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Story Notes:
(Ignore the silly pseudo-chapter titles/craptastic 'poem' in the prologue; give the story a chance, please.)

* Rated 'T' for language.

* Fies belongs to me.

* Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

ONE: 'Bruises are Black!'

A soft moan as he blinked in the darkness. Just awakened, had he been sleeping? He blinked some more, clearing his vision and his head, to find it wasn't quite as dark as he'd originally believed. Where was he? And how did he get here, he wondered silently as he pushed himself up and looked around, taking in his surroundings, which he listed off aloud. "Stone walls and... iron bars..? - AH! Oh-no! I'm in prison again!" A high-pitched chuckle rang out causing him to jump. He then focused on the bars and there stood a dark-clad figure. He could only make out a somewhat slender duck's beak, as the rest of her face was cast in shadow. That was odd, he thought. And how long had she been standing there watching him? .... "W-wardon? Or a n-nurse? Scientist...?" He wondered aloud and she laughed.
"Oh, don't worry, you're not in prison." She said, mirth in her voice. Or was that delight?
"I-I'm not?" He stammered.
"No. Are you okay? The chloriform didn't hurt you, did it?" She even sounded concerned.
"No, no, I'm fi- c-chloriform??" Whatever her reply was, he failed to catch it, becoming lost in his returning memory...

...He'd been making his way back to his hideout in the middle of the night, and had been jumped whilst taking a shortcut through the park! Actually, it wasn't a park so much as a public garden, and he'd only been there because, well, he loved the plantlife and flora there, just as he loved all of it everywhere. He'd stopped to 'smell the roses' when he'd been attacked!

"Hey! Did you P-PLANTNAP me?!" He accused her suddenly, cutting off whatever explanation for his predicament she had been giving, with his hands on his hips.
"Huh? I..? Uh, yes, I... guess you could say that I did...." She replied, sounding completely flustered by his interruption. What had she been saying, he wondered.
"T-that is not nice!" He quickly scolded, shaking a leafy-finger in her direction.
"Well, sorry...?" She offered, he folded his arms defiantly.
"Apology not accepted."
"Well...! What else was I supposed to do?" She countered, irritably.
"Well, gee.... not attack me in the first place?" How more obvious could the answer be?
"No, that wouldn't have worked." She dismissed the suggestion softly. He opened his mouth, about to say something, but then caught himself from taking the bait and losing a prime chance to find out what was going on.
"Well, now you have me, what do you want with me?" He asked.
"Well, your brains, actually." He started, horrified, leaping up and protectively covering his head with his leafy-hands.
"M-my b-brains!?? NO! They're M-MY brains! And I like them!" After a couple moments of receiving no response, he opened one eye to pear curiously at her. Her beak, the only part of her face he could see, was tightly persed in frustration.

"Uhm..?" He wondered aloud.
"Are you calm yet?" She finally asked and he nodded, feeling uncertain.
"A-all better now.... as long as you leave my brains where they are!"
"I don't WANT your brains! I want your brains!" She snapped, sounding thoroughly flabbergasted.
"Oh, well, in that ca- Huh?? That didn't make any sense!" He was wondering just what was wrong with this batty female.. with her short fuse and apparently precarious train of thoughts... he couldn't help but feel reminded of someone. Apparently enraged, she slammed her fist on the bars, letting out a growl. Then silence fell as she took a couple seconds to breathe, forcing herself to calm down, then she replied in a calmer tone of voice.
"I don't want your brains." She stated. "I need your help." He blinked. Just WHO needed help here?? HE was the one unwittingly taken prisoner, afterall.
"My help??" Was all he could manage.
"Why.... What.... How...?"
"We'll get to that later, alright." It wasn't a question, so he closed his beak. "First, and more importantly, are you okay? Do you need anything?"
"Out of this cage would be quite nice.." He said, finding himself even more confuddled than before. Concern for his well-being was 'more important' than whatever she wanted? That was certainly unusual.
"Not yet." She said, in a small, apologetic voice. "But if you are hungry or thirsty...? I could get you water or... fertilizer?" He raised one of his eyebrows in disbelief.
"Fertilizer?" He repeated in disbelief. Not that it was a ridiculous question, rather that he just wasn't sure what to make of the entire situation. And he could just imagine her bringing him a bucket full of fertilizer fresh from a farm! He stuck his tongue out, nauseated by the thought.
"Sorry... D-do you eat?" If he wasn't mistaken, she sounded as uncomfortable as he felt.
"Eat?" He spoke the word sounding as though the concept was foreign to him, whilst, in reality, he was still trying to erase unappetising images from his mind.
"Y-you know, nevermind! You must be thirsty, I'll just get you some water, right?" She turned and dashed off before he could say anything more. That did, however, help him succeed in his mental struggles, freeing up his thoughts for more productive reflection.

And, left alone to his thoughts, now, he shook his head in disbelief at her. What a crazy lady... and did she REALLY believe she could keep HIM here? Well... He decided to take the moment to explore his cell, because there WERE options of holding even him against his will...

Eyes now well-adjusted to the dim light, the first thing he found, was that his prison was, in fact, not. Not a real prison, anyway. Rather, it was simply a large hole dug into an even larger rock, which formed a small cave. Within the cave-ling, was a cot (where he'd been laying when he'd awakened), and the bars at the other end. He went over to the bars, reaching out to touch one, but his hand connected with a hard surface some five inches short of the bars. He tapped it curiously. It sounded like glass. How thick, he wondered. He looked up to the cieling and down to the ground, but found no signs that it was affixed to the rock. Was it just standing there? He bent down to inspect the bottom more closely. Yes, it did, in fact, appear to just be standing on the rock floor. He tried to reach under in the hopes that maybe he could lift it, but it wouldn't budge. Not even enough for his flat, leafy fingers to slip between. He straightened back out and reached up towards the ceiling, his vine-like arms growing until his hands came into contact with the top of the glass. He gave a little push, but it wouldn't move, either. Then he retracted his arms and wandered along the perimetre, finding himself to be in something not unlike a very large upturned glass jar. With that thought, he felt a rush of alarm - how long before his air would run out? Through sheer force of will, he somehow managed not to panic. He closed his eyes, trying to clear his thoughts enough to work out some sort of a plan. Like breaking the glass, somehow. It wasn't unbreakable, was it? What if it was?

"Well, here you are." The female voice broke in, causing him to jump and spin around in surprise, abandoning his train of thought. "Sorry that took so long." She added. It now occured to him that he could hear her entirely too well, so it certainly couldn't be airtight. That was a relief.
"Uh, that-that's okay.." He murmered, taking note that his voice did happen to echo. He made a mental note to himself to be more observant next time. Then quickly made another not to let there BE any next time, tagging that one as high-priority. On that note.. he looked at his cloaked captor and noticed her holding up a bottle of clear liquid. He knocked on the glass, as though to remind her of it. "Oh, yes, that... well, don't worry, there's a little window, right?" She said, and reached through the bars, sliding a panel up (be more observant, next time, Reggie! He admonished himself), then handed the bottle through. "Take it." She said, when he made no move. After a second, she dropped it with a dismissive sigh. Alarmed, he dashed forward to catch it, aware that he had no idea what was in the bottle, nor if it was something he wanted to allow to break inside his make-shift cell, and came to land roughly on his stomach with the bottle safely in his hands. He heard her gasp. "...What're you..?? It's a plastic bottle! Nothing to hurt yourself over!" He shot her a glare, though realised she was right.
"Well, how should I have known?" He grumbled and stood up, making an inspection of the bottle. It was a perfectly normal brand-name water bottle, even still sealed.
"It's water, really. Drink." She told him.
"Uh..." He peered over at her, unable to say more and wondering just how gullible she thought he was. He gave the bottle a pointedly suspicious look and she groaned in aggrevation.
"Oh, I'm not going to poison you! It's unopened anyway, isn't it?"
"And how should I know what you're going to do?" He countered, half-expecting her to flip out on him. Instead, she replied perfectly calmly.
"You shouldn't. But, I did say I need your help, right? Poisoning you is rather counter-productive, wouldn't you say?" Well, she sort of had a point there... maybe...
"W-well, maybe it's not poison, but not water either." He suggested.
"Want me to take a swig first, love?" She asked sweetly, almost causing him to falter. He quickly pulled himself together.
"Why, yes, I think I do." He challenged, certain she'd never actually do it.
"Fine, then give it back." And to his surprise, she reached in through the panel. He considered grabbing her hand, but... hesitated, doubting the idea and, instead, surrendered the bottle to her, certain she wasn't going to actually DRINK it now. But, when she had it in her posession, she broke the seal, twisted off the cap and took a drink; then swollowed very prominantly, making a show of it before lowering it from her lips. His beak was on the floor. He pulled himself back together, determined that he wasn't going to let her off the hook that easily.
"Drink more." He commanded. "So I know it's not just a little bit tainted." She shook her head, but brought it back to her lips and chugged down an entire third of the bottle before his astounded eyes. Then wiped her lips on the sleeve of her cloak.
"There. It's not poisoned or anything else. Happy now?" He just nodded, not daring to even try and speak in his astonishment. She handed it back through the window to him "And to further reassure you of my good intentions," She continued. "I'll leave the panel open." Then she turned away, as though making to leave.
"Hey! Where are you going?" He called after her.
"To bed. It's late. You should try to get some rest, too. Breakfast's at seven-thirty." She told him and, without another word, left him there, with only the water and his thoughts for company.
He didn't even get a chance to point out that he'd just spent who knows how many hours being unconcious before she was out of sight.

* * * *

TWO: 'Roses are Red!'

"Rise and shine, sleepy head!" The voice stirred him from his dreams. "Breakfast is almost ready!"
"B-breakfast...?" He murmered, groggily, as he looked up to see his cloaked captor standing at the bars. Oh... right... His memory kicking in after - despite his original doubts - he'd ended up falling back to sleep last night anyway. As he'd found out after his adrenaline wore off, being chemically rendered unconcious didn't result in as refreshing a sleep as he would have thought.

"That's right." She said. "I just need to know what you'd like." She explained. "..If anything."
He sat up and rubbed his eyes, murmering. "Oh, just some bacon and eggs... or toast would be nice..." He wasn't ready to consider his predicament this early in the morning and felt slightly snarky - he'd probably regret it later, though, when his mind had fully engaged.
"Oh, so you mean you do eat food then, love?" She asked. Why did she keep calling him that? He wondered. But then dismissed it as a habit that otherwise fit with her odd habit of using British-sounding speech-paterns. "Does that mean I left you to fall asleep on an empty stomache last night?" At her decidedly worried tone of voice, he looked at her and felt a little foolish for his remark.
"Well... no, I'm just joking..." He admitted. "Well, er, sort of... Have you got any plant food?" Her beak curved into a frown.
"Oh... I'm terribly sorry." She murmered.
"What, you are?" He asked. He was sure this was now the wierdest 'hostage' situation he'd ever seen. What sort of captor was she, anyway? It didn't occure to him that it wasn't exactly disimilar to what he'd done with one Dr. Rhoda Dendron once upon a time.
"Why, yes. I might have taken you prisoner, but... I didn't mean to torture you." She replied, sounding geniune. "Now, look... I'll let you out so you can eat, if you promise me something." A-ha, here's the catch, he thought.
"What?" He asked, his tone suspicious, again.
"Don't leave until you've at least given me a chance to explain." She told him. He blinked..
"That... seems... fair... You'd really let me leave?" He had to ask, even though he was sure he knew the answer.
"Well, outside of that glass chamber, I can't very well keep you here." She told him.
"You can't? You're not lying, are you? 'Cause that's rude, you know." She shook her head.
"You're stronger than me." He began to feel a little dizzy from all this. "Do you promise? Just hear me out first."
"W-well... okay... b-but... don't try anything... no double-crosses..." His head was spinning, but he forced himself to stand up.
"Deal." She told him, and took out a set of keys to open the lock on the iron bars. He remained quiet, very curious to see how the glass chamber opened. "Stand back." She said and, to his horror, she produced a sledge hammer from her cloak, bringing it up over her head. He shrieked and scrambled backwards, coming to a sudden stop as he crashed painfully into the opposite wall. She swung the hammer, successfully breaking the glass on the first try. He remained crouched, sheilding his head against falling shards. And lost himself in pseudo flashbacks triggered by how uncomfortably familier it felt to be threatened with blunt and/or sharp objects...

Eyes shut tight, he didn't see her discard the hammer, nor was he aware of her approach; he wasn't aware of anything until he felt the patting on his shoulder. He shreiked and jumped backwards to his feet, only half in reality. "DON'T HURT ME!"
His captor was taken aback by his response, and he quickly checked himself over to make sure he was all intact.
"I... I wasn't going to!" She defended. Then the two regarded each other silently, neither sure what to expect now. Then, feeling more than a little self-concious, he pulled his gaze away to take in glass shattered all over the stone floor.

"Y-you are alright, aren't you?" She broke the silence.
"Y-yes.. You... the glass... I...?" He really wasn't sure what to say, and was seriously wishing he hadn't just made a cowardly fool of himself in front of her.
"The glass?" She glanced around, almost seeming to have only barely noticed it. "Well, yes... now you see that I couldn't put you back in, even if I wanted to. But, you do remember your promise, right?" He glanced up at her in question.. then he rememebered... 'Oh, oh, yes, the promise... shoot!' Unable to think of anything he could possibly say, or would even WANT to say, he just nodded and followed her to what one MIGHT call a makeshift kitchen... if one felt so generous. It had a fridge... a sink.. oh, and over there, an electric grilltop! Aww, and a backup generator, how sweet. Oh, and a cheap-looking wooden table with two chairs? Luxus! There were probably cupboards around there, somewhere, too, but he didn't bother to look, just as he didn't care about the light-source.
Well, okay, it was everything one needed... except the toilet, where was that?... He was both sure he didn't want to know and wouldn't be asking, lest she show him.

She motioned for him to have a seat at the little dining table and he did so, content to let his captor play server. And when she dropped multiple packages labelled 'plant food' on the table in front of him, along with two bowls and a box of cereal, he glanced up, one astonished eyebrow raised. Then she placed spoons and two glasses of water down, as well. And when she spoke, his other eyebrow rose to join it's twin.
"Well, I... er... didn't know which one you might prefere, Doctor Bushroot." She said, sounding like she could even be blushing under that cloak.
"Ah.... any one'll do..." Was the only response he could figure, whilst marveling over his captor's apparent nervousness and baffling desire to.... please him?
"I hope." She said as she seated herself. "Then, well... guten Appetit, right?" She murmered as she began helping herself to cold cereal (where had the milk come from? He wasn't sure). Without saying anything, he tore open one of the packages and the two ate in silence.

* * * *

THREE: 'But, now, let's cut to the chase!'

Later... after a breakfast of plant food and water for him and cereal for her...
She'd finally explained what she wanted from him.

At some point during her sales pitch, she'd let her hood down, revealing her face to him for the first time. She had white feathers, shoulder-length black hair which was parted in the middle and fell to either side, framing her face. And she had a black half-mask with a large slit for her right eye. And that eye had given him chills. Her left eye, though silver, was perfectly normal, even pretty in it's almond-shaped slant, but her right! The white was slightly discoloured and no silver or other colour framed her tiny pupil. The effect was creepy, to say the least. He had decided not to even ask about it.

Eventually, though, he got over it... particularly since her actual goal was way more disturbing. In fact, he was completely taken aback and fifteen minutes after she'd finished pitching her plan to him, they were arguing about it.

"Let me get this straight, you WANT to be a freak?!" He had exclaimed.
"Well, in case you didn't notice..." She reached up to her mask and removed it. "I already AM a freak!"
He shrieked for her face was terrifying sight: Horrid scars over every inch.. not to mention that eye, now fully revealed in the midst! It was too much for him to take and he swooned.

...To be awakened a moment later by having a bucket of cold water dumped on him. He lept, sputtering, to his feet.
"There.. convincing enough?" She asked him, he couldn't bring himself to look at her face and, instead, focused on the black mask she still held in her hand. He gave a mere nod, helplessly defeated.
"Alright, you win... I'll do it.." He signed, feeling drained. "Just... put that back on.."
"Good." And she replaced it, to his immense relief.
"But, I can't promise it's not going to hurt." He said, hoping that might still talk her out of it, even if it was rather lame. "...Or work."
"Nevermind that. Let's get started!" He signed and rubbed his head, as though massaging a headache.

Then, with her help, he began his work to build a machine like the one that had transformed him and almost transformed his former love, Rhoda Dendron, if it hadn't been for that irritating Masked Mallard - no, not the one that wore a yellow suit and a black cape, but the one that wore.... purple!

To his surprise, and eventual pleasure, constructing the machine didn't prove to be as difficult or time-consuming as he'd thought. For his odd lady-captor had done her homework and rounded up most of the supplies already. All he really needed to work on, were the calculations - and some of the lifting... all the fine-tuning... and she'd need him to throw the switch, of course.

At the beginning of their task, he'd not missed a chance to make a snide comment here and there, or to otherwise irritate her - as a just show of gratitude for his winding up here against his will. But, as the work got underway, he felt his general irritation had washed away to be replaced with excitement and an acute case of scientific wonder. Could he make it work a second time? He had no idea, but he was certain he couldn't wait to find out!

* * * *

FOUR: 'And now just *look* at your face!'

An agonised scream, fitting of any horror movie damsel-in-distress, rang down through the cave from a large hole in the ceiling (most likely caused by a cave-in) which had provided the open 'skylight' they needed to get the last ingredient for the experiment: Lightening.

"What, I warned you it wouldn't be a walk in the park!" He shouted up, indignantly. After the screams came to an end, he pulled the switch back down to lower the two tables, eager to see what had become of her. Would she look like him? Would she look different? Had she even survived? Of course, only time would tell.

The tables stopped and she wasn't moving. The rise and fall of her chest affirmed she had survived. And, just as with him, there were no apparent signs that he had been successful. He cast a glance over to the plant... yep, just as his hadn't before, this one hadn't survived either. He sighed and turned away to look back at Miss Schnabel, wondering if he should awaken her or just let her sleep. He decided to just let her sleep, expecting she'd probably sleep till morning. As any self-respecting mutant of science would do, he assigned himself the task of keeping watch over his subject.

* * * *

"D-did it work?" She asked nervously as he undid the straps that had secured her to the table.
"How do you feel?" She sat up and examined herself, then her shoulders slumped.
"No different... not at all..." Her voice was as dejected as his had been. "A-are you sure your calculations were right?"
"Of course I am!" He grouched, offended. "But, maybe you're just not compatible." He couldn't help a chuckle, though it was only half-hearted. He hadn't been able to sleep particularly well and, especially after having spent so much time in the dark, cold, sunless cave, he was a little irritable. As a result of this, he wasn't about to tell her that he'd only noticed a difference after he'd stepped into the sun. That was his subtle revenge for all his current discomforts.
"Well, that stinks! Can we try it again?" She asked.
"What? No. No, I don't think that would be a good idea at all." Then, just to be sure she wasn't going to argue further. "Tomorrow, maybe." He added. "Come. After all that, I'm feeling all wrung out. Let's go have a drink."
"Oh... okay.." She said, giving in and sliding down from the table. She followed him to the make-shift kitchen and accepted his serving her a glass of water. "Thanks." She said, then took a drink, the moment the water hit her lips, she began to choke.
"Ah... Careful there. Drink first, then breathe." He instructed, amused by her plight as she continued coughing until her lungs were clear.
"S-sound advice, that.." She finally said.
"How do you feel now?" He asked her, curious if maybe she was noticing anything yet - he'd never observed the transformation as an outsider.
"Not very good... weak... I dunno.." She said, elbows propped up on the table and resting her head wearily in her hands. "...Groggy.." She added. "I'm not a morning person.."
"Let's, ah, go get some sunshine, why don't we?" She raised her eyebrow, less than amused, and he tried hard to forget that it was her ONLY eyebrow. "Plants... need light and I'm feeling a little.. stuck in the dark, you know? And you have to come along, because I don't know which way 'out' is." There, that sounded convincing. It was the truth, anyway; he just hoped it would also hinder any questioning.
"Oh... alright." She said, forcing herself to get up and lead him through the short maze of tunnels. He still found her willingness to see to his needs, even when she clearly would have prefered to do something else (or nothing at all), astounding. It had almost never failed, in the weeks that had passed.

Once out in the sunlight, he turned back and observed her, then gave a little display of how refreshing it was: Stretching his arms out and sighing luxiouriously.
"B-better?" She called from just inside the shadow-cover of the entrance, where she appeared to be hiding.
"Oh, much better, in fact! Why don't you try it, too?" He suggested and she shook her head.
"No thanks... I'd rather stay here.."
"Why? Afraid someone might see you?" He asked, doubting that anyone would pay attention to her with him standing there in all his green-wonder.... if anyone had been around in the first place, that is.
"No.." She replied.. "It's not that.. I... burn easily, right?" She explained and he blinked.
"Oh, c'mon!" He said and, as she prepared another protest, he reached in, wound his vine-like arms around her, causing her to shriek as he literally yanked her out into the sun. When her struggling suddenly ceased, he released her. At first, she shyed away from the sun, but then she seemed to consider for a moment and held her hand up. "There. Does it burn?" He asked as she stood back up and began pulling her cloak down from her head, her eye wide as could be.
"N.... no... it doesn't.." She admitted, her voice filled with awe.
"Are you sure? 'Cause you're looking a little green." He said as casually as he could manage, watching her complexion darken and change tone. In fact, he was having trouble containing his delight.
"No... I feel fine... in fact, I feel more than fine, I feel great!" She exclaimed, then pulled off her cloak and tossed it aside in a flourish. "I feel... ALIVE!" He silently observed her whilst she gushed, and, as she began to sprout, he could no longer hold back his smile.

Suddenly, she stopped her sun-romance and turned to him, her beak open. "D... does this mean... it worked?" She asked him, wide-eyed and almost pleading. He simply motioned for her to follow him to a nearby well and pointed to the water. She took a deep breath and peared over. She gasped at her reflection, which was, before her very eyes, sprouting. Around her neck, petels were growing and her hair was changing... puffing out, blooming, actually.
Reggie covered his eyes as her clothing fell away unbeknownst to her.

She touched her green face and watched as the petals around her neck grew to form a 'mantel', covering her chest and draping over her arms.

After a few moments of awing over herself, he heard her baffled and irritated voice demand "What are you doing, Doctor?" He peaked up and, realising her breasts were covered, he quickly lowered both hands and flustered words fell from his beak.
"Oh, nothing! Don't mind me, I was just giving you... some privacy, you know...!"
"Privacy?" She asked, placing her hands on her hips. He realised then that this region of her body hadn't grown petals and, too shy to look, his eyes quickly darted back to her face and remained fixed there.
"Well, y-your clothing disappeared..." He explained and she gasped in shock, frantically looking herself over.
"Why... you're right... how did that happen..?" She wondered aloud.. "But, it's not like I need them, so..."
"Well... you are lacking, ah... b-bark.." He said.
"...Woof?" He blinked in confusion, then glared at her.
"No, dogbrain! Bark, you don't have it covering there!"
"Oh, ah..." She glanced down and, to his surprise, her cheeks turned pink as she covered her front with both hands, gasping. "...Oh my..! I..."
"H-here..." He produced a long leaf out of nowhere and held it out to her, turning his head away.
"Th-thanks..." She said, taking it gratefully and wrapping it around her waist.

Then both proceeded give her transformation a inspection. "Th-think I'm done..?" She asked, fingering the petels at her neck and giving them a critical look.
"I-I think so... something wrong?" He asked as he noticed her unsatisfied expression.
"Well... I did expect they would be red instead of... pink..." She said in a disgusted tone. He blinked - she'd 'expected' that? Then he noticed something, whilst she was turning around and he wasn't able to stiffle his giggle.
"If you don't like that, then you better not look at your backside." She shot him a questioning glare.
"...My backside?" He gave a silent nod to affirm, and she looked back.
"....OH FOR THE LOVE OF..." She turned back to him. "I have a BLOSSOM ON MY BUTT?!" And it was twitching in her frustration, he lost the battle against his laughter. She glared in silence, until he could get ahold of himself and saw her expression.
"S-sorry.. it's just... it... you..."
"Oh, nevermind!" She interrupted, waving a leafy-hand dismissively. "Let's just move on to other things... Did I get your powers, too?"
"My powers?" He repeated.
"Yeah.. Well, I'll try out that vine thing.. How do you do it?"
"Uh..." He blinked... how DID he do it? He just... did. But how do you explain that? "Just... reach for something that... should be out of your reach." He ventured.

She looked around, her gaze settling upon a rock in the grass on the other side of the well and reached out for it. Her arm did, indeed, stretch out... or grow, rather, like his did and she successfully retrieved the rock, to her delight. "Excellent!" She exclaimed, holding it up between them, her arm back to its normal length; then she looked up at him, an excited grin covering her face. "What else is there?"
"Ah... talking to plants...?" He was thinking aloud, then glanced to her, seeing her curious expression, plainly begging him to teach her. "Well, be very quiet and just ...listen to them." He instructed. "Then, uh, talk to one of them.. I dunno, ask them if they'd like to do something for you.. - Uh, be nice, fellas, it's her first time." He murmered to his brethren.
"Hmm.." She rubbed her beak thoughtfully and then snapped her fingers, looking at the weeds and grass on the ground. "Uh... okay... could you guys please... grow?" And they did. The plants and weeds reaching for the sky until they shrouded the two mutants, blocking their view of each other. A second later, she poked her head through to look at him. "COOL! Doctor, this is amazing!" She chirped.
"Heh-heh, bravo!" He cheered her. He couldn't help himself, for she was his experiment, afterall, and he felt quite proud that he'd finally been successful in making another plant-duck! Even if she did end up with a pink blossom on her butt. And sometime, he'd have to tell her that she didn't need to open her beak to communicate with plants.

* * * *

SIX: 'The End!'

They were returning to the cave, now, after she'd worn herself out exploring her newfound powers, when, suddenly, she stopped him by placing her hand on his shoulder. "Doctor Bushroot?" He turned back to her.
"Yes?" He asked and she smiled warmly.
"I just wanted to say.... thank your for all your help." And, before he could reply, she leaned forward and kissed his cheek, leaving the duck-plant standing there shell-shocked with his beak hanging open, and sat himself slowly down on her couch.

Chapter End Notes:
There we go, you made it through, go you! It does get better after this (I hope?).
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