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Cronica-Lucinda -- By: MysteryGirl

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PlotEdit

When King Julien gets a hold of the dream-token, he visits the subconscious of his exhausted twin sister, Duchess Lucinda, as to look for ways to improve as a big brother, and finds out that her true strength is in her heart.


Cronica-Lucinda
(Formerly entitled: The Duchess of New York)

Cronica-Lucinda

Chapter 1Edit

Duchess Lucinda had a rough night last night as La Phantasma. Not only did she have her hands full re-capturing Cecil and Brick (who got pardoned for "good behavior", but she overhead there plans to rob a thrift-shop and set up a trap), but she practically had what Pappy calls the "catch that got away" when Ze-Archer (AKA: Archie the raccoon) offered to help and tried to kiss her! Between finding one problem and running away from another, the poor female lemur wore herself out by the time she's returned to the zoo. Amy Dehauntedo, her foster-cousin and one of the Jr.Zookeepers, was disappointed, but rolled her eyes and smiled at the worn-out little heroine: "Still think you can handle staying up past a curfew for 10:47pm?" (that's when she usually is expected home to avoid getting locked out, but that was extended since the zoo doesn't open until 9 am.)

"I made it, didn't I?" Lucinda yawned. She hoped the sound that left her mouth would sound more like a laugh, seeing the penguins beat-up Archie (again) but she was burned out! Zeke, Amy's little brother, noticed it, and said he would tuck her in. Duchess Lucinda was about to object, as she knew she wouldn't use her Dream Token (her memory-reader of sorts) if she didn't tuck herself in, but all to quickly... she fainted.

Meanwhile, King Julien, Lucinda's twin brother, overheard what just happened and, been told of the Dream Token by the penguins, he figured this was his chance to see what his sister had really been through. After all, he's a big brother again (by three-minutes, as always) and he wanted to make improvements to his royal family approach. As he figured, the token was found in one of the tiny boxes in her alchemy when not in use, and figured he should get back to bed... stupid or not, even he could figure out how to make it work. As he visited Lucinda's usual dream of being a human (the most respecified one in the world), Julien found a shortcut to the furthest of his sister's memories (but didn't stay in there first day in the world too long and had to go ahead) and got a new viewpoint of his own prince-hood...

Chapter 2: Early ProblemsEdit

"Ju-lon, you gotta pay attention, or our kingdom won't think you're being cleaver enough!"

"Loosen yourself up sis! Life is being to short, and soon we would be the history."

Lucinda (a princess) fiddled with their pink seashell amulet in annoyance. She's been tutoring her twin brother (Julien XIII, prince of Madagascar) in math and history for almost a week, and he still thinks it was there father, King Julien XII, who created the island's first fire-fly leaf-lamp (when it was really the work of Lord Walter, King Julien V's third cousin twice removed), and it was his mother, Queen Sasha, who planted the large baobab tree (when it was really King Julien I's wedding gift to Queen Tama)! "Let us be getting back to the math, okay?" she said, trying to keep herself under control, "If 206 1/4 is equal to 825 divided by 4, then 5 1/2 is equal to...!" The young prince ran through his fingers and squinted his face trying to think before giving his answer: "Meleven divided by two-lien?"

"IT'S 11 DIVIDED BY 2! 11/2!!! CAN'T YOU LEARN ANYTHING RIGHT YOU... BANANA-BRAIN?!"

Prince Julien shook his head, "That was being the exactly answer just gave-en, Lu-see-dah," he smiled, "I had just changed the way the way they are pro-nonce-ed so it'll suit me."

Princess Lucinda went through the royal historical records... her brother knew what she was thinking and swung his blue seashell amulet around his neck to taunt her. "I don't think there's a rule-of-the-ruling against it sis, and if there is, there shouldn't be... as the next in line for the throne, and the crown that shall be making me king, I should be making rules, not following them! Wanna go throw rotten papaya at the sifika's?"

"Really... I do not think we should be..." Princess Lucinda was trying to be firm. Prince Julien was indeed the heir to the throne, being older by three minutes, but since he fell out of the tree as a baby and lived, he was left with a very bad case of the stupids (hard to believe it took him three days longer to learn to climb trees), so when ever he has a "cunning idea", it always leads both of them into trouble! She tends to keep her brother close though, for they do everything together, and she knows better then to trust him on his own (besides, though it frustrates her that he usually gets the wrong answers, she takes pride in the few moments that the older twin thinks without hurting himself in the process), not to mention he can be very persuasive, especially when he remember Royal Tradition #79: Manners are important from first class to last, as lacking them means no class at all.

"Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease!!!!"

"Oh! Alright big brother, but let's use under-grown coconuts instead of rotten papaya."

She figured that changing the projectiles would make them less likely to get in trouble with their parents, but she's wrong. As usual, Lucinda only managed to turn her brother's bad idea differently BAD! Ashamed for that, and in habit of protecting the "proper heir", she wanted to be the whipping girl for both of them, but Queen Sasha managed to spank both of them and, with the craziness of a broken heart, their father as well: "I want the whole royal family to hurt like I do!"

Chapter 3: VisionsEdit

After that miss adventure, and another one in which they got in trouble for blowing up one of the plane-wreck engines (when it was really the fault of an island heat-wave) Princess Lucinda was worried that she might never get her twin brother to follow through on the traditions of lemur royalty, but what's worse, she figured her failures as some kind of sign, and while her brother was out dancing with the parents and the rest of there village, she saved herself the humiliation (she was so wobbly in her steps trying to display how a dance routine is supposed to be done, that she figured she wasn't good enough at it to even have a groove) and went to the rock formations at the beach to watch the stars come out, something her party-animal kind seldom do now that they are preparing there king-to-be for a reign that is supposed to be years away yet (traditionally, right after marriage). She could sense the presence of the Spirit World from those rocks, as the Sky, Water, and Earth all touch each other there, and she sent her plea to all of them: "I ask all creation, and whatever force created it all, for a sign. Aside from the princess of Madagascar, I am nothing. It is clear that I am to smart for my brother to protect me... and we all know that, somehow, I'm not able to teach him anything either. I just know that I am meant to do something more important then succeed him when... or rather, if he fails as king. Something so much more greater then my royal status, that it was disguised as something leaser to balance things out properly. I'd give it all up, in any chance seen fit, if you could please just tell me... who any I, really? What purpose am I meant to have?"

Suddenly, the world around her grew hazy, and the sky-spirits changed the forms of there star-drawings into new ones... two of them looked like shovels, many of them took up shapes (mostly squares and circles), and one of them looked like a large drum! they spun around, faster and faster, and just as she was getting dizzy, the stars feel down to her...slowly. She was fascinated by what she saw: as the sky gotten dark and shady, the stars visited her in the form of tiny, glittering white crystals! Something about them chilled her, as they covered her fur with there sparkly splendor, and they practically formed into a crown for her. Unable to find the sea or rivers to reflect to her how she looked, she tried to take of her crown-and-robe combo so she can get a decent image, but the minute the skin of her hands touched these objects, the sky-crystals had turned into water!

Chapter 4: Who's The Fool?!Edit

Was it a dream or a reality? Even she doesn't know, but as she looked around and found everything the way it was before the sign was shown, she knew she'd never forget it, and ran to tell her father about it. Alas, he laughed at her. "My silly daughter, being so foolish as to think that there is such a thing of the sky spirits as star-crystals... especially ones that turn to water after they touch the skin of us below!"

"I'm not the fool! My brother is!" Lucinda snapped (didn't take long after that for her to see how true it was), "Besides, they shown to me the variety of images there world is offering! With that much more to see of there world, maybe there is more to the world down here... I think that, if I leave the island, I can be seeing the unknown lands, perhaps the one called 'The New Country', and perhaps there I can see for real the white crystals..."

"Leave?!!!" King Julien XII panicked, "My dearest daughter, of all the lemurs that are destined to be the ones that never step away from Madagascar, a royal must pray that they are one of them! A lemur born to the Cattamaki matriarch never considered leaving our paradise home and the kingdom that needs them before! IT'S UNSPOKEN OF!!!! Never, ever let your better-minded brother know of this vision! It'll ruin all that these traditions had stood for."

"And what that? FOR TIME TO STAND STILL?! All this time I was tying to make myself and my brother perfect, but that is the undo-able task compared to seeing the world beyond the island... seeing all the unknown lands!"

"The royal nurse was right... Minuscule impulsion insanity syndrome is truly the burden of my younger child!"

"Perhaps true that, Father, but while I have a minor case of the crazies, it's a head healthier by far next to my brother's stupidity-infliction!"

"It's all in the past that your brother had a case of the stupids..."

"My teachings are not enough, father! He still has that case... a very bad case of the stupids! He keeps changing the names of numbers and acting unresponsible for melons-sakes! I may be crazy, but I'm not foolish! My twin is... I CAN PROVE IT!"

Indeed she did try to prove it, by tattling on her brother with every misadventure they had gone through (and whenever she caught him doing something ridiculous... like speak for the royal pet gecko, Stevie), unaware that the latest one, involving dureans, the fussa, and a sling-shot dare, that trick of any younger sibling would cease to work, as a famadihana, a funeral tradition fit for royalty, was set to the previous generation: Queen Sasha and King Julien XII. When Prince Julien, despite being to young to do it properly (via marriage), had proclaimed himself as King Julien Darius Cattamaki XIII, and Lucinda Hira Cattamaki, his sister, turned back to her old ways of fussing over traditions... after all it was practically their parents last request.

Chapter 5: Mort and MauriceEdit

Since her brother was now the king, he can do as he chooses, and he had managed to ignore Lucinda. Julien was still prince-like though, had started so young, and teases Lucinda for being unable to dance. Unaware that he was trying to get her to prove him wrong, Lucinda took it far too seriously, and challenged him to a game of "Cry Mercy" instead. Arm twisting and tail-pulling wasn't enough, so for the first time in her life (at least for her own sake) she got creative: pits full of hissing roaches, rocks in the branches of coconut trees, snakes used as a rope (although her knot-tying skills were pathetic)... the works. Nothing worked! She felt like crying (despite the recall that her father said royal lemurs don't do that), when she heard someone was already doing that. Lucinda found the source of the sound: a newborn baby mouse-lemur was cuddling the corpses of his parents... obviously victims of bamboo food poisoning. She felt sorry for the baby, for although her own parents belittled her almost never on purpose, but belittled none-the-less), she was lucky to had known them... poor little thing was an orphan from the start! She didn't mean to advertise the misery of there first encounter as she was inspired by another dream-vision, in which a strange white flower opened up before her, and she heard a young voice say "Mordecai" for some reason. She shorted the word so that, as a name, the tiny-tiny baby could carry it easily... "King Julien, my dearest brother," she asked, as she presented the baby to him, "It'll mean so much to me as well as your own right to rule if you'd be looking after little orphan Mort while I am searching for new parents for him. Do not object this bro, for if you cannot handle this, how can you be handling an entire kingdom?!"

Mort and Maurice meet their new king

Lucinda really was crazy... jealous-crazy!

She didn't really run off, at least not far. Lucinda hid in some nearby ferns to see how much of the baby's crying her brother will take before he cries mercy, but things took a turn for the unexpected, for rather then crying, Mort took a liking to his new king and, figuring out how to crawl, got up to one of Julien's legs, and grabbed the royal feet for the very first time! At first, King Julien didn't notice, at least not until he tried to walk and ended up landing on his face! Lucinda laughed as she watched her brother try to get the baby to let go, and he screamed all but mercy... then she got hit in the head with a coconut and the next thing she knew, she was being pulled up from the ground by a young aye-aye.

"Are you alright, miss?" he asked, "Sorry about that... musta put a little too much spice in that toss!"

If she wasn't upset over missing a few seconds of her entertainment, she would've done the regally-polite thing bay saying "Thank you", but instead she blurted out "Get you're clumsy hands away from me you freak!" and re-hidden in the plants on the other side of her brother's struggle with Mort, which the aye-aye quickly acknowledged and assisted with.

"You have to be gentle with a newborn baby," the aye-aye suggested, as he tickled baby Mort into letting go and cuddled him, "and if this nonsense continues when he's bigger, then you can get rougher with him."

"Advice that actually works!" Julien said, as he looked all over for his crown, "Thanking you very muchly for helping me with that, and I hope you aren't minding my asking but... who the heck are you?"

"My name is Maurice," the aye-aye answered, "and I think its only fitting that the introductions go both ways..." then Maurice noticed the crown "...your majesty?"

"But of course it is fitting, more so then my soon-to-be grown-into crown," Julien said holding it up so it won't slide over his eyes, "regardless, only those from outside of Madagascar would be unknowing if they are in the presence of the illustrious King Julien XIII, self-proclaimed lord of the lemurs, et-set-hurrah, et-set-hurrah. Though I'd be flattered to be presented... especially by my soon-to-be adviser! How would you be liking that job Maurice? Huh? There's only one opening."

"Well," Maurice said, "being abandoned for being 'short-handed' does mean that there are no permission-slip signage required, that, that and I have nothing really to loose. Besides, somebody's gotta keep you outta trouble so, your highness, I consider it an honor."

Lucinda wasn't thrilled when they shook on it: "I'm supposed to be the genius you are to turn to you... you... YOU BANANA-BRAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Chapter 6: StormsEdit

Lucinda was undeniably upset as day turned to night. she just couldn't let go of the grudge she had over her pre-maturely coronatied brother, not just because he's practically broken or changed every tradition that Madagascan Royalty was long known for, but also because he's replaced her (at least in wisdom standards) with a commoner... an aye-aye! What's worse, as far as she seen at the time, is that Maurice was replacing her wrong, for he complains a little when following a royal command he doesn't agree with. None of the other servants ever shown a bad tone, and she wasn't that way either (at least not until the tattle-tale phase). Also, he seems very adult-like for his young age... more realistic in thinking then the boy-king. Lucinda was worried, as she figured that Maurice was using her brother's trust to steal the right to rule, but while her head was saying that, her gut-feeling had other ideas that annoyed her more: with Maurice's help, Julien might actually think for himself between his own crazy schemes and the adviser's reconsideration, it told her, only then, despite being selfish and stupid, he' d actually turn out to be a good king... and he might not need you anymore!

Driven mad (as in insane) by such a sense of being left without a purpose, Lucinda came up with a plan that was low even for her and her brother put together: seize a crustacean, and shave of the fur off of Maurice's back while everyone was asleep (for if Maurice's ugly enough, she thought, my brother would be grossed out and not want to be anywhere near him)! She was just about to follow through with that plan, and she snickered wickedly as she snuck upon the sleeping aye-aye, but one thing restored her sanity enough for her to reconsider: the momentarily opened eyes of her brother, who was laying in the branches of the same tree as his new adviser.

She felt terrible, and didn't stick around to see if King Julien was fully awake or not. One thing was clear to every ounce of her well-being... her twin brother would hate her for what she almost did, and will follower her to every hiding place until he caught up with her and gave her a fitting punishment. No place was safe... or was there. She then remembered the words of the previous king, her father, a king must never leave his kingdom, and took it to be true. Unaware where the blueprints came from before popping into her head, she managed make a raft (or zahatra as it's traditionally called) for herself, and packed it with shiny-stuff she and her brother found on the beach together, a triple-baker's-dozen of kely-pods still on the leafy branch, a rock, and all the other things she might've not needed (royals have a history for over-packing, and she was lucky that it didn't sink when her own weight was added). She put her brother's pendent over her own as she sailed off, and was trying to hide her tears as the island of Madagascar slowly vanished before her eyes: "I save-ed you the trouble of banishing me, Julien. You have no need for me any longer."

King Julien, now grown up, held the Dream Token tight at this particular memory his sister had before the Sky Spirits sent harsh winds and rains after her. Truly the storm they made to rearrange her destiny was nothing compared to the storm locked away in her heart... her soul! In his selfish acts of naming holidays after himself and getting everyone catering to his every whim, it was little wonder the memory of having a twin sister had slipped his royal mind. "Some pure-hearted king I had been." Julien said to himself as quietly as possible (as he feared that the sound of his voice might awaken his sister before he revives, thus breaking the spell), "Lucinda, you don't know how wrong you were to be feeling that way... a part of me would always be needing you. I just only have room in my life to be needing you at curtain times. After all, we are twins."

Chapter 7: Duchess LucindaEdit

The next thing Lucinda knew, she was inside something she's never seen before. Was she still at sea? Most likely, as she can feel the rise and fall of the tides... "There's no way I am still being alive," she told herself, "for if I was I... I'd still have the sight of what the Sky Spirits made above me, instead of these... six angles that would look all the same if not for what is in here with me. Then again, I cannot be believing I am dead either... as I had never been knowing a corpse to posses the desire to spill their guts in my lifetime!"

She also didn't know a corpse to be sniffing either, so when she smelled the salty-sea air, it was official: "I'm still alive... although I cannot help it feeling dead."

She then heard music... nothing she never heard before, but music none the less, and it was lively. As far as she knew, it had to be other lemurs. "Please oh please tell me I've landed in the Comoros" she pleaded, as she raised her arms where she assumed to be up toward the heavens, before she gathered the little strength she had to get up and walk. where ever she was, it wasn't immune to the rolling waves, but compared to the mess she's been through in what felt to be only last night, it was an improvement. Had used to play in a plane wreck, Lucinda knew a door when she saw one, and didn't take long figuring out how to open it. The creatures she saw at the other side of that door weren't lemurs, but they were somewhat familiar. She then noticed the markings on there "fur" and how peculiar it was, as she found that these unusual animals were able to put it back on after they shredded it... some even share this unusual "second-skin" with one another. It then dawned on her that what she saw was clothing, a covering that was all the outer-layer of the skeletons in the trees had left. What did those seagulls call them again? Humans? Beings? Peoples? Whichever of the three was right, the gulls used them all... "people" must be the rightest of them, as it was the most commonly used by the seagulls as they told the whole island about them ever since the crash-landing years before even her grandparents were born! Generation after generation, the lemurs used the stories of the peoples that the seagulls told as there one source of information of life beyond the island... although her father never trusted them as much as the royal ancestors did (as she got her intelligence from his side of the family, and he can tell from the start that 78% of there knowledge of these strange animals were erroneous) and told them all to stay out of the jungle and stay by the seashore "where they belong". Despite knowing father was right, Lucinda used to visit them to learn about them... it was either that or putting up with her brother being better then her at singing and dancing.

"Better compared to you then sis," Julien whispered to the memory, hoping not to be heard, "but you had your chance to keep up with me, and now I move and groove much better then I did then... glad to be loosing my childhood tone deafness too."

Young Lucinda was slightly confused by these humans... they were funny looking compared to the bunch of bones she was used to back on the island of Madagascar, but she couldn't help preferring this bunch, especially the older, one-legged one making music by squeezing something that looked like a giant worm. Memory cleared up then, that this one saved her life! He had a handsomely low voice, with the elderly creaky-sound that keet it from sounding frightening when he sang:

'Twas Friday at dawn when we set sail
and we had not gone far from the land
When our captain he spied a lovely mermaid
with a comb and a mirror in her hand
Oh the ocean waves will roll
and the Stormy winds will blow
while we poor sailors are skipping to the top
and the land-lubbers lie down below below below
while the land-lubbers lie down below.

"Seriously though, Paublo Dehauntedo," one of this person's shipmates asked, "you claim to had captured a real-live mermaid?"

"Yah, Old Man Fishy," said another, "just because you caught a mammal in your net that wasn't the usual whale or seal or dolphin or... whatever other mammal usually lives at sea, and just because it appeared there in weather most all half-fish half-primates are associated with, doesn't mean that tail and legs you saw on it just before giving it a hug used to be fins. What does the little monkey look like anyway?"

Loosing her balance to the sudden (but thankfully unusually small) rouge wave that broke at the moment, causing her to drop in unexpectedly in this apparent party uninvited, but to her surprise, she was the guest of honor all along!

"Well look who made it through the night, boys," Paublo Dehauntedo said, hoisting her high for the crew to see, "Everyone, I'd like you to meet our mermaid, one which I appropriately desired to name 'Duchess', since it was this very ship, the S.S. American Duchess, which brought our two worlds together."

The crew seemed to agree with it, although they still say he's wrong about her being a mermaid!

Overtime, the reality of that truth dawned on the supposed captain of this ship, but all the same, "Duchess" Lucinda was still the most beautiful creature of the sea.


Chapter 8: A Sailor's Life and A Girl Named AmyEdit

It was clear that the sailor's life wasn't the life for Lucinda. For the past month, she had one unbearable detail after another. The first week aboard was mostly sea sickness, and the fish that Paublo Dehauntedo (who claims his granddaughter, Amy, calls him "Pappy", and the young duchess decided to do the same) has a habit of feeding her weren't much help. Soon enough, she couldn't take it, and had to find something in the whole batch she could actually stomach. Duchess Lucinda made do with shrimp and a decent helping of the fish-weeds (which Pappy happens to call "kelp"), but how she longed to have kily pods again, picked right from the tree. Before long, she got used to the smell of the foul-fuming fish, but found herself (within reason) far less likely to stand the taste.

After she recovered, she was bored on board, and got herself and the crew in trouble many times before Pappy set her straight: "You know Duchess, a ship in chaos is one most likely to sink. For all are sakes, please try to show some control... and respect for a living Steadfast Tin Soldier." Pappy's story of how he got wounded in the war but won the heart of his (now-sainted) wife anyway had practically dazzled Duchess Lucinda, and she couldn't help but feel its an royal-honor to lend a helping hand to an actual hero! She struggled to do it right, however, for despite her intelligence everything of this world was complicated, but Pappy saw her as his own, and taught her all she needed to know about being part of the crew, such as nautical terminology, use of charts and sextants for navigating, and how to make and use several kinds of knots. Being a genius, Duchess Lucinda learned these things quickly, but didn't have the same knack for it as the humans around her. Well, at least she found ways to keep busy in a constructive way, and was no longer bored for the remainder of the trip.

If sea-sickness, strange dishes, and the so-called "cabin-fever" wasn't enough, however, the enduring loneliness was. Somehow, all the conversations where one-way, and seemed like she was speaking a different language then the captain and his crew ("Re-dic-u-less-ness," she told herself, "I can be understanding them perfectly, after all, so why can't they be understanding me?"). She started talking to herself, and she switches the pendents around as she pretended that her brother was there with her... it just doesn't fill the void.

Soon enough, the ship "moored" (or parked itself) at the harbors of New York City, where Duchess Lucinda marveled at the local statue while Pappy and his fellow sailors unloaded the cargo to make a long-overdue stand as fishmongers:"They must really be loving their queen here, to had made quite a likeness."

"That's not a queen, Silly." a voice behind her giggled, "That's Lady Liberty!" Duchess Lucinda was started, and used that as an excuse to hide how shy she was, but after sharing introductions and exchanging stories about themselves, she and the little human, Amy Dehauntedo, were friends faster then an eight-year-old could say "Welcome to New York City!"

Chapter 9: "She's My Cousin"Edit

Amy knew a lot about life in the big city for an eight-year-old human, and Duchess Lucinda had admired that kind of mind as the girls exchanged teachings... different histories and cultures, legal issues, but the young lemur was stuck when Amy asked her what was done for fun back in Madagascar. The poor duchess was worried that she'd have to give a demo if she told her friend about the dancing, but when that accidentally slipped out, Lucinda was surprised, as Amy smiled "Like this?" and did a warrior-like spin hop and kick combo perfectly (or as perfect as a youth her age and species usually get when they are enjoying the dance).

Lucinda's mouth hung open! "Amy! How did you...? I didn't know you where knowing Hiragasy Dihy Irery here too!"

"Actually it's the Matrix," Amy grinned, "with a hint of veganova with a break-dance windmill! I do what I can to make my own style of dancing, but when you live in part of America, you know it's here that Wilson Pickett got the inspiration for his song Land of 1000 Dances. The best a dreamer like me can do is take a bash at it."

"Bash?" Duchess Lucinda heard many words in old and new languages, as well as the terms for each part and action of the ship, but she never heard talking like this before. Before Amy can explain, a large and scary man with dark skin came into the scene.

"Amy Dehauntedo," he said, "Your parents told me to escort you to the harbor so you can visit your grandfather, not spend the whole day. I have better things to do, you know, like trying to find out what my real, yet classified name was that she'd take it to the grave with her," (an old lady in the background then shouted, "X my boy! Won't you pleeeeeeeeeeease quit telling everyone I'm dead already?!") "and training up for a better career then babysitting neighbor kids like y..." he then noticed Lucinda, and (being more well read then the other NYC passer-bys that mistaken her for a raccoon or a squirrel... or anything else she was) recognized what she was in disgust, "A lemur?! What kinda net are those fishermen using these days? Shouldn't freaks like her belong on an island?! You and your grandfather are in big trouble young lady!"

"FREAKS!" Now that was a word Lucinda's familiar with (and unlike her brother, King Julien, she never ever ever saw it at a compliment)!

"She's my cousin, Mr. X." Amy smiled. "Your cousin?" X repeated, confused.

"That's right," Amy answered, "Duchess Lucinda here used to be an orphan before Pappy adopted her as part of the family, but a storm at sea happened between one and two... she herself said so!"

"Don't be silly Amy," X moaned, "I mean really: aren't you're a bit too old to think that animals can talk like we do?" "I don't think it, Mr. X, I know it, and know it as true! You just don't have an ear for listening; few people do."

"Now I know how Stevie feels of this." Lucinda said.

"What was that, Cindy?" Amy asked, and Lucinda whispered to change the subject, and her human friend translated it, "Really? Consider it done! So X? Can you take a detour to Central Park on the way home? The Duchess told me she wants to climb trees, and I think my baby brother Zeke would love to ride in his buggy." Both girls giggled as X reacted in annoyance and moaned, "This just isn't worth two dollars an hour!"

Chapter 10: Raising ZekeEdit

Duchess Lucinda was bewildered by the local plant life, but it didn't take her long to learn the names of every kind of tree Central Park had... oak, maple, holly, pine, willow; all simple proclamations... and as she climbed the trees, she actually felt power in the unusual leaves, as though this world knew things Madagascar didn't, but what? She didn't know, but was willing to find out, as she knew she was going to be here for a long time. Even if she didn't fear the seas and storms, what does he have left to lose by staying? Amy seemed to be a nice girl, at least nicer then Mr.X and most the other humans around here (Amy said that's the New York City attitude, although Lucinda assumed something worse... demons!), and if this little persnickety, communicatively-gifted human child didn't win the renounced-royal's heart, Amy's brother might've. Ezekel Dehauntedo ("Zeke" for short) was only a year old as of the day she met him, but he already had his own way of doing things, such as putting his pacifier in her mouth and giggling, as though to say "Hello". Amy took a picture of that (Mr. X did the same thing and torn Amy's up to show her a professional job... talk about abuse to one's character!) and then she pointed out that Zeke never gives up his binky to anyone, EVER, in his life!

During the time passing (once Amy and Zeke's parents said she can stay) Lucinda's mind actually filled with things that actually kept her challenged. She learned that New York Sky Spirits were indeed fickle-pickles, as they changed the weather with far more variety then the celestial tribe back at her old island home (she even was taught the names of all four seasons, and liked "Winter" best because she got to play in the frozen-white-sky-crystals, which Amy said was called "snow"). She found out why the Red Night Goblin ("Santa") treats her and her brother as he does, and made a vow to gain respect. She learned of human cruelty, as she got locked in the pound three times already and had once had to escape from a biology lab in Massachusetts (where a wacky lab-rat named Bandersnatch kept trying to propose to her... he just wasn't her type) before retuning to Amy, who removed the serial number tag pierced into her right ear (they thought that the pierce-mark would never close up, but aside of a scar, it did) and Alchemy from a strange but wise squirrel-woman named Salasi, but there was one lesson this world had to give her that she wasn't prepared for... it took a whole year since they met before Zeke switched from crawling to walking, when he should've learned that months before she even came, and on his third birthday on her second year, he was still unable to talk (though he clearly had a voice) and he slept in a crib! When Amy grossed Lucinda out (with the same nascence that Maurice did to Julien when a baby-egg was found in the zoo... he remembers that all too well!) and then used that knowledge to explain that Zeke was born in a Taxi with a cranky driver and was PRACTICALLY DROPPED ON HIS HEAD, Lucinda couldn't believe her mind! Stupidity Syndrome (the fault in her brother's medical report as well as at least half the lemur population) is global, and her human family's youngest practically has it! "Why do the Sky Spirits torment me by having me surrounded by idiots?!" Lucinda said, as she cried by the side of Zeke's crib while he appeared to be sleeping, "Why-why-why-why-why-why-why?!"

"Why-why. Why-why."

Lucinda looked up, and saw Zeke wide awake but, instead of screaming, he was repeating her question without knowing what it means "Why-why-why." The father, Miguel, had just came in, off to see if he can find a job, Lucinda could tell by the outfit, and was worried. Miguel lacked his daughter's gift, but he knew what was on his Duchess' mind. "Don't worry, Duchess," he said, "Amy's scout mistress, Nana Bluehair, would be babysitting this time. She has a screw-loose, I'll tell you that much, but she's much brefferable then that awful stick-in-the-mud Mr. X, I promise. Bye-bye Zeke, be good for the ladies, okay."

"Why-why." Zeke smiled, and at the very sound of it, the man of there apartment of the half-way house rejoiced! Got the mother on the phone and everything and, naturally, she got to hear it to. The grown-ups assumed it was "bye-bye", but after Lucinda explained to Amy what happened they both knew the truth: Zeke had "The Doolittle Reflex", just like his sister, and over the time, she found out how true it was when she started to teach him more and more words and, unlike her previous teaching career, she didn't get upset when her student got some things wrong, for she noticed that the family rejoiced with all the skills he learned late, but learned at last!

Chapter 11: Christmas Caper (how La Phantasma helped the penguins)Edit

Duchess Lucinda worked hard to get off of Santa's naughty list, and didn't mind the taunting she gotten for it. What really bugged her more, however, was the Misfortune Cookie she's got: "Those Who Deceive Others Get Deceived Themselves" (Even so, she hung onto it to make sure).

Lucinda figured it was a hoax, on account that her recently-created alter-ego, La Phantasma, was doing well "toying" with bullies on the streets (even though this her wasn't the real her). Lucinda was willing to admit her longing for a human life (and show her minor case of the crazies) to Amy while they where out Christmas shopping on the afternoon of Christmas Eve: "Just think! If only I was taller; less hairy... I'd share the discoveries I made with the whole world without annoying it. Oh! Also, I hear that when you are big enough, you get a scholarship, an all-access pass to a place called 'collage', and that place is an adventure from what I was told. I'd go from student to professor in a week if I wanted to, but I'd rather see the whole world after graduation. You understand?" Amy rolled her eyes, and got back to checking prices on pet tags with the word "DUCHESS" on them, "I thought we talked about this, Duchess Lucinda," Amy said, "you are not hairy, you just have a luxurious fur coat. Besides, it's unwise to count your blessings before you find them... by the way, you better put that sweater back, it looks expensive." Lucinda was wearing a glitter-glam button-up pet sweater with a mad-scientist flare to it, and she didn't want to part from it: "But Amy! Every pet in the Suburbia Neighborhood Holiday Gathering will be wearing brown, shabby identification collars... none else would have this one-of-a kind knit-work-of-art!"

Alas, once Amy says "no", she means it, so Duchess Lucinda took it off and hung it back up... "It clashes with my pendents anyway." "Did you know the heir to the Sky Spirit throne was born on Noche Buena?" Amy asked ("Noche Buena" was what this family called the night between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and Lucinda silently admitted she didn't know about the Sky Prince even being down on earth, let alone have a birthday), "well, The Master Creator, their king, knew we needed someone to set us straight, so he gave his son to a virgin who was to marry a carpenter, and after marriage, they received the little prince under the light of a new star, which shone over a stable, as all the hotels lacked vacancy... the most surprising place to hide an heir, but it was all part of the plan. You know, you might have a surprise in store to, if you gave willingly this time of year, especially something of yourself, instead of fuss over what you want to get. Speaking of giving, would you mind delivering this fruitcake to those ding-bats down stairs when we get home?"

Lucinda did as instructed. The Blood sisters that read her fortune cookie couldn't remove the curse, but they did remind her of her tarot... she used to be belittled, now she's getting new viewpoints, and someday things will improve. After they thanked her for the fruitcake, they got right back to making rag dolls, and resembled the fates doing so. As Lucinda walked out and wished them a Merry Christmas, she didn't know why they'd be sewing the likeness of the penguins she pass by in the zoo (disguised, crudely-but-effectively, as a human), as she didn't know who they were at the time, but she did the Blood Sisters frown as they finished two images she did know: Nana Bluehair (who indeed, has a screw loose) and her viscous dog Mr. Chew (who used her tail as a squeaky-toy frequently and gets her in trouble when the place they are both in gets messed up... it was all self-defense)! That thought didn't cross Lucinda's mind as much as the one that snuck on her in the middle of the night... she forgot to get Amy a Christmas gift!

Thinking it suspicious that a human youth would wander the city this late, she had Zeke help with her La Phantasma uniform before bed.

"Santa come." Zeke said. "Yes," Lucinda smiled, proud that Zeke picked up so much from her, "Santa is coming, and the sooner you go to sleep, the sooner he'd finish his task of leaving treats and gifts in your stocking and under the tree."

"Zeke been good boy!"

"I know you have been a good boy. Just promise me that you'll stay good as I go out to find one more gift for your sister, okay?"

"Okay. Bye-bye, back soon."

"I'll do my best little guy. Merry Christmas!"

"Wove you!"

"That's new. I love you too!" Lucinda responded on the way out (she heard rhyming with toddlers increase fun in communicating). Later on, at the outlying Midtown area near Central Park (there were trolley-carts there this time of year that not only seem affordable enough, but the shop keepers never question whether the buyers are human or not... great advantage), La-Phantasma Lucinda figured that a new set of ropes would fit her older, wiser human cousin and she purchased three of the the extra large ones and some wood-stakes with cloth (in case they decide to go camping instead of just play jump-rope)... she even bought some holiday bells for herself to cope with the brown-collars, and noticed that, on the trolley-cart across the street from the one she bought from, she saw Nana Bluehair stretching stuffed animals out of shape... Obviously getting a Christmas-present for Mr. Chew, as she only gives him squeaky-toys of high quality (as if even they would last)... and had bought something that looked, at first-glance, to be a squeaky-toy bird. Able to tell a squeak from a fart, however (thanks to an obnoxious next-apartment neighbor who taught her and her human-cousins a little game called "Pull-my-finger"), she knew right away that the "toy" was a real penguin... the youngest in the zoo in fact (she didn't know it then, but that was Private)! Before she had a chance to wonder what he was doing away from home (surely not to get something for his black-and-white comrades... they were all content with one fish each!) Nana took a taxi, and La-Phantasma Lucinda watched as the other three penguins used a grappling-hook and a trash-can lid to ski on after her to save there little team-mate. Impressive as that was, Lucinda had done street missions far more frequently in Manhattan then they seemed to in the whole world. She knew where Bluehair lived... as well as a short-cut!

Practically on the other side of the main-entry of the Lexington Plaza then where the penguins landed when on there rescue mission, Lucinda was worried about them as Nana yelled at the cabby and knocked out the chauffeur. Even it they did catch up to her, they'd be mistaken for chew-toys too and would all get hurt by that four-legged demon. She slowed her breathing to listen as the penguins talked strategy:

"Skipper, how do we get inside," asked the tall-smart-and-handsome one (Kowalski).

"Ka-boom! Ka-boom!" laughed the one with the scar, who seemed a worse case of the crazies then her to use TNT (Rico).

"I got a better idea." grinned the short-yet-suave one, as he looked at a near-by snowman and defused the dynamite (she assumed this one was Skipper, as her month at sea taught her that "skipper" is Navy-talk for the leader on board).

Lucinda tried hard not to blow her cover by laughing as the penguins got into a layer of snowman each (Rico was in the middle and upchucked a 5-dollar bill into the snowman's stick arm) and carried it to the reviving chauffeur, who was bribed and had let them in. She knew the five dollars weren't necessary... you look enough like one of them, they'd fall for anything!

She looked in through the window, and as the one called "Kowalski" was ordered by Skipper to "Step on it", Lucinda estimated the speed and shook her head. "They aren't gonna make it!" she thought out loud, "Time for La Phantasma to haunt Nana like the ghost of Christmas past!"

She was nimble, even when weighed down by the uniform and her gift to Amy, and she used the cloth-sign thing on the door as a trampoline and several flagpoles as springboard to boost her climbing-speed.

There was good news, bad news, surprising news, and down-heartening news: The good news was she managed to get the top floor, where Nana lived, in record time. The bad news was, she opened the window to the wrong apartment (it was long vacant, she can tell via cobwebs everywhere that gave it a ghost-of-Christmas-future vibe), and ran though the numbers to see she forgot to carry the 8 (how embarrassing)! The surprising news was that the penguins proved clever and made it up quickly too via the mail drop (she can see the tell-tale stamps on there chests) and a vacuum cleaner in reverse (ears don't lie yet). The Down-heartening news, though, was that they weren't quick enough to get into the apartment before Nana locked the door! "Shitake Mushrooms!" Skipper complained, "No more Mr. Cute-and-cuddly!" "KABOOM!" "Rico! Enough with the dynamite already!"

As much as it pained Lucinda to know she spent all the money she had on Amy's gift ($5.76...also her whole year's savings), and couldn't get another one if she did what she felt she had to, she swallowed her pride and did something foolish... she decided to let the penguins use the camp-set as a gadget!

Tying her collar-bells to the vacant-apartment's door (the jingling sound was sure enough to lure them inside), Lucinda fashioned the stakes into grappling-hooks... the rough-and-ready sort... and sewn the old-oak into the cloth (she was tempted to sew all the symbols of her calling-card on, but she figured there wasn't enough time) and displayed ding-dong-ditch on the three penguins, covering her tracks best she could as they got their deus ex mechena and put it to use (the white scarf she had matches the ledge of the wintered-up building perfectly, and snow was still falling, enhancing the effect). They agreed to keep the assistance classified even from Private when they save him, however, and practically overshot the swing on those ropes. Lucinda calculated they'd be awhile before they break through the window. At first she thought I'm surrounded by idiots like she usually does, but another thought overpowered the first: I wonder if the one called "Private" can last until morning. She turned around the outside corner of the building to find out, looking through the window she meant to open. (Too late now, since Nana was actually home!) Nana Bluehair was wrapping the little penguin up as though she knew he was alive, though she didn't know, and was all scrooge-talk in the process: "Why does Christmas have to be every year?! What a pain in the...! Those prices; always so sticky!" Not as sticky as that rough slap-of-the-label I see, Lucinda told herself, trying to look as much like a gargoyle as possible (in case someone saw her), what ever happened to the 'wrap with grace and handle with care' she taught Amy and the other Brownie Scouts for their Postage-Stamp Badges?! It didn't take long for anyone to tell that was the least of the problems, for even though his "Mommy" told him he had to wait until morning to open his "present", Mr. Chew lived up to his name on the very moment he assumed nobody would notice, but luckily for Private... "Santa Claus has come to town!" "Oh Skipper!"

It was quite the struggle from then on, and Lucinda didn't know whether to watch or not watch, so she covered her face and peeked through her fingers as a compromise, as they managed to neutralize Mr. Chew and save there youngest member (reuniting the team) in what in a team-plan Kowalski drawn up that Skipper named Operation: Stocking-Stuffer. Glad to had at least a glance at the action, La-Phantasma Lucinda tried not to blow her cover cheering as Mr. Chew got bagged in his own stocking and the penguins congratulated each other in high-fives... or by laughing, when Rico found the anvil that Nana uses as a paper-weight and tried to drop it on the old-lady human while she was watching TV! (It is just like I'm watching a living, breathing cartoon! The versatile vigilante thought.)

"RICO!" Skipper scolded, when he saw what his bomb-happy comrade was up to, "She didn't see anything. Lets blow this dump, boys." Rico was upset about not using the anvil, but his smile came back, and so did the dynamite and match, "Ka-boom?" "Yes, Rico... Ka-boom." Alerted by the the explosion, Nana Bluehair didn't notice the four penguins waddle out of her apartment and start heading home, but she did notice the mess! "Mr.Chew! This is all your fault! Bad Dog! You are on a big time-out!"

Lucinda desired it was time she headed back to the Half-way house too, empty-handed as she was. The ice on the ledge through her off-balance, and she only survived because her wool scarf got caught on a flag-pole and unraveled, with just enough thread for her to land in a one-horse-open-sleigh, and right into the lap of a young human girl, who said "Wow Cindy! You really are nuts! You oughta know better to travel the city alone on Noche Buena!" It was Amy! She was looking for her, but Duchess Lucinda was so shivery from the cold that she couldn't explain herself. Luckily, as the poor lemur-ette was wrapped with care into Amy's hand-me-down jacket, the sound of Nana's yelling and the penguins' otherwise-stealthy attempt to get back unseen was clear enough for they young human "Duchess Lucinda... how did you know that your generosity and seeing my scout-mistress notice her dog's true colors were what I wanted for Christmas?" "Felis Noche Buena, Amy-ga!"

That was the second to last thing Duchess Lucinda said before falling asleep that night... second, that is, to her reaction to hearing the zoo-animals singing:

Jingle bells, Monkey Smells
Melman laid an egg!
Marty thinks that Alex stinks
and the Camels say "Oy Vey!"

...she smiled, closed her eyes, and murmured, "Of all the nonsense-icle silliness." just as any true-lemur would.

Chapter 12: Bath of Cluck-suryEdit

In all her years of absence from Madagascar, Duchess Lucinda found how real her visions were, as along with snow, she learned the names of local star-patterns (like the Great Sky Drum, which Aunt Stella, Zeke and Amy's mother, called "Orion") and how to decode the flowers known as "books"... especially the Good Book that Pappy lives by, which is the only time the stories he tells aren't made up, including one about a queen named Ester and her cousin Mordecai! Not all her foresight's are good things, though, one time she had a vision of a plague, as dots covered the land and drained the strength from children...

...three weeks later, on the month before her Adopt-a-versary, Duchess Lucinda found Amy smited with that sickness, which the mother recognized as "chickenpox".

Zeke was a waterfall of questions upon hearing the ailment's name:

"Why are they called 'chicken-pops'? Do they come from chickens? How long does it last? Do the spots only come in red? Is Duchess gonna get it?" ...that was only the start, but it covered enough. No, they don't come from chickens, it's just that the bumps make human skin look like that of a plucked hen (Duchess Lucinda's reading skills improved greatly, though still not well enough to equal that of man or chimp, but just enough for her to find that humans used to think that these pox came from chickens before medicine got advanced enough for doctors to know better), and that the spots usually don't go away for at least a few weeks. Yes, they only come in red, but mostly because fever and itchiness come with them, and no, lemurs and other animals don't get chickenpox... it's a human ailment!

At first, Lucinda was revealed about that, until she noticed the attention Amy was getting from this sickness. What's worse, after sampling how good the waters felt on her tail, she was jealous of this 11-year-old Brownie Scout's oatmeal bath!
Chickenpox

Doctor Zeke takes care of his ailing sister, and Duchess Lucinda was upset about that... mostly the oatmeal-bath!

Zeke got out his First-Aid kit (it was a Melman Mekawits the Giraffe first-aid kit... they had a lot of zoo-animal merchandise after the boat carrying him and several other creatures to Africa was reported "missing", and the Zoovenier shop-keepers decided to give half the merchandise straight to charity to speed up preparation for the replacements... their way of mourning) and had a doctor's mask from it on to check on Amy while delivering bath toys (the Rubber-Gloria the hippo was alright with everyone, but Lucinda refused to let the Marty the zebra doll get wet, for she figured the stripes weren't waterproof) and fruit juice (in an Alex the lion bottle... this one was rare, as it was one of first to have a crazy straw instead of straight), but the parents shooed him out to keep him well.

Lucinda was usually reluctant to play Zeke's silly games, but she couldn't bare watching Amy's therapeutic necessities too long, nor could she risk it! (Minor case of the crazies, remember?)

"I know you wanted to use the crazy-straw first, Cousin Cindy," Zeke said, trying to be encouraging when his friend refused to laugh at his jokes (even just to be polite), "but once she's recovered, we might take this to our advantage. Why don't we make a new dizzy-effect-ant?"

"I don't care about the crazy-straw and all those other germy knick-knacks, Zeke," Duchess explained, "I JUST WANNA HAVE ONE OF THOSE BATHS!"

"Why?"

"Because it feels good."

"So did the time I stuck my head in gravy and washed it out with bubble-gum," Zeke grinned, "but would mom let me do it again? No! Besides, you heard what dad said... lemurs just don't get the chicken pops."

"Pox, Zeke! Not p-ops, p-ox!!!" Lucinda felt sorry about yelling a Zeke, and tried hard to fight back the memory about what her father said: "Apologizing is for the weak and wrong... and a royal lemur is strong and always right."

"I am not even royalty anymore," the duchess told herself, "I gave that life up a long time ago... but I still have a gift! I'm a super-genius! Always was... maybe I can trick Uncle Miguel into pampering me! Yes!"

She made several attempts... she painted her fur in red splatters, but the Dehauntedo father (though the same trick worked for Zeke at first), saw though her and, after she was wiped clean with a rag, locked her out of her personal study in the attic (and grounded Zeke from his go-carts until the weekend was over). When she figured that spots weren't convincing enough unless its bare skin, Duchess Lucinda then remembered another symptom: fever! She used every trick known to fakers in the history of the world to convince the elders of the Dehauntedo family that she was burning up... practically suggested heat-stroke! Alas, their vet (the same one that works in the zoo... he sworn to secrecy) recognized every single one of them, and suggested that she switch to fresher foods (she was still saving some kily pods that she got for Christmas last year for being a good girl, and didn't store them in places they'd be rott-proofed).

The final symptom she recalled was itching, but she didn't fake that very well. As she went out in a new La-Phantasma scarf, and gathered new herbal-plant samples for when she gets her lab-privileges back, singing to cope in the meantime, she ran into Chester "the Chatter-box" fox for the first time! (Even then, he talked too much, she barely introduced herself as her alter ego, and only shut up long enough to hear the humans shout out: "Duchess Lucinda! Don't forget to be home by 10:47pm if you don't want to sleep in the tree-fort again...! You know, the boat in the maple!" thus learning her real name.) It was a stormy afternoon, and Chester tried to distract her from the thunder with gossip and tall-tales, didn't work as well as she make-believed it to (the attempts typical of one with a secret identity), but he never said anything useful until he decided to drift again: "I'd be careful with those leaves if I were you... it's poison ivy!"

"Yuck! Cootie plants!" Julien gagged at the sight of this memory, "Way to blow it!" he then realized he was yelling had to shut himself up, but the dream didn't unravel...yet.

That night, Duchess Lucinda was sulking... and soaking... in her own little tub of water and oatmeal. "Well," Zeke said (who seemed a bit feverish in a non-fakey way), "at least you got your bath. Why are you not smiling?"

"I thought this bath was for the chicken-pox only." The young duchess answered.

"Oatmeal is good for all kinds of skin-problems," Amy said in the next tub over, "from chicken-pox to poison ivy. Some people do it for no reason at all, but with a reason, it makes sense. Girl, you really got to learn that its a-okay to be wrong sometimes!"

King Julien smiled as the memories moved on as Amy recovered and Zeke got spotty. He wanted to see everything his sister has been through while she's gone, but he figured he seen enough to make an ingenious plan to get his sister to spend time with him instead of grudge so much. Just in time to, for he felt a shake on his shoulder and Maurice calling him by name. The Dream-token in his clutches lost it's glow, and the scene changed around him. The king was awakening!

Chapter 13: Conclusion in the Cootie-PlantsEdit

Even as he was awakening, King Julien continued to see his sister's memories on the way out of her head and back in his own. Clearly, it wasn't just there ways of thinking and the boy/girl ordeals that made them as different as the sun and moon, but also how those around these twins react to them. Not that there weren't times Lucinda tried to be outgoing like him, but she usually trips herself up (let's just say that super-complexicated triple-axle/pirouette maneuver with a little extra spinning she tried to create didn't have "breaks") or overdid her commanding (with trying to find the most fool-proof of plans) to the point everyone tells her to shut up, or call her a perfectionist, or even say she isn't suited for it... no royal lemur should be belittled like that, especially his sister!

After Julien was fully awake and thinking up a plan of his own, he wanted to see what his sister was up to once she recovered from last night's feasko. It was Sunday morning (and a majority of regular customers to the zoo had some religion to live up to... mostly the church... letting the animals have time to themselves until at least noon), and despite that, as well as lingering fatigue, Duchess Lucinda was working at a pace that would envy a honeybee! She seemed to have a habit of rushing from one project to another, though was cautious in her moves to insure nobody's watching, as she polished her Alchemy equipment, looked for herbal samples hidden here and there for future projects and, of all things, measuring herself and recalculating it to a possible human equal as he seemed to sew clothes for her possible human equal. "Someday, I will leave the animal-world behind me," he heard her say to herself, "but only for as short time at a time. If I can switch between my true form and a human-form at will, I can have access to the whole world... I'll have everything!"

Figuring he had seen enough, Julien followed her when she say she was short on oak-leaves, and let his presence become known. "Yoo-hoo! Lucinda!"

"Julien?!" Lucinda said, turning around, startled, "What are you doing here?!"

"Spying on you!" Julien said, posing (and pretending not to notice what he had laid down upon), "I figured that since we are a family again, I might as well be making up for you lame childhood by finding things we can do together. I'm not into physical labor but... maybe I can try to help you."

"I can help myself fine! Thank you! Besides, the same can't be said of a guy that snuggles in poison ivy!"

"Poison what...?" (Julien tried not to laugh at himself as he shown false but sudden fear) "Oh-no! Cootie Plants! NOT AGAIN!!!"

The foolish kings worry wasn't false for long, as the itchy feeling from last time came back to him... and fast! Lucinda was scared stiff, as she knew she forgot her gloves in her personal study, and while her mind had told her "Don't just stand there! Go get you gloves and come back for him!" he gut-feeling screamed "No time!" The panic clouded her judgment and she acted on instinct (probably for the first time without wearing her white uniform) and jumped into the poison ivy and pulled her brother out. They just got back to their habitat in the zoo when Alice saw the too lemurs scratching and had them sent to an oatmeal bath right away. Lucinda didn't miss sight of her dream token placed on the throne, however, and she glared at Julien, "You did this to us on purpose!"

"Yah, I did. Sorry about that."

"I should've just left you in there to suffer for... wait! Did you just say 'sorry'? Father always forbidden words like that, and I was weak all these years to use it constantly for breaking rules my people-family set up... they are still scrubbing skateboard-tracks from the ceiling because of me."

"You? Weak? Never! Sis, it took my own talent used against me for me to know what weakness truly was. I might had been pure-hearted when your Alchemy teacher figured I was, but not even I had the strength to keep it that way. We all get stupid and crazy, some more-so then others, but there's a time and place for that, and we seldom are choosing the right ones... but you, sis... oh! You were strong in will and in choice. I rarely seen a moment when those who point out that you're just a little girl in the big city be weighing you down. Let me tell you, you didn't have to leave Madagascar to find it... you had those things all along, you just weren't knowing how to use it."

"This might put the 'moron' in 'oxymoronic', but bro... you are the cleaverist idiot I had ever known." Lucinda smiled as she splashed her kingly brother (who was glad he wasn't wearing his crown in the tub).

"Naturally," Julien said before splashing back, "it's in the royal veins."

The penguins had just came back to the zoo and witnessed the two royal siblings having a bath bonding moment in the form of a childish water-fight, and even Kowalski was confused as to what they've missed.

THE END




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