Hey all! This is a oneshot that is set the day after Dylan and Benjamin have the big fight. It made me so sad when Rosie came out of her room. So I wrote this scene.
I thought Robin was a very sweet character, though he wasn't cast as a huge roll and there are little comments here and there throughout the film that left me with the impression that he and Rosie would have been friends of sorts.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy it! Reviews and feedback would be greatly appreciated :)
You have to talk to them right. Robin had told them that from the start. Animals don't respond to baby voices and goo-goo noises. You have to be real with them. Benjamin was getting there… sort of. The man was a bit of a goofball, but he really was trying hard. Which was more than could be said for his son. As far as anyone knew, Dylan was keeping his interactions with the animals (and everyone else for that matter) to a minimum. Aside from, of course, a memorable kick to an unfortunate exotic snake.
Rosie on the other hand, had taken to it like a duck to water. Most kids her age do. They see animals differently to adults and so they talk to them as if they will really understand what they're saying. And the truth is that they can. Not words and sentences of course, but tone and emotion. Animals can always tell when you're afraid of them, or if you're a threat. Or when you mean them no harm.
From nearly the very first day that the Mee's had arrived at their new home, the peacocks followed Rosie everywhere she went. She was constantly running out of crackers because she would feed them to the birds instead of eating them herself. And she talked to them. She'd named them all and could tell them all apart. Dylan would insist that they were all the same and there was no way she could possibly tell the difference between them. They were just birds after all, they were all identical. Rosie would just ignore the comments and continue explaining to him which was Abby and which was Fiona.
Robin didn't say anything, but Rosie was right. She never mixed them up. Each had it's own name. Each looked different from the next, which was true of all animals. Just like people. If you spent enough time with them, you could see those differences.
And even if Dylan couldn't see them – or perhaps didn't bother to look for them – Rosie could.
So when Robin walked past Rosie on the way to the monkey enclosure early one morning, and she wasn't talking to the peacocks who pecked at the ground around her, he knew something was wrong. He slowed to a stop and looked around. Benjamin was nowhere to be seen. Robin figured he'd be with Spar, he wasn't handling the tiger's declining health very well. Only yesterday Robin had tried to tell him that it was time to call the vet, but Benjamin hadn't wanted to hear it. It was never easy deciding when one of the animal's time had come, but it was better than to make them suffer.
Robin pulled himself out of his thoughts and back to the present. He looked back at the little girl. It wasn't unusual for her to be walking around on her own; all the zoo staff adored her, so everyone kept an eye out for her while she wandered about 'her zoo'. It was unusual however, to see her with such a miserable look on her face.
Robin moved towards her, "Hey kiddo," he said gently, "are the Peacocks extra hungry or something? You guys don't seem to be doing much chatting today."
Rosie gave a glum shrug, she didn't look up.
"Rosie," he crouched down beside her, "what's wrong?"
Rosie looked up at him, he could see a question dancing on her lips but she seemed hesitant to let it go.
"You know you can tell me anything, right?"
"…and you won't tell anybody else?"
Robin gave a small smile, "I promise."
Rosie scrunched her mouth into a grimace as she stared at him, weighing him up. He thought for a moment that she was going to keep her mouth closed but then, in her tiny voice, she asked, "Is the Easter Bunny real?"
Robin furrowed his brow and let out a cautious sigh. He moved to sit down beside Rosie and reached out to take a few of her crackers, he gave one to the Capuchin on his shoulder and began to break the rest up to feed to the Peacocks.
"What makes you think he wouldn't be real?" he asked her, gently.
Rosie propped her elbow up on her knee and rested her cheek in her hand as she threw down more crackers, half-heartedly.
"Daddy and Dylan had a fight last night," she told him, "It was really loud. They fight all the time now that Mommy's in Heaven… Daddy's mad at Dylan for not being happy. And Dylan is mad about everything-"
Robin didn't say anything, he just watched the little girl as she continued to tell her story. She recounted the conversation as children often do; only repeating things that seemed to stick out to them, and most likely missing important points because they don't seem to make sense to them. But Rosie was a smart kid, and she seemed to get most of what the pair had been saying. Something that made Robin suspect that she'd been a fly on the wall for far more than just that one argument between the father and son.
"-and then Dad said, 'we live with a little girl who still believes in the Easter Bunny'… but… I thought everyone believed in the Easter Bunny… because he's real… right?" she sounded so perplexed. As if she wanted to have said it like it was some ridiculous notion, but there was something about it that made her feel unsure.
Robin hesitated, studying the little girl beside him. Her eyes were as big as saucers as she stared at him, waiting for answers to her questions. He saw hope in them. Hope that he would make it better.
"The truth is, Rosie…" Robin chose his words carefully, and Rosa tilted her head a little as she watched him, "the truth is that not everyone does believe in the Easter Bunny."
"Oh," she said softly, bowing her head. She suddenly looked as if the weight of the world rested upon her shoulders but Robin put an arm around her tiny frame, offering her a comforting hug and she looked back up at him again.
"You see," he went on, "sometimes, when bad things happen to good people – like little girls losing their Mommies – it can make them so sad that they start to think maybe other good things in their lives aren't really there either."
"Like the Easter Bunny?" her voice was small and hesitant.
Robin smiled and nodded, "like the Easter Bunny." He repeated, "Your Daddy doesn't ever want you to be that sad. So what he meant when he said that to Dylan, was that even though you're sad about your Mommy, you're still happy about lots of other things. And he doesn't want anything to happen to make you lose that happiness... Does that make sense?"
Rosie thought about it, scrunching her nose up a little, "yeah," she said finally, "it does. And that's why Daddy is angry at Dylan for not being happy either. Because if me or Dylan feels sad, then he's sad, too. And then no one gets to believe in the Easter Bunny."
Robin could see that Rosie's mind was working overtime. He had only to put two and two together to know that she was worrying about her brother. The kid was definitely a piece of work. But when Robin thought about it, he had every right to be. No child should ever have to lose a parent that age. And not only that, but he'd lost his home, his school and his friends. And try as he might, Benjamin would never have been able to provide the amount of comfort he would have needed, because he'd loved her and lost her too. Robin felt guilt bubble up inside of him; it had been at least four months since he'd even called to talk to his parents. He made a mental note to do so. But that could wait. For the time being, he turned back to the little girl with crumb-filled hands.
"Can I tell you a secret, Rosie?" Robin whispered, pretending to check that no one else was listening.
Rosie straightened up and nodded eagerly. Rosie liked secrets, she liked to prove that she could hold them in and never tell anyone else. She liked to know things that no one else would ever know. She leaned in closer so that Robin could whisper in her ear.
"Crystal, here," Robin gestured to his Capuchin, "knows the Easter Bunny."
Rosie gave a mighty gasp, "really?" she exclaimed.
"Really," Robin told her, "he comes here and visits her every single Easter."
"Wow…" Rosie breathed.
"And do you know what I think?" Robin asked.
Rosie shook her head.
"I think – in fact, I know – Crystal likes you," as if on cue, the monkey tilted his head and gave the girl a cheeky grin, "and I bet that she puts in a good word for you when she sees him next Easter."
Rosie grinned, "Dylan and Daddy, too?"
Robin returned the smile, "Dylan and Daddy, too."
He reached up and took hold of Crystal, removing her from his shoulder and placing her onto Rosie's. As the Capuchin began to pick playfully at her hair, Robin couldn't help but to grin when he saw that Rosie was smiling once again.
There you go! Hope you enjoyed it :) Let me know!