my only contribution to the penumbra rabbits discourse is: what if juno got rabbit and rat mixed up bc they’re similar words and similar-ish animals and no one on mars has ever seen an actual rabbit so the sewer rabbits are really just. regular giant rats. possibly w a few extra eyes bc it’s mars but overall just. a fairly normal large rat like u get in sewers and subway tunnels on earth
“Farm boy? Barry was a fool. He would constantly talk about this girl, I assume you, and there was only one word he said when I went to kill him; please.” the masked man hums, sliding his fencing sword in the holder at his waist. His black knee high boots rock back and forth on the heels slightly, toe barely tapping the ground.
Your cheeks puff out in anger and you stand from the bolder, hands clenched at your sides, thumb wrapped in your bright red dress. “You mock my pain.” you spit through gritted teeth.
He puts a foot on a rock, “Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who tells you differently s selling something…” the man fires back, turning. Out of furry, you push him, sending the man in black tumbling down the hill. “As…you…wish!” he shouts, along with a few grunts.
Your eyes widen; the only person who said that was… “Barry!” you scream, going after him; you trip halfway, making you roll on the grass. With a loud ‘oof’, you land a few feet away from him and turn your head, seeing that his mask has been forgotten.
“I told you I would always come for you. Why didn’t you wait for me?” Those shimmering green eyes stare back at you, a smirk lying just above his sharp jawline. Scooting closer, you watch him cup your cheek.
“Well…you were dead…” you whisper, touching his pale hand.
He shakes his head, messy brown hair dangling over his eyebrow. “Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.” he mumbles, arm holding your neck up.
A smile breaks out across your lips. “I’ll never doubt again.” you promise, eyes beginning to become puffy.
He leans down, open collar of his black shirt slipping off his shoulder, exposing some of his moles. “There will never be a need.” he swears, lips puckering against yours for a tender kiss. Your arms snake around his shoulders, pulling him deeper until shouts interrupt you. “They’re here. Follow me, quickly!” Barry orders, standing you up and grabbing your hand, scurrying down the sandy path. “A few more steps and we’ll be safe in the Fire Swamp.”
You grip his bicep, dress fanning around your ankles as the gold ropes at your waist bounce up and down. “We’ll never survive.” you warn in a timid voice, feet still moving.
Barry snorts while he leads you both into the dark swamp with dead trees hanging limply. “Nonsense. You’re only saying that because no one ever has.” he replies in a chip tone, drawing his sword out.
Biting your lip, you follow him, holding his hand tightly. Your dress sways around you and you take careful steps, mindful of your flats. “I do not understand, they told me you were captured by pirates?” you say, eyebrows crinkling in confusion.
Swatting through the trees, he makes an airy chuckle, peering back at you, black shirt swaying on his arm. “I was.” he confirms, “I was held prisoner by Dead Pirate Wells, who actually isn’t dead. He taught me how to sword fight. Yet, every night he would say the same thing,” Barry pauses, picking you up as fire erupts from the ground, “‘Good night, Barry. Good work. Sleep well. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.’ Then, one night, he called me to tell me that he wasn’t actually Dead Pirate Wells. See, the title was passed down from the real Pirate Wells to another and so on. He gave the honor to me.” he beams, slightly out of breath.
“Oh.” you mumble, continuing to walk. So, your farm boy is a pirate now? Interesting. Suddenly, you’re sucked into the sand with a yelp. Barry cuts a tree branch, quickly hoping in after you. The dust spews from your mouth as you cling to his back, coughing; he heaves himself out of the sand, flopping on the ground. Sand sprinkles in his eyelashes and brown hair as well as yours and he stares at you, breathing.
After a moment, you stand up, shaking your dress out. You stop, sitting on a branch, “We’ll never succeed. We may as well die here.” you mumble, covering your face with your hands.
He shh’s you, brushing your hair out of your eyes with a charming smile. Sand still clings to his leather pants. “No, no. We have already succeeded.” he reassures, “I mean, what are the three terrors of the Fire Swamp? One, the flame spurt - no problem. There’s a popping sound preceding each; we can avoid that. Two, the lightning sand, which you were clever enough to discover what that looks like, so in the future we can avoid that too.” he grins, rubbing the back of your hand.
“Barry?” you ask timidly; he hums in response. “What about the R.O.U.S.’s?”
He scoffs, rolling his eyes, “Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don’t think they exist.”