DISCLAIMER: The bits that are Marvel's belong to Marvel (or the bank, or whoever...) The bits that don't belong to me.
STORY: One-shot!! Please, don't all faint at once! It's something I wrote while I was supposed to be writing something else.
Set somewhere during the third series, but if I make it anymore specific I'll start to write other stories around it, which will defeat the whole point of making it a one-shot.
THANKS: Everyone who has read and enjoyed my stories, and who keep coming back for more, a huge and juicy thank you.
(Maybe they'll explode in the next one.)
A Day in the Life.
The suns were barely peeking over the nearby trees. It was the start of another wonderful day in the Realm. Who knows what delights awaited them this time; Orcs, perhaps, Dragons, or Cave Troll?
It was one of those days when absolutely NOTHING was going to happen. He'd only been awake for a few seconds, but already he could tell, it was going to be one of those days. An empty day. A day of constant waiting.
Was he beginning to prefer the days of mind-numbing terror? It was the slippery slope when he began longing for activity. But then, did he prefer the pain of seeing home disappear, again? That was not a good thought to begin the day on.
Eyes still closed, he wondered what day it was, back home. He'd tried to keep count, and for a few months it'd worked. But that was a long time ago.
Perhaps it was a Saturday. He mused on it for a moment. Yes...it felt like it was a Saturday. A day for a lie in. A day for having breakfast in bed. He gave a mental shrug. To Hell with it; it was a day for not bothering to get out of bed at all!
That would be all well and good, and if he had spent the night actually IN a bed, he wouldn't have bothered moving. But he'd spent the night on the ground, curled up under a brown blanket that smelt of wet dogs. He didn't want to stay a moment longer than he had to, and if that meant getting up early, then that meant getting up early.
He slowly opened his eyes, and pushed himself upright, giving the girl on watch a quick wave. She didn't seem to notice.
Definitely one of those days.
Lunch was fish. Again. But at least they didn't taste as bad as Jackalopes and they were more interesting than nuts and berries.
Everyone was sitting round the little campfire, chatting, but he hadn't joined in the conversation. The others were discussing their last adventure, and what they were gonna find in the next town. He didn't want to talk to them today. He didn't want to share the feelings inside. It was the one thing it this whole crappy place that was his. They were his thoughts, his fears, and he didn't want to discuss it with anyone.
And they all knew him well enough by now to recognise the mood. A few years ago, he would have been shocked that anyone could predict his actions so well, let alone six (counting the stupid unicorn). But now, it didn't matter.
He could sense the tension from the others. He knew what they were thinking. The difficulties and dangers of yesterday were already beginning to fade from memory. The details didn't matter anymore, it was just another task completed, another portal closed without them.
It was getting annoyingly monotonous. Get riddle, solve riddle, stay on Realm. It was always the same. Wouldn't it be nice to have: get riddle, solve riddle, go home. Wouldn't that make a wonderful change!
But that would never do, not here in the Realm, oh no! It was: Do this. Do that. Go here. Go there. See your home from afar, but instead of getting back, save the Realm from certain destruction.
He gave a noisy sigh, making his friends turn to stare. Their expressions were identical. He gave another, quieter sigh.
Definitely one of those days.
He was tired and his legs ached from the uphill walk, which was surprising considering how much walking he'd done over the previous three years.
After the obligatory nuts and berries for dinner, he'd curled up under a blanket from the Hat, pulling it right up over his head, hiding the alien stars from sight.
Eventually, he heard the others say their goodnights, but ignored the ones addressed to him, pretending to be asleep. He hadn't spoken all day.
It was one of THOSE days, after all.
Perhaps tomorrow would be different. Perhaps tomorrow evening they would be home.