Title: Lost and Found
Disclaimer: I don't own Manny, Sid, or Diego and/or any other characters associated with them. I do own Nana though and her storyline.
Summary: What if Sid wasn't the only mammal left behind?
Manny and Sid carried on towards Glacier Pass without Diego, leaving the tiger in peace. They knew he'd track them in his own time and catch up with them when he was ready to.
The trek was silent, the two mammals not saying much at all and even the baby seemed oddly quiet, as if knowing, even with a child's mind that something was missing.
The human's tracks gradually became easier and easier to follow and they realised that soon they would come upon them. Picking up the pace the duo finally spotted the humans, a small cluster of beings wrapped up tightly against the snow, with their dogs running beside them and spears clasped in calloused hands.
Suddenly one of the humans stopped, and Manny watched a little way off as he placed a beaded necklace on a small mound of snow reverently. He seemed to be saying some sort of goodbye and didn't notice the mammoth until he was nearly face-to-face with him.
The human gasped in fear and surprise, taking a step backwards, unconsciously putting space between them. There was an impasse for a few moments as man met beast and both stilled, feeling the tension rising subtly.
Cautiously Manny raised his trunk to reach for the baby. The man mistook it for a sign of aggression though, and fearing that he would be struck down he flinched and raised his spear threateningly.
Sid pranced from foot to foot beside the mammoth, his only outlet for his ever-increasing terror.
Manny, ever in control of a dangerous situation grasped the wooden spear tightly, wrapping his hairy trunk around it with a lethal grip and gave a sharp tug. The man whimpered as the spear was flung far out of his reach. With the sharp implement out of the way Manny could finally reach for the child clinging to his back.
But the sounds of the humans and their dogs were coming closer as they ran back to help their friend, and Sid began to panic as the group raced ever closer and closer to where they were.
Finally grasping the baby he lifted him up and over to the man, whose fearful expression relaxed into one of sheer happiness as he cuddled his son closer to him, savouring holding his only offspring and last connection to his beloved wife.
Stopping the other humans from attacking, the group began to rejoice in the return of one of their lost ones, and Sid smiled up at Manny, happy to see the heart-warming reunion, lifting some of his grief over Nana's death. Knowing their task was at last accomplished the two turned to leave, hoping to pick up Diego on the way back South. There was a sudden whimper from the baby and they stopped, turning to look as the baby's father placed the child on the ground, watching in amazement as he toddled over to them. Sid picked him up carefully and hugged him.
"Don't forget about us, ok?" He smiled sadly and handed him over to the mammoth, who pressed him close to his face.
"We won't forget about you."
The baby gurgled and clasped his chubby arms around Manny's trunk before the mammoth handed him back over to his father. The man looked at the two of them and then picked up the necklace he had placed on the ground earlier, before gently placing it over one of Manny's tusks. Surprised and not a little touched, the mammoth's sensitive trunk tip softly caressed the wooden carvings, recognising the offering for what it was and smiled softly.
Finally going their separate ways they watched as the baby and his father walked away. Sid started calling after him, continuing to say goodbye as the baby peeped over his parents shoulder.
"Bye. Good-bye. Bye!"
Manny rolled his eyes as the sloth continued to wave. "Sid."
The mammoth sighed as the baby began playing peek-a-boo, which caused Sid to start up again. "That's right, where's the baby?"
The game reminded him of Diego and thoughts of the tiger made him remember Nana. Trying to push the thoughts out of his head he turned to the sloth, his voice rough and tired.
"Come on, Sid. Let's head south."
He didn't want to be reminded of what had happened at the moment, the memories too fresh and his grief too raw. Turning to begin walking off again, the mammoth stopped in bewilderment as he took in the sight before him.
Standing on the hill was Diego, carefully supporting a tired, visibly weak Nana, who was seriously limping but blessedly alive. Diego reached the top with Nana leaning against him and they both looked down at the baby, Diego repeating the game he'd taught the child. The tiger covered his eyes with one paw, then smiled and waved at the baby as the humans walked on.
Sid meanwhile, oblivious to the fact that Diego and Nana were up there continued to shout his goodbyes.
The tigers made their way down the hill silently and Diego took the chance to surprise Sid.
"Save your breath, Sid. You know humans can't talk." Sid's eyes widened impossibly and he leaped around, spotting the two tigers he raced towards them grinning.
"Nana! Diego! You're ok!" Nana smirked and then winced as the sloth hugged her sore neck.
"Nice to see you too Sid."
Diego laughed and nuzzled her affectionately. It was Sid's turn to smirk and he began to dance around singing a rather embarrassing and irritating song involving Nana and Diego being up a tree kissing. He barely missed Diego's paw coming to swipe his head.
"We might have nine lives, Sid," said Nana teasingly, "but I doubt sloths do."
Manny smiled and shook his head and offered more sober greetings.
"I'm glad you're okay." The female sabre smiled softly.
"Yeah. Me too."
"Yay! You're ok, you're ok!" Sid continued to enthuse and ended up launching himself at Diego.
Diego gave a yelp as Sid smacked him hard on the back and wrapped his arms around his neck, trying to kiss him on the head. Nana smothered the urge to laugh.
"I could kiss you!" Sid's face soon screwed up in disgust though as he tried to spit out cat hair.
Diego rolled his eyes and smiled at Manny who was trying to ignore Sid clawing at his tongue trying to get rid of the taste.
"Uh, welcome back, partner." Manny turned to Nana. "Wanna lift?" He offered.
Nana debated and then nodded, her joints aching and her injuries still hurting massively. Diego had had to force her hips back into their sockets and that had been excrutiatingly painful. Her blood had eventually clotted but the thought of having to walk south was not an appealing one and she acquiesced. Sid clambered on too and they began walking south to begin the migration.
"Mush!" Commanded Sid and Manny glared up at him. The sloth meekly backed down.
"Or not mush. Either way."
The mammoth rolled his eyes and shook his head, beginning to move again as Diego followed, smiling slightly as Sid started chattering away again.
"This is gonna be the best migration ever. I'm gonna show you all my favourite watering holes…" Diego couldn't hear everything the sloth said, but by Manny's reaction it wasn't anything terribly appealing or interesting.
"Sounds very attractive." Sid chose to ignore the comment and continued babbling.
"You know, this whole Ice Age thing is getting old. Know what I could really go for? Global warming!"
"Right," Manny mumbled sarcastically.
Nana sighed and settled into a more comfortable position on Manny's back, suddenly wishing for an acute attack of deafness. Sadly this didn't look like it would be happening anytime soon.
"Keep dreaming," came Diego's response, but Sid carried on chattering regardless. It appeared it was going to be a very long trek south.
Manny smirked as Diego paced outside the cave, his face screwed up in worry and his paws wearing a track into the ground.
"Diego stop pacing, you're making me dizzy," he said gently. Diego stopped after a moment and registering what his friend had said flopped down to the ground.
"This is driving me crazy," moaned the sabretooth.
"You survived Sid, I'm sure you can survive impending fatherhood," said Manny drolly.
"Hey!" Said Sid defensively. The sloth scratched his head and then wondered out loud. "I wonder if any of 'em will look like me?"
Diego growled as Manny laughed.
"Poor things," said Manny. "Imagine, growing up with a face like that."
The sloth stuck his tongue out. "I happen to have a very handsome face," he said petulantly and slicked back his fur.
Manny sighed and rolled his eyes. "And who told you that? Your reflection?"
The argument was about to begin in earnest, when an aging tiger came and poked her head out of the cave and smiled at Diego.
"Congratulations," she said. "Why don't you come and have a look inside at the little ones?"
Diego leapt gracefully to his feet and rushed inside the cave, followed by Sid and Manny, managing to squeeze his bulk into the space.
Nana lay sleeping on her side; five tiny bundles of fur snuffling around blindly as they nestled next to her. Diego smiled warmly at his exhausted mate and sat down next to her, nudging one of the more adventurous youngsters back towards it's mother.
Sid picked one up and held the newborn next to him.
"Whaddya think, huh? I think he looks like me."
Diego rolled his eyes."My children are much better looking."
Sid put the cub back and grinned. "Oh, they're all so adorable," he cooed. "Yes, you are!" Manny sighed as Sid devolved into baby speak. "You're going to have so much fun with Uncle Sid!"
Nana cracked an eye open and stifled a yawn. She smiled at the group clustered around her and then frowned at Sid.
"I'm not sure it's a good idea letting you lot anywhere near my cubs," she said. "A human child's one thing - this is another. And look how much trouble you got into with that."
Sid shook his head. "No, we'll have great fun, I was great with my cousin's kids. Once I took them to the mud swamps and then we… got lost...er…oh no...how about the time I took them to the …no, not that either…er…"
Diego shook his head. "Why is it I suddenly feel that I should be really worried?"
"It's Sid." Manny shrugged. "What else do you expect?"
Well that's it folks. Hope you've enjoyed reading my story, if you did why don't you drop me a line? Or why not read some of my other stories?
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