So this is the new AND IMPROVED story of the old 5-Chapter story of "Circus Showdown" I really hope you guys like this better than the old one! And every time I finish the stories I will most likely just put it here without proofreading it. Bad idea, but I realize the best way I find mistakes in what I write is after I publish something. So sometimes you may not recognize some scenes, sentence structures or grammar, that it just me, proofreading and putting it back up here to be "readable"
EDIT: Rewrote the First Chapter to make it flow nicely and make sense ^^
Disclaimer: Madagascar DOES NOT belong to me. Madagascar and all of it's canon characters belongs to Dreamworks and I am not using this story to create a profit. Please support the official release.
Chapter I - Months Later
He threw the knife in such focus and accurate aim that it could only be implied in two ways: He was practicing, or he was bored. And if that was the case, then only one thing was certain:
Vitaly the Tiger was not so easily bored of his favorite hobby.
The blade landed in the middle red dot, again, which made him wish that he hadn't been so good at throwing knives. He could do this with his eyes closed! As he reached for another of his many daggers and javelins, nothing but hard wood met his paw. That only meant one thing- he had no more blades left. Looking back at the wall, he took note at how many of his swords, spears and sickles were all in one place, near, around and on that dot, threatening to take the whole wall down with so much as a single push. He chuckled lightly, stretching himself widely.
Muscles that were so tense for so long relaxed and he could hear some of his bones cracking at the sudden movement of his body. Counting the hours by the sun, he figured at least six had passed, and they had not even stopped to take a break. Really, those sharply dressed little birdies were pushing them at wits end. They were merciless birdies. Much like him but more military like.
He sighed after the much needed cat stretch and decided to spend the rest of his time, however little or long it was, looking out of his window. Well, not a window, per say, but the small slits on the door allowing the light to come in were sort of like windows, he couldn't see much but it was better than nothing at all.
Though it nearly blinded his eyes, he did not falter to stare at it any less. After some squinting and blinking out the spots, he found sanity in them. That and the train had been moving at quite a slow pace. He wondered how he had literally lived his whole life in these cars and still he had managed not to lose his mind yet. How did he even manage? Or did he long outgrow it? Sighing quite sullenly, he laid down, forepaws in front to make a comfortable pillow for his chin and set his head onto his self-made cushion.
Ever since the zoosters had joined them, well, ever since they've helped him regain his passion, he found something... missing from his life, as if it was only partly complete. Partly complete. He did not know what to make of it, really. While he had everything he needed, literally, like a wonderful home, honest friends, an exciting life, there was still that little something that wasn't present much. Actually, it was not present at all. So what was missing?
He closed his eyes slowly, thinking deeply. The train roared loudly, making them open widely and a low growl escaped his throat. Because of the horn, that stupidly loud horn, he could not find his sleep. His mind would trail off, finally being able to rest soundly, and then, as if on cue, that blasted horn would ring. He started to doze off more often when they were off the train, mainly during practice, and he would simply snore away blissfully in his car until the horn rang once more or someone reminded him to wake up and eat, or start practice, whichever.
The others thought he was sick but he was merely tired of staying awake for hours. He could not ignore the fact that he seemed rather smug at how the others worried for him. It was as if the whole Circus depended on him, which it no longer did, thank goodness for that, but it still made him smirk to himself.
Unlike another he knew long ago, they cared for him.
Now normally, his mind would not wonder to the past, but lately, he had been thinking a lot about it. Not that he had not before, but those old memories were still engraved into his head, and they would pop into his mind in the most randomness of ways. Old friends, old hearts, old enemies... what was not to love? A life full of drama, that was what most of his adult life was made up- like some cheesy soap opera. Now that he thought about it, his life was not so crazy if it was not for her.
His former wife and childhood friend. Ah, Naty. He smiled softly. She had quite the good humor, she resembled Stefano's character in a way: bubbly, sugary sweet, and very good-hearted. It was ironic that the main part of his shame and emotional turmoil was caused by her. And she herself knew it. Thinking about her- he felt, well, honestly, he felt betrayed. He had known her all of his life, she grew into a pretty tigress- as pretty as a Siberian tigress goes, and she filled his young life full of wonder and romance. Mostly romance. At one point in his life, he fell deeply in love with her, and when he proposed to her, she said yes. But like all sick secrets, he never knew that she only agreed to do so for fear of hurting him. She loved another.
It was even more ironic that, when the truth spilled, he ended up even more hurt than he possibly could have been. The train slowed even more, making him grunt in somewhat curiosity and somewhat relief, mostly relief. If they fully stopped that could only mean one thing for him- lunch and a good rest. He wanted to open those doors and breathe in the fresh air of wherever they were, to fluff his pillow and then sleep. He would sleep, and he will do it! He grinned widely as the train halted to a stop, only then did his doors hatch open, and the sight of different animals of his Circus coming out greet him, stretching their own sore limbs, could interact with each other as they wished.
It did not take long for him to spot a familiar lion with glossy hair alongside his friends, and holding a familiar spotted paw. He blinked and could not help but frown disapprovingly when Gia and Alex shared those, what those Americans called "intimate" moments whenever they looked into each other's eyes. In his homeland, "Love" was an emotion for children. Had he not taught Gia better? He caught himself in his own spiraling lie and could not help but blush lightly. He used to think that way.
"Vitaly-a!" someone called, breaking the link to his brain. The clumsy, brown sea lion happily ran over to him, tripping over his own flippers and bumping into other members, with a bucket full of apologies following the incident.
"'Ello Stefano, eet is good to finally stretch, no?" the Tiger asked. Stefano smiled.
"Oh yes-a! These old-a bones need-a stretching! Oooh! Look-a! There's Alice and Gia!" he smiled, clapping his fins excitedly. Vitaly's eyes focused on the brown Lion and the gold Jaguar walking beside each other once more, looking quite flushed and nervous as they realized that the red feline was looking at them. Stefano's voice was loud enough to reach Asia. Vitaly huffed and crossed his arms. Stefano ignored the rough treatment of the Circus' newest to-be couple, and merely sighed.
"Isn't it-a wonderful, 'Taly? Our little Gia is falling for Alice-a?" Vitaly merely frowned.
"He need to do a lot more than to prove he is vorthy of Gia" he replied blankly. Stefano gasped.
"But Vitaly-a! He's-a done-a so much! Oh! I need-a to share idea with-a Marty! I best be going-a!" the Sea Lion yelled and ran off to a familiar striped figure, walking on four hooves with a bucket of water carried in his muzzle . Vitaly merely chuckled, gave the feline couple one last disapproving look, before taking in the freshness of nature. The Alps were such a glorious place to stop and unwind, but to him, it was nothing but one of the most life changing places in Europe. Heck, the most life changing place in his life. He observed the whole scenery of animals stretching and having their lunches out, some even took out some equipment to prepared their Acts for the next show, wherever that will be.
With Gia busy flirting and practicing with Alex, he felt as if he became farther away from her. They never talked as they used to, or even share meals anymore. Now it was Alex and Gia who shared their meals, who talked alone in private, and laughed at inside jokes. The same was with Stefano; he spent most of his time with Marty, or trying to create new stunts in the air, along with being his optimistic self whenever something went wrong with the others. The Sea lion was always there to make someone smile, to inspire and cheer everyone up. Though sometimes, like a few minutes ago, he did come to greet him and spend time with him before he waddled off again.
He had never felt so- alone. He thought now, that the whole Circus was coming together, he could finally be at peace but there was that something missing. He felt so isolated from the rest but why? He had never felt closer to them before, so why was he being so moody and why did he feel such emptiness? He remembered the old times as a cub, where the other animals would cheer him on, greet him with an adoring smile every day, patting his back whenever he succeeded, earning a smile from the prettiest tigress in the world.
Vitaly shook his head quickly. No. Natalia chose to run away with a stupid musician over him, he should not be missing that traitor. He fumed slightly. However horrible the situation was when she left, and however miserable she had made him feel, he missed the attention she gave him, the love, the petting, everything about her was magical. He could not believe she was gone... and knowing that fact that she never truly loved him…
"Yo buddy, you okay?" a voice asked. Vitaly's fur puffed suddenly, the shock of someone surprising him running quickly through his body, and he turned to see Alex waving his paw in front of him in a friendly manner. "Sorry. I Just saw you all grumpy and I thought, well, y'know, you wanted to talk" Vitaly knew Alex still had some fear of him left over, and after all these months, it was practically nonsense now. Either that, or Gia had spotted him in his days and talked Alex into talking to him. Or both, it had happened more than once. Vitaly merely shook his head.
"No, I vas just... thinking" he told the lion. Alex nodded, looking particularly relieved.
"Oh. So... Nothing to talk about?"
"Nyet" he responded firmly. Alex smiled instead.
"Well, if you ever need anything, you know where to find me!" and with that note he left off to Gia's side once more, who looked partly curious at the two, and more worried than anything. Vitaly tried hard not to growl. A loud and obnoxious horn sounded, interrupting his train of thought. Ha. Train. He turned his head to see who had made such a sound, and, as expected, it was the flightless birds. "The Penguins", the Zoo gang had called them.
"Alright, ya gooey circus animals. I've got good news and bad news- who wants to hear the bad news?" Skipper asked through a large megaphone titled "#1". When no one responded he scoffed in apparent annoyance, all the while rolling his eyes, "Wusses. Alright the good news is we've been officially invited to participate in the World known American/European Battle of the Circuses, appropriately called 'Circus Showdown!' which will be held this time next week"
The lot of animals stared at the owner, Skipper, speechless and open mouthed. He raised an non-existent eyebrow. "Well? Aren't you gonna cheer?" It was then when the animals had broken into a symphony of high-pitched squeals, cheers and roars. The Penguins joined the cheering, giving high fives to each other, ending with Skipper slapping the smallest of their gang, Private, to which the smaller penguin replied by having his eyes crazily rolled.
The cheering became so intense even Vitaly could not help but cheer on his Circus mates. America. America. They were going there once again to participate in this "Circus Showdown!"! That meant the whole world to everyone in the Circus, even Vitaly, and they knew they had to do everything to impress the humans and fellow Circus Animals.
It was like a dream come true. Not only was their Circus career launched with a booming comeback, but they were only one contest away from being the best Circus in the world! There was no telling how awesome this experience would be. With a mighty call from the megaphone, Skipper added, "The bad news is we've only got a few hours so we can make it to London and depart on our special boat and if ya want to go to America, we've got to leave at exactly-" Skipper looked back at one of his comrades, Kowalski, and the taller Penguin coughed and pointed urgently to one part of his notepad. Skipper turned back his head. "RIGHT NOW!"
And then all heck broke lose as quickly as the announcement came. Animals swarmed everywhere, left and right, to pick up the equipment they laid out that was going to be used for practice. Vitaly grunted, hated being rushed, and ran towards his comrades to help out. He was sure glad he didn't bring his hoops out. Other animals ran around with their equipment, throwing them inside their crates and helping out the others that brought out too much and needed help. Soon everyone, and everything, was onboard and the train roared back to life once more and started moving, slow at first, then faster and faster.
He examined himself in his mirror and flexed. What? Can't a tiger see what shape he was on? He had to look good, did he not?
Vitaly looked out the slits. He remembered America. The moon was the same as in Europe. It was the same anywhere, he guessed, but he couldn't help but wonder about how big of a world there was other than their small circus. He wondered if there were any more Circuses that were invited that were as good as theirs, or better. He wondered if any tigers had his uncanny ability to jump through his impossibly small hoops, or if there were any tigresses that did… Vitaly shook his head once more. Nyet! No more thinking about his past and all, it was time to give it his 'A game'! For the Circus, for his family…
"America" he said, confidently holding a small hoop in his paw, "Here ve come"
You loved it and you KNOW IT! :D *SHOT*
Anyways, the first Chapter is the same as in the first version, with minor changes here and there. Since I just reread it, I changed some sentence structures that I though did NOT make sense and such.
Anyways, I still hope you DIG IT! :D