A/N Oof finally got this out. Welcome to Vale Guardian, my first fic in LBT fandom...hmm I should've wrote for this fandom a long time ago but there is no time like the present.

So because of my other stories I haven't written, mostly original ones, I have a thing for ghosts trying to help out people and bad endings...and time loops. All of these elements are in this story, Also TW blood and death, also Littlefoot's mother dies.

Terminology:

Serene: Littlefoot's Mother.

Vale Guardian: The Great Valley's guardian angel.

The Hidden Runner: Scary myth about a deadly fast runner that was featured in an episode of the TV series.

The Silent Hunter: The Grim Reaper/Death. Some dinosaurs see him as a monster but others find him to be a someone who guides you to the Great Beyond.

Please leave a comment on your way out if you can, be it a critique of my work or simply yelling at me for killing your favorite characters time and time again.

Word count: 4,879 words. 26,579 Characters.

Ps: Hello Rhombus. :)


The Bright Circle had barely peaked over the horizon lending a small bit of it's light to the dark landscape of night. Not a sound was heard except for the soft snores of the many herds finishing off their last hours of sleep before they had to take off again. There was not a predator in sight, a peaceful morning seemed guaranteed or at least plausible.

But not for one dinosaur.

Slowly that same dinosaur rose to his feet, he was the first one to rise that morning, tired cyan eyes fluttered opened before swiftly closing again as his toothless beak opened wide in a big yawn.

Something felt off about this morning, it was the same reason he had awoken from his slumber so early, this day in particular felt ominous almost like it was the calm before the storm. His past experiences told him to be cautious as his instincts always seemed to be on the mark, the obnoxiously loud snoring coming from the threehorns around him did nothing to lessen the tension in his gut.

Wait, threehorns?

Where did they even come from? They weren't there when he had fallen asleep so they must have settled down here in the middle of the night. However, he quickly recognized them, they were one of the herds heading west towards the Great Valley, he'd been tracking them for quite a while.

Sense of duty overtaking his dread of the morning, The Guardian went to check up on each and every threehorn in the herd.

Most of the threehorns had minor cuts and abrasions, possibly from the rough terrain or minor conflicts, they were only noticeable up close and had long since started to heal over. It was nothing to be concerned with, thankfully.

Then he moved on to their nests, children lay snuggled against one another for warmth under the safety of their parents. Upon getting to the last nest The Guardian paused, something seemed out of place. He craned his neck low to get a better look at the gently snoozing threehorn children, he counted each of them in his head.

One

Two

Three

And-

Ah...

There was only three, one was missing. He had the feeling he knew exactly who the missing young one was.

"Where could you have possibly gone, Cera?" He thought.

After looking around for a bit, he found subtle footprints indented in the dirt leading away from the herd, they were only just visible but he quickly deducted that they belonged to a small dinosaur and possibly Cera.

Cera or not, The Guardian decided to follow the tracks. Eventually the trail ended into a big swamp like pond, the water looked murky, muddy and certainly not drinkable, various decayed and hollow trees barely stood amidst the mud, a small arch like cave was nearby which got his attention the most.

He heard voices coming from the cave, he could not tell what they were saying but it was quite clear by the tone that it was mild bickering. Not a second after the voices stopped did a young orange threehorn slide down the cave's steep slope right into the murky water below. Cera stared at the hopper in front of her with curiosity, though it was short-lived as a young longneck slid down the slope as well slamming into her backside. She shot a glare at the longneck behind her.

He knew this longneck was non other then Littlefoot, the only young longneck in the west herds.

And it seems he has made a friend by the way him and Cera were playing together, jumping on and popping the various bubbles the hoppers made and enjoying themselves very much. The sight brought a smile to The Guardian's face, all prior worries and concerns faded from his mind momentarily. He sat down in the murky water, not at all minding getting his scales wet, and watched the children from afar. The duo didn't pay attention to him at all, it was like he had never existed, as it should be.

Thump

Over the laughter of the children he could barely hear a low thump, it sounded far away and it was most likely a fallen rock or a tree that had finally fell over.

Thump

Then there was another thump, this time louder and he thought he was hallucinating.

Thump

Thump

Thump

Then there was another one, and another. The thumps kept getting louder, closer. He stood up, a chill went down his spine as a large shadow blocked out the Bright Circle, he turned around.

He breathed in shuddering gasps, knees feeling weak, he turned to the children still playing unaware of their impending deaths.

"Kids..." He said breathless, but they didn't hear him.

"Kids!" He tried again this time more louder and demanding.

They were still unaware.

"KIDS!"

Just then it seemed like something snapped within them as they both halted their playing and now noticed the shadow and the loud thumping heading towards them.

"SHARPTOOTH!" Cera cried in terror.

Quick on clumsy shaking feet, they all had the same thought to run into a dead and decaying thicket. I should get help, The Guardian thought, but by the time it would take to wake their elders and look for them it would be too late, they needed to get somewhere safe now!

He nudged Littlefoot, it wasn't enough to notify him of his presence but enough to suggest moving farther into the thicket, a hint in which the young longneck took lightly dragging Cera along with him as he backed up.

The Sharptooth climbed over and into the thicket from above searching out his prey, Littlefoot and Cera ducked cowering as a fallen tree trunk was pushed into ground by the massive two footer sniffing for them. He gave a huff in frustration from not being able to find his prey and he backed off. Littlefoot gave Cera a prod whispering for her to move and they both quietly walked off on soft feet, stopping at a fork in the tunnel.

One led farther into the thicket where they would be safe from Sharptooth and the other...led back outside.

"Go right. Go right. Go right." The Guardian repeated, hoping they would get it.

Littlefoot seemed to understand, beckoning Cera to follow him that way but the Threehorn was having non of it shaking her head and, with a sound of refusal, ran down the other path.

Cera, no!

"Come back!" Littlefoot shouted, running after her, "You're going the wrong way!"

Both ran out of the thicket and into another section of it, now alert of their location Sharptooth lunged after them. Upon noticing that the young longneck was trailing behind, The Guardian turned only to see both Littlefoot and Sharptooth tangled in the thorns, both of them struggling for Littlefoot's life.

The Guardian watched with bated breath, feeling hopeless to do anything.

Littlefoot finally broke through, the vine like thorns snapping back into The Sharptooth's face as a result, making him backout with a screech.

The kids ran out of the thicket, a roar of anger boomed from afar and shortly after The Sharptooth landed right behind them, the force of the landing knocking them both the ground, he snorted a breath at them.

The kids scrambled to their feet and and tried to get away but the two footer was quicker, lunging straight for the kill-

The Guardian squeezed his eyes shut, craned his neck away and covered his head.

SNAP

His breaths were ragged and hoarse as he heard the crushing of bone and tearing of sinew as the Sharptooth enjoyed it's meal, no other sounds were heard except that sickening noise. It never got easier to hear this, much less see it so he kept his eyes shut. His breathing became uneven and he realized he was sobbing. He felt a heavy weight upon his shoulders, it was like the world itself was grieving for these children who were snapped up before their time.

It felt like a great hero had died.

As soon as it began, the munching ended with a snort of content then with the sound of loud footsteps heading away from the area. As the footsteps faded into silence, The Guardian slowly removed his arms and opened his eyes. He was afraid to turn around and look at what was left.

There was only a small puddle of red on the ground where they once stood, the only evidence left of a dinosaur was the small severed tip of Littlefoot's tail submerged in blood.

The Guardian dropped to his knees, tears streaming down his face. He's seen this play out so many times, he should be used to this by now but he was just so tired. He's watched them hatch and grow after all these years only for it to lead to this?

I can't let this happen again.

The Guardian slowly rose to his feet, wiping the tears from his eyes, and approached the death site. He avoided eye contact with the puddle, that wasn't what he was looking for, he had a feeling he would find what he was searching for in the end and he did. A short distance away Littlefoot and Cera were laying next to each other, it almost looked like they were sleeping, snuggling up with one another, and The Guardian wanted to believe that was the case but he knew better, he knew their physical bodies were nothing but bloody mush inside of Sharptooth's belly.

He crouched beside the two, they were definitely unconscious, fortunate for him as didn't think he could take seeing them panicking and crying. He placed a claw on both their backs and watched as their forms faded and morphed into spheres of glowing light, he stared at both of them in his hands. In truth he didn't have to do this, Rooter would take care of them eventually, but he didn't want to see them suffer anymore.

"To Paradise with you." The Guardian said as he threw the spheres up into the sky, instead of falling with the weight of gravity the orbs floating towards the clouds, he watched as both orbs floating out of sight.

He wasn't sure if anyone was waiting for them in the afterlife but he knew they would be alright and if not they would soon not remember any of this. At the end of the day all of this would be erased from the world and this would only be just a horrible memory for The Guardian.

He gave a weary sigh as he moved on elsewhere with heavy feet.

...

The Bright Circle was just barely over the horizon casting an ever growing light on the land, not a sound was heard except for the soft breathing from three adult Longnecks. Two of them were grey in color with one being lighter then the other, and the third one was a shade of blue.

Violet eyes fluttered opened as the blue one lifted her head from her mother's back, something felt off about this day in particular, it felt ominous almost like it was the calm before the storm.

Something wasn't right... Quickly she found her cause for worry, as she could not feel the weight of her child on her head nor her back.

"Littlefoot...?" She called as she looked around frantically for her son but he was nowhere to be found.

It was not like her to panic like this but her motherly instincts were burning like flowing fire, panic dragging her down and choking her much like drowning in thick tar.

"What is it, Serene?" Her mother mumbled, just having been woken up.

"It's Littlefoot I-" She looked around distraught, "-I can't find him anywhere!"

Her mother's eyes widened in concern from Serene's uncharacteristic panic, and went to nudge her mate awake.

"I'm going to look over there," She said as she raced towards a rocky swamp-like area. She passed by a large rock and several fallen trees in muddy water, it was clear to anyone that something big rampaged the area if all the giant footprints had anything to say about it. On closer inspection she identified these footprints were from a Sharptooth. A horrible sense of dread overcame her and she prayed that Littlefoot had not wandered out here.

A loud rumble filled the air and trembled the ground, Serene whined in confusion and as the trembles intensified, she realized what was happening.

Earthshake!

"Littlefoot! Where are you!?" She yelled as she ran across the shifting rock, caution be damned, she was quiet earlier as she didn't want to attract unwanted attention but now all of that was thrown away. "LITTLEFO-"

Her calls were cut off with a cry as her foot slipped into a crack in the earth, her ankle snapping under her weight. She lifted her foot out of the crevasse and let it hang in the air as she grimaced at the sight of a slowly growing bruise, she gazed around and paused, something distinct catching her eye.

There, not far from her, was a small puddle of dried blood on the ground and a small fragment of...something in it.

Is that?

No...it can't be.

Serene craned her neck to get a closer look, the fragment turned out to be the severed tip of a small and brown dinosaur's tail.

No...That's not my sweet Littlefoot's tail.

That's not- no.

Nonono- Please no.

NO!

Her legs buckled underneath her as the horrible realization hit her.

She screamed.

She screamed an ear shattering, dreadful cry of grief that could be heard for miles. A cry that to anyone who had heard it would forever remember it as the worst thing they have ever heard. The cry of a mother who had just lost her son.

Her world lay shattered at her feet as the ground rumbled and grumbled away. She could swear she heard her parents calling for her over the sound of her own wails of grief and rumbles of the earth but she could careless.

How could she care about anything when her son was gone?

...

The night casts the world in its shadow, a brilliant thunderstorm cracked from the clouds as heavy rain soaked the land and it's creatures.

One such creature was a longneck collapsed on a mound of stone. The sky water had chilled her to the bone, numbing her body to any physical pain. She knew if this went on she would surely perish but she couldn't find a reason to care anymore.

Despite having survived the earthshake, she could go no further, both her broken heart and foot held her down and any support from her parents was trapped on the other side of the great divide.

She wanted to see Littlefoot again more then anything... but in this life she knew that would never come to fruition.

The stone mound underneath her gave way and her body fell with it, her head landing on the cold hard ground near a small trail of water. Her tired eyes slipped shut and she gave a heavy sigh, letting the cold consume her completely.

The sound of falling sky water seemed to wash away the pain of yesterday as her thoughts stilted and her mind started to dull.

"I'm sorry..."

Serene took another breath as her mind came back from the cold. The voice was too masculine to be hers and the barly palpable heat in front of her told that someone was nearby.

The longneck's eyes fluttered open again and there stood a small fast runner staring into her own eyes. His expression showed of sorrow and pity, for what? She did not know.

She did not react aggressively nor did she react in any manner at all. She simply stared at him.

It was strange how much this dinosaur resembled the Hidden Runner described in those stories of old. Perhaps... instead they were the Silent Hunter here to lead her to the great beyond? After a moment she found her voice.

"...What do you want?"

The newcomer stumbled backwards, almost falling to his haunches, it was as if her quiston were a heavy blow to the chest.

"You- You can see me...?!"

"...Yes...but... who are you?"

He paused like he was thinking deeply about his response, then after a moment he gave her a small smile. "I am... The Vale Guardian," he said with a spin arms opening in a dramatic pose, "Protector of the Great Valley."

Serene stared at him her mouth slightly agape. At her slience he slowly lowered his arms down to his sides and frowned.

"The Great Valley exists..." The longneck said with awe, yet she didin't want to get her hopes up anymore. "Does it really?"

"You seemed so sure of it earlier, Serene. Yes it does, it's been here for countless generations."

She paid no mind as to how he knew her name. "But...why are you here... and not at the valley?"

"So many questions," he muttered but he sounded amused. "To guide the herds towards the Great Valley of course... but it seems," his smile faded and he looked away, avoiding her eyes, "I haven't been doing a good job lately."

She knew how he felt, she closed her eyes as memories of what happened earlier today returned to her.

"I tried-" he said, almost croaking, " I tried this day over so many times yet I couldin't save anyone, I- I'm so sorry, Serene..." The Guardian trailed off.

"What do you mean?"

"Huh?"

"What do you mean you tried this day over so many times?"

He paused again deciding if he should tell her and again found no reason not to.

"Being a Vale Guardian gives you abilities that many do not possess. When the time of great failure befalls us we can go back to the last time we slept before the fall."

"I'd give anything to go back..." Serene said, "I'd give anything to save my dear sweet Littlefoot."

"Anything?" The Guardian asked.

"Anything."

"Hmm..."

Perhaps.

"Y'know, I'm not as spry as I once was, after so many cold times without a break. Maybe... it's time to pass the torch and let someone else have a go...?" He looked at Serene in expectation.

"Are you suggesting that I... Why?"

"You are wise for your time, you're kind and considerate and you hold no ill will towards the other herds. Seems like Guardian material to me." He smiled.

Serene mulled this around in her head, thinking it over. This was a big thing to ask of anyone and yet... she could save her son and make certain he would make it to the Great Valley. "But how? How can I become the Vale Guardian?"

"The sacrifice of the Great Circle. The next time you awaken you will keep your memories and you will wake right before your son's demise but..." He frowned, "You will trade your life for his. However, after you take your last breath you will rise once more weightless and free from injury and pain.

You will not be seen, felt or heard without great effort on your part, though you will be considered dead and gone to most you will always be with them to help guide them to the right path."

Silence filled the air.

The Guardian stared at her waiting with bated breath for her unspoken answer.

"...I'll... take...it," She finally managed, finding it suddenly harder to breath.

The Guardian smiled at the fallen giant, a sort of sentimental pride in his eyes.

Serene could hardly comprehend anything anymore, her eyes slipping closed as her body shut down. She felt something warm nuzzle against her nose and the Vale Guardian's soft voice was the last thing she heard.

"Sleep well, Serene..."

...

The Bright Circle had barely peaked over the horizon lending a small bit of it's light to the dark landscape of night. Not a sound was heard except for the soft snores of the many herds finishing off their last hours of sleep before they had to take off again. There was not a predator in sight, a peaceful morning seemed guaranteed or at least plausible.

But not for one dinosaur.

Serene awoke with a gasp, gazing around frantically.

What?

As her breath slowly became even again she realized where she was. She was back at the same sleep spot they all had took for the night, her parents were still sleeping against one another, her foot wasn't broken, she hadn't froze to death in her grief and Littlefoot wasn't-

Littlefoot.

Serene looked around calling for him before realizing her son was nowhere to be seen.

Wasting no time she got to her feet and went around the same rock, through same swamp and the same fallen trees. It was shockingly exact to her sleep story and she feared the same events would only repeat again.

Then she heard the screams of terror and the roars of a hungry Sharptooth. She could only hope she wasn't too late.

In the distance she saw two small dinosaurs run out of a thicket. Having no doubt in her mind she broke out into the fastest sprint of her life. Entirely focused on the spot they were running to, she recognized with horror that this was the same place she found the puddle of blood in her sleep story.

This revelation sent her into a rage.

A growl of anger boomed from afar and shortly after the largest Sharptooth she ever saw landed right behind them, the force of the landing knocking them both the ground, he snorted a breath at them.

She reared her tail behind herself as far as it could go, seeing nothing but red and wanting nothing more then to tear him apart.

I won't let you do it again you son of a-

The kids scrambled to their feet and and tried to get away but the two footer was quicker, lunging straight for the kill-

WAM

Sharptooth's lunge was cut short by Serene's tail colliding with his face, the sheer frightening force of the blow sent him flying rearwards till his body collided hard against rock.

Serene felt like she was going insane with rage, despite this she found herself for a second enough to tell both of the children to run. She moved her gaze back to the tyrant now audibly bashing his head against a bolder in the process of furiously trying to get up again.

This thing seemed to be more angry then 'her' if that was even possible.

She had struck him as hard as she could and yet it was not enough to keep him down for long, in all her life she had never seen such ferocity.

Not a second later he got to his feet, he came charging, and attempted to take a big snap at her, in which she narrowly avoided by side stepping out of the way.

She stood up on her hind legs and shot forward with a stomp, forcing the sharptooth to take a step back to avoid her. She snarled a warning at him as he went for several more attempts to bite her roaring in response. She started to turn, her head still facing him, she raised her tail and smacked him again sending him flying into the wall.

Rage now abated slightly, she remembered what truly mattered was the children. Nothing else mattered, she could butt heads with Sharptooth all day but in the end she needed to protect her son most importantly. If the Sharptooth didn't get the hint now then he would surely pay for messing with her son once more.

She picked up her speed catching up with the kids, however big impact and heavy weight upon her back stopped her in her tracks.

With horror, she realized that Sharptooth had landed on her back! Before she could do anything at all, a horrific pain ripped through her as rows of sharp teeth shredded through skin and snew, her mouth hung open in a silent scream. Instincts lead her to buck and struggle though the pain, eventually throwing the attacker off of her.

In a panic induced adrenaline rush she stumbled forward trying to squeeze herself pass a wall and bolder in her attempt to get away, Sharptooth lunged at her and missed, bashing through the rocks beside her instead. Now freed from a rock and hard place, she took a few steps forward, reared up her leg just barely avoiding it being chomped off and tail whipped the Sharptooth once more.

She broke into a wobbly run, legs shaking due to waning adrenaline and pain. Instinct pushed her along, everything forgotten and mind focused on only one thing; getting away from Sharptooth.

The land grumbled and shifted underneath her knocking her to the floor with a cry. With the last of her adrenaline rush dying off the full force of the her pain finally hit her. She could now feel the horrible sticky warmth trailing down and off of her hide but she did not dare look at her back.

Through shallow pants, she could've sworn she heard someone scream.

"MOTHER!" Another scream shouted clear as day, the voice returning her to her senses once more.

Littlefoot!

With her adrenaline back in full force, she raised her head again and spotted the kids as well as Sharptooth sliding towards the chasm, she quickly got to her feet again and raced towards them.

He's in trouble!

The kids struggled to get away from Sharptooth but they all were not making any head way, the Sharptooth about to fall into the abyss and the children about to fall into a teeth filled maw.

WAM

She slammed the Sharptooth one final time sending him into the chasm. Quickly, she lunged her head towards the cavern and grabbed both her son and the threehorn by their tails.

They both squirmed out of her hold and she let them, quickly prodding her son to follow her as the threehorn went a different way. They both ran intending to leave this area as soon as possible.

Serene's mind was so muddled with pain, exhaustion and blood loss she didn't know how much time had passed or when she had lost Littlefoot again, but all she knew was it was over...

And Sharptooth was gone.

...

The night casts the world in its shadow, a brilliant thunderstorm cracked from the clouds as heavy rain soaked the land and it's creatures.

One such creature was a longneck collapsed on a mound of stone. The sky water had chilled her to the bone, numbing her body to any physical pain. She knew if this went on she would surely perish but there was nothing she could do anymore as her wounds had sealed her fate.

The sacrifice of the Great Circle. The next time you awaken you will keep your memories and you will wake right before your son's demise but...

Through a cold haze she thought back to this particular day, how her sleep story seemed to predict everything that had happened. Even now the sky water covered her once more, freezing what was left of her life.

You will trade your life for his...

This time she had no complaints.

She heard a voice echo in the distance, words unclear from her cold and fuzzy mind.

"Mother? Where are you?"

Littlefoot.

"...Oh..." Serene said, it was hard to breath much less talk at this point.

"Mother!" Littlefoot repeated and shortly after she could hear him running down the rocks towards her.

"Mother?" He whispered, she wheezed a breath in response, "Please get up."

"I'm not...sure I can, littlefoot."

"Yes, you can. Get up," he begged her.

It was a hassle to even move her frozen body anymore, yet despite this she stood up on quivering legs only to fall back down on her side, the stone mound breaking underneath her again.

Serene laid her head on cold hard ground, her son's warm presence next to her. She didn't have much time left, she had to tell him something. Something he needed to hear.

"My dear sweet Littlefoot, do you remember the way to the Great Valley?" She asked, her eyes opening to softly gaze at her son for the last time.

"I guess so," he took a sharp intake of breath, "but why do I have to know? You're going to be with me."

You will not be seen, felt or heard without great effort on your part, though you will be considered dead and gone to most you will always be with them to help guide them to the right path.

A small smile came to her face. "I'll be with you," she said, her limbs relaxing softly on the ground as her body started to shut down, "even if you can't see me."

"What do you mean if I can't see you? I can always see you."

Her eyes slipped shut for the last time, a sense of deep calm overtook her and she used her final breath to utter one final sentence to her son.

"Littlefoot, let your heart guide you...It whispers...so listen closely..."

...

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"A deal's a deal, Serene.

Farewell."