Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Penguins of Madagascar
Character/Pairing: Private, Mild Skipper/Private
Challenge/Prompt: 1_million_words A to Z Challenge: Z
Word Count: 417
Date Written: 4 January, 2016
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to DreamWorks, not the author, and are used without permission.
When they first came to the zoo, Private was afraid. He feared every animal he had not yet met, especially the big ones and the carnivores. He especially hated the fact that they were to live their lives behind bars instead of the wide open spaces of Antartica. Over time, however, Skipper taught him that any bar could be bypassed, any cage opened or otherwise broken, and that many of the animals he feared could become their friends or, at least, as his beloved, commanding officer put it, their allies.
Still, there are times when Private doesn't like living in the zoo. He doesn't like Medicine Day, and he especially hates Shot Day. He still doesn't like living so close to some of the mean animals, like the bully gorillas and the kangaroo. Worst of all, sometimes, is the fact that the lemur exhibit is so close. Julien never wants to play with him -- it's below his Kingly station --, and although Mort is fun to play with and likes some of the same games Private enjoys that the other penguins think are silly, the lemurs do tend to cause a lot of trouble. And then there are the nights when he can't sleep because of Julien's music and the days he dreads looking over in their direction lest he see Julian's rear end shaking.
Still, all in all, Private has learned that the zoo really isn't all that terrible a place. They have all the fish they can eat, people and some other animals who adore them, and plenty of room, although not as much as they'd have in the wild. The exhibit provides them the perfect hidden base from which to conduct their operations. Best of all, it's become a home to all four of them.
That's what really matters, Private thinks every time he lays down in his bunk while the others climb, jump, or otherwise enter their beds. He clutches his Lunacorn tightly, although he may well end up sleeping with Skipper or even Kowalski. All the dangers that still exist within the zoo are nothing compared to what they have found here. Here, all their family can be (mostly) safe. Here is where they all live, eat, and sleep. It's where they dream, and Private falls asleep every night with a smile curving his little beak, because above all else, the one thing that really makes a home is where one's family is, and his family is right here to stay.