Stuck Animaniacs Episode
When Wakko opened the door, the out landing of the tower as well as the railing, were briefly illuminated by the warm light from inside. He could see the silhouetted shadows of his siblings, still bickering and trying to one up each other on quips and snark. He was careful to keep one hand steadily on the railing while his eyes got used to the darkness outside, closing the door slowly and as quietly as possible. He came out here to be alone, and if he went around slamming doors,(even though the really wanted to)it would do nothing but alert them that something was amiss.
Ever had one of those days where you wish you could live with anyone else but your family?
He blinked, only seeing the general shape of things for a moment, then gradually was able to make out the darkened buildings of the studio lot below, the lights of the busier part of Burbank flickering in the distance like captured stars.
Only when he was able to see the out landing under him, and there was no danger of him accidently losing his footing due to a lack of night vision, did he let go of the railing, walking around the outside until the tinny, muffled voices of his sib's couldn't be heard. At least not unless he wanted to. And that wasn't going to be anytime soon.
CU: Ground Level as Wakko's feet enter view as Wakko leans back on the wall and sliding down before panning up his body
His fur protected him from the chill of the cold metal, and the California air was balmy for this time of year, though hardly sweet smelling by the traditional sense of the word. More like French fries and gasoline. Still, it was home.
It wasn't often that he felt the need to do this, escape outside but still tethering himself to the familiarity of their tower. It wasn't until the guys responsible for 'locking' them in their tower figured out that even if they did, the Warner's would find a way to get out again. Sooner or later they just decided to hope that whatever antics the three of them had gotten up to during the day had tired them out enough so they wouldn't cause anymore mischief at night. They're logic was mostly sound, only it wasn't that they were tired, it's just there weren't as many fun people to mess with around the lot this time of night.
The strange thing was, that was the easy part. The hard part was getting his siblings to leave him alone when he came out here. The first time he had done it, it had taken less than ten minutes when Yakko and Dot came running to the door looking for him, looking down the ladder on first instinct, then finally spotting him only when he bothered to clear his throat and alert them of his whereabouts. Dot had rolled her eyes and gone back inside
CU: Dot's Feet as she headed back inside.
Yakko had stayed, trying to pry an answer out of him and coax him back inside.
"What, Your room's not good enough to sulk in, grumpy gills?" He tried to joke with him, but it only made Wakko retreat further into his shell. If he had wanted to stay in his room, he's have gone there in the first place. That meant he was ready and willing to talk. At that moment, all he wanted was a few minutes alone to collect his thoughts before he lost it.
After a few more failed attempts at gaging a response from his younger brother, Yakko finally seemed to get the message. He shrugged, looking troubled but unwilling to push it, instead giving his general 'big brother' speech of "be careful, don't dance on the railing or anything, and come back in as soon as you're ready." Then finally left. The same thing had happened in almost the exact same order until finally they both got the idea that this was Wakko's spot and his time, and when he was here, do not disturb.
His lips quirked in a wry smile. He should consider himself lucky, if it had been Dot pulling this, she'd have never gotten rid of Yakko. But Wakko was getting older, and Yakko seemed to be doing his best to acknowledge that and give him space when he needed it.
He was grateful for it. He was grateful for a lot of things, don't ever say he wasn't or he just might mallet you a good one. He was grateful they had a paycheck so big it could even feed his insatiable appetite. He was grateful they had such a cool house to live in, unique is what Yakko called it. He was grateful the studio seemed to begrudgingly accept they existed now, and had even given them a job, hence the paycheck. He was grateful they were doing what they did best, making people laugh for a living. He was grateful for his siblings, that they were all together and able to stay that way.
However tonight, he could say the one thing he was officially NOT grateful for, was being the middle child.
Sure, he didn't have the responsibility of the oldest sibling status, or the annoyance of being constantly babied like the youngest (though Dot seemed to enjoy it half the time, utilizing it when she needed to, even…) But that didn't mean it didn't come with its own share of problems.
Take the events of tonight that had led up to this little venting session, for instance. It had been such a stupid argument. Dot was complaining about what they wanted to make for dinner. Yakko had wanted to try something new, exploring his skill (or lack thereof, they had yet to see) for cooking with a french dish. Dot was clearly not in the mood for satiating Yakko's eclectic tastes, and just wanted something easy and quick, like burritos or a grilled cheese.
Wakko was just hungry, and wanted to skip the argument and get to cooking. He had tried something new himself, and spoke up, suggesting they make Belgian waffles or crepes. It was that foreign quality that Yakko wanted, and he'd get to try out their new waffle maker, and it was quick and easy, like Dot wanted. Plus it was sweet, Dot loved sweet. So did he, they all did come to think of it, it was perfect!
But of course, peacemaking is never as easy as it's needed to be. Dot had scoffed immediately at the idea, and when Wakko had tried to defend his idea, Yakko had stuck his 'big brother' nose in and had the gall to say
"Well bud, I'd be happy to make waffles tomorrow, but we gotta think of something we can all eat. All for one and one for all times three remember? Not the other way around."
He'd been at a loss for words he was so frustrated. As the conversation between the other two had soon escalated into another argument, Wakko had made his exit before he could mallet both of them.
He couldn't help thinking it might help if he did, maybe it would knock some sense in how stupid stupid stupid it was to be fighting about something like that. Made even more stupid to be able to write off his opinion as 'Middle kid syndrome' like they usually did. But it would be against their unwritten code. Never attack thy sibling with thy mallet. It just wasn't done.
He didn't know why he bothered anymore. It wasn't worth the anger and frustration he'd feel when he was repeatedly shot down for it. Dot would always be the baby, and Yakko would always be the perfect older sibling, and he would always be stuck in the middle.
There'd always be that expectation to take care of his younger sister but also follow his older brother's lead, even if he was sick of mollycoddling Dot or standing in Yakko's shadow. There'd always be that urge to prove himself to his older sibling, but because he was a completely different person, he'd never quite get it exactly right. Do would always demand everyone's attention, if she didn't already have it, because 'She's cute', and Yakko would always be a genius.
And Wakko was just…him.
No matter what he did, it never seemed to be right, or enough. He felt like he was running a race with one leg tied to his wrist, so he had to hop while everyone else passed. He tried, didn't they understand that? He was just trying to help, just trying to do what he thought was best for Dot like Yakko did, only for his older brother to (unknowingly) belittle him and make it seem like his opinion meant nothing. He just wanted to help Yakko out, but Dot only saw it as him bossing her around.
He sighed, fiddling with his hat. He loved his siblings dearly, don't get him wrong. And he was sure if he had the slightest lapse in judgment and mentioned this to Scratchensniff, he would say it was all completely normal of a middle child to think. But he didn't need Scratchy to tell him that, he already knew.
Yakko and Dot both had very strong personalities, so most of the time he wasn't bothered being the one to step back and wait for them to come to whatever decision they would. He learned very quickly ways to entertain himself, hence his flighty attention span and gag bag, his tendency to blurt unrelated things when they finally did bring him back into the conversation, which was probably where 'middle kid syndrome' had come from. He didn't mind letting Yakko do the talking, chances were even if he did bother to think of something to say, Yakko would beat him to it. He spent a lot of time thinking instead. This passive behavior often lead to him physically lashing out when he couldn't possibly take it anymore, and there would be hell to pay for whatever poor sucker unleashed that dam. Whereas Yakko and Dot preferred a more underhanded 'classier' way of revenge, either talking circles around their enemies or humiliating them in other ways.
He had his share of quirks, but you couldn't say his siblings hadn't shaped him into who he was now. Contemplative, resourceful, and resilient to a fault. It wouldn't have seemed like such a bad thing if it weren't for how he got that way.
He chuckled dryly, Yakko had gotten it wrong. It wasn't 'middle kid syndrome' it was 'the middle kid curse.'…
At least some people got off easy, if they were regular humans. They didn't have to worry about their siblings literally taking his face and stretching it into a smile when they couldn't understand why he was upset, or planting a stick of dynamite into each other's sandwiches if they got annoyed enough.
Then again, maybe they did, humans were weird like that.
His ears perked when he caught the smallest, tentative whine of the door being opened a crack. Then the whine got louder as it was swung fully outward. He tried nto to scowl in annoyance. He thought they understood he wanted some space, so much for that.
He leaned over so he could see around the curved side of the tower towards the door, half expecting Yakko to be there, knowing smirk on his face
CU: Dot's feet as she tapped her left foot
Why did he put up with these guys again?
When he did see what was in the door way, He couldn't help but snicker
A Waffle had been rolled up and pinned with a toothpick and olive like a burrito, ice cream and other toppings dangerously close to dripping out of the ends, and dangling from the end of a fishing pole as if to entice a wild animal. Apparently they had compromised, and to his general surprise, had even given his own idea a second thought. That hardly happened, but it was always one of his favorite things when it did. And rather than try the failed methods of trying to talk him into coming back in, they were bribing him with food.
They had learned well.
He rolled his eyes and shook his head, trying not to immediately forgive them when he saw both his siblings poke their heads around the side of the door, looking hopeful, and dare he say it, apologetic.
He did a compromise of his own. He wasn't done thinking, but he supposed he could go in for dinner and just come back out later. Or even just wait in his room for Yakko to approach him if it looked like his brother was in a listening mood.
'Why do I put up with them?' He asked himself again as he climbed back in the door, getting his hat and hair ruffled by Yakko and having Dot grab his hand as she led him back to the table.
'Cuz I love them, I guess.'