Hiya everyone! Okay enough chitchat. This oneshot came into my mind, but I was very hesitant to write it at first, being that it's darker than usual. When I say dark, I mean very depressing. If you don't like that kind of stuff, then I'd go read a happy fanfic instead. Really though, I hope some of you are curious and read this one anyway. Thanks to those of you who do. Okay, enjoy, and don't kill me when you're done. Oh yeah, and most of this story is from Scratchansniff's point of view. When I say most, I mean all. I did the best I could on his accent.
Behind The Walls
It was definitely April, being that there was a downpour taking place outside Dr. Scratchansniff's office. He sighed as he organized some papers on his desk to occupy his time. There was really no need to do this, but when it was raining out on a night like this, time went rather slow, and Scratchansniff would always try to find something to do to fill up that empty time. Sometimes he'd talk to Hello Nurse to take up time. They would usually talk about patients for awhile. If their patients were improving. If they weren't. Why they weren't. What they could do to help them improve. They would usually talk about the Warners and their annoyingly abnormal behavior. He found that they didn't talk about that for long though, because even thinking about that made him irritated, which wasn't good. Being a psychiatrist, he wasn't supposed to get irritated. Well, that showed how good he was at his job. Hello Nurse had went home early unfortunately because of the storm taking place outside right now. That left him alone with only the ticking of the clock and the sound of the heavy rain to keep him company.
He sat down on his therapy couch and put his chin in his hand. You'd think a psychiatrist could never get bored, but he just proved that thought wrong. His head jolted up at a sudden knocking on his door. It was a hard, fast knocking, as if whoever was doing it was either hyped up on coffee or having a panic attack. Since he worked with people that had mental disorders, this strange knocking really didn't faze him much. He was still curious though. He calmly stood up and quickly walked to the door. As he opened it, he let out an irritated grunt as he saw who it was standing in the rain. The water was practically bouncing off her little yellow flower, and she was soaked from her ears all the way down to her toes.
"Dot, I do not vant to be bothered right...now?" he stopped as he got a good look at her.
Was this the right Dot? Of course it was. No one else looked like her. But, something was... off... She wasn't smirking or smiling at him. She hadn't jumped into his arms to give him a sloppy kiss. She hadn't greeted him with a happy "Hiya Scratchy!" like she usually did. And, the most evident problem of all, she wasn't with her brothers. Who was this person and what had she done with Dot? Now that he was taking the time to look at her, he noticed she was trembling and taking short breaths. When he put everything together, he finally realized that she was crying.
She suddenly through herself at him, clinging to him as if her life depended on it. Now completely in shock, Scratchansniff just stood there, gaping at her.
"H-he's c-crazy! Scratchy help! T-there's blood! Help!" That's all she was able to choke out before burying her head in his white jacket, soaking it with her tears and her already wet fur.
"Dot! You need to calm down! Vhat happened?"
She did't answer, but only continued to violently sob into his jacket. Without saying anything else, knowing it would do no good, he took her little gloved hand and led her inside out of the rain. If he didn't know any better, and he did, he'd say she was having a panic attack. He led her to the couch where she sunk down and put her head in her hands, still not calming.
"Dot, tell me vhat happened, ya?"
She took a few deep breaths and looked up at him with large frightened eyes.
"You need to come to the tower. W-we need help. Y-you can t-talk to him. Make him better, please Scratchy," she rasped through her breaths.
If Scratchansniff wasn't focused on the current situation, he would've been amused that Dot was still calling him "Scratchy" even in her current state. But right now, he was keeping his full attention on what was happening, not just because he was a psychiatrist, but because, in a way, he was the guardian of the Warners. He wasn't ashamed to say so either, no matter what kind of looks people gave him because of it.
"Alright Dot, it vill be okay. Ve vill just-"
"It won't be okay," she whispered.
He said nothing as he gazed into her glistening, hopeless eyes. Whatever had happened was bad. Really bad. And he had a feeling fixing whatever had happened wouldn't be an easy task. He took a deep breath, grabbed an umbrella, and started going towards the tower, Dot clinging to his free arm the whole way there. He looked down at the tremulous girl once more, and noticed how with each step she breathed heavier and shook harder. He knew it wasn't just from the icy rain. With every step, she became more afraid, because with every step, they got closer to the tower, the location of the problem.
What she had cried to him earlier was still racing through his mind at lightning speed, banging on his head like a mallet. "H-he's c-crazy!" She was most likely talking about one of her brothers, being that whatever was taking place was happening in the tower, the home of the Warners. All three of them were already crazy, so whatever happened must've been awful. "T-there's blood!" Those words had genuinely scared him. If there was blood, that meant someone was hurt. Hopefully it wasn't badly, but based on Dot's expression, he had serious doubts. In order for one of the Warners to get hurt, well... he couldn't say.
He just hoped one hadn't hurt the other.
Finally, they arrived at the tower. Scratchansniff folded the umbrella until it was small enough to fit in his pocket. He never thought having an umbrella like that would be useful. He let Dot lead the way, and she had reluctantly started up the ladder. If she fell, he would be there to try and catch her. Emphasis on "try." It was certainly a struggle climbing up. Each rung was drenched with cold rain, and extremely sleek and slippery. Scratchansniff gulped down his rising fear. Sure, toons knew how to protect themselves, but in order to do that they had to be deep in concentration and totally focused. It would be exceedingly hard to focus if he was falling off a hundred foot tower whilst screaming bloody murder. Yeah, he decided to be very cautious while climbing.
They made it to the top, and his legs felt like jelly as he stood on the metal edge of the tower. Dot was staring at the door, her eyes wide, her knees knocking together.
"I-I don't want to go in!"
"Dot, I can not fix se problem if ve do not go in."
"Scratchy... you don't know... Please, l-let me stay out here."
He didn't want to make her go in, but if this was a family problem, the whole family had to be there. But... on the other hand, if one of her brothers was mentally unstable enough to hurt the other, she should probably stay out here. On the other-other hand, it was down-pouring out here.
"Dot, I vill help you and your brothers. It vill be alright if you just go in. You vill be safe. I promise."
She stared at him with doubtful eyes.
"Okay..." She said, not sounding the least bit convinced. "But you go in first!"
He nodded to her and slowly pulled the door. The metal door creaked as it slowly swung open, revealing the dry inside of the water tower. The first thing he noticed was the roller coaster randomly sitting in the middle of the room. He would never understand the Warners, no matter how hard he tried.
He felt Dot cling to him once again, trembling violently.
"I-in the living room," she whispered. "That's where it happened."
Scratchansniff started walking towards the living room, which happened to be right behind the wall. It was a small tower, with no hallways, and walls dividing each room. It was small to toons, but for humans, it would defy the laws of physics. With each dreadful step, Dot seemed to slow down more, almost to the point where she was silently refusing to walk, and was resisting taking another step. She trudged onward, however, and Scratchensniff was proud of her bravery.
They made it to the living room. Scratchansniff glanced around. The place was a mess, and he didn't mean just toys. The small table in front of the couch was tipped over, and shattered glass was scattered on the carpet in front of it. He assumed it had been a vase, being that a withered flower lay amidst the glass.
It was as he looked at the glass that he saw the first thing wrong. This all happened in about a second, right when he had seen the glass. A small curved piece was sticking up from the carpet, a crimson red substance trickling down its sharp edge.
His eyes slowly moved up to the couch, where he heard a soft whimpering sound. A little figure sat curled up in a ball, his legs pulled to his chest, his shoulders shaking with his near silent whimpers. His large cap was nearly covering his eyes.
"Wakko?" Scratchansniff said gently, making his way over to the child. Dot followed more quickly now. In fact, she was running by this point, running to her brother with concern in her eyes.
Wakko's head jolted up at his name. He must not have heard them walk in. He was usually unfocused at times, but not that unfocused. He stared with wide shimmering eyes at Scratchensniff, as if he were trying to figure out who it was, even though the answer was obvious. Scratchansniff watched him worriedly, and was impressed when Wakko gave him a lopsided smile. It wasn't much, especially for Wakko who usually always had a goofy smile on his face, no matter what the situation, but at least it was something.
"Hi scratchy," he said quietly, his voice quavering slightly.
Scratchansniff could tell what Wakko was trying to do. He knew Wakko wanted to cry, (about what yet though, he didn't know) but here he was, holding back his tears, attempting to smile at him. Despite his attempts, Wakko couldn't hide his evident sadness. He didn't just looked sad. He looked exhausted as well, drained of all energy. He looked like he could fall over at any moment. But he wasn't going to. Wakko was trying to be strong for his sister. Scratchansniff found this very touching, yet very tragic at the same time. Where was Yakko?
Was Yakko the cause of all this?
Scratchansniff's thoughts were interrupted by Dot, who was now standing next to her brother, looking extremely concerned.
"You need to go to the hospital!" she cried.
This caught Scratchansniff off guard. Was Wakko hurt?
"It's not that bad," Wakko replied, fatigue obviously tugging at his consciousnesses. "It'll be fine."
"Why do all boys say that!" she screamed to herself. "You're hurt! We need to go!"
"Vhat happened?" Scratchensniff said, interrupting Dot's rant of worry.
Wakko's eyes darted away from him.
"N-nothing," he muttered, "I fell. That's all."
"He fell on the glass!" She said, pointing to the shattered mess on the ground.
"Let me see," Scratchansniff said immediately, quickly walking over to the couch.
It was then he could see where Wakko had fallen. His right sleeve was ripped and his upper arm was staining his shirt with crimson red.
"It's not that bad. I-it doesn't even really hurt," Wakko said, forcing an obviously fake smile.
He was still trying to smile, even though he was injured and apparently in a very serious situation. He was trying to smile. Scratchansniff was smarter than that though. He could see the tears gathering in the child's eyes, and his shoulders trembling. He could see trough his whole act. Wakko might be strong, but he was still just a little boy.
"Vhy es there glass all over the ground?"
Both Warners looked away at the moment, and Wakko was the first one to bring his head back up.
"Well, uh... Yakko got a little angry earlier and... threw the vase."
Dot jerked her head and stared at him as if he had three heads. She then clenched her fists and gritted her teeth, breathing heavier.
"A little angry? A little angry!" she said, disbelief and anger easing its way into her voice. "He WAS NOT a little angry!"
"Quiet Dot! He's in the other room!"
"I don't care! Let him hear me! There's a limit when it comes to insanity, and he crossed the line!"
"Dot, I don't think he can help it!"
"Well he can learn to help it!"
Scratchansniff watched the two continue to argue, Dot looking enraged and Wakko with a pleading look in his eyes.
"I don't even want to hear it anymore! I don't even care!"
"If he's gonna be like that, then I don't want to be his sister anymore!"
"He misses mom!" Wakko screamed out. Both hands went over his mouth at that moment, and his look of exhaustion mixed with regret.
Dot cocked her head, utter confusion covering her face, but before she could reply, Scratchansniff intervened.
"Wakko, tell me exactly vhat happened, ya?"
Wakko removed his hands from his mouth and sighed shakily. Tears, for the first time since Scratchansniff had arrived there, freely fell down his cheeks, dampening his white fur.
"Yakko just... snapped. Today is the anniversary, of her death. He really misses her... so do I."
Dot looked at him in disbelief. Scratchansniff could tell this was news to her. This really was a family tragedy.
"He-he got upset, when he got home," Wakko continued. "He got sad, then angry, and started screaming stuff."
Dot nodded, and Scratchensniff assumed that the horrid memory was replaying in her head.
"Wakko tried calming him down," Dot said, sending Wakko a sympathetic look. He sent one back. "It was after he threw the vase down. Wakko tried to calm him down, he tried talking to him. All I did was cower in the corner like a baby and did absolutely nothing to help."
"Let me finish Wakko. So Yakko pushed him, and he fell on the glass. After that, he ran into his room, and I came to get you. That's it," finished Dot.
She wrapped her arms around herself, as if she retreating into another world. Like if she went to that world, she would be alright, and nothing could hurt her. Too bad that world wasn't real.
Scratchansniff looked between the both of them. To see them so crestfallen, so hopeless, it was horrible. It was wrong and unnatural. It was out of place. They should be smiling and laughing and making fun of his baldness and jumping around and singing and... He would fix this. He was a P-psychiatrist after all, and it was his job to handle things like this. Of course, he knew this went much farther than just being a job. This was important.
"Why?" Wakko asked.
"I vill fix this. Just let me talk to him."
The two younger Warners looked at each other then back up at him.
"In our room," Dot whispered, as if she didn't want him to hear her.
"Be careful," Wakko muttered quietly in a pleading tone.
Scratchansniff gave them both a small nod and proceeded towards Yakko's room.
The door was shut, and Scratchansniff presumed it would be locked as well, but when he slowly twisted the nob, he found his theory to be wrong. He cracked it open a little, not wanting to alarm the mentally unstable Warner, and stuck his head in. Yakko was in there, as he suspected, but he was sitting on the far side of the bed on the bottom bunk, his back turned to him, his shoulders hunched.
"Yakko?" Scratchansniff said quietly, his tone soft to prevent any dangerous outbursts or another mental breakdown.
Yakko brought his head up a little, but didn't turn to face the doctor. It was then that Scratchansniff noticed papers scattered around the surface of the bed. He squinted his eyes to see them. They were all rather impressive drawings of anvils, each drawing covering the whole page. One thing stood out about these drawings. There was a giant, disapproving red X scribbled on each picture. What did anvils have to do with Yakko's mother? He would get that answer eventually, but not right away. He knew it would be better to ease his way into that. He would start off by talking to Yakko, but not about the main situation. He would ask him simple questions first.
"Yakko, may I come in?"
"Doesn't matter," he said, his voice breaking and raspy.
Scratchansniff stepped in, but stayed close to the door, just in case Yakko lashed out at him. It was possible. He wanted to help Yakko, but in order to help him, he couldn't be injured. That would make things difficult.
"So, something happened, ya?"
"Yes," he said simply, not pulling his eyes away from the wall.
"Vould you care to talk about it?"
Yakko turned his head a little, but Scratchansniff still couldn't see his face. He wanted to though. He longed to. He wanted to see Yakko's eyes and what emotions they held. Yakko's voice sounded very forlorn and empty, but what did his face show? Scratchansniff wouldn't ask him to turn around, but he hoped he would eventually.
"I... I hate when people are jerks," he said, and followed his statement with an unsettling chuckle. "It makes me angry..."
"Who are you talking about?"
Yakko shook his head suddenly, whimpered, and brought his hands to his eyes.
"I hurt Wakko, and he was just trying to help. He wasn't the one who..." he trailed off.
He stood up and finally turned to face him. His eyes showed a wide variety of emotion, ranging from furious to guilty to depressed. Scratchansniff pitied him.
"He wasn't the one who killed her," he said, loud at first, but ending it in a whisper.
Scratchansniff's eyes widened for a brief moment, but he suppressed that and contained himself, staying calm. If he got shocked or frightened, Yakko would react to these negative feelings in a negative way. It was best to stay calm and understanding. It was hard though. They were getting into very personal business now, and once you got in, there was no going back out until the problem was solved.
"How did she die?" he asked. It was taking a big step, but he had a feeling Yakko was ready to talk. He needed to let his emotions out... in a nonviolent way.
Yakko started to breath shakily, until he burst out into fresh sobs.
"It was a prank! It was a stupid prank!" he wailed, putting his head in his hands, his ears going through his fingers.
Yakko looked up at him, his eyes red-rimmed with still falling tears, his fur messy and matted, his ears drooping. He pointed a shaky finger at the pictures on the bed.
"W-when we were living in a town in Toonville, before we e-ever got here. We were living with our mom. O-our dad had died before I was born."
This was a massive amount of information Yakko was putting on him, and it was almost overwhelming. Then, Scratchansniff thought of how Yakko must be feeling right now. Sharing these awful memories, it couldn't be easy. It was like reliving the event that you never wanted to relive.
"I-it was a nice town," he continued, "and we were just out for a walk with our mom. I was eight, Wakko was six, Dot was... only three."
Scratchansniff listened intently, a picture beginning to come into his head of all three Warners at a very young age, bouncing around with their mother right behind them, laughing at their playfulness.
"We were just walking... and...and..." Yakko struggled to get out the words. "Some boys were on top of the building we were walking near." Yakko clenched his fists and they began to shake. Then, Yakko took a deep breath and unclenched them. Scratchensniff was proud of his control. "They were playing pranks, and apparently thought it would be humorous to drop an anvil on my head."
Yakko's eyes watered again, but he blinked them back and continued.
"My mom pushed me out of the way, but was so focused on me that she couldn't use toon powers to protect herself."
Yakko ran a gloved hand through his ears and let his head hang. Scratchansniff could tell that was very hard for Yakko to do. Yakko was devastated and wallowing in his own guilt and depression. Now it was Scratchy's turn to talk.
"Yakko, I know zis must be very hard for you." Yakko didn't answer. "But you need to listen to me. Lashing out at your siblings vill not help ease the pain, nor vill it bring her back."
"I know that! Nothing can bring her back!" he screamed, anger showing itself through his expression and his voice. Scratchansniff remained calm.
"Exactly, so vill dwelling on ze past really make you feel better?"
Yakko breathed heavily, but the anger in his eyes subsided.
"No. It makes me feel worse," he muttered to himself more than anybody.
"Right, Your siblings need you, but zey are scared of you, and for you right now."
Yakko gulped and nodded shakily.
"I feel horrible... for doing that to them. What kind of guardian does that make me?"
"You are a good guardian Yakko, but you just made a mistake today."
Yakko looked up at him, looking much younger than he really was.
"What should I do?" he asked.
"Let her go."
Yakko took a deep breath in, nodded, and reluctantly walked over to him. Without warning, he slowly wrapped his arms around the stunned doctor.
"Thank you," he whispered quietly, but Scratchy could hear him clearly.
"I am alvays here to help," he said, a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth..
With that, they separated, and Yakko stepped out of the room and walked into the living room where his siblings awaited the return of their guardian brother. Scratchansniff stayed in the room for a moment, looking at the walls, deep in thought. He thought the Warners had always been very happy children, without a care nor a problem in the world. He thought that the water tower was always filled with joy and craziness and absolutely no troubles at all. Based on their behavior outside the tower, he wouldn't ever think they had a dark past of any sort.
But behind the walls of the tower, three children were suffering just like everyone else. Three children were going through the pain of loss. Three children were sad, angry, confused.
Three children had emotions.
He'd never look at them the same way again.
Well? Don't throw tomatoes at me! Anyways, if you don't like it, that's fine. It was just an idea. Oh, and thanks to those of you supporting my Wakko's Fortune story, it means a lot. If you've never read it, go check it out. Other people seem to like it. If you do read it but haven't reviewed the most recent chapter, I'd go review it. Reviews are really encouraging and criticism is totally welcomed. Thanks to all the people who review that story, or even read it. Until next time, adios!