Written by Zelda

Author's note: Apparently ff.net doesn't format Word documents well into html when left to it's own devices, so I've given it another spin. Hopefully all of the italics and things will be correct, and it won't look like I have poor capitalization and sentence-forming skills! Enjoy!

                Heya, name's Tudrussel. Buck Tudrussel. Sure as heck hope you haven't spoken to Larry about me before this, he's got it all wrong. I don't wanna tell you how many months it took him, when we first teamed up, to get him to call me Buck. Just Buck. I don't care if it's not my real name, that stinkin' pile of tin can get a name through his head. …Alright, alright, ya got me. My real name ain't Buck, it's… Beauregard. Shut up, don't laugh alright? I can't believe I actually used to call myself that. It was such a long time ago, ya know? Things used to be different…

                What things? Well, I had me a woman. She was a real lady, still is I must admit. I mean, I'm no good at the fluffy lovey-dovey stuff, but man… it was love, what can I say? Her name was Sheila, we met when we were both going through the rigors of Time Squad training. She helped me out constantly. I just don't have book smarts, but she absorbed her codes and standards of practice like she was a sponge. A lean… tall… shapely sponge. Whoo…. Where was I? Oh yeah, we even got married, just before we completed our training and graduated from the Academy. I think our training officers noticed, they got us signed onto the same Squad unit, to start us out as rookies. Then… well, we kinda hit a wall. Like the Great Wall of China. I dunno what happened, I think it was just the fact that we had to sort through so many problems. They just seemed to multiply, starting with problems in history and spreading to problems with us. She kept spouting all of these rules, as if she were reciting straight from our prime directive manual! I mean, we go schlepping out way through time, and I'm not even allowed to have a little fun? Sometimes I thought she was just as coldhearted as that robot we traveled with. Things just… died… between us. We got into fights, into trouble, and it started affecting our missions, so much so that the officers decided to split us up, got me on this Squad team with Larry. Trust me, at first, I was not thrilled. I mean, we're talking about Larry for cryin' out loud. But… Sheila and I just seemed to pull apart. We got a divorce a few months later, and then… it was over. Things were just dead. Just me and the satellite, Larry and the missions. God, how boring.

                I mean, I just sorta realized that. We've been awful busy, haven't had much of a chance to look back on things. But what a drag things were! If I wasn't out hauling Larry around through history, I was asleep, eating, or practicing on the shooting range. That's one thing, probably the only thing, that I used to have up on Sheila. I was a crack shot. Come from a good stock of shooters, just like all of the lawmen down my family line. Now… well, I go for power more than accuracy, that's all. Heh, dun wanna think of what my Pa would say if he saw me on the range now. … But I'm startin' to ramble. Aside from the whole "enforcing history to protect the future" thing… everything else was just hollow, empty. I needed a hobby, that's what Larry thought. I know better… I was just missing stuff. Not Sheila, not in particular, but what I could have had with her. Love's a weird thing, and it's kinda rough to let go of. I guess I liked the attention. Thing is, I also kinda wanted kids. Me, with kids? I  know what yer thinkin', and it ain't nice to insult a man like that. Yeah, I might have wanted kids. But I guess it was hopeless anyway. Marriage or none, we were still busy with Time Squad. And I don't know what kinda mom Sheila would have made anyway. I shudder to think 'bout the kinda kid she'd raise.

                But then Larry and I stumbled across something, or rather someone, that changed things for the both of us. We happened to be in the 21st century for… I dunno, some reason or other. We just literally bumped into this kid, we happened to be in a real scrape and he really helped us out. It was weird, you know? Most people see us and either gawk or hustle off. I guess people like me and Larry ain't common sights in ancient civilizations and such. This kid saw us and just started spouting history, like some little, living, hyperactive textbook. I haveta say that I was impressed. So this kid, his name's Otto by the way, helped us to finish the mission, and then he begs us to take him back! He was an orphan, see? Poor kid. Larry was the one who really sympathized with him first. I wasn't really taken with the idea of him taggin' back to the satellite with us. But for once, Larry was right about something. Otto's filled in a big hole on our team. I think we're the only trio in the whole Time Squad. But we need the kid. Like I said before, I don't have book smarts, and Larry, well… I expect Larry to take care of that! He's a robot, for pete's sake. But he says he has too much of his memory taken up with running the satellite. So the kid fits right in. And I'm really glad he's here, not just because he makes up for our shortfalls and stuff, but… well… he's an orphaned kid. We're sorta his… family now. There was one mission where we had to call in backup to well… um, forget why, okay? It wasn't my fault. Anyway, that backup Squad happened to be Sheila's. I was not happy to see her again, let's just put it at that.  And of course, she had to shoot me some comment about Otto being with us. I managed to come up with something about him being my nephew… I guess things were a bit too complicated at the moment to go into the details with her. Maybe I wanted to tell her everything, but… I just couldn't. Like I said, I'm not anxious to spill my guts to her. But Larry had actually told her that we'd adopted Otto, and he's right. I don't know why I was embarrassed to tell her the same thing. Otto's a tough little cookie, but he still is just a kid. He needs someone to take care of him, raise him and stuff, and that job's fallen on Larry and me. I've seen Larry patching up his scraped knees, and we've had to both take care of him when he's gotten sick. And in return, Otto watches our backs. He worries about us, knows us both well enough to know when we're in trouble. I guess it is a family, and what a weird family, yeesh. Not how I would have pictured it. But for some reason, I'm kinda happy with it. Seems like it's easier to tolerate things with Otto around, and I think Larry feels the same way.

                Like I said before, I wasn't entirely with this whole adoption thing at first. This wide-eyed kid running around the satellite was kinda annoying for a while, and then I realized that I was doing the same thing, on the inside anyway, when I was assigned to my first Squad, and when I was in training. Otto's always treated me like a big brother, I guess. We play video games and stuff, it's a good way to pass the time. But the first time the kid really got me warmed up to him, was when I checked in on him one night, during the first week he was here, I think. I don't walk into people's rooms or anything, but I was returning from a little midnight snack, when I passed by and his door was open. The lights were all off, so I thought he was sleepin', and reached in to close things up. Instead I see him sitting up in bed with a glass of water, he's actually shaking a bit. Apparently the kid had some sorta nightmare, and so I feel sorry for him. I'm human, after all. Somehow he gets me to sit down, and starts to talk. And he told me about what his life was like before he met us, how things were back in the orphanage. Can you believe, can you really believe, that this poor kid was beaten for reading his history books? No wonder their educational system is all rotten in the 21st century! And I know how that feels too. Heck, with a name like Beauregard, do you think I won any popularity contests back on the playground in school? I had no idea how much this little kid had  been through, and that's the thing. You'd never know, just by lookin' at him. He's just so darn happy, doing this stuff with us. When the alarm goes off, Larry and I aren't thrilled, but you should see this kid's eyes light up, listen to  him start rattling on about our mission. For him, it's not work at all. I was trained for years on how to do this, and Larry's gone through tons of programming and countless upgrades. I guess it's sorta old for us. But the kid never gets tired of anything, no matter how bad it gets. Heck, we've even taken beatings, and that's really the only time when it's not a game for him anymore. So he's brought a lotta energy to the satellite. It's actually kinda cute---

                Aww darn, there it goes again… Always when I'm doin' something important, the alarm's gotta ring---

                "Tudrussel, come on! Larry's already at the console, we're holding him up again."

                "Alright kid, alright. Dunno how that tin can moves so fast…" So I guess I'm off again, the kid runs in here, grabs my hand and drags me right outta the chair, like he's the boss of me. Somehow, I can't help smiling in the back of my head. With all that I've done in these years, it feels like this is the way that it should be.

The End

Time Squad and all related characters are property of Cartoon Network and AOL Time Warner. My use of them is not for profit, and this little disclaimer can serve as a protest for the poor Time Squad boys only getting 20 episodes! Whatever happened to an unconditional four-season run for all Cartoon Cartoons? Ted Turner can take that and stick it in his ear! Haha, just kidding. This story is property of myself (Zelda) and may not be copied, archived, or displayed on other sites without my permission.