Xion the Author: Hey guys! It's been a while since I've written my first and second Ice Age fanfic (and have not updated my other fanfic) and I've just watched Ice Age 3 again (this time in High-Def) which made me want to make another fanfic! I want it to be a Diego fanfic because we all love him so very much. If your reading this right now, then you would notice that I have made a few adjustments to make it catch up with my current writing style. I've improved a lot, so I might as well edit it a bit :P

Diego: Don't worry. This ain't some weird sick'o slash fic that involves me going at it with some other character (Disappointed? Then stop reading NOW).

Sid: And yes, the sloth man will be mentioned. It will focus a lot on Diego, but the main cast will be here as well.



Chapter I. A Stray Dog

You'd probably imagine a winter wonderland, like for example the ice age, to be cold and freezing. But you'd be surprised as this tale brings you warmth that can melt even the most frigid of hearts.

"Come and catch us!" bellowed Crash as he ran across the snow in all fours. Running beside him was his twin possum brother Eddie. The two laughed merrily together as they ran, leaving tiny footprints on the snowy ground.

"Grrr! I'm gonna get you!" shouted Peaches as she chased after them. She was almost two years old now, and playing with her favorite uncles was her favorite thing to do. She trumpeted her trunk as she charged towards the twins and leaped up into the air. She landed right on the crunching snow with a soft THUD. A few of the twins' limbs and their tails were the only thing that escaped Peaches' body slam.

"Caan't…. breeeathe…." muffled the two possums as they were trapped under Peaches. The young mammoth, who's tusks hasn't even reach a full foot, stayed giggling on top of them.

A large bull came into view, reveling in his daughter's happiness and his step-brothers' agony. "Come on, Peaches. Get off of them," said Manny as he soon took pity of the two suffocating beneath her. Peaches obeyed quite easily and stood up. Crash and Eddie immediately gasped for air as soon as they could.

"Be careful, honey," said Ellie as she walked towards them behind Manny. "Remember, they are your uncles. We're a herd so you should be careful not to hurt them."

"Okay mommy," Peaches beamed, agreeing to her mother's instruction. Her plain innocence charmed everyone into letting it slide.

"Awwww. Peaches is growing up so fast!" cooed Sid as he rubbed Peaches' head. "Before you were only this small" he said as he lowered his arm down to half of Peaches original size.

"And getting heavier too," moaned Eddie as he limped up from the snow.

"Wow… what a mess we made." said Crash as he looked around the playground carefully built for Peaches. Their and her footprints were all over the place. There were even broken tree branches scattered around from Peaches attempts to imitate how her uncles were hanging down with their tails. "I can't believe we did all of this mess by ourselves" he said as his twin brother helped him up.

"And guess what?" grinned Manny, "You'll be cleaning this mess up all by yourselves too."

While the rest of the herd was bustling around in their quaint little village, Diego was off in the wilds prowling for some easy kills. Lunch was in order, and he was dying to try eating different kinds of meat he could put his claws on. Anything other than sloth, possum, or mammoth; and he has even promised the herd not to even think about it.

A little white rabbit was pouncing along the ground. "What an easy kill", Diego thought. It was a few meters away from its hole, which was enough distance for Diego if a chase was in order. It was also unsuspecting; it didn't seem to know anything about his presence. To save energy, he planned on making it a quick kill, nabbing it just by plunging his fangs right into it.

Just a few seconds left before a precise burst of effort which will lead to the rabbit's untimely death. Eyes focused; claws unsheathed; fangs bare; and legs stretched.

Diego was ready to nab in his lunch. But just before Diego could leap on his target, a rustling in the grass broke off his focus. The rabbit looked to right and noticed it as well and was about to run. Not wanting his prey to get away, Diego was about to chase it. However, he hesitated as he saw a little cub jump right out of the grass and immediately chased the rabbit. As the white furred cub sprinted after it, Diego followed in the shadows. He was frustrated for having a meal completely gone, but he was a bit curious about what just happened.

The white wolf cub chased after the rabbit as fast as he could. In a fair distance, the little wolf jumped up and tried to grab the rabbit. But the rabbit was saved right in the nick of time as it plunged deep right into its burrow. He landed his head in the hole, having his head caught inside.

He agonizingly tried to pull his head out. Deep inside of the burrow he could see the rabbit rolling on the ground and laughing at him. With its laughter ringing in his ears, he gave one heavy pull and he freed himself as he bounced backwards. He rushed to look back into the burrow, but he could no longer see the black rabbit.

The cub slammed his right paw on the ground and moaned. "Darn it!"

While he started walking away with his eyes fixed at the hole, he unknowingly bumped into a shady figure immediately frightening him. He shouted a brief cry as he reflexively walked backwards, trying to make out what he figure he was seeing. It had orange fur with a white underbelly, long protruding fangs that went further down his chin, and a short mane at the back of his head going down his neck.

"Ahem, that was supposed to be my lunch, you twit." said Diego as he looked down on the cub who was lying scared on the snow.

"O-oh, uh, y-you w-were trying to g-get him?" the wolf stuttered, "I-I'm sorry…"

Diego stared down at him for a while before letting out a deep sigh. He simply rolled his eyes and turned around. As he started strolling away, the wolf cub got up and followed him. Diego heard the little sounds the wolf's paws made. He stopped and turned around to see the cub right behind him. The saber-tooth felt a bit annoyed and started walking again, pacing faster this time. But again he heard the sounds the wolf's paws made. Diego stopped and turned around to see the white wolf smiling right behind him again.

"Why are you following me?" asked Diego.

"What's your name?" asked the white cub. Not the answer Diego expected, nor wanted.

"Beat it kid," said Diego. His planned lunch was just ruined, so he was in no mood to talk. He started walking again when the cub ran up a bit and walked alongside him.

"My name is Elias," he said with a cute smile across his face, ignoring Diego's attempt to push him away. "Eli for short!"

The saber-toothed tiger sighed. He thought that it might not be easy getting rid of little guy. "Diego" he moaned.

"That's a cool name!" Eli bellowed.

"Yeah, whatever kid, now get lost," Diego said as he frantically tried to get rid of him.

"Awww, but I just want to be your friend," pouted Eli. His eyes sparkled cutely as if begging.

Diego grew annoyed of the little guy, "Look, don't you have any other place you need to be?"

"No, none that I know of." said Elias. When Diego picked up his pace, lengthened his stride as well. Diego was now clearly irritated, and his temper was boiling.

"You sure your parents aren't looking for away?" Diego unhesitantly said to him, showing just how much he was annoyed at the moment.

"No… I don't think so…" said the little puppy.

"What does that supposed to mean?" asked Diego, still feeling a little hot-headed.

"They've died… just recently." said the puppy as he stopped right in his tracks. Diego stopped a moment right after. He was suddenly filled with chagrin and he glanced to his right to see the puppy looking down as if wanting to cry. Another thing Diego didn't like was crying children.

Though as cold-hearted as it was, he still took this opportunity to try and get away from him. He continued trudging the cold winter snow. This time he didn't hear any soft pitter-patter of paws near him. After walking a fair distance, Diego felt a bit guilty. He looked back however, to see that the cub he just met was gone and out of sight.

"Good riddance" thought Diego. However, he still felt a little guilty about just leaving him like that.

Dark clouds gathered across the sky. Shadows swept across the plains. Noticing the strange ambience, Diego hurried towards the herd as fast as he could as rain approached.

A terrible rain storm has struck. The herd took refuge in a nearby cave. Diego was currently away from the herd. He went out hunting, and he hasn't been back since. The herd started worrying about him from where there shelter.

But thankfully, Diego was safe in a small cave as well. It was more like a small crevice really, fitting him in just suitably. Though he was drenching wet, he found a good place to get away from the storm for a while. Loud thunder was roaring every now and then, rain falling down heavily. The saber-tooth tiger was cramped up in the little dry space he found, looking outside. Damp and alone, he tried thinking about worse things happening to other people so he wouldn't complain much.

He couldn't help but think about his previous encounter about the rambunctious little cub. Something about the cub reminded Diego about him, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it.

Suddenly, a bright flash of light beamed across nearby followed by a deafening roaring sound of thunder. This made Diego flinch. A few moments later, a loud rumbling sound along with the ground shaking a bit was heard nearby as well.

He heard a loud cry pierce through his ears. Diego found the voice a little familiar. It echoed across the sky like it was the only thing he could hear.

"Heeeeeeelp!" the voice shouted even louder. Diego finally remembered whose voice it was. It was Elias. Another cry for help was heard, and Diego got out of the small cave and right into the storm. He sprinted towards the voice as fast as possible. The heavy rain and muddy ground didn't slow him down.

"Somebody! Help me!" Eli cried out. He frantically tried to pull himself out of the mud and debris.

"Kid!" shouted Diego louder than the loud crashing of water from the storm. "Where are you!" He could hardly hear anything else, and the cold rain that fellt on his fur made him shiver down to the bone.

"I'm over here!" cried Eli. "H-help me!"

Diego followed his voice. He ran up a hill to see a giant landslide, and right in the edge of it he could see the little wolf cub drenched in water and mud. The cub barely got out of the landslide, with only half of his body covered with mud. Diego sprinted towards him and started shoveling through the mud with both of his paws.

Another loud rumbling was once again heard, even louder than the one before. The rest of the mountain where the landslide came from was about to fall down as well. Trees, rocks, boulders, branches and every piece of debris; an avalanche of snow followed along behind it. Diego dug even faster, throwing the mud and dirt away with immediate force. The moment the cub was out of the wreckage, Diego bit Eli's scruff and carried him out of there as fast as he could.

Diego raced against the falling landslide. All sorts of debris started flying and falling down. He sprinted with all his strength, exhausting every bit of adrenaline and stamina. He dodged away boulders and trees that were carried down along with it, and he got away right in time before the huge wave of rock fell down on the vicinity. The moment he was out of there, his body felt limp and tired, and he was all but relieved to be out of the trouble.

The water poured down towards them. Drops of mud and water trickled down their fur. Diego carried the little cub along as he treaded back. To the wolf pup it all felt like it was all a horrible nightmare.

Diego put down Elias inside the small cave he was before. Diego cramped in with him. Elias passed out not too long after Diego found him. Diego was squeezed in with the wolf cub he just saved in a cave, taking refuge from a storm.

After the storm ceased, Diego got out of the cave and stretched up a bit. He rested up a bit in the small cave he shared with Elias, which got his body a little limp. He inspected the little wolf cub, and found that he was still out cold. He also looked pale and sickish.

Diego thought that he had done enough for him. Leaving him was one of his options. But after that incident, Elias didn't look like he was in any shape of being able to fend off for himself. In fact there a vulture was already soaring right above them in the sky. As cold as Diego could be, he could still feel pity and compassion.

"Come on, Diego" he said to himself. "If you're going to start something, you might as well finish it to the end". Though he didn't know just when it'll end, he bit Elias' scruff again and skillfully threw him over his back. He's decided to take Elias with him, and he started traveling while carrying him on his back. The road was wet and muddy, which makes the trip a bit difficult. And the small cub was heavier than he thought. Traveling through with just the snow was hard enough.

After few meters of traveling, Diego reached the herd camp to be welcomed by everyone.

"Diego!" shouted Sid as he started running towards the saber-toothed tiger. Diego fell down on his belly with his paws arched away from him. He was tired. He only rested for a few minutes, and traveling with a load on his back made the trip harder.

His eyes started going heavy. Fatigue from the entire day got the best of him. He could see the rest of the herd running towards him before his vision went from blurry to black.

Diego: Hmmmmm….

Xion the Author: What is it Diego?

Diego: Nothing. It's just that you used another wolf into the story like last time. What happened to Ryan?

Xion the Author: I'm sorry, but this is not going to be a sequel towards my first stories (Disappointed? So am I. So very much TT_TT) While writing this, I remembered the stories of my favorite authors who seemed to have now stopped writing them. Debit13's The Path to Leadership, Amethyst DragonRider's Ice Age 4: Buck Up, Chicka937's sequel to Forever and a whole lot more.

Elias: By the way, my name is pronounced ee-LY-uhss. A bit similar to DYAY-go. Diego is a Spanish name (so was Soto and possibly Oscar, dunno about Zeke and Lenny) so the author looked for a good Spanish name to go with the entire concept.

Xion the Author: I learned their names were Spanish from debit13 and DR+L.