Birds of Different Feather

By: M14Mouse

Summary: Sergeant Joe's thoughts while Hugo grows up.

Disclaimer; Don't own them...how sad.

A/N: I am not sure when Joe arrived at the village. So, I am in the dark on most of the details. I still hope you enjoy it. I feel like writing a cute story for once. Here it is...enjoy! The story is from Sgt. Joe's POV.

~I also have learned there is a time to reach out and grasp other hands, hands offered in help.~ Last page of Scion: Issue 26.

I remembered as if it was yesterday.

"DUCKY Joe!"

I sighed under my breath as the son of Chief Lucia, Hugo ran toward me. I was asked to come here by Chief Lucia to help. I must say I was eager. I and my ex-wife has gone our separate paths. I still love her but love isn't the only thing need to make a relationship work. It saddened me a great deal and the village held too many memories. When the offer came from Chief Lucia, I took it and left.

I was welcomed into the village the minute I step foot. The Duck Clan and Karaya Clan have long been allies and friends. I doubt any thing will change that. Chief Lucia had greet me with a smile and Hugo greeted me . . . well, more like, attack me with a hug. Lucia was shock by her son's reaction. I was more surprised by the hug than she was.

"Ducky!" Hugo said as he wrapped his arms around my leg. He looked up at me with these great big green eyes. "Hugo! You mustn't do that." Chief Lucia said as she tried to remove Hugo from my leg.

"Bu..Bu..mommy..I want to sa hello. Hellos means hugs. Lots of hugs! That is what you said!" Hugo said in the most child-like and serious voice. The way he said just made me started to laugh and soon, Chief Lucia followed suit.

"Well, then. Hello to you. My name is Sergeant Joe." I said as I give the boy a gentle hug. It was strange to hug a boy I just met.

"Seage..tat....Joew." Hugo said as he concretes on saying my name.

"Sergeant Joe."

"Sea...gent....Jowe."

"Sergeant Joe."

"Ducky Joe!" Hugo giggled softly. I sighed softly as I gave up. He will figure out my name soon or later. I am hoping sooner. "Come, Hugo. Let allow Sergeant Joe get comfortable. Jimba will show you to your room." Chief Lucia said as she gently removed Hugo from my legs. Hugo gave me a big smile before he vanished with his mother.

Yes, I did get comfortable in the village and its people. Karaya Clan was more reserve people than the Duck Clan. But once you got pass that, Karaya Clan had a very dry sense of humor and very enjoyable to be around. I did travel with Karaya Clan but I seemed to watch Lucia's son, Hugo a good bit of time. Hugo seemed to enjoy my company and I his. He was always pointing at something and telling me something.

Hugo always seemed to be doing something. The boy would never stay in one place. He was a curious child and that curious only grew as he grew older. When he finally allowed to play outside of the village. Either, he would play in the fields or chased the "forest spirits". He had a strange understanding with horses. When he was younger even the days, he wasn't riding. Hugo visited the horses. Somestimes, he would just pat them or just watch them. And when Hugo did ride, he rode like the wind. Hugo had this look on his face. I cannot begin to understand. Perhaps, it was a look of joy.

As he grew older, Hugo never stopped moving unless he is asleep or eating. When I was so involved in something else, Hugo would slip away. Now, that I thought on it. I think Hugo thought it was a game. Even when I thought I had an eye on him, little Hugo would slip off. In the end, I would always find him. On one of his adventures, he met Fubar. I remember having to look for Hugo for hours. I was afraid he has gone to forest area near the Duncan Republic borders. When I found him, he was curls up against a griffon asleep! A griffon! The griffon seemed quite happy with Hugo sleeping next to him. Of course, the second Fubar saw me. Fubar give a loud Kueeee. The noise nearly knocked my feathers off and it also woke up Hugo. He yawned and rubbed his eyes.

"Sergeant Joe! This is Fubar! He is my newest friend!" Hugo said happily as he curled up next the griffon.

"Hugo...do you realizes that your...uh....Fubar is a griffon." I said.

"So? He is a friend and he can be your friend too!" Hugo said as he gave me a look. I really didn't know how acted or what to say. It isn't every day that a griffon and a boy become friends. I realized that I must talk to his mother on this subject. Chief Lucia didn't have any problem with their friendship. In fact, she encouraged it.

"Ok, Hugo. You and the grif.....I mean, Fubar can be friends. Fubar must stay away from the village, you understand Hugo?" I said. The boy nodded his head happily but Fubar give me this I-don't-like-you-but-I-will-get-along-with-you-because-I-like-Hugo look. Imagine, the first time I saw Hugo riding and flying on Fubar. That day I nearly had a heart attack.

As the years pass, Hugo began to take on more duties. Chief Lucia began to teach him the basics such courting, reading, and writing. Jimba teaching him to uses weapons which he came to favor two long daggers. Other villagers would teach him to hunt, cook, and survival. But he always found time to talk to me or play with Fubar. Our daily meetings become the high point of my day. Hugo will tell me about his training and his lessons. He would express his frustration of learning to read or how Jimba push him to hard to learn other weapons or how uncomfortable he was toward other people. I gave my advice to him or simply listen. Sometimes, I am not sure that he listened when I do give advice but he would always thank me.

One day, Hugo bought someone with him on our daily meetings. The child's name was Lulu. Lulu was small for his age that made him a good target for the older children. That day, L looked liked he was toss down a hill. He had dirt in his hair and cuts and bruises running down his arms and face. I asked Hugo to get some water from the small pond near my post. As I took care of Lulu, I asked Lulu how he met Hugo. Lulu looked down at the table.

"Gexon and Caliz were picking on me again....and Hugo stopped them. He stood right in front of them and looked them right in the eye. He told them to leave me alone. For a second, I thought they was going to fight...but they heard Jimba calling for them. So, they left and Hugo helped me to my feet. I told him that I don't want mama to see me like this....So, he took me here. He told me that you are one of his bestest friends and he would help me....Can you help me?" Lulu said quickly.

At that moment, I swear my chest didn't stick out with pride. Probably, I looked liked a proud mother duck but I didn't care. I realized that Hugo would going to grow up just fine. He would be a good chief in his mother's place. Soon after, our small group of three become four. Lulu would join us in fields hunting or playing with Fubar. Sometimes, Lulu would come alone and talk to me. Fubar liked Lulu but he didn't allow him to get on. I think that honor belonged Hugo and Hugo alone.

That changed when the war comes . . . Lulu's death still sting and I doubt that sting will go away anytime soon....I know it is much worse for Hugo but he was able to forgive his killer. Something, I would never thought he could do . . . but he did.

I have never been so proud. Hugo has grown into a great leader. As those memories fade into the present, one more rose from the ash of my mind.

What did Chief Lucia called our little group.

"Birds of different feather flock together." Lucia smiled a little before she turned off to do some other work.

She was right . . . but this flock will be different from now on. We must go our separate ways but in spirit, we always will be together.

That is what courts.

The End.