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[M] The Thing AU

Daniel Wing

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“Sounds great” he smiles at the idea. A small house near the ocean, a garden to keep plants from everywhere and enough wildlife around that Palmer won't eradicate it. And maybe there'll even be other people to interact with nearby. Lots of process already, when u imagine that just two weeks back he had a panic attack about being free.
 
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Palmer

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Palmer is happy about the progress he's making--that both of them are making, really, since Palmer has barely felt the urge to take over this world so far.

It would be nice to find a world with people, no matter how alien, although he isn't sure if he feels up to being anyone's first contact. Maybe with luck they'll stumble onto some kind of interplanetary civilization or something.
 
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Daniel Wing

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They both really needed this time-out, the peace. Well and the space, since the ship only offers so much. Daniel at least is friendly enough to make well with other races, accepting just about everything, smart enough to adapt cultural differences. Watching some fish he wonders if those would be edible, since he could probably catch some.
 
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Palmer

The Thing
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Palmer is able to be friendly, but having a spotlight on him like that makes him uncomfortable. It's against his instinct to fit in. Of course Palmer is not the kind of person who fits in easily, so he already has issues with instincts and personality not meshing perfectly, but being known for being an alien is far, far worse.

The fish are edible to Palmer, but then most things are. They seem like they'd probably be okay for Daniel too, but Palmer would rather be cautious.
 
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Daniel Wing

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Ironically Daniel too never fit in, too good for Republic, which is odd on itself. It's good here, because he doesn't have to hold back and try to be normal, can live to his full potential. And there is much to develop, even without going for the extras the disease provided. He decides against the fish for now, only letting his hand dangle in and enjoy them inspecting it. “When we settle, it ought to be somewhere I can eat at least some of the wildlife. Or we'll have to bring some along.”
 
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Palmer

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"Yeah, that'll be important." It shouldn't be too hard to manage, though. If nothing else they can find a world that's suitable for life but doesn't yet have any and bring some Earth life over. The only problem would be finding a world with oxygen but not life.
 
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Daniel Wing

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There is a chance he'll simply adapt to living on different worlds, that there'll once be enough cells converted it matters less. Not that Daniel knows, having never asked about the results of the health scan or just what it's doing to him. Probably for the better, leaving him without the worry what shapes his personality, able to grow unlimited.
 
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Palmer

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Just because Daniel can't change enough yet doesn't mean he won't be able to soon. And even now, with Daniel still mostly human, Palmer is starting to think of him as a son of sorts. Daniel was remade with the flesh Palmer left behind, surely that makes him some kind of third parent? What remains of his old self's instincts told him to keep the youth from having more to worry about. God knows Daniel has enough burdens as it is.
 
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Daniel Wing

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Oh, he will change, especially now there's been a slight shove into the right direction. It's inevitable, only different too how Palmer is, no other voices intruding his mind – but then maybe it just recognized his potential, that there is no need to fix what isn't broken. His parents were good ones, given the circumstances. They did what they could, rarely as he talks about them. But he keeps his fathers pendant, always. Still, Palmer is already taking up that role and it's good, no one else left. Whatever they do his parents will stay dead.
 
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Palmer

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Daniel is himself, the change too gradual to be considered a takeover. The part of Palmer that is still himself envies that a little, but in the end that part is mostly just play acting. Still, it’s just another reason to care for him: Daniel will never be a cold, cruel dangerous thing. He’ll need a monster to protect him. Palmer thinks of him as a friend, so the monster below will protect.
 
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Daniel Wing

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The protection, being near someone he knew to be stronger than most other things, it makes him feel safe. Doesn't matter if it comes from Palmer or the monster, it's what no one else could do. Though he isn't helpless by any means. Just a younger, mellower thing, that can't or won't take over the original. It means he can just be, slow evolution. Daniel isn't even conscious using the change he can do right now, for lack of need. But it's there, some more potential.
And he is happy with the situation, lying there teasing the fish, sun no more burning his skin thanks to a mix of better healing and more resistance – albeit he is still at a risk of sunstroke, that's why he brought water along.
 
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Palmer

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Palmer is happy to join him in watching the fish swim by, small and fast or long and lazy, fins twitching to propel them through the water. He sticks one finger in the water, swirls it in figure-eights, chuckles a bit as the fish startle out of the way. "It's beautiful here, the water." And it really is.
 
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Daniel Wing

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The fish reminds him of the aquarium to take a small bit of earths ocean with them – but it's too late for that now, so he won't ask. This ones wouldn't be the same and he got plants to care for at least. “It is. Think you can teach me to swim?” Doesn't have to be perfect and they got time, he just wants to join Palmer in the water one day. Open the possibility of going to planets that are more water than land.
 
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Palmer

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Technically Earth is more water than land, surface-wise at least, but then Daniel probably doesn't know that. Still, swimming is a very useful skill and Palmer is happy to teach. "Yeah, man. Sure. A lot of swimming is just floating anyway." Although Daniel probably won't be the best at that, years of hunger have left him thin and that makes him dense. You need a certain level of fat to really float easily.
 
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Daniel Wing

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Given that he's barely aware what countries there are outside of the west coast, of course there are big gaps in his knowledge about his home planet. He'd make a bad diplomat to other beings out there, not even knowing his home. But now the kid is excited about learning something new, no matter how hard it might be. In this place no one can see the scars he is self-conscious about.
 
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Palmer

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Palmer is just as happy to teach him. Backstroke and butterfly stroke are good goals, but first the basic survival strokes. It's a bit difficult with someone so skinny, but he manages. The water feels so good on his skin that he can't help going under a few times, drinking everything in. Sometimes literally so as he catches a fish or two.
 
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Daniel Wing

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While Daniel is skinny to a point of being concerning, he also is lean muscled, makes up with strength and endurance what he lacks in floating. Though of course it's not immediate process, reflexes saving him from inhaling water more than once and he will cling to Palmer if it feels dangerous or a fish startled him out of concentration. If anything it's a problem that he can't easily relax to float.
 
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Palmer

The Thing
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Palmer does his best to help Daniel relax, but he knows it's not going to be easy. He hums softly, helping his friend stay afloat. "If you just pretend you're trying to sleep it helps. I'll grab you if you start to sink, man, promise." He spots a fish that has small claws on its fins and grabs it, because that's a cool idea and he wants his own.
 
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Daniel Wing

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Daniel trusts Palmer, that's not the problem, but he has problems letting go, being calm in the way it requires. “Oh, so you'll stop looking for interesting fish if I drown?” he joked, distracting from the fact that the only time he ever fell asleep peaceful was when Palmer read to him or in pure exhaustion. Still, better to learn this where he couldn't stand, so he had to do it, no easy way out.
 
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Palmer

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Palmer laughs. "Yeah, man, of course." Drowning people are more interesting than fish. "Eventually you'll be able to grow gills and all of this will matter less to you, but right now it's kinda important that you know how to float." A small, rueful smile. "I know you're used to being really tense and all, but if you're all balled up you're denser than if you relax."
 
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