Fandom: Penguins of Madagascar
Characters: Titular Penguins, Hans the Puffin, Dr. Blowhole,
Disclaimer: Not mine. I'll give them back clean and de-humanized when I'm done, mm-kay?
Warnings: Humanized, slightly strong language, violence, threats, slash? I think?
Word Count: 2287
Author's note: And for the first time in forever, I've decided to mosey into the world of fan fiction. God only knows how this is going to turn out.
Blearily opening his eyes, Rico noted the cage. Well, not exactly a cage, more like a cell. Several of them. And he was inside one of them. He gingerly ran a hand down his face, noting the large bump on his left temple. Did somebody get the plates of that bus? His pained musings were broken by a hacking cough in the cell next to his. Private!
"I'm glad you've finally joined us, Rico. Welcome back to the land of the living." It was Kowalski. Rico tried to rasp something in reply, but his battered vocal cords refused to work. "Private will be fine. I think... I lost my glasses in the tussle at some point. I'm practically blind right now. He's in the cell to your left, I believe, judging from the coughing."
"Private!" Rico rasped. Finally. However, when no more words rattled out of the torn voice box, he resorted to clicking his tongue against the side and roof of his mouth.
"I'm okay, Rico. Really. My ribs hurt, is all. I've been cou-" he cut off his sentence to start coughing, a sure sign that he was sick. The wet hack was enough to stop Rico cold. He started clicking irritatedly, only stopping when Private started using Morse Code at him.
"You're...not...fine," Rico barely growled, cursing his damaged voice. Over fifteen years after he'd gotten hurt, and he still couldn't talk right if he'd been working hard.
From the opposite side of the hall, Kowalski watched tried to watch the exchange between the sort of brothers. Really, it was clear how much they cared for each other. Of course it was obvious to him he'd known Rico for years had helped save his life, really and had known Private since he was barely seventeen. It still surprised him sometimes how well they had worked out a system to communicate.
Of course, Kowalski would be the only one to hear the door at the end of the hallway opening. He frantically shushed the others, hoping it wasn't who he thought it was. It wasn't but it was just as bad.
"You know, when the deranged doctor said he had you, I thought he meant all of you. Including Skipper." Kowalski and Rico tensed and moved back from the cell doors. Private moved but started coughing, preventing his escape to the back of the cell. "He's sick. He shouldn't be here. Really shouldn't." Brown-green eyes narrowed. "I will be keeping an eye on that."
"Hans. Leave him alone," Kowalski said. The Dane only looked over at the scientist before plucking something small and shiny from a side pocket. "What do you think you're doing?!"
"Relax. I won't hurt him." Still coughing, Private tried to back up but nearly lost his balance. "Easy, easy. Sit." The Dane's soft, commanding voice was terrifyingly easy to follow orders from. "Breathe, breathe. In and out. Easy, easy, good." The way that Dane was acting was making Rico nervous, especially since he couldn't see what was going on in the cell next to his. And Rico was sure Kowalski was fairing no better, being practically blind. But Private's coughs were slowing, weren't sounding as wet. "Too warm. I thought you loony Brits were a cold bunch." Rico hissed at that. "I said 'relax'. I am not liking the sound of his breathing." Hans was blocking Kowalski's very limited view of Private, and from what Kowalski was seeing, he was holding onto the kid's wrist.
"What are you doing to him!?" Kowalski asked, moving closer so he could see. Curse being nearsighted. Curse it!
"I am checking his pulse, what does it look like I am doing?" As the Dane turned around, Private leaned back against the wall, breathing shallowly. The Dane stepped out of the cell and locked it once more. He strode over to where Kowalski was staring at him, eyes scrunched in a vain attempt to see better. "You cannot see, can you?" He waved a hand in front of Kowalski's face and was slightly surprised when it was slapped.
"I can see well enough to know when somebody is mocking me." The fairly tall scientist sniffed and turned his face away from the Dane.
"No matter then. Skipper will come for you anyway." Hans shrugged and walked out the way he came.
Letting out a sigh, Kowalski slid down the wall to a sitting position. "Alright our options are... Great. I don't... I have no ideas. Nothing's coming to me. Rico, can you hack anything up from that iron stomach of yours?" As Rico's attempts to hack up even a paperclip failed, Kowalski knew their chances of escaping were getting bleaker by the moment. He didn't have to do the math to know that one. "So. One member of the team isn't here, another is sick and getting sicker, and we're weaponless and at the mercies of Blowhole. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong."
Kowalski watched the black blur that was Private's hair shake back and forth. Rico snorted. "We're not getting out of this one soon, are we?"
Unbeknownst to the captives, Hans drew one of the Doctor's watchmen aside and said to him, "I want you and your men to keep an eye on the little one. He's sick. Alert me if his condition worsens at all."
Skipper was doing the most he could do in trying to find his lost teammates. He'd gotten a message from Dr. Blowhole saying that his team was captured and that "the little one wasn't doing so well." Skipper's heart nearly stopped right there he knew why the other three had left, they were taking Private to the doctor. The kid was sick and going to get worse quick. "Wait a second, I recognize that background," he murmured, "that abandoned warehouse by the docks, has to be." Without a second thought, Skipper gathered up some weapons and stashed them on his person.
Several hours later, on the other hand...
"They're not in any of the abandoned warehouses in town!"
Skipper was just about to try his luck in another area when he heard, "Of course they're not. Do you really think that crazy doctor would keep them in so obvious a place?" Hans jumped down from the box he was on, dark coat fluttering from the movement. Skipper noticed he was only wearing a tight white shirt under the coat and locked that tidbit of information deep within his subconscious.
"Søpapegøjer. Just what do you think you're doing?" Skipper demanded.
But Hans didn't answer, only looked at Skipper with hooded brown-green eyes, motioning for Skipper to follow him. When they arrived at their destination, Hans turned around and placed a finger over Skipper's lips, saying, "You must be silent once we enter. Do exactly as I do and say and be careful." Skipper merely nodded in agreement. They were no longer on his turf they were on Hans', and as much as Skipper was loathe to admit it, he respected that.
As they went deeper and deeper into Hans' territory, Skipper noticed that whenever he mimicked what Hans did, he avoided the traps. As well as the fact that the traps were getting more and more elaborate and deadly. Often the traps missed him by a hair's breadth.
"You may stop copying me at any point now, Skipper. The traps were over some time ago." Hans chuckled. "Unless, of course, you like copying me." The last statement was said with a bit of a smirk, and Skipper remembered why he didn't work with Hans unless he had to. "You know I like to ruffle your feathers. Relax, pull up a seat. The deluded doctor doesn't know I'm not working for him. Not currently."
"You've been undercover for longer than I've been an agent, haven't you?" Skipper asked, narrowing his eyes. The Dane only smirked and pulled up a second chair. He patted the chair and opened a screen.
"That's where he's got them. The old aquarium."
But as Skipper stood up to go rescue his team, Hans grabbed his wrist and said, "Wait until I've gotten your little teammate out. He's very sick and the deranged doctor would use that against your men."
"What are you suggesting?" Skipper asked warily. His memories of Denmark were both extremely vivid and horribly blurred. The worst of the memories were of the ones concerning Hans betraying and saving him.
"Let me help you you know you need a team."
Private tried not to breathe too deeply but it hurt like bloody hell. One time, Dr. Blowhole had shown up, and Kowalski had distracted him, had kept him from focusing on their obviously weak and disoriented teammate.
But taunts and sarcasm would only go so far. At some point, Blowhole would notice just how sick Private was and use his illness against them.
So Rico was keeping a worried vigilant eye out. As late as it was, it was likely that nobody would check on them the door opening was certainly unexpected. Rico was instantly on his feet. He stared down the dark hallway where the door was a person dressed in dark clothes was stealthily making their way towards them. He recognized the careful movements only it wasn't Skipper making them. It was Hans.
Rico watched as Hans glided from shadow to shadow, stopped in front of Private's cell, pulled out a key, unlocked and entered. A faint sound emanated from the cell, a calming noise; as Hans left, Rico rasped, "He gets hurt, it's your head."
"Understood." Private was curled up in Hans' grip even in the dim light, Rico could see that his skin was flush with fever. "Skipper will be here soon." Despite the words coming from an enemy, the bombardier was reassured. Rico figured he could stick it out until Skipper showed up. After all, Skipper had saved him from hell once already.
Skipper noted the exact moment Hans left the building with Private, and moved in to take down his own targets. From what Hans had told him, Blowhole had a lab, and that lab needed destroyed. As he hurried to it, Skipper reviewed his plan.
Get in. Find the lab. Set the bombs. Get his team. Get out.
Simple, and if he moved fast, he could avoid Blowhole altogether. Skipper considered that a win-win. So, of course, by the time he was well on his way to rescue his team, the bombs had gone off. Early. Skipper dropped all stealth, and started running. The explosion would have alerted the guards and he wanted to get his team out. Knowing Rico would be ready and moving as soon as he heard the sound, Skipper focused more on getting to the cells at the back edge of the compound.
The second set of bombs was going off just as he reached the cells. Hans had left it unlocked for him. Kowalski and Rico were waiting for him, both of them still jailed. Skipper tossed Rico a pick and unlocked Kowalski's cell.
As soon as Rico and Kowalski had left their jails, all three high-tailed it. Skipper explained as well as he could, stating that Hans was going to be waiting to take them all to the nearest hospital, where he would leave them. They just had to make it out.
And make it out of there the three Special Ops did. It was a close bet, but they managed to pile into the back of Hans' getaway car and escape. Private was in the front seat, asleep and wrapped in a blanket.
"We're going to the hospital I usually use they know me and won't ask questions," Hans said, pulling away. "They may or may not recognize you. It is Mob-run, so Be Careful. You're well known in some areas, but the fact that you're with me should do some good." Hans was silent the rest of the way to the hospital, allowing the team to worry about Private in silence.
Making it to the hospital in good time, the four piled out, Rico gently plucking Private from the front seat. Hans and Rico checked in at the desk, while Skipper and Kowalski kept an eye out. There was a surprising amount of people coming with kids, most likely to visit family.
"Hey, Skippah...?" Private reluctantly asked. It was two weeks after the incident and Private was well again. When Skipper made a noncommittal noise in lieu of an actual response, Private went on, "Why would Hans Søpapegøjer help us? Isn't he your enemy?"
Skipper sighed before answering. "He seems to enjoy having me in his debt. He's saved my life before." Private took that information in stride. His nod prompted Skipper to continue. "It was in Denmark. Copenhagen. And before you ask, I won't tell. Not even Kowalski knows."
Private nodded once and left Skipper to his own devices but Skipper barely noticed Private leaving, so caught up in his own thoughts. Hans never really gave a reason as to why he would help Skipper's team he just did. It was only then that Skipper realized that Hans never once mentioned what happened in Denmark, and it was strange but comforting at the same time. "You win this time Søpapegøjer. You win."