ROOM FOR A GOOD LIFE
WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
Disclaimer: Dangemouse (2015) and all trademarked characters are property of Fremantle Media and CBBC.
It was the simplest instruction.
Stay out of the lab.
And it wasn’t followed.
He’s supposed to the world’s greatest agent, and he couldn’t stick to this very basic request.
A request for privacy.
A request to serve her own basic need for personal security.
She wanted to rely on him. She wanted to trust his judgement.
And in this instance he dared to disappoint her most dangerously.
And the results were catastrophic.
She had dared to contact him while she attended the rock concert, letting him know that what had been uttered by her translator wasn’t intended to come off as hurtful, she was just concerned for the ongoing security of her work. She thought she’d even give him a little look at what she got up to when she would literally let her hair down, to show what a kid she was at heart.
She wanted him to see her as she was.
When she got back, and learned of what he did, learned that he had proven her trust issues valid, she wanted to violently tear his face off so she could peck it into a billon pieces.
She had been through so much over the course of a few weeks, she had fought valiantly beside her friends, valiantly beside him, and she had also been through a traumatic experience with a pair of terrifying tentacles intruding on her within a most private of areas, the women’s lavatory. Any normal woman would have screamed.
The only thing that could her scream was the loss of trust and the misplaced faith she had in one mouse.
And yet…when all was done, when crisis was averted, she accepted his invitation to dinner
Just like that.
It wasn’t even a question.
It was yet another exercise.
An exercise in trust.
She knew how it usually went. She’d been through it in school.
Someone would reach out with their hands.
You would fall backwards.
You’d trust that they’d catch you.
That’s how it worked.
That’s what she was counting on.
A chance for him to catch her as she too fell backwards into a state of ease around him.
And even when the floor caved in beneath her, before she could reach the dinner table Dangermouse and Penfold had set up for her, even as she fell and knew she couldn’t be caught, one question came into her mind.
Was this faith worth the pain?
“How are you feeling Squawk?” asked Dangermouse as he stood at the edge of the doorway that led into the infirmary containing the prone and injured Squawkencluck.
“Do you…want me to sign your name on the cast?” Penfold offered, pointing to her cast.
“Knock yourself out” the Professor replied.
Penfold smashed his head against the side of her bed and dropped to a heap on the floor.
“Must he always take things so literally?”
“I think it works subconsciously, he knows when to take himself out of the equation to invite privacy on me at a moment of great reflection”
“Dangermouse, there’s not one mirror in this room, so your usual patented narcissism is going to have to table its appointment”
“Ah, a funny” said Dangermouse, “Good attitude to have, a cracking joke always elevates the sting of pain”
“I wasn’t joking. I never joke about mistrust” said an irritated Squawkencluck.
“Yes, about that…look, it was done with the best of intentions, I just wanted to water that seed for you” Dangermouse replied.
“If that had been less irregular, I would have asked you of that, but it was isolated in the lab for a reason. You of course couldn’t see any other reason other than to…to…”
“To what?” said Dangermouse.
“Impress me” she answered.
“Come to think of it, I was being awfully impressionable” Dangermouse added, stroking his chin as he pondered his choice of action.
“Offering to water the plants is a very domestic thing, it wouldn’t be out of place in The Good Life” Squawkencluck continued, “But in a world as fragile as ours, in a universe that’s hard to predict, there can’t be any room for a good life now can there? Everything has to be chaotic, and then it has to be controlled”
Dangermouse walked over to her cast, took the felt tip pen from the unconscious Penfold’s hand, and penned a small picture of a buttercup daisy with a dove flying overheard on Sqawkencluck’s cast.
“What’s that for?” she asked
“To remind you to never stop thinking of a good life”
“Casts come off you know”
“Then imprint it on your memory, and never let the dream die”
“You are such a lost cause…but you know what? If dreaming of a good life’s worth the pain, then I guess you are too” Squawkencluck replied, permitting herself and Dangermouse a wry smile.
Once again, she was showing him a more affirming part of herself.
She knew it would cheer him up.
And he would do better in future to make her feel better.
All to find room for a good life.