The thing about them newfangled toys - the actual thing, the thing Dinah hadn't dang well gone and dared to think about before? What really made the difference between her and pretty ol' Funky Phil?

She was immortal. They weren't.

There wasn't much of a way for her to run down. She'd gone and done it like it was nothing just the night before Funky switched back on, although she does feel a mess a' bad now about giving poor li'l Chibi a scare - she'd jumped right off the loft, dashed herself to pieces, and knew Papa Sanderson would have her put back together in nothing flat, outta nothing but bricks. Different shape, same her in the saddle. She'd lost her share o' bricks before - one or two gettin' mauled on by Tao or lost in Jenny's toybox when the little gal tried her hand at makin' her into a house or a duck. Any difference that'd made didn't count for as much as an armadillo could spit - some a' those had been replaced. Not all, and she still felt like a whole dinosaur.

Meanwhile, what'd happened them weeks ago sure had been much too easy to take on its face.

He could run down. One a' these days, he'd start aging in a way that wouldn't allow him to make quite so much of a joke about it as she could, and it'd be much too fast. The more he danced, the more all those bits and bobs she couldn't name in twenty-four country hours would rub each other worn till his insides gave out, and then...

...boom.

And that was if he did start aging. He could be dead young with a humpty-dumpty bad fall or getting caught in the rain.

Huh - ...sure made a sense that she was a dinosaur and he was a flower, didn't it.

An ol' fossil like her and something so... shinin' and bright that in the grand scheme of things, of course it only lasts 'bout as long as a desert sunrise.

...She watched 'im like he was one. Usually when he was in the performing mood, natcherly, but at this point, the only difference between watching him then and watching him when he was with the little guys so's he couldn't catch her starin' was that she was payin' him an extra level of appreciation, some sorta "thanks for being here" that he could get. That and you couldn't blame her for wantin' to watch that pretty body bend.

While she still could, and all that, now, she reckoned.

More than ever, now, a lotta the time, it's 'cause she was waiting for the right second. Such a for-real sense o' the right second that it'd feel just like she was getting a spur on the side and a smack on the hiney as whatever-force-at-the-reins told her to giddit! in a set that'd cut right through all the debatin' with herself.

'Cause now, somewhere around a third - or was it a full half, or maybe more - of her bricks had started tellin' her that the years didn't matter no more. She was timeless; while she sure weren't gettin' any younger, she sure weren't gettin' older quite as fast as he was; if she'd missed some chance in the past, big hoot, 'cause she had all the chances up ahead in the world as long as she had him.

And she couldn't be too sure about how long that was gonna be.

...Hhhhhhaystacks, though.

However many the rest o' her bricks saying different argued loud enough for her whole body.

Whoa, there, ya dirty old nag - now, you ain't got no right to go takin' one minute of that boy's time.

Let him have his minute in the sun and on that stage. Let him go out nice and bright if that's the way it's gonna be.

Ain't like you ain't already practiced burying him. Begun teaching the whippersnappers how to, too - hey, now, ain't that the real important part?

...Haaa, now that was a better joke than she could ever deliver. She was old enough to know all a' that perfectly well.

And yet here she was fussing like a schoolgirl on and on, yet again, about confessin' her feelings to the boy who had her heart.

She was timeless, all right.

Old at heart, 'least now, too much to go through learning how to handle being young.


Written for the r/FanFiction January Daily Prompt challenge. February 3rd: "Time".