A\N: This takes place around the time when the Animorphs were recruiting the disabled kids. And yes, another Marco fic. Alternating point of views between Marco and Peter. Well back and forth. BTW, does anybody know what Marco's last name is?

Disclaimers: I own nothing. Belongs to K.A. Applegate


Thoughts
By: Molly
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Part 1: Marco

I slipped away from the group easily. They wouldn't notice a thing. They were too busy arguing with Naomi. They hardly ever do notice when I separate myself from them. Just wander off on my own.

I went to my usual spot, a large rock deep in the woods. It was quiet there, a big change from the usual bickering back at camp. I sighed and slumped down on the rock.

I didn't really want to recruit all the disabled kids. It made me feel sick inside just thinking about it. They shouldn't be burdened with this. We were the bozos who cut through the construction sight so long ago. Sometimes I wonder what I'd do if I could start over again, and take the long way home. I try not to dwell on it too much. It's like imagining what life would be like if you had a different father. It seems almost wrong to think about it.

Besides, what about when the disabled kids had to demorph during a battle. And what about remorphing? I'm a pretty healthy kid and I still get pretty tired going from one morph to another. What about the kids with illnesses?

When I was in kindergarten there was this boy, Jeffie, who was in a wheelchair. An aide would wheel him around the room wherever he wanted to go. At first, I was a little scared of him. He had learning problems and couldn't speak very well. Once he tried to talk to me and I couldn't understand him. I got so scared I burst into tears and didn't stop crying until Mom and Dad came to pick me up.

I remember a week later, running into the living room while my parents were watching TV and asking them what was wrong with Jeffie. They exchanged glances. The kind that says that I just asked a question they didn't know how to answer. So Dad pulled me into his lap and he and Mom told me all about Jeffie's "special needs." Still nothing made sense to me, at least at the time.

After awhile though, Jeffie and I became sorta friends. He didn't talk much, but he loved to listen and he'd laugh at all my jokes, even if he didn't understand them. He never made me cry again, except when he moved away.

I sighed and started picking apart of leaf. I remember when my life was different. When everything was perfect. Mom. Dad. I even had a dog once. I named him Hobbes. He died when I was ten. I remember being heartbroken.

I shook my head trying to force out all images of me running around my backyard with Hobbes chasing after me.

But it was better than the one thought that spent it's time running through my head.

I would never recruit Jeffie as the newest Animorph.


Part 2: Peter

Marco thinks no one knows when he sneaks off like he does. Well, mostly nobody knows. Eva and myself are the only people who even see him walk away. We had both agreed that it was probably best to let him have some alone time.

It seemed so strange to think back when Marco was just a little kid, just a baby. Then, he'd depended on me to change his diaper, to feed him, to love him. Each cry meant something different back then. One would mean he was hungry. The other tired. Cranky. And he depended on Eva and me to get him everything.

Then gradually as he got older, things started changing. He didn't need us for everything, but he still needed us for a lot of things. When he had nightmares I remember him crawling into bed beside me and placing my arm around him. And he'd sigh, content. Like the only thing he needed to be safe was my protection.

When Eva "disappeared" he had a lot of growing up to do. He cooked and cleaned and did everything else I should've been doing while I grieved. I was so out of it I barely noticed the changes in Marco until they became crystal clear. The way his eyes had lost that playful twinkle in them. How he told all his jokes only half-heartedly. I figured that maybe he was still grieving about his mom. It was understandable. Then he became distant. He always had this look on his face like suddenly the sky was going to swallow him up. He'd come home a few hours after curfew, me scared out of my mind that something had happened to him. Frantically calling the police. Wanting to go out in my car and look for him but hesitating, worrying that he might come home to an empty house and get scared. I'd cry and pace and worry, until I was sure I'd get a call asking me to identify my child's body.

If one of those times, Marco had never come home, I'd have never been able to handle it. I'd have killed myself. The only reason to even hang on after Eva was gone was Marco. My only son.

Then he'd come home, sometimes at one or two in the morning. I'd run to him and give him a giant bear hug, and scold him. And his tired eyes would plead with me not to push for details. I never even noticed when all he was wearing were too-short bike shorts and tight t-shirt. I'd scoop him up some ice cream and then send him off to bed. I'd even tuck him in, and kiss his forehead, and tell him how much he meant to me.

I had to common concerns any normal parent would have. That Marco was doing drugs, or drinking booze, or hanging with a bad crowd. I dismissed all those notions after awhile, thinking maybe I really was just imagining things. How wrong I was.

"Peter? Peter?"

"Huh?" I snapped back into reality. Eva looked up at me, worried. "What is it honey?" I asked, smiling gently, wrapping my arms around her waist. The meeting had been broken up and we were all going our separate ways. Eva and I planned on going back to the cabin and taking a nap or something to that extent.

"I was just asking when you wanted to eat. You're too skinny. I can see your bones hanging out." She poked me playfully in the stomach and I kissed her. God, her skin felt so good to me. Sure, during war meetings she was all strategy, but outside she was still the flirty teenage girl I'd first been attracted to.

"Uh, actually, I was going to go see how Marco's doing." I fidgeted.

"Oh, Peter. Let him be alone for awhile. He's got a lot on his mind." Eva kissed me softly.

"Yeah, I know. But I really need to talk to him." I scratched the back of my neck nervously and forced a smile.

"Well......okay. But if he wants to be alone you leave him alone, okay?" I almost chuckled. Eva could be so protective of Marco.

I nodded and started to jog in the direction Marco had taken previously.

"Peter?"

"Yes, Eva?" I turned around to look at her.

"I love you."

A genuine smile spread across my face.

"I love you, too."


Part 3: Marco

No, I'd never let Jeffie be an Animorph. I'd never drag him into the war. He'd never deserve it. So why should I allow myself to bring in these other kids who were just like Jeffie? Why?

It almost seemed pointless to me. They outnumbered us. No matter how many people we recruited, the Yeerks would always have more. Always. Why was I fighting? I might as well just write this whole war off as a lost cause. Only one good thing ever came from all this. Mom.

Maybe she was the reason why I was doing this in the first place. In the beginning, I was going to quit. Forget I ever met Elfangor. I had good reason to. If anything ever happened to me, Dad would've gone over the edge. He was already teeter tottering on the edge after Mom "died." My only reason for fighting was to get Mom back. To become a family again. Of course it was a foolish thought. If I had rescued her before we went into hiding, things would have become a huge mess. I didn't see that then though. All I saw was my mom. Alive. And infested by a Yeerk.

In the beginning, I'd been a naive little kid, who still believed that just like in the movies, the good guys always came out on top. That was three years ago, but it seems like an eternity. It's not easy for a sixteen year old punk kid to help make the decisions that effect the future of this entire world.

No, it's not easy.


Part 4: Peter

I approached Marco slowly. He was facing the opposite direction, frowning. He looked like a kid with the weight of the world weighing down on his shoulders. He looked like 100-year old kid, tired and beat. He looked like a kid that needed someone to tell him what to do. If it weren't for Jake, I'd think that Marco's the one that's changed the most.

"Hey Marco," I said softly, shoving my hands into the pockets of my worn out jeans.

Marco turned his head slightly and threw me another one of his hollow grins.

"Hey, Pops," he greeted me.

"Whatcha doin?" I asked, with nothing better to say.

"Not much," was his reply.

"How come I don't believe that?"

Marco shrugged. He looked so young and scared. He didn't deserve to have to save the word.

"I'm proud of you, Marco," I said softly.

"You wouldn't be if you even had a clue what we're planning," he replied, hanging his head.

"I know all about it," I responded, licking my lips and sighing. "I know all about the disabled kids. I overheard you guys discussing it."

"Yeah. And what do you think of it all?" Marco looked so ashamed of himself right then, I wanted to cry. "C'mon, Dad. Do you think we have the right to force these kids who already have so many problems into saving the world with us?"

"Do you know what I think, Marco?" I asked. He shook his head. "I think I could never do what you do. You have the touch decisions to make. You want what's best for the world, but you don't know what that is. I-I could never be that brave or strong, or smart."

Marco snickered. "Dad, you're ten times smarter than all of us Animorphs put together."

I shook my head. "Sure, when it comes to science, math, long equations. You guys have to make the split-second choices that effect the future of earth. I couldn't do what you, and Jake, and Cassie, and all you guys do. To judge your decisions would be foolish.


"I don't want to play God anymore." Marco looked up at me with sad eyes. "All this has become too much. The killing, everything." He sighed. "God, I sound like Cassie." He chuckled dryly. "Never thought that would ever happen."

I was silent. What could I say to my son to make him feel better? He had seemed so calm, so happy when we got his mom back. Like all was right with the world. Yeerks? What Yeerks? But I guess I was blind and stupid to guess that everything could go back to normal.

"I never wanted this," Marco whispered, shame in his eyes.

"But you did do it. And you saved a lot of people."

"And I killed a lot of people too. Everybody thinks Cassie's the only one effected by this."

"I guess she's not."

"Good guess," Marco said bitterly. "I was even going to quit the Animorphs in the beginning. I knew going in that I'd probably end up dying. I couldn't put you through that. Then I found out about Mom......" he trailed off, looking at the sky wistfully.

I sat down next to him on the rock and put my arm around his shoulders. This was tough on him. Our family was never good with emotions or feelings. I guess it's partly my fault. Eva, she was the one who read all those magazine articles on how families should talk to each other, and tell everyone how they're feeling. We used to get into big fights because I cracked stupid jokes when she wanted to have a serious discussion. Serious was never my strong point. I'm more like Marco then he'll ever know. At least, like how he was. I was the one that taught him all his impressions. Ever heard his Terminator impression? Learned it from me.

I took a deep breath. Jokes weren't what was needed right now. He needed a father.

"Marco?"

"Yeah?"

"No matter what you do, I will not think any less of you. You have to do what you have to do. At first, I was a little angry that you'd agree to it. But, this is a war, Marco. Nothing's fair. There are no morals in a war. A starving vegetarian would eat meat to survive." I wondered if I made any sense to him. I know I had no clue what the heck I was talking about.

"I guess you're right," Marco mumbled. "But I can't help feeling bad about all this."

"I don't blame you." I pulled him tighter to me in an awkward half-hug.

"After this war is over....." Marco began, but let the words just hang.

"Things'll be different," I finished for him. "Now, c'mon, Marco. Your mom's probably worried sick about us. And I think it's around dinner time."

"Yipee," Marco said, sarcastically. "What is it tonight? Dry block of meat, or everyone's favorite dry macaroni and cheese with no cheese or macaroni?"

"I think I could whip up some pasta," I teased, smiling. He thinks I don't know how much he hates my cooking.

"Oh, God help us." Marco looked towards the sky. "And I thought the war would kill me." He smiled. "I think I could go for a dry block of meat right now."

"I thought so." I smiled and we both stood up, and walked back to the cabin.


Part 5: Marco


Later, getting ready for bed, I wondered if it had really been me, telling Dad everything. It was probably our first meaningful conversation that wasn't about football or video games or girls. It didn't end with either of us in tears either. That's always a plus.


What surprised me was finally admitting to myself and to Dad, that I really do feel for those I kill. It used to be seeing from point A to point B, nothing getting in the way. Not fear, not morals, not anything. There was no time for second guessing. A moment's hesitation could've meant my life. Now there's something to scare the crap outta me, huh? But when I finally started to think about things, I began to wonder. Who's mom did I kill? Would her husband go into a downward spiral when it sank in that he would never see her again? Would her kids wonder why God took their mommy away?

It's official. There is no "Point A or Point B" anymore. It's impossible for me to ignore this anymore. All I could do was ask why.

Things were changing rapidly. Our war was going public. More people would know, and more people would die. I thought about everything my dad said. If it had been anyone else in our position would they have gotten as far as we had without dying? I didn't know. I didn't want to know. Maybe Fate, Destiny, the Ellimist, God, or Whoever, put us in the abandoned construction site that night for a reason. Maybe this was our duty. Maybe nobody else could've done it. I doubt it, but it's nice to think so.
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There I was, wearing my snazzy magicians costume, in the middle of all the children whose lives I was going to alter. I looked across all their faces and wondered how many would make it. I swallowed a lump in my throat. Why the hell had I agreed to this?

In the corner of the room, sat a boy in a wheelchair. My heart stopped. Literally stopped. The same black hair, messy and unkempt. The same twinkling blue eyes, set close together. Jeffie.

I shook my head. No, not Jeffie. It wasn't him. But it might as well have been.

I felt horrible about what I was doing. But, I promised myself, after the war, things would be different.


*FINIS*

I'm not sure if this is any good so please R&R ASAP. Thanks. :)