Every insane hero needs a weird past. Buck is no different – in that respect, anyways. Ahab complexes, humans, and introducing the mysterious Knot…
Don't own it. Doubt Buck would be any good to snuggle with anyways, he's too pointy.
Ch. 1: You Wouldn't Have Come
"Rudy, old chump, you don't really mean that, do you?" he asked incredulously.
The white beast glowered. Buck's eyebrow fell from its hopeful arch into an annoyed squint. Knife in paw, he slid down the side of a boulder to land in the sand of the valley, at the base of his nemesis's cave.
"Come on, then. Getting senile in your old age, old man? Remember this?" He flipped the tooth knife into the air and caught it deftly. "You're gonna want this one back soon, all your other teeth are coming loose!"
Rudy heaved an irritated sigh. The weasel's face settled into desperation.
"Rudy, come on." He stared hopelessly at the giant dinosaur in front of him. It was eerie, it was, to be standing there having to egg on his enemy. Rudy should be trying to stomp him into the dust and smash his brains against the canyon wall. Instead he was sprawled stiffly in the shade of his cave, attempting to catch a snooze. Or resting his joints. He'd been getting enough exercise chasing the weasel across the jungle, that was for sure, but Buck feared he'd overdone it this time. He took a few tentative steps closer, watching the dinosaur's eyes, which were focused on the stretching distance of the valley.
"You're absolutely no fun these days, you know that? You have gotten to be such an-"
He'd known the tail was coming, but he figured he'd give Rudy a sporting chance. The white, muscular appendage whipped out of the cave and clouted him in the side, effectively knocking the wind out of him. He sprung up from the dust, trying to draw air, an almost-smile gleaming on his fangs…
The tail slid back into the cave and the beast made no further move.
Buck stood, knife dangling loosely in his paw. He blinked, a bit confused.
Rudy was getting old. Having the mother dinosaur push him off the cliff had done him a hard one, and he'd never quite sprung back from the fall. Buck understood what it meant to age, understood that all things had their time. Rudy was, if a bit of a legend, still mortal.
Buck did not, however, understand why this was making him so nervous.
Rudy's rheumy eyes. His slower movements. Longer time spent sleeping. Skin clinging tighter to sharply-protruding bones. And his increasing apathy for the revenge he'd always wanted to exact upon the weasel who'd stolen his tooth.
"You just don't care anymore, do you?" Buck asked quietly. The beast's eyes focused briefly on the weasel and Buck was struck by their almost flawless indifference. "Alright, snowflake, you may not be up to facing me now, but you'll be feeling right as rain after a little shut-eye." He gave Rudy his best arrogant smirk before turning and strutting back into the jungle.
A touch of panic set his fur on end as the shadows closed around him, and he instinctually dropped to the ground, gripping his knife. He shook his head, knowing his fear was not being fed by some external entity. But he could not bring himself to his feet again. The knife was warm in his paw, but his paw felt cold, and he held the knife closer.
Rudy is dying –
"No! No, no, no. Rudy is drying, remember, he fell all the way down into that gorge last month, he's just drying out. He got very wet, you see." His reassurances sent his mind boomeranging back to the day his friends had left, gone back up to the world above, and he'd bounded back down to find Rudy, who was truly infuriated, and they'd had a great old time, broken a few bones – then Rudy'd stopped suddenly, stopped chasing Buck, and had simply crawled into his cave. He'd spent a lot of time there lately.
He's dying –
"Drying," he corrected himself, and tried to straighten up. He got halfway there, and was surprised to find himself slinking weasel-like through the jungle, something he always tried his hardest not to do. He may be a weasel, but that didn't mean he had to act like one. Now look at you, cowering along like you don't own the place. Buck up!
His spine would not straighten.
He let out a cry of frustration and started sprinting, pushing past the ferns and palms, until a thick tree trunk loomed suddenly in front of him. He sprung at it and caught the bark with three paws full of claws and a knife, and climbed as if a fire burned below him. His discontentedness sent him flying up the tree, and he found himself at the top in mere moments. He clung to the last branch that would support his weight, chest heaving, claws sunk into the wood.
Squinting against the wind, he surveyed his world. The lava fields were beginning to glow in the growing twilight; the icy, filtered light that came in through the cave ceiling was being replaced by a fiery illumination. The jungle below him would be reposing in complete darkness in a matter of minutes, and the canyon that contained Rudy's cave was caught in an awkward shade of dead-looking grey.
The wind caught the edge of his eye patch and snagged it off his head before he could move to catch it. He turned to watch it ripping away on the blustery currents, spinning madly on coils of air and quite suddenly dropping out of sight into the canopy of other leaves. When he turned back around the force of the wind stung his good eye and he felt tears starting to form. He swiveled on his perch, facing away, trying to protect his bad eye from further damage. Now the wind ruffled the back of his ears and he sighed, trying to enjoy the feeling. But his good eye was still leaking, the bugger. It was out of the wind, what else did it want?
And why in the world were his nerves so jangled?
Sometimes he got lonely. His solution was to marry pineapples and talk to skull puppets. Once in a while he felt a bit small and insignificant, but then he'd go take on some huge reptilian beast and feel better. Now and then he became aware of a strange, tugging darkness at the edge of his mind, but it never lasted for long. And that was happening less and less.
But it still happened, as the case would appear. He was troubled. And this time a somberness washed over him so poignantly that he couldn't even try to turn his mind away. What am I doing down here? he asked himself. Really, Buck had no idea. He never thought about it, because doing so made him nervous. And he was nervous. And now he didn't have the power to pull away from it.
This had never happened before. The tree wavered in the wind and he clung to it, and to his knife, his sole possession. He wanted to… he wanted… what? What?
"What, already?" he shouted angrily at the ceiling of his world. Damn that Rudy! Damn him, the lumbering monstrosity! It was his fault, of course. Rudy was behind this, Rudy was the one causing Buck this frustration, Rudy wanted him to be miserable. It's why he was white, wasn't that right, a big blank canvas, thought he could scare the Buckminster. He may have rendered Buck insane but Rudy had not won, he never would win –
Rudy is dying!
Thoughts careened around the inside of his skull but he refused to examine any of them, thus rendering his stream of consciousness desperately blank. Wasn't it always blank?
"You're insane," he chided himself.
"Completely, utterly mad. You're an absolute basket case."
"You need help, you know that, you should-"
"Oh, bug off."
"Don't interrupt me when I'm talking to me."
"You don't even know who you're talking about!"
I've gone insane.
His head couldn't take it so he leapt from the tree into a void, and fell freely for a moment, air rushing passed pinned ears, before reaching out to snag a branch, swinging via various vegetation to the ground. Buck started running. He wasn't sure where to but he suspected it was going to be someplace cold.
A/N: Hopefully this will be the only dive into the insanity of Buck's mind for a while. Please excuse the melodrama.