Disclaimer: I don't own HTF and I somehow just managed to write a story with no OCs (I guess you could count Cro).
AN: Thanks to everyone who's reviewed and everyone who has followed my story this far. I could finish my story at the last chapter, but I had a few loose ends that need tying. So this will be the final chapter... Enjoy. If you have anymore problems with the plot I'm sure I can answer them if you ask. :-)
Chapter 10: Cro-Marmot
The sun shone down brightly from an unclouded sky as the doors of the hospital opened. Handy leaned against it, holding it open for Petunia to go past, he glowered, a day like this shouldn't be sunny, not today. Petunia just smiled and gripped his arm, pulling him away from the hospital and out into the world. Russell followed, picking a hook from his pocket and fastening it tightly to his arm. Finally came Flaky wobbling on her feet nervously, leaning heavily on the green squirrel next to her. Nutty stopped for a second, pulling a lolly off his fur and licking it happily, he turned to Flaky.
"You look tired," He held out the sweet, "Want some candy?" Flaky flinched away, almost falling away from the giggling squirrel. Nutty's arm shot out, dropping his sweets and grabbing Flaky by the wrist, pulling her back to her feet, "You should be careful, it's not safe on the ground." He giggled again, his eyes spinning as he tilted his head back and swallowed yet another handful of candy, "In fact, reality ain't safe."
Flaky pulled away from the green addict, trying to keep as far away from him without falling. She stopped infront of Toothy, the beaver had only just recovered from a death but was already standing on the steps, a clipboard in his hand wearing a lab coat.
"Nutty, Flaky, I wanted to see you before you left." Flaky tried to hide behind Nutty, who looked up, smiling dangerously manically, eyes still spinning.
Toothy bit his lip, "Okay Nutty. You were right, I don't know how you managed it, but..." He raised a box, "When we cremated you, your blood turned to caramel. I guess you really did eat that much sugar." He threw the box to the squirrel, who gasped happily, pulling some of the candy out and swallowing it.
"Hehehe, who wants my arm?" He laughed, Flaky and Toothy both backed away, "Suit yourself. Don't know what your missing." He mumbled through a mouthful of sugar, "Are you sure you don't want any candy?" He turned to Flaky, "It looks like you need some."
Toothy stepped forwards again, grimly looking down at his notes, "And Flaky. Your psychological profile came through." Flaky stepped back, horror etched on her features, tears beginning to well up in her eyes, searching for some kind of sympathy on the faces of the two creatures infront of her. Toothy frowned, "I'm afraid that my professional recommendation would have to be a spell in an asylum."
Flaky backed still further away, she looked close to collapse beneath Toothy's glare. "I can't... Oh god, I'm sorry... I just... Please." Her eyes were desperate, searching, terrified. Toothy just frowned, leaning forward he reached his hand out to Flaky, Nutty gripped her other hand and lifted Flaky easily to her feet. Toothy surveyed his notes and drew out a lighter.
"It's just a good thing I'm not much of a professional," He lit the notes, dropping them to the ground and turning away, "As far as the world knows Flaky, your just as sane as I am."
He smiled and walked away, leaving Flaky sighing with relief. Nutty helped her stand and smiled as well.
"See Flaky, your as sane as I am." She looked at him for a second, with his spinning eyes, sticky mouth and constant giggling, and she couldn't help laughing.
Giggles could hear the piano long before she reached the igloo, it rang across the snow dome and rose into the cold. She smiled and turned to Cuddles, Cro was back and they had decided to visit him. Just to check he was okay.
"I always liked this song."
Cuddles frowned, "It's not really a song, he isn't singing." She smiled at him and shook her head, "What?" She just smiled again, walking towards the igloo.
The music cut off as she entered and she looked forwards to see Cro, sitting at his piano, a smile playing across his face. The frozen caveman watched her and Cuddles enter without comment and waited for them to speak.
"How are you feeling Cro?" She listened, "Good."
Cuddles walked up to the caveman and smiled at him, "I- um- I wanted to say thanks for saving us and all... and..." He looked over at Giggles who nodded, "I guess I should apologise for getting so mad at you..." He paused, "What do you mean 'yes you should' you're supposed to apologise for lying to me." He turned away mumbling.
Giggles smiled, Cuddles was funny when he was mad, "I'm still not sure why you did that Cro. I mean, if you were going to blame anyone why not blame someone else?... What do mean you don't think we make a good couple... We're just friends... What are you my dad?" She turned away in mock annoyance.
Cuddles finally regained composure and turned back to Cro, "So, I was kind of wondering, what did happen?" He listened, "No that really doesn't help."
Giggles sighed, why did she always have to interrupt for her friends, she listened to Cro and began, "Petunia took Flippy to the museum because she thought it would help her cure him. It didn't work and he flipped out, killing everything."
"So why did he die?"
"He tried to attack Flaky, she curled up, and as you know those quills are sharp, Flippy probably impaled himself on one of them, his survival instinct took over and he pulled back, damaging himself even more and dying. Flaky panicked, was scared that she'd be arrested, and used the knives to disguise it as a murder."
Cuddles smiled, "So it really was an accident."
Giggles nodded, "Looks that way," She frowned, "But why did we need to ask Mime anything?... That's just stupid." She looked up at the confused Cuddles, "He says the Mime's funny."
Cuddles laughed, leaning on the wall he spotted a book lying on the piano, "What's that?"
Giggles looked up at Cro and when he showed no signs of answering she opened it, "Death at the Poles by Cro-Marmot (co. 15000BC)." She flicked the book open and began to read, she smiled at the description, losing herself in the book. The plot picked up quickly, carrying her along and enthralling her completely. She wasn't even interrupted by the soft smashing noise (Cuddles must have dropped something) that came an hour or so later. She read, absorbed by the mystery, shocked and appalled by the motives and secrets, finally she finished as one of the characters died to save the others from the murderer. This book reminded her of something.
Then it struck her, "Cro, somethings missing... How did Flaky get those knives, even Flippy's not that strong and they were behind reinforced glass." No answer, if Cro had said anything even she couldn't understand it, "She must have had someone helping her. Didn't she?" It was obvious, "She had an accomplice... Just like. In your book... Cro?"
She looked up and was silenced by what met her eyes. She saw the blood on every surface, on the wall and floor. A few meters away Cuddles' hat lay tattered and stained...
I wanted it to be like a book.
She saw the club, ancient and stained. The blackened wood as dangerous as it had been millennia ago.
Like a book.
Then she saw it. The smile that creased across the prehistoric, stony, dark face. The smile told her everything.
And she screamed.
Moral: It's always the person you least suspect.