoted uncle.

"Congrats," Rose said, coming up beside him and giving him a hug. "I gotta get this kid to bed or else she'll never go to sleep." Damian had Gracie in his arms, and she was starting to do the head bob. "I only get a small window before it's like her sleepiness evaporates. It's very strange," Rose said, wrinkling her nose. "Good night!"

"Good night," he replied, smiling after them. A happy family. That was what he was fortunate to be a part of. A piece of him felt like something was missing from his life, but he couldn't figure out what it was.

"Good job today, Pips," his mother said. "Now, if we could just get you to..."

"Ahh, not now, mum," he said, cutting her off. "I'll find a girl when the time is right."

"But you're young now," Alice argued. "You gotta get out there. Don't make me and your father do an arranged relationship," she threatened.

"Geez, mum," Pips laughed. "I'll get there. Come on, you've already got a grandchild. What more do you want?"

"I want more!" she teased. "I miss the little ones..."

"It'll happen when it happens," he told her. "Don't rush me." His mother sighed and pinched his cheek softly.

"See to it that it does," she said. She left him standing there thinking. Perhaps that was what he was missing. None of the girls seemed to interest him, though. He just didn't feel a connection. It wasn't for a lack of trying. There just wasn't anything there. He hoped this would eventually change. He did get lonely sometimes.

Ferngully...

She was half listening to the story. Her mind was elsewhere. She felt like she was searching for something, but she wasn't sure what.

"Crysta!" Magi shouted finally after noticing her student was no longer listening.

"Magi, yes," Crysta said, attempting to act like she had heard. "The secrets. Look, I have to go. I'll see you later, okay? Bye!" She flew away quickly. She just wasn't in the mood for a lesson today. It was bad enough she still did dance at almost 16 years old. She was dropping that as soon as she could. Her sisters were stuck doing it for longer, but she couldn't wait to stop. It seemed pointless somehow.

"Dumped the Mag, eh?" his voice said beside her, making her jump. "Such a rebel."

"Roman, how many times have I told you to not sneak up on me like that?" Crysta asked. She glared at him.

"Oh, about a million," he drawled, tossing his head to shake the black strands of hair out of his face. "It's so much fun though." She shook her head at him, smiling. Once you got past the jerk in Roman, he was a good guy. He was 20, five years older than her but almost as mature.

"Race?" he asked.

"You're on," she replied. They took off. It was a ritual for them each day. She knew she'd get grounded if she got caught. That's what made it part of the thrill. She also didn't fully believe the Elders would cut off her wings for flying too fast. She beat Roman again and flew farther upward. She wasn't sure what possessed her to do it, but she flew right up from under the canopy and became blinded by the light. Grabbing a leaf, she went up again. The vastness of her surroundings was breathtaking. Then she saw a cloud of black smoke. This was interesting.

"Hey!" Roman called. "You're gonna get eaten!" Crysta rolled her eyes. As if. She squinted a little harder. What the heck was it?

"I'm not kidding!" he called again. She looked behind her as the sound of wings beating approached. He really wasn't kidding. She tore downward, the falcon chasing after her. She flew faster than light, smashing through thick brush with thorns tangled in it. The falcon couldn't get through, and it crashed out again, having lost its snack.

"You're crazy, but I like it," Roman smirked, coming down beside her as she panted and tried to calm herself down.

"I have to tell Magi," she said, ignoring him. Then she was gone. Roman sighed and went off to find his brother, Rai, and the girls. Crysta was a big mystery to him sometimes. He wondered if she'd ever be truly open with him.

Later...

Magi couldn't help herself but check once Crysta had left. The girl had spewed her story out quickly, and Magi acted like it was nothing. She didn't want to worry the girl. After seeing it was true, she contacted the Elders.

"What are we supposed to do about it?" Jips asked. "It's bogus anyhow."

"Hexxus is a real threat," Magi explained. "I'm not sure what part of that you're not understanding."

"Tell us what we need to do," Ash said. He wondered how his daughter had seen this smoke to begin with and if she was the one responsible for the big hole in the canopy now. He kept his mouth shut. His daughter was on thin ice with the Elders as it was.

"We need to have some warriors on hand," Magi said. "We can do this together, but it's good to have more muscle power if needed."

"I've got a crew," Ash said. "I will get them ready."

"You better warn the others," Magi said to him. "They'll need to be prepared too." Ash just nodded, and they left.

Crysta's home...

"It's been a long time," Mother Ash was saying. "I haven't spoken to Alice in years."

"I know, but I need you to do your thing that you do and tell her to be prepared," Ash explained. "This could get out of hand."

"Are you sure Roman, Rai, Sandy and Wilkea are enough for this?" Mother asked. "It seems...overwhelming."

"Hmmm. You may have a point there," Ash said. "Get Cliff to send someone. He's always in the know of who's the best over there." Mother did as he asked. Crysta couldn't help but overhear.

"Who's Cliff?" she asked. "What are you guys talking about?"

"Never you mind," Ash growled. "And listen, young lady. If I hear of you skylarking again, your flying days are over." He glowered at her. She knew he knew the canopy hole was her fault. She wondered why he didn't yell at her for that too.

"You won't," she promised, her fingers crossed behind her back. She went in search of Roman. She found him with the others.

"Look who it is," he drawled. She noticed Tamsyn giving her a dark look. She was a beautiful girl, blonde and almost too skinny, but her scowl made her look ugly. She wondered why the hell Tamsyn hadn't made her move if she wanted Roman that badly. Crysta wasn't really that interested anyway. "Getting grounded?"

"Nope," she replied. "I think we're getting reinforcements though."

"From where?" Treena asked. She was hanging off of Rai's arm. They had been an item for a while now, but Treena's clinginess still annoyed Crysta. There was no one else left to warn off so knock it off already, Crysta thought irritably. Treena was blonde like her sister, and Rai was a smaller, almost identical version of Roman except he had hacked his black hair short and Roman had short hair at the back and some longer strands left at the front, which Rai had mocked him for having. You could tell they were brothers.

"No idea," Crysta replied. She scanned the skies. Would that smoke come here?

"Red light!" a voice screeched before a slamming sound. "Red light again!"

"What the...?" Roman said, looking up. The creature sailed past them howling. Crysta was hot on its trail. She followed it into a tree, looking to see where it went. Suddenly, it was in her face. She shrieked, hollering out her spell, and the creature finally stopped acting crazy.

"I can see! It's a miracle!" the creature cried.

"I did it!" Crysta cried, looking at her hands. It was almost miraculous. All those hours practising finally paid off. The creature had fallen out of the tree, muttering something about gravity. She hastily flew down to it. It wasn't long before she learned it was a bat, and his name was Batty Koda, but just Batty was fine thank you very much. He seemed odd to her, but he made her laugh. When he started rambling about humans, her interest was peaked. She was definitely talking to this bat alone. Maybe she was finally going to get some answers.

Daintree forest...evening

Pips was sitting with his father when Alice approached them. She looked worried.

"What is it love?" Cliff asked. Pips always loved watching his parents together. They seemed so perfect for each other, so in tune to what the other needed or was thinking.

"I just spoke with Ash and his wife. It seems we may be facing an old enemy again."

"Such as?" Cliff asked.

"Hexxus."

"Oh, come on now," Cliff scoffed. "That is an old legend. You're not seriously worried about it are you?"

"They are," Alice pointed out. "So I think we should be too."

"Oh, geez," Cliff sighed. "What do they want?"

"Ash wants you to send him some warriors. Seems he's only got a handful."

"Hmph. Maybe I can't spare any," Cliff said.

"Cliff..." Alice warned. He looked to Pips, who was pretending not to listen in.

"You up for this?" he asked.

"Cliff, no..." Alice started. She didn't want her son so far away.

"Let him answer for himself," Cliff stopped her. "Well?"

"I'm in," Pips said. "Where am I going?"

"I still don't think..."

"Hush. He'll be fine. Pips, promise your mother you'll be fine."

"I'll be fine, Ma," Pips told her. "So, where am I going?"

"To Ferngully."

Huzza! The connection begins. I've made up Pips' parents obviously. It's nice getting to write about them not being dead. I guess Roman listened to Rose after all. It feels strange writing him as good, but it all has a purpose I promise. FYI, I'm using the name Daintree rainforest because I googled and it really is a forest in Australia. I got tired of writing "in another forest" haha.