Disclaimer: Only the words, not the characters.
Summary: What matters is she tried.
Notes: My second October entry for the PpG Monthly Drabble Contest on Livejournal. Prompt was R.E.M.'s "The Wrong Child." Story inspired by a comment left on Amazon (no joke). Un-beta'd.
Bunny knows there is something amiss the moment she comes into life.
She can't pinpoint what it is, not having lived before—literally. But when she blinks, it takes a second for the message from her brain to get to her eyes. Close. Open. When she has to move a muscle, it takes a little too long. Wave. Settle. Her brain wants her to move faster, catch up, keep up.
She's not completely dense. She understands language, understands "sister." It just takes awhile for the word to get to her brain. Even without a mirror she knows she doesn't look much like the three identical girls—her sisters—standing in front of her as her hulking form looms over them.
They're talking to her and she talks back, but the words that come out of her aren't quite right. No, that wasn't what she meant to say—at least, not like that, not a slurry of sounds and indistinct noise. She senses raised eyebrows, confusion, incomprehension.
She's trying really, really hard.
She wants to be with them, play with them, help. She wants them to like her—and they do, for awhile, but then she does something wrong and they change their mind. She can't quite wrap her head around it. Her brain keeps telling her to come on, run faster, catch up.
But she can't run that fast, only fast enough to try and get away. She might be slower, but she knows enough to realize that she's fighting a battle she's not going to win. She's always going to be like this. She's never going to be with them, really with them. She can't even help. She can't do anything.
She sits there, crying into hands that feel too big and with eyes that don't blink right. Then she hears them. Stops. Help?
She doesn't take the time to work through her emotions or insecurities or the other millions of little things that pop into her brain at that moment. They pale in comparison to the single thought that consumes her. She has to go help them.
She takes off and swoops in, barreling through the slew of people she'd assumed were good because she couldn't keep up with her brain. She may be bad at running fast and catching up and blinking like a normal person, but she can be good at helping them. She can be good at this, at least.
Victory feels so sweet. No, wait. She's a little slow. Maybe it's not quite victory. It's the knowledge that she did something good, something right. It's the knowledge that she helped them.
The feeling swells into her like pride, overwhelms her as she alights atop the mess of fallen enemies. It feels like there's light coming out of her. She feels like a hero.
One of those million little things pops into her brain again, doubting. What if she didn't get it right again? What if she did wrong? What if she did bad?
But Bunny has always been a little slow, and she doesn't stop long enough to consider this thought, even though she hears it. She is overwhelmed with happiness, with pride, with light. She feels all tingly. She can't wait to tell her sisters. And if there's anything Bunny can be sure of, it's the knowledge that at least she tried.
She tried really, really hard.