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HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread 
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
2.
House Sandwich, Babylon Gardens

It was rare for him to wake up after 7am. His internal clock went awry during long car trips, the night after Christmas and New Year, and any other occasion that had him stay up all night. Otherwise, the Sandwiches set their clock by Peanut’s sleep cycle.
Today, was no exception.
The young dog stretched and yawned like a lion. He smacked his lips as he looked around, still basking in the drunken after-sleep state. He sat up and scratched his back.
He licked the palm of his paw a couple of times and then used it to tidy up his head fur a bit. Heh, he was sure that one day he’d be tongue-grooming like Grape. He wondered if some of his habits had rubbed off on her. He liked the idea of her chewing on a rawhide bone… but that thought also killed his romantic idea of kissing her. Peanut sighed. Off to a great start, eh? First thing in the morning and already I’m pointing in the wrong direction!
Peanut’s nose quivered. Speaking of her, for some reason her scent was really intense in the room, this morning. Perhaps she had come to kiss him goodnight as he slept and he hadn’t noticed. That was the only thing he hated about being a sound sleeper.
Peanut smiled. He felt a bit better than yesterday evening, anyway. Grape was really struggling to keep their friendship together, it had been wrong of him to think those things about her and Max. He was entitled to mushy stuff, so he’d better make the best of it.
“Good morning, Peanut,” said her voice behind him.
Peanut turned his head, wagging already. “Hey there, good morning to you–” Then the words died in his throat. His ears pricked up to their limit, and his pupils shrank to pinholes.
He had been genuinely convinced he’d find Grape standing behind him... Well, his room wasn’t forbidden territory, right?
Not to find her lying in his bed! Not to see her lying like that, looking at him with a… seductive smile?
“Buh...”
The lavender cat got herself up on all fours, and leaned her head forward. Her kiss was just a touch of the lips, nothing passionate or whatever, but it was like giving poor Peanut a full electrocution! He jumped back, ending on his butt. Flabbergasted, to say the very least.
Grape giggled, covering her mouth. “Oh, Peanut. How could I ever get bored with you? You always make me feel as if it was the first time I kissed you.”
Peanut was now awake, very awake. His whole body was numb, save for his lips on fire. She had come so close to him, he still felt her taste.
While his mind continued to tirelessly repeat the question what’s going on?, His eyes were trying to draw what he saw.
His room was bigger. It contained all the things that belonged to him and Grape. His bed was bigger (Of course, can’t you see that we were sleeping there together? Ha ha!) and the label undoubtedly read PEANUT+GRAPE.
Then, Peanut’s eyes rested on his desk. And there it was, an image that he wouldn’t have forgotten so easily.
A photo of him wearing a black collar with a pretty matching bow tie, and he was happily licking her snout, and she wore a white collar and white laces and bells on her tail.
Just like they were—
“Peanut?” This time, it was her worried tone that shook him out of the trance. “Love, what is it?”
“Eh?? Ah! What!?”
The paranoia gripping him was screaming. APRIL FOOL’S! GOT YOUR NOSE!
Another said Love! She called me ‘love’, she never did that! Once, once she told me ‘I love you’ but not like in an ‘I am in love with you’ way and she would never jest about that, she cares for me, yes, never!
Peanut was famous for not handling stress well, especially when, as now, it threatened to turn his neurons into grape jelly (ha ha!). “Grape, I...” he stammered, “Why are you doing this?”
She got out of bed and approached him. If she was still pretending then she was really good, because Peanut had never seen her so worried, as she took his paws in hers. “Hey, hey, Peanut. What’s wrong?” Then she patted his cheek. “It’s okay, you’re here with me, Nutty. It’s all right…”
He closed his eyes. He wanted so badly to scream loud in her face to ask why she was acting like this! Wasn’t it enough to keep him away!? Did she also want to torture him? And he had been so anxious not to hurt her!
Tiny star, shining bright…
That simple phrase struck him.
Peanut turned his head toward the window.
Could it really be that..?
…I hope that Grape’ll love ME one day and night!
Then he looked at Grape.
He looked into her eyes, and knew that she wasn’t pretending. He knew that room was obtained by joining theirs.
He knew that they lived together. As a couple.
What did that guy say, Sherlock Holmes?
“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth,” the dog murmured in a small voice.
One day. The shooting stars had granted him that one wish.
Peanut swallowed, and reached for her face. He had never felt so scared. Had she laughed at him now, if this was really a cruel joke, he would have run away from home, yes! He would have escaped and lived on the street until he got sick and died, so there!
But if really he had been granted a miracle, a whole day and only one to live his greatest dream, then he wouldn’t waste it. He had to try it now or regret it forever...
Grape didn’t make the slightest resistance, while his paw gently stroked her cheek. “You’re trembling,” she said. “Are you ill..?”
He barely shook his head. He felt as if every gesture, at that point, would wake him up from that dream. “I’m fine. Really. And you are... you’re so... “
The only time he had dared to hug her tight was at the end of their vacation at Uncle Reuben’s. It had been a bold, unexpected move, and she had been so annoyed!
But now she really seemed to be waiting, as he brought his muzzle closer to hers.
“You’re so beautiful,” he whispered, and finally did the unthinkable.
He kissed her. A new shock ran through his body, but this time not in fear. While Grape did her best to guide him in that awkward attempt, Peanut felt as if he was flying, estranged from the rest of the world. He flew, pushed by the currents of a passion repressed for too long. He flew together with his beloved cat, inhaling her sweet breath, feeling every single hair of her silky fur under his paws, while holding her with more strength... And she reciprocated his every move, with the dedication and naturalness only a true mate could have...
Eventually, she had to break that kiss. She was literally out of breath, and sported an expression of sincere admiration. “Wow! Let me breathe, champion...” Then back came that worried expression. “Aw, why are you crying now?”
Peanut was crying yes, but at the same time he was smiling, drunk with pure joy. “I’m crying because I’m so happy, Grape. I love you, I love you so much that... I’m so happy!” He repeated, and hugged her hard. “I’m so happy. It’s all so beautiful!”
Grape didn’t know what had gotten into Peanut, today, he acted as if it was the first time he’d seen her... But it was also the reason why she had fallen in love with him, that silly mutt. He never failed to make her feel special, every day. “No more bad dreams?” she asked, stroking his head.
“No more bad dreams.” Peanut let her help him to his feet. “This was really bad, you know? I thought that you and Max were an item forever, and I had been, well... put aside,” he concluded with a frightened small voice.
“Oh, Peanut.” She gave him a kiss on the nose, then tapped his forehead with a claw. “You should tell that part of your silly mind that Max is and will remain a good friend, to both of us. And for how much I still swoon for big cats, only you make me feel good, and love me like no other. No one can replace you, and I wouldn’t exchange you for anything in the whole world.”
“Nor I,” he said, kissing her again. One day, and he so needed to have her close to him, to touch her, to smell her, to kiss her, to cuddle... And to tell her every waking hour, “I love you.”
“I love you too, Nutty. I’m so glad you had the courage to tell me everything, that night at the farm. I knew you had a crush on me, but I feared you wouldn’t take that step. I felt lonely, and so I called Max...” She sighed. “I had to trust you a bit more, love.”
Peanut half sat, half lay on the bed, resting against her chest, feeling her purr like a balm for his soul, washing all fears away.
“Heh,” he said. “And there I thought your heart was all for Max, when I heard you on the phone. I felt like I had lost you forever, I must have been so stupid.”
Grape shook her head. “It was my fault as well. I too had feelings for you, but I was so afraid of them… And when you said that you’d step away from my life, I felt as if I was going crazy. It was then that I decided I couldn’t hold it back.” She kissed his forehead.
Peanut curled up even more against her. At the farm, he hadn’t had the courage to open up to her. He had stood away, hurt, every day crying himself to sleep, and when she had asked what was wrong, he had told her he was afraid she wouldn’t be his friend anymore. Instead of telling her everything. In this scenario, instead…
Scenario.
Funny how the most obvious answer sounded like the voice of a cruel god intent to stir the most serene waters, to make you sink into the vortex of despair.
“Tarot!” Peanut sat up, almost pushing Grape away. “Of course. It was her...” His shoulders sagged together with his ears. Perhaps that part of his mind that so desperately needed to see his wish come true had also protected him from reality itself.
“Tarot?” asked Grape, staring puzzled at him. “What’s with Tarot, now?”
---
Milton House for the Equal Chance Program

When they knocked on the door, King sat up. He didn’t know how much he had slept, but it felt like it hadn’t been quite enough! He hadn’t closed the window and the sunlight was a deadly laser through his closed eyelids. Had it not been for that, he’d have thought it was still night, that he was again to relive the terrible nightmare in which Sabrina had woken him up to tell him that the mad Griffin had stolen a piece of his soul to make who knew what of it...
“King?” But the feminine voice didn’t belong to the cat.
It was Lucretia, the female of the Milton wolf pack. A female who for some reason had decided to treat her guest as one of her cubs – of course, being small in size and without a family had this effect on the instincts of a mother wolf... “Sorry, pup, you got a visitor.”
King sat on the bed’s edge. He yawned and scratched his back, rubbing his eyes with the other paw. He was about to ask who it was, but she had already left.
King got out of bed, smacking his lips. And who could it be, anyway? Either one of the police dogs, or Fox. Maybe after last night’s tirade, Fido and his merry chums had come to ask him a few questions about his obsession with that cursed watch. He already knew what to say, that he had been Joel’s dog and that his beloved master had abandoned him. Hook, line and sinker, yes, because the truth would have granted him a mandatory psychiatric treatment!
Anyway, King would never tell the truth to Fox; his heart would break, if he knew the truth about the corgi to whom he had devoted so much attention. And King wouldn’t hurt Fox. Period.
Arriving at the main door, still sleep-drunk, King asked, “So, what is–”
THOOMP!
For a moment, a terror-filled moment, King was sure he had just been tackled by Kevin! He was absolutely sure that at any moment he’d hear the doberman’s tremendous growl, “Police! Get on the ground!” Followed by the excited barking of the blood-lust cop hounds chasing their prey…
Those considerations lasted less than a second, after which, instead, King felt a canine tongue vigorously bathing his face! “Ack! No! Fox, what the fur! Shoo! Bad Dog! Miles!” he shouted at the wolf who was watching with curiosity at the spectacle filled by the laplaplaplaplaplaplaplap from Fox.
“Lucretia and I used to do that, when we were cubs,” Miles said, raising an eyebrow. “But we also added some nips to the neck.”
“Thank you for the mental image, but I’ll willingly do without,” said King, standing up. Then he tried briefly to wipe his face with his arm. “Ew, gross! If I’d wanted to take a shower, I would’ve gone to the bathroom! But what’s gotten into you?”
Fox squeezed his shoulders with an arm. “Ohh, someone woke up with Mr. Grumpy this morning. Don’t tell me you’re still mad at me for leaving you alone again to do the cub-sitting. You’re still alive, right?”
“‘Again’?” King looked at the husky dog. “Man, I live with the Dire Pack. If anything, I should be mad at you for leaving me in trouble, last night. I hoped until the last moment that you’d show up.” And without waiting for an answer, he left the house where he lived until a new owner adopted him.
Fox looked at him with genuine curiosity. “And since when do you live here, I’m sorry? That is the ‘feral house’, and you live with me.”
King stood still in the middle of a step. He turned his head to Fox so fast it made the dog startle, he heard a sound like breaking glass from within his body: It was his nervous system that had just suffered a knockout blow. “You said..?”
“Er, that you live with me? King, what’s wrong? Are you there?” Fox waved a paw in front of the corgi’s still bulging eyes.
There were few things that the small dog could be sure about.
One was that Fox wouldn’t have made fun of him. Not on that subject.
Another was that even if he had teamed up with Bino to make him pay over that stupid watch, he would have invented a bett—
The watch!
King ran back into the house. Nearly broke down the door. His paranoia was flying: if this was a trick to steal the watch, it had just succeeded! That was in the style of Bino, return the favor by entertaining the hated enemy and sneak behind his back and take his soul! Nononono!
But Fox would never be such a crook, right? King thought frantically, while entering his room, going to the bedside. Fox is my friend! He doesn’t like that watch, but he didn’t return it so that Bino could torment me again, right? RIGHT?
Wrong.
King had taken out the drawer, emptied it on the bed; but, among his personal items scattered on the mattress, the watch... wasn’t there.
“King..?” Fox peeped in the room, looking worried. “King, are you all right? Are you..?” His eyes widened, more surprised than frightened, at the expression of pure hatred that distorted the corgi’s muzzle. It was like seeing a demon instead of that gruff, yet gold-hearted dog.
“Where?” King whispered, slowly approaching the husky. He was breathing like a bull, tense muscles, flexing his fingers as if wanting to strangle the other dog. “Where. Did. You. Put. It?”
Fox took a step back. This was actually getting scary. He had seen King’s sudden outbursts of rage, but this beat them all. “King, I really don’t know what–” and a moment later, King was leaping at him! Small he might be, but he could be strong, and there wasn’t anything funny in his mad barking. “WHERE DID YOU HIDE IT, YOU JERKS?!”
Fox fell to the ground, struggling to get the Corgi off. He was really going to bite him! “King, please, have you gone crazy?! It’s me, Fox! What’s the matter? Stop it!”
“It’s not funny, you understand me? The watch, where is it?! Just because it belonged to Joel, you have no right to steal it! Give it back to me, you stupid traitor mutt, or I will–” It was at this point that Miles grabbed him firmly by the collar, lifting him easily from his prey. “Still my den. Do I have to call Animal Control?” asked the wolf, baring his teeth. It was the first time both dogs had seen him that way, and he was a sight to behold.
Fox picked up from the ground the bandana that had untangled in the fight. He shook his head, incredulous, scared, but trying to keep control. “No need, Miles. Just go out and close the door. Please,” he added to the still dubious ex-feral from the woods. “Really, it’s a misunderstanding, okay? We can talk this out civilly.”
Miles placed King on the bed. “I like your grit, squeaker, but if I see you do that again in my den, you won’t be allowed near my cubs ever again, got it?”
King just mutely stared at the wolf while Miles closed the door behind himself. Only then, he fell to his knees. His breath came in ragged sobs that betrayed the incoming tears. In fact, the tears came a moment later. “Please, I beg you, give it back to me. I-I need that watch, I know you hate Joel, but please, give it back, it’s really important. I’ll do anything you and Bino—” he was so desperate that he almost didn’t hear Fox’s words.
“Hate you? And why should I?”
King managed to sound funny the moment his crying stopped with an abrupt hiccup. His eyes shrank in his tearing eyes, he just whispered, “What did you say, I’m sorry?”
Fox sat next to him and hugged him tight. “That I don’t hate you, Joel. That you’re a wonderful person, you have shown it and continue to prove it. I am proud to be your friend, especially since you gave up your humanity to be with me. I love you, silly dog, so could you tell me what’s wrong with you all of a sudden? You really scared me, you know?”
You gave up your humanity…
King moved his gaze to the objects scattered on the bed. And sure as life, there was one he hadn’t noticed.
Because it hadn’t been there until today: A picture, a picture of Fox holding him up in his arms, both wearing conical paper caps. Fox was beaming. King, as usual, sported an expression between amusement and boredom, as if he really didn’t want to be snapped in that ‘damsel in distress’ position. They were in the middle of a pet-crowded room and there was confetti flying all around, and a big banner reading, WELCOME HOME, KING!
And even with that evidence before his eyes, not even in his wildest paranoia could King contemplate that Fox knew it all. Heck, the first time he had met Pete he was genuinely convinced he was hallucinating the whole time! And his encounter with the Cosmic Nerds had been like a long dream... well, it had been and yet it wasn’t, and...
But this wasn’t a dream.
Fox had never greeted him like this morning. He had never hugged him for so long, like a brother, like the best friend in the whole world, to protect him even though he had just tried to… hurt…
I am proud to be your friend.
He knew everything. He knew everything, and he hadn’t… abandoned him. He could turn his back to him, turn him in, leave him to Bino’s vengeful care.
And he had not.
King hugged Fox back as best as he could, burying his face in his fur, abandoning himself to the sense of security and comfort. That wasn’t the dog he had to be scared to tell the truth to, that was the friend who knew everything and had forgiven him! That was proud of him! “Thank you!” King said to him and no one in particular. “Thank you, thank you! Thank you for existing, I love you too, I need you so much!”
Fox broke the hug and patted his head. “I think I know that, sourdoggy. Now, can I safely assume this ‘watch’ you were talking about was a bad dream or something like that?”
King sniffled. “Ah… yes, only a bad memory. Something I used to have. That is not mine anymore.” His eyes went to the window, to the blue sky above.
Tiny star, shining bright… Let me see my choice a day till night!
Since there was a Heaven, maybe, for once someone up there had actually listened to his prayer.
One day.
One day and night, to see how life would have been if he had made a choice.
The decision to remain a dog.
King turned back to Fox. If somewhere else he had chosen to be a man, now he didn’t care. It was this time, this moment, that mattered. A day to explore the possibilities that curious part of him had contemplated since he had been given this weird chance.
And in this time, there wasn’t a watch to lose, because his soul didn’t belong to limbo anymore
Instead, there was a picture of his new life.
And he lived with Fox!
A thought that at the same time filled him with joy and the other made him shudder. The idea of having to deal with Mr. Macho-Jaw Bill on a daily basis wasn’t exactly comfortable...
King pulled out his wallet and put the picture into it. He swallowed nervously. “Ah, I’m sorry for that outburst I—”
Fox shook his head. His expression wasn’t angry, but it was clear he didn’t want to talk about it anymore. “You’ll talk about it when you’re ready to, okay.” He tied his bandana to his neck.
King nodded, feeling like a real crook for believing Fox could just backstab him. “Uh, is there at least something I can do to make you forgive me?”
Fox thought about it. “Hmm, actually there is: Bino needs help to the Club.”
King’s ears folded. “I hate you again.”
Fox got off the bed and squatted, patting his back. “I know. That’s why I love teasing you. Now hop up: we got lot of things to do and we’re late already. Sasha won’t forgive me if I don’t carry you to the Club presto!”
King felt a little uneasy at the idea of piggy-back riding his friend, but what the heck! Time for some fun, for once! And perhaps, here things won’t go sourly as usual. Perhaps Bino needs help cause he’s in full body traction. Yes, I could live with that. Watch out, world: King’s on the prowl today!

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Last edited by valerio on Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:33 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
And now I can't stop smiling. This is awesome! I see kinda where you're going with this. I like it.


Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:47 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
King lives with Fox? That's pretty awesome! I'm excited to see how life goes now that Fox knows and everything! Also Grapenut continues to be and always will be adorable! :mrgreen:

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Sat Jun 04, 2011 6:24 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
ChristopherJackal wrote:
King lives with Fox? That's pretty awesome! I'm excited to see how life goes now that Fox knows and everything! Also Grapenut continues to be and always will be adorable! :mrgreen:

Yes, this time I wanted to allow a treat with the future of King in my ficcie. Couldn't resist :lol:
And Grapenut will always be the wind in our fan sails :D

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Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:34 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
So, this episode follows, in a closer way, the events of the comic?

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Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:42 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
In a way. He's doing, I believe, a rather brief offshoot/tie-in episode. Something like a day of what could have been their lives (in the canon of his ficcie), but originally set in the context of the current comic setting.


Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:50 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Russiarules1 wrote:
So, this episode follows, in a closer way, the events of the comic?

It is tied to two precise moments of the comic that inspired me into writing (and refining) this crossover. It was too much of a temptation ;)

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Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:00 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
I spent a few hours to read it all. This story is epic! Can't wait for the next update.

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Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:54 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
already working on it.
Glad to have you aboard, sir :D

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Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:41 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Re-read that last update to try and get an idea for my own. Still amazing. I'm having withdrawals, Valerio!


Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:27 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Daggy wrote:
Re-read that last update to try and get an idea for my own. Still amazing. I'm having withdrawals, Valerio!

I'm so sorry for my being so late, but I'm really stuck :cry:
I'll give my best to get something new online soon...

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Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:08 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
I know the feeling quite well. I know when it comes, it'll be great.


Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:52 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
I've only read the latest update, and already I have this warm fuzzy feeling in my body. The King & Fox part was particularly touching and the Grapenut story is just awesome.
Great work, valerio! Will be expecting more from you soon =3

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Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:50 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
3.
Sandwich House, Babylon Gardens.

Peanut began to look around. The familiar anxiety had begun to burn in his thoughts. He recalled that his Pomeranian girlfriend could speak in his head, so surely she was listening right now. Stop it, please! I don’t want to play anymore! Not like this, not with my feelings! Please, Tarot, stop it! Bad doggie!
“Peanut..?” Grape was definitely scared now. Peanut was holding his head in his paws as if he wanted to rip his own skin. She ran to the door, opened it and cried, “DAD! MOM! PEANUT IS SICK! PLEASE, HURRY!”
Stop it! Peanut kept on screaming with his mind, holding his head until it hurt. Stop it!Stop it!Stop it!Stop it!Stop it!
And it stopped.
Everything.
Peanut was almost overwhelmed by the sudden silence that filled the house. The steps of his parents running up the stairs, Grape’s voice. Everything had stopped.
The lavender cat was still there, motionless, her mouth wide open in her cry, but not a sound was coming from it.
Peanut was heaving like a bellow. “Enough, please. Not... not like this. These things shouldn’t be a game of pretend. How could you do this..?” He hadn’t even the strength to cry.
“It wasn’t me,” said the voice of Tarot, behind him. Peanut turned.
Tarot was there, suspended in midair, her fur ruffled by a wind that wasn’t there, her eyes lit by the familiar emerald light. “Peanut, forgive me for not warning you before, but this isn’t my work. You have to believe me.”
Peanut went to the desk and took a Tish, You!, then blew his nose loudly. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Tarot smiled, “Because your mind and your heart were right the first time: you made a wish, and it came true. You have one day to live the life you’ve always dreamed of, and who knows, maybe you’ll learn something for when you return to the world where you belong.”
Peanut tapped his fingers. “And what if I don’t want to go back..?” He looked at Grape. “I’ve kissed her, I can cuddle her now. If I tried to do that… where I come from…”
Tarot shook her head. “You know you asked for one day, Peanut,” she insisted. “Make the best of it. You may not have another opportunity like this anymore.”
Peanut sighed, then nodded. “You’re right. Tarot?”
“Yes?”
“Forgive me for thinking ill of you.”
Floating, she approached him, then hugged him. “You were just afraid, my dear.”
Peanut hugged her. “Tarot?”
“Yes?”
“What’s… between us? Here, I mean.”
“We are good friends. I always knew your heart was only for Grape, and I stepped aside when the time came, as did Maxwell. No hard feelings.”
“Thank you... Ah, Tarot?”
“Yes?”
“Uh, how... do I go back?”
“Just as you came.” A second later, Peanut found himself hugging the air and almost fell forward as time resumed running.
A moment later, Jill and Earl Sandwich entered the room. “Peanut, baby,” said the woman. “God, are you okay?!”
“I... yes, I’m fine, really.” He still felt confused, but the presence and the scent of his parents was calming him quickly. “I’m fine. I’m sorry, I just—”
“It’s from this morning that he’s been confused,” said Grape, almost hysterical. “He doesn’t recognize things, doesn’t recognize me, he’s like a sleepwalker!”
“Post-traumatic stress disorder,” Earl said to his wife. “Stanwick warned us.” The woman nodded
“Daddy, really...” he tried, but was quickly interrupted by Jill.
“No excuses, young man. We’ll run immediately to the vet. And then I don’t think that Uncle Martin will complain if we arrive at work half an hour earlier. Earl, go get the car ready. I’ll warn the bus not to pick us up.”
Jill picked up her dog and carried him out of the room, followed by Grape. Aww, he wanted to spend a few more romantic moments with her! “Come with us?” He asked her with pleading eyes.
“Of course I will, you lug.”
Okay, so the day was going to be good, after all!

As the car left the premises to get on the road, Peanut looked curiously at the large villa that stood at the end of the road. “Wow,” he said.
“It’s always a sight,” Grape agreed, sitting next to him. “And to think that once there was that abandoned house in its place… We’ll go there, after the visit, if you want to. Uncle Martin and his pets are always happy to have guests.”
Peanut didn’t remember an ‘Uncle Martin’ living in ‘his’ Babylon Gardens, and the abandoned house was still there, the spooky place where every Halloween pets and cubs would gather to share horror stories.
Grape saw the myriad of questions in her beloved dog’s eyes and stroked his neck. To her, it was a tender gesture to soothe him. To him it was something so intimate he would have purred if he could. “Mmmorrre”
Grape rubbed a bit harder, massaging the joint under the skull. “Better?”
Peanut’s foot started to thump on the pavement, his tongue lolling out in a happy pant. “Hmm, yes!” His thoughts went to the picture on his desk. Their desk, in their room. Where they slept in their bed! “We should buy a Nintendogz, you know?”
Grape stopped massaging Peanut’s neck. Looking at him in curiosity. “Why this question, all of a sudden?”
“So we can train for raising our puppy! Or our kitten, for when we adopt one for ourselves. We’re married, right? We should have our litter!”
Grape’s shocked reaction was immediately followed by her most ferocious blush! “Peeanuutt!” she hissed, covering her face, while their parents started laughing.
“What?”
Grape rolled her eyes. “*sigh* at least you haven’t forgotten everything. Including your ill-timing.”
---
The Good Ol’ Dogs Club, garage of Costner house

A single detail, alone, can say much more than an entire upheaval.
Okay, King had hoped to find a nice Bino blow-by with a black band in the corner and the words ‘GOOD RIDDANCE!’ behind the podium... But the sight of Sabrina helping Fido in the middle of a pack of dogs busy and totally indifferent to the black, blasphemous presence in their holy den, was another clear confirmation that things here were very different.
And it also figured that the hypocritical superdog would stick with helping a cat into social amenities, rather than help a fellow dog in need!
Before he forgot where he was, King said, “Looks like a nice party you’re setting up. Who’s it for? And where is the lider maximo?”
“In the bathroom,” said Bino’s shrill voice from the back room. “And I won’t leave here while that... cat is here, contaminating the air! And you better not touch the buffet, shorty! Did you bring your fee for Boris and Yeltsin’s gift?”
King growled softly. “Why should I give a gift to your mob squad, Your Yapping?”
Fox nudged his friend’s back slightly. Bino said, “Because you’re a club member, so do your duty! And don’t get cocky just ‘cause you’re Fox’s bed friend!”
King produced his wallet, then pulled out two $10 bills. He handed them to Fido. “Done, Hysterix!” Then, after putting the wallet back in his collar, he added with a mawkish tone, “Oh, Fox, Bino is jealous of us! Why don’t we retire upstairs for a nice cuddle session, absolutely private?”
Fox turned cherry-red. Bino’s voice reached a hysterical tone. “I HATE YOU!”
King decided that it would be worth it to stay a dog just for these precious moments! Then he turned to Sabrina, even if the gaze went to the bathroom. “Sabrina-pie, please, be careful not to shed like that! Are you trying to spread a carpet?”
“(CENSORED)!”
Fox was shocked. The other dogs ignored it, especially since they were already accustomed to these squabbles, and it was an amusing show after all.
Sabrina took King by the arm and dragged him toward the exit. “I have to talk to you, dear. It’s very urgent and very private. Fox, you stay there, I’ll return him to you asap.”
King offered no resistance as he roared with laughter.

When they got outside, the corgi wiped the tears away with a paw. “Ehehehehe, oymama, I don’t know if I am in debt to you or the other Sabrina, or the Great Kitsune... well, whoever I’m in debt to, for once I am not complaining. Thank you so much, baby!” And he stood on tiptoe to kiss her on the cheek.
The cat’s ears bent back, while she stroked his head in return. “Do thank yourself for all this. It was your sincerity and your heart that made the difference.”
King looked to the garage that housed the club “You mean... this is my work? Telling the truth to Fox...” rewrote the events? All it took was to overcome my fears and now I would be living with Fox?
“Oh, no,” said Sabrina, with that solemnity of hers that never failed to irritate him. Too easy, boy! “This universe is not the result of your decision, as proper as it was. Here things have happened, there are elements that are not present in your reality. Or maybe it’s the opposite, but I hope you get the idea.”
King shook his head, ears flattened. “Yes. Now I feel like an intruder at the party of my good twin.” The familiar frown darkened his face. “Typical: I make a wish, to live for one day the life that I would like, and it’s the one that I won’t have. Because the only reality that I could live happily in is the one that can’t exist.” King looked up at the sky. “Thank you for nothing, eh? While you’re at it, why not strike me with a lightning bolt? Just as a reminder of my place in your grand scheme?”
“King...”
He slapped away the paw outstretched to comfort him. “Leave me alone! You wanted me to be the good doggie and button my lips about this magical nonsense? Fine by me. While this stupid day lasts, I’ll just sit in a corner and sle-eep!”
Sabrina had not withdrawn her paw. Instead, she was now firmly clutching the corgi’s shoulder.
And her severe yellow eyes were gleaming intensely by their own light, a trick he had not seen her do in the few times they had met.
Then her eyes ‘turned off’, and her expression was back to a friendly nuance. “I understand your disappointment, King, but you should seize this day for what it is: the opportunity to fulfill your desire. When you return to where you came from, you will still be facing a critical decision. And your friendship with Fox will depend on it.”
This time, a sad smile returned to King’s lips. “Should I accept my doggy side, then?”
She shook her head. “You have to obey your free will and your awareness. And this experience could help in dispelling the doubts. It depends on you. Given the stakes, I cannot advise you on any course.”
King rubbed his temples. “Then why drag me out here at all, cat? To spoil the day that I was enjoying?”
“No. To keep you busy.”
A big question mark appeared over the Corgi’s head. “Huh?”
A moment later, he was struck – again! – by a species of ground-to-ground missile. “KINGY!” said, at the same time, a familiar merry voice, while the poor dog was digging a furrow in the grass.
“...I’m glad to see you too... Sasha,” King gasped as she nuzzled against him. “To what do I owe the pleasure? Aside from experiencing a new form of torture?”
“Oh, silly,” she giggled, helping him to his feet, rather, dragging him up. “Don’t you remember? You promised to help me tidy up my room! Come on! Where’s Foxy-Bon? He said he’d come too!”
“I’ll warn him,” Sabrina said, leaning over and… kissing King on the nose-bridge. “Now be a good dog,” she added, winking at him.
Blushing, King touched the point where he had been kissed. Maybe Fox was right about that ‘ladykiller’ thing, but still it made him feel very uncomfortable...
---
‘Lucky Charm Grove for the Abandoned and the Ferals’, read the sign by the entrance.
Peanut’s jaw stood agape. He couldn’t help it. That was the shelter? It looked more like an extension of Babylon Gardens! It was… another thing entirely. And it was way cooler!
The car stopped in a large parking lot. Getting out of the car, Peanut saw the great bronze statue of a Madonna surrounded by various animals, and the plaque at its base that read Blessed Are The Meek, For They Shall Inherit The Earth – Do Not Forget Us.
“We held our wedding here, remember?” said Grape.
Peanut remembered the photo on his desk. Until that moment, he still hadn’t grasped the full implication of that image, it looked more like one of their rehearsals, like the Romeo and Juliet things. But her expression was both happy and deadpan serious. That word rang like a heavenly choir in his mind. Wedding! Wedding! Grape loves me and we got married!
“Sure,” he said, lying, hoping she wouldn’t see that lie in his eyes, the hurt it caused. “You were so beautiful.”
The Sandwich Family walked through that citadel dominated by a huge building. Not a cage was in sight, and it smelled like… park. The animals they met were walking around and doing everything a pet would do at home. The atmosphere was very serene. It was so different from home, when Peanut saw that sad, cute lavender cat all huddled in a cage, in a place filled with sadness and unpleasant smells.
“We work here,” said Jill, “and we still aren’t used to it. Uncle Martin did a great job…”
Walking, they had reached the second larger building, sporting a big green cross. At the entrance door, they found a tanned man in his fifties, wearing a white coat. He greeted them with a merry voice and a funny accent. Peanut liked him a lot immediately and wagged. The others thought he had recognized him, and felt a little better.
“Jill,” said the man. “I thought you were in a hurry, lady, instead you took your sweet time. So, how’s our patient faring?” He stroked Peanut’s head fur and gave him a biscuit. Peanut wolfed it down in a bite, then said, “Thank you.”
“Looks like the PTSD knocked at his door, as you had predicted, doc,” said Earl. “He looks better, now, but we’d like to have him checked.”
“He lost his memory,” Grape said, summing up the dog’s behavior during that morning. “It comes and goes, but mostly goes. He… he doesn’t even recognize the shelter!”
Mordecai Stanwick patted her head reassuringly. “Shh, child. I know how these things work, believe me. It’s perfectly normal, although it does look ugly. It was to be expected, considering what you all went through.”
“Can you give him something,” asked Jill.
The veterinarian shook his head. “He just needs rest and to stay in familiar surroundings, with his loved ones. It shouldn’t last more than a day. But I can prescribe a mild sedative, if–”
“NO!” Peanut screamed, jumping back. “No sedation, no sleep! I want... I want to stay awake, with Grape! No sleep!” Heck with looking like a mad dog, he wouldn’t let go of Grape, not for a minute, not today! “Please...”
Stanwick nodded. “The sedative is not mandatory, son, but you need something to soothe the stress. You’ll see, won’t be worse than chamomile.”
Peanut swallowed. “Promise?”
“Promise. And you’ll also get a quick check-up. For free, okay?”
Peanut thought about it. If his parents didn’t have to pay for it… “Hmm, okay.”
Jill shook her head. “You just want to try out your new toys, doctor.”
“My dear, within this old shell still beats the heart of a boy. Come on, Peanut. Grape, if you want to come…”

Stanwick kept his word. The analyses didn’t take more than half an hour, and Grape stood by her spouse all the time, comforting him with her presence.
The veterinarian gave Peanut a blue gel pill. The dog swallowed it with a cup of water. Then the man asked him, “What exactly don’t you remember? You must be sincere with me, young man.”
Peanut couldn’t tell even a human of his special wish, or they’d have kept him under lock and key until tomorrow! Great Santa Claus, forgive me for telling all these lies! I’ll be an extra good dog in return! “I don’t remember anything at all of the last year. Since that first trip to Uncle Reuben’s. But it’s not like a vacuum in my memories. They are… different. I just keep thinking that Grape became Max’s girlfriend, and it’s as if… I was living in another world.” He then turned an anxious expression to the cat. “I’m so sorry.”
Stanwick nodded as he listened. “I understand. Well, you see, the mind can be a tricky thing in pets as well. Maybe, after the recent events, you created this, let’s call it, illusion, because a part of you is very scared for Grape. That part of you is so scared that it prefers to live in the illusion that she’s not in love with you, so that should anything happen, you won’t suffer again.”
“Really..?”
Again, the doctor nodded. “That’s my best guess. I’d call for the shrink, but you’d waste all day in an uncomfortable situation, and I take it that’s not what you wish for. As I said, just relax with your beloved cat and everything’ll be fine.”
Peanut nodded eagerly. “Thank you, doctor. You’re even nicer than that nice lady vet. Ah…”
“Yes, dear?”
Peanut’s eyes went from Grape to the doctor. “That bad thing… what was it?”
Stanwick stared at the dog straight in the eye. “Do you really want to know?”
Peanut shook his head. He didn’t want to know, didn’t want to spend the time agonizing over something he had no control over.
Mordecai stood up, smiling. “Then we won’t tell you. Now go enjoy life and take a dip into some good memories. The bad things will come back to mind, unfortunately, but for those there is no hurry, hm? Now out of my study, rascals, I have to do serious work here. Shoo, shoo!” He drove them away playfully.

“He’s cool,” said Peanut, once he and Grape were back in the waiting room. Their parents hugged him.
“So?” asked Earl.
The doctor summed up the situation. “Just bring him home and spoil him to no end. He’s a lucky dog, couldn’t have a better environment to recover...”
“And I could suggest an even better environment,” said a new voice.
“Uncle Martin!” said Grape.
Peanut of course didn’t recognize the new human being. However, seeing how Grape went and hugged him, he must be a good guy after all... “Hello,” he said shyly.
Martin Foster gestured for him to come. “There’s my sick boy. A guest told me you were here as a patient, and as co-guardian it is my duty to check on my favorite nephew. With your permission, Jill, Earl, I’ll bring them to my place. My boys will help Peanut get back in shape.”
Mama Sandwich didn’t look exactly pleased, but she sighed in resignation. She knew how insistent her neighbor could become. And he did love Peanut and Grape as if he was their father. “Just make sure your boys don’t give him trauma-induced amnesia.”
Martin shook his head, clicking his tongue. “Jill Sandwich, I am appalled by such a lack of confidence,” he said and chuckled. He rose to his feet and to the two animals said, “Come on, furballs. Let’s go.”

During the return trip, Grape gave Peanut a brief explanation about Uncle Martin – not an easy task, seeing how the dog kept asking questions and making observations like a puppy who for the first time had opened his eyes to the world.
But all explanations were surpassed by the sheer news about what had happened at the housewarming party for Martin’s place.
Peanut’s eyes had almost popped out of their sockets. Discovering that he had been able to organize things so as to kiss her in public, to help reveal to the world their love...
Nah, he couldn’t believe it!
“Yet it’s so,” said Grape, looking at him with eyes full of pride. “I too was sure that terrible things would happen if we revealed our secret, but you didn’t hesitate. You were in love and you gave me the courage to accept it. For this too I love you so much: in difficult times, you can be stronger than you think.”
“Wow,” Peanut said. “In front of everyone… I mean, they’ll think that we are…”
Grape held his paw. “Many think that we’re crazy, it’s true, but no one has ever treated us badly, Peanut, really. That was a wonderful and memorable evening. And then we’re not the only mixed pair in Babylon Gardens, you’ll see.”
“Oh.” Peanut wanted to ask about Fido and Sabrina, but as the car entered the park’s driveway, he asked instead, “All this land around the house is yours, Uncle Martin?”
Martin chuckled. “Down to the last acre, boy. Maybe I should throw another party to refresh your memory.”
“I think the doctor wanted him to spend a quiet day,” said Grape. “But thank you anyway.”
“No prob. At least, allow me to feed you a couple of snacks.”

As soon as the SUV ‘Bismarck’ stopped in the garage, Peanut saw four pets entering the garage at a gallop. And two of them were the most incredibly large dogs Peanut had ever seen! Grape’s description didn’t do them justice.
Antares opened the door and pulled out Peanut as if he was a doll. “Hello, brother!” He greeted Peanut, then giving him a lick on the cheek. “Did you come to play with us?”
Grape descended, or rather, was pulled out and down by Aldebaran. “Yes, and be careful you two canine bison.” She explained the situation to them.
“Aw, poor dear,” said Mizar. “You’ll be better soon, you’ll see. How about a nice walk in the park, hm? It helps to relax the nerves.”
In response, Peanut’s stomach protested for the breakfast that it had not yet received.
Martin laughed. “Don’t worry, champ. You’ll enjoy your walk better after a nice breakfast!”
Peanut threw his arms up and shouted, “Yay!” But before he followed the man into the house, he asked Grape, “Uhm, almost forgot to ask. Fido and Sabrina… did they..?”
Grape nodded. “Yes. Rumors are, they kissed in front of Bino and his gang.”
Peanut almost collapsed.

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Last edited by valerio on Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:08 am, edited 3 times in total.



Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:56 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Quite the wonderful update. Every single one, I can't stop smiling.


Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:24 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Another throw, another successful homerun. Too bad that it is over, but someday I'll read another update, right Val? Keep them coming and keep doing your great work!
Woot! :D
Also, there's a couple of mistakes, but nothing serious.

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Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:07 pm
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God, my eyes are still so blurry, from just waking up. And it's soooo cold outside.
But, I've got to read the update. And it's worth having to wake up early in the morning over, nice work as usual, valerio :D !

And now we lay low, waiting patiently with hearts beating like drums for the continuation of the series....

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Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:43 pm
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Another awsome chapter! I can barely wait for the next one!

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Finally! I miss a month and have a novel to read! You must be the most prolific author in here, Valerio! :lol:


Great stuff, Valerio, can't wait to see what else you come up with. You left the other story off at quite the suspenseful moment.

Wonder if King and Peanut meet up? Would be interesting if they did....

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Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:55 am
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4.
Foster Mansion’s Park, Babylon Gardens

“You’re being quieter than usual,” said Grape.
She and Peanut walked paw in paw along the premises. Peanut, actually, really felt like running at full speed, to howl at the sky... but he didn’t want to get tired. He didn’t want to miss a single second for a nap. Provided he could sleep at all, that is.
In fact, he had never felt so excited! If that nice Dr. Stanwick had given him a light sedative, it certainly wasn’t having any effect...
At one point, Peanut stopped to hug her and caress her snout and head. “And you’re more beautiful than usual.”
“Heh.” Grape willingly let herself be pampered. “And you’re more of a gentledog than usual.”
“And you’re more beautiful than usual.”
“Well. At least, the amnesia didn’t make you forget the important things.”
“Like this?” Peanut kissed her again. His heart felt like a hammer, either because of the sheer physical sensation of that magical contact, or because Grape answered without hesitation, without uncertainty.
“Again, wow!” she said, when they broke, but always making sure they kept touching each other’s brow. “You know how to make a girl happy.”
“Wurf! You have very sharp teeth, you know?”
“I don’t seem to remember that being a problem. For you.”
“Guys, for pity’s sake!” said a new voice, making them jump. “I’m gonna barf rainbows any minute now!”
“Max!” said Peanut. Here it was, the nightmare of his present... “I didn’t expect to find you here,” Peanut said, forgetful for a moment of the numerous pet presences at the park. This Uncle Martin had turned his private property into a new public park, after all. Peanut really wished it wasn’t so. At the old abandoned house they might’ve had some real privacy.
But the best thing was the mixed couples. Peanut had never seen so many – in fact, he hadn’t seen any of them in his universe! Dogs and cats, just like him and Grape, walking holding paws, hugging or sitting in the shade of a tree... And no one to disturb them…
“And you two made the difference,” Max said, placing his paws on the shoulders of Peanut and Grape, hanging between the two of them. “They found the courage, thanks to your example.”
Peanut felt dizzy. “Really..?”
“Although, frankly, they could find another example.” He pointed his thumb at his own chest.
“Max...” warned Grape. “I seem to recall you have a girlfriend now?”
“Of course yes, ma belle, but it’s still your star that shines the brightest.” And he gave her a quick kiss on the cheek.
Peanut did, at that point, something that he didn’t really believe he could ever do: with a tremendous growl, he jumped at the black cat. Grabbing his collar, he then slammed him against the nearest tree! “Not today, Maxwell!” he hissed through clenched teeth. “Not. Today. Do you understand?”
Max stared at him as if the dog was an alien, which was in a sense true. “Hey, mutt, peace. Okay? Peace. I’m sorry if I offended you.”
Peanut let him go. “Just leave. I just don’t want to see you around her, today, okay?”
To see him so angry was a rare show indeed. That dog seemed to be born unable to feel anger; from time to time, they called him the anti-Bino. That was why it was scarier when he got really mad, like now.
Max turned away, for once avoiding telling jokes, when the voice of Grape said, “Stay where you are, Max.”
Peanut turned his head so quickly that he felt a twinge in the neck...
...But it was nothing, compared to what he felt at the sight of the angry cat. She was speaking in a cold voice, but so filled with rage, and her eyes were like two flames aimed at Peanut.
He felt himself dying. He had done something wrong, but didn’t know what...
“Peanut,” Grape said. “I vowed that I would not get angry with you anymore, but heaven knows how much you put me to the test, sometimes. I understand that today you feel a little upset, but you should remember two things above all: first, Maxwell has officially stopped flirting, get it? He likes to play the fool, it is in his nature, but if there’s something he took seriously, it’s his commitment to leave me for you. It cost him a lot, as it would cost you. Try to respect that, am I clear?”
“Grape...” whined Peanut. “Please don’t–”
“Second, I don’t know how much this amnesia – long story, Max – of yours is messing with your head, but as sure as you love me, you should also trust me. I’m not angry about your attempts to defend me; I’m angry because you don’t trust me. All day long, you’ve looked at me as if I could leave you at any moment, and this hurts me. Of all the things for you to forget, I can’t believe that I am the first.”
“Uh...” His mind was racing to his internal clock. How much time left? Eleven hours, no, less. He didn’t want to sleep, but he especially didn’t want her to be angry with him, for this day to end in an outburst. His voice was reduced to a beaten puppy’s pitiful whining. “I’m sorry. I... I’m just so scared. I-I love you so much. Please, I trust you, I swear, but...” But all of this will end, how can I tell you? Tomorrow you will wake up with another ‘me’, and I will be alone again.
*Sigh* “Come on, don’t do that,” she said, cupping his face in her paws. “Open your eyes, come on.”
He did.
“I’m sorry, honey.” Grape kissed his nose. “Forgive me. You’re the one who needs help, and I’m behaving like my ol’ tomcat self again. Peace?”
Peanut nodded shyly, his tail wagging equally as shy as his voice “...Peace.”
Max took that as his clue to leave, though he still didn’t get what was going on.
Dog and cat sat under a tree, holding paws. Grape rested her head against the bark, watching the sun shine through the leaves. “I think you’re the only person who knows how insecure I am inside.”
Peanut almost chuckled. Her? Insecure? She was the toughest cat in the neighborhood!
As if reading his thoughts, Grape said, “I always have to appear the badbutt kitty, you know. I hate to look weak. Perhaps for this reason I was afraid to confess my feelings to you. I feared depending so much on someone. I took that date with Max also because I felt it was the less dangerous solution. I could stay with someone without appearing, well… weird.”
Peanut understood that. He had restrained himself out of fear of the social taboo…
The dog grinned, struck by a sudden idea. “So, I take it you won’t feel weird if I…” and he put his claw tip on the bark.
Grape shrugged, understanding. “I don’t think so. In fact, why don’t we both?” She said, unsheathing her own claw.

Shortly after, the immortal message of love had been carved out. Peanut had worked on the left half of the heart, Grape on the right, their names carved into each half.
“Maybe we’ll launch a fad,” said the dog, wagging his tail.
“Maybe.”
“Tss. I was doing that when I was a kitten,” said Max.
“Max! I’m sorry, I-I just reacted badly, I was...” Peanut stammered.
The black cat sat beside him, legs folded again chest. “The Foster pets explained everything, don’t worry. And then, you have a point: it’s good to have some fun at your expenses, but with you I should be more chivalrous.” He held out his paw. “Peace and love.”
Peanut shook it vigorously. “Peace! You’re a good cat, you know?”
Max shrugged. “Nah, just the best.”
“Ola,” said a new voice, this time from above. Soon after, a raven black and shiny as obsidian came to rest on Peanut’s head. “About time you showed up, scamp. You know you should never go out of the reach of my watchful eyes.”
Peanut chuckled. The bird’s claws tickled his head. “Hello to you. Who are you? Today I have amnesia and I don’t remember anybody.”
The crow stuck his head down to stare into his eyes. “It must be true, young man: no one could forget a charming bird like me, especially you. I am Nevermore, but Never you may call me. I am your winged guardian, your best pal and you always give me the first choice of groceries in your refrigerator!”
Peanut stared curiously at the talkative bird. He didn’t know why, but he found him very nice. Certainly, he had never seen him at his own home... “Really? Do you belong to Uncle Martin?”
“Oy!” Never said, rolling his eyes. “Houston, we do have a problem, here, then! Don’t you remember how we met *Kaff!*” Grape’s paw grabbed him by the neck and pulled him to herself. “No, he doesn’t remember and I wish he would keep forgetting until he feels better. Or you’ll become the first choice in our refrigerator tonight!”
A short-breathed Nevermore nodded frantically. Grape let him go, and he fell down like a sack.
“You know, meadow flower, you should consider a school of good manners,” he said rubbing his neck. “Next time you treat me like a turkey, I’ll end up on the Thanksgiving Day menu. And I hate cranberry sauce!”
Peanut gently grabbed the bird and put him back on the head. “How did we meet?”
Grape facepawlmed. She should have expected that, when Peanut became curious about something, he was worse than a cat. And of all the things he had to remember, this one better stay buried for now. “Peanut?”
Never was about to answer, when Grape grabbed Peanut’s head and gave him the Deepest Kiss He Could Ever Dream Of! Peanut’s mind went into a total blank. If that was death, he welcomed it without resistance.
Poor Max’s eyes widened and he squeezed his tail hard. Never said, “Well, that’s surely a nice way to change the subject.”
“Peanut,” Grape said, when she broke the kiss, leaving him petrified. “Peanut?”
He nodded. He still had that funny absent look, pin-sized pupils. “Ah... Yes.?”
She stroked his cheek. “Do you trust me?”
Peanut nodded, and resumed consciousness. “Of course. In fact, I’m sorry if until now...”
“Forget it. No apologies. If you trust me, please, promise me that today you won’t ask how you met Nevermore. He can be a nuisance, but I’m sure even he wouldn’t want to see you suffer, right?” she added to the bird, with a look that made the raven gulp nervously.
Peanut frowned. “It has to do with that ugly thing that nobody wants to talk about?”
Grape nodded. In a sense, what she had done to him, at the farm, was definitely something that she wanted to forget... And maybe, Peanut’s amnesia and insecurities had been kindled just by that incident... “Believe me. It’s better this way.”
Peanut smiled. “Okay! No more questions.” He lay with his back against the tree, while Never turned into a kind of ball of feathers on his head. Grape shook her head, lying down herself so as to lean against her dog. Peanut’s color regained the familiar tinge of a fire truck, but he was more than happy to encircle her with his arms. Max just stood where he was. He had taken a vow to watch over them, at least to make sure Grape would be happy, even if not with him…
That was how it should be, Peanut thought, as she began to purr. This was perfection, and when his special day was over, he would strive to make it happen. No matter how hard it would be!
Almost without realizing it, Peanut closed his eyes and fell asleep, happy.
---
Byron House

King was sure that at least three fundamental laws of physics and one of geometry had been violated, while walking up the stairs from the basement to ground floor.
The corgi put down yet another box on the floor, leaving Fox the task to bring it to Sasha’s new room. King knew that she owned a lot of stuff. Every Valentine’s Day, the whole neighborhood gave her something, and it took about 3 months for her to sort through all that stuff. When she had moved to live with her new owners, and with Fido, she had transformed the ‘top dog’’s room into a neat receptacle for shining femininity. Poor Fido had personally refurbished the attic to give it to Sasha. Not that he disliked her company, but he also had a reputation to maintain!
King couldn’t believe that all that stuff could stay in one room, in defiance of entropy and Euclidean geometry! Granted, his back was warning him to stop with the suicide attempts. The corgi repeatedly rubbed his kidneys.
Sasha approached King and rubbed gently. “Aw, poor Kingy! You’ll see, with my biscuits you’ll feel better in a heartbeat!”
King, however, thought about something that wasn’t in his universe, something that perhaps made this strange journey even more special: Sasha was free from her old master, no more bottles of beer scattered everywhere, no more sitting alone on a snowy Christmas... It was nice to know that, at least somewhere, that kind girl had found a real, caring family…
“I’ll get the last box,” said King. “Why didn’t Bino offer for the job, instead? Too busy playing the boss?” He could’ve avoided that, since here the two of them were a real couple, one thing that still left King perplexed about the great mysteries of existence. “Or maybe he was afraid of not being tough enough?” The corgi flexed his biceps, sporting a large grin.
“Oh, silly,” said Sasha. “He’s training to be fit, you know he wants to return to the Academy. Can’t do it if he’s out of shape, right?” And she chuckled.
King was about to explode into a question, but managed to bite his tongue just in time. Bino back to the Academy?! “Well, he could practice with these weights,” he said, before adding, “I mean, I don’t mind at all helping you but I didn’t think you had so much stuff, but it doesn’t matter because friends help each other and I am not courting you with this even if I’m really happy to help you whenever you ask and now I’m sorry I’m going downstairs to take the last box and what is left of my dignity.” He ran downstairs.

“King?”
The last thing he wanted right now was another heart-to-heart with Fox. He wanted to ask so many questions, but couldn’t without sounding crazy, or worse. And he didn’t know what to say, and didn’t want to appear grumpy... “I’m sorry. Again. Really, today ain’t my dog day.”
Fox took the carton. He lifted it with a slight grunt. “It’s obvious that there is something that is stressing you very much. And I accepted that there always will be, given what happened in your life...” Then he put the box on the first step. He bent down to give King a tight hug. “But I’m more interested to know what I can do to help, okay?”
King surrendered to the embrace. “Then don’t stop, don’t move now,” he whispered. “Only a couple of minutes. Please.” He didn’t want to think that this wasn’t his place. He didn’t want to think that tonight would be over. He just wanted his friend!
When they broke the embrace, King said, “What about this? I take this up, then we go home, and abandon ourselves to a well-deserved nap, ‘kay?” Considering it would take a lifetime to explore this all-different neighborhood, he might as well stay with Fox. That was what he wanted. Right?
Seeing the small dog run happily toward the box, Fox’s eyes widened. “No! King, wait! That is the box of the—” then grimaced with sympathy, as soon as the sound of wood breaking was heard loudly. “...Bowling Balls. They gave her a set.”
King’s mouth was caught in a rictus of agony, eyes wide and watery, while his body was still bent in two after the vain attempt to lift the box. “Why should Sasha have a set of bowling balls?” he asked with a squeak of pain through his clenched teeth.
“Beats me. I only know that they are tuned with her eyes, with phosphorescent glitter all over them.”
“How cute. Now could you help me get reincarnated, before going home?”

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Last edited by valerio on Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:58 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
I loved the Grapenut moment and I don't feel so sorry for Fido, you know. XD
Great chapter as always.

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Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:08 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
I am Commander Shepard and this is my favorite thread on Housepets! forum. Awesome update, I love it!

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Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:38 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Yeay, an update, finally! =3

I do feel kind of sad for Peanut and King, their dreams coming true in front of their eyes, all the while knowing that it might not last forever...

Max is being a real gentlecat here, that I have to say. It's hard to see your old flame making out with someone else without you going crazy XD

And King's request to Fox ... really gets me, somehow. I can't really describe why.

Worth waiting for, valerio! I'll be waiting for your next installment, no matter how long that might be ;)

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Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:58 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
So much grapenut! Fine work, good sir.


Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:32 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
HAHAHAH, YES! Another chapter achieved, another set of smiles. As always, great work, Valerio!
I do not know what to say now, but I like cranberry sauce, just sayin'.

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Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:51 pm
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Awesome update! Grapenut is so adorable!

I feel so bad for them. King especially. Little guy already has a dark outlook on life. No telling what this will do to them

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5.
Lindberg House, Babylon Gardens.

King sat at the dining table, a glass of warm milk held between his paws.
He stared at the now lukewarm liquid with his characteristic scowl, in the middle of an eerily quiet kitchen…
“I know you were listening to me, when I called,” he said softly, his eyes still on the milk. “Come on, crawl out of your hole and let’s talk like civilized people for once.”
When the sepulchral silence answered him, King sighed. “I must be crazy. Of all people...” He raised the glass to his lips... when he saw a tiny cobalt blue-plumaged gryphon, hanging by his aquiline legs on the glass’s edge.
“Sorry I’m late,” said the mythical beast, with a mousy voice.
“GAK!” King dropped the glass. It broke on the floor, and in an instant the splash of milk turned into a lake that filled the kitchen.
Within moments, king was clinging for dear life to the table, now a raft, inside a huge glass full of milk.
“Role reversal, huh? Ha ha! What fun, Pete! Go ahead, gulp me down, but I warn you! I can be hard to digest!”
The gryphon, now so huge he could have swallowed a building in a few bites, said, “Oh, that I know, my dear. Managing your other self was in itself an epic task. I know you wanted to talk to me?”
King managed to get aboard the table-raft. He shook his fur, pulling a face at the mess, then said, “Don’t beat around the bush! You know why I want to talk to you, bird brain. Can you do it or noOOOO!”
The gryphon poured the liquid into a strainer. He then shook it, leaving King again like a soggy biscuit.
“You want me to help you stay in this universe. Sorry, the answer is no.”
King shook again. “You don’t look very sorry.”
“Because I’m already too busy with your legitimate counterpart, to take care of you too. You still have important decisions to make. You’re still in the middle of your path. And most importantly—”
“I’m not home, I knew that already! And what if I just wanted to stay? You could change my identity, make me invisible...” Suddenly the dog lowered his shoulders and fell to his knees. “You’re the one who likes to play with my life. I’ll be a good avatar, I promise, but I want it to be here. If I go back there, I won’t have... anything. Please, I’m practically begging!”
Pete, for once, looked very sad as he answered, “You know I never worried about bending the rules to my advantage, King. And I know you’re sincere. This is why it pains me to deny you your request: You know yourself that you could never be content to be in a corner in the shade, while the rightful inhabitant of this universe lives his life. You already know that would be a disaster. Your other self has reached his goals. You would hate him for that, and still feel you are the victim of a cosmic injustice.”
King knew this, unfortunately. But he had to try, maybe he needed to hear it. And that voice filled with pity was, in a way, worse than teasing laughter. King couldn’t be angry with anybody, not even himself, this time.
Two gigantic claws gently grabbed him by the nape and lifted him. “Go back to sleep now,” Pete said, moving the astral projection toward the sleeping body, curled up against Fox in their common bed. “If it’s of any consolation, my boy, you’ve already made a wise decision by choosing to spend the rest of your time in this universe here, instead of seeking adventures.” And while King was beginning to merge with his own mortal shell, the voice of Pete added, “Remember when I said that a long journey begins with one step? You’ve just made another one in the right direction. For how much resentment is burning in you, there glows a flame rich with hope. You know, it’s the first time you didn’t ask me to turn you back into a human.
“So, allow me a word of wisdom. If, when you return to your world, you wonder what to do to regain Fox’s friendship think about this day. No matter how angry he is with you now, he still cares for you.”
The fusion of spirit and body was now complete. Pete’s words faded into the blackness of deep slumber.
King moaned in his sleep, but this time didn’t wake up.
---
Foster Mansion Park

It wasn’t the terrible noise in the sky that scared him awake.
It was fear.
Fear that it was already over!
He had fallen asleep, and his special day was gone! Nonononono!
“Peanut, you’re choking me!”
Then he realized.
It wasn’t over. It was late afternoon. He was in the park of that human named Martin Foster.
And he was still with his beloved cat. The same one he was involuntarily crushing in his arms. “Grape..?” Peanut finally let her go. “I’m sorry, I...”
Grape kneeled in front of him, stroked his face, before giving him a peck on his forehead. “It was just thunder, Nutty.”
Peanut nodded, while he lay back against the tree. “...Only thunder, yes.” His breathing slowed down at last. “I love you.”
Grape stood up. She grabbed his paws and helped him on his feet. “I love you too. Come on, now let’s go to the hut before we get soaked.” At that moment, the darkening sky launched a second booming warning. The fresh currents of air brought with them a distinct smell of rain.
Peanut showed a mischievous smile, and quickly held Grape to himself.
“Peanut, what..?” She struggled as he tried to sit down again with her. “Peanut, stop it! You know I hate getting wet!”
When the first drops began to fall, shaking the leaves, Peanut stroked her throat and said, “Let’s stay here. We were never together under a tree during a thunderstorm. It is romantic.”
Grape let out an exasperated sigh. “Newsflash for the deaf: I hate getting wet, and lightning doesn’t care about romance!”
“Aww, pleeease!”
The drops were falling thicker now. Grape was getting increasingly distressed. Peanut saw her looking around, desperate for a better shelter. “Let’s go to the cabin, please. You know... I hate being outside when it rains.” Her voice was pleading, like a frightened kitten.
Peanut knew he was again ruining their date, now. He promptly rose to his feet, helping her up. “Don’t worry, milady!” he exclaimed in a heroic tone, slapping his chest with his fist. “In less than no time, I’ll carry you away from the fury of the elements!” Then he lifted her into his arms, like a real knight!
“Peanut!” This time, however, Grape chuckled, while she clung to his neck. “What are you doing, silly!?”
“As I said, I’ll carry you to safety… Now, if you’ll tell me where this is hut before…”
Grape shook her head, then pointed a finger toward the structure in the middle of the park. Just ahead of them.
Peanut blushed and made a mock indignant expression. “Pff, smarty tail!” Then he gave her a quick kiss on the lips. “You sure you don’t want to stay here, milady?”
“Go, my brave knight.”

The door opened. The dog came in panting, holding his precious cargo dripping like a soaked sponge. There were over a dozen pet, busy drying, grooming, eating snacks. The air was filled with the scents of different species and wet furs. “Ok, so you were right about getting a roof over our heads.”
“You’re telling me,” said Grape, getting down. “Now for your penitence: Go get dry towels, Sir Mutt.”
Fido handed them the towels. “Use these. And no shaking yourselves dry.”
Grape took one and started rubbing Peanut’s fur. He blushed violently, especially when the lavender feline embraced him to rub his back. All the same, he was quick to recover and return the favor. Kisses and hugs, however great, were one thing. He hadn’t actually… touched her body like this, so far. It sent electricity through his arms and his heart beat faster.
When they were done, Grape chuckled. “Heh, look at yourself, a wet porcupine.”
“Look who’s talking.”
Fido took the towels. Max came with two brushes. “I brush her, she does you,” he said, tossing a brush to Grape. “Suit you, mutt?”
Peanut didn’t object. “Fine by me.” He was sure he’d start trembling like jelly if he tried to brush Grape.
As the grooming proceeded, Peanut couldn’t help himself asking, “Max?”
“Hm?” came absently, as the black cat himself was lost in that ritual.
“Aren’t you angry about me… and Grape?” then he felt a warning stroke from the brush working on his back.
Max paused for a moment, before grooming Grape’s head fur. “I felt pretty upset, yes. And I still didn’t know Sabrina had left me for a dog too… Imagine, the local roadside Romeo getting dumped by the hood’s finest cats in favor of you mutts. Bino gave me a lot of torment over that.
“But you know what? You didn’t steal Grape from me, Peanut. She had already made her decision, and when you two kissed, at the party, in front of everyone… what could I do? Plan your downfall? Exact bloody revenge? Become Bino-bitter?” Max sighed, shook his head. “You are a good pet, Peanut. At least, I know she’s happy with you. I know you two are matched, although it creeps me out sometimes. And as I told you at the party, if you make her suffer, then I will make you suffer.” Then he went back to brushing Grape’s fur. “And I get to stay friends with her, for which I do not complain.”
After they were done, Peanut turned toward the window. “Will it rain for much longer?”
“Hopefully not,” said Max, remembering when he and Bino’s gang were trapped inside Foster mansion. He shivered.
A frightening, sudden light filled the room, dazzling everyone! Their gasps and shouts of surprise were drowned by the monstrous thunder that followed, powerful enough to shatter the thin glass! Peanut and Max fell to the ground, stunned.
“PEANUT!” Grape immediately lowered to help her dog. “God, are you okay..?” With a paw, she brushed off the shards of glass from his fur, then checked the face. Fortunately, he was not cut. She kissed his forehead.
“I’m fine,” said Peanut, letting himself be helped up. “I’m fine, love, really.” He realized, remotely, that this was the first time he had called her that.
“I’m fine, thank you very much, my adoring fans,” said Max, as Sabrina helped him up. “Whoo, that was intense!”
Peanut turned back toward the window, as rain poured in. He still saw spots before his eyes and rubbed them repeatedly. His ears rang. “I’d like to know where it hi-Oh.”
The tree where he and Grape had traced their message had been split in two, reduced to two burning stumps. Peanut whined. “What a shame.”
“I’d say ‘what luck’,” Max said.
Peanut turned toward Grape. “I’m sorry for trying to stay there. We could’ve—”
Grape hugged him. “Now, you couldn’t know. And then you wanted to do something romantic, not put me in danger. I promise you that tomorrow we will have a nice picnic. What do you think?”
Peanut wagged his tail. He felt like dying inside for that day he’d never have, but he put on a good face for it, “Can Fido come too? And Sabrina? A catlover thing, you know!” At least, he hoped his other ‘self’ would appreciate the idea.
“I really think that can be done,” said the police hound, ruffling his head fur.
Peanut kept looking out the window. “I wonder if Never is fine, with this rain...”
“Thanks for being the only soul who cares, man,” said the raven, flying in. As soon as he sat down on a bench, he shook vigorously. “Bah! Stupid summer downpours... And what are you looking at? Get a towel and dry your tails, before you get a cold!”
---
It wasn’t a brief summer shower.
Dinnertime had come, by the time it had stopped raining, and everyone had gone back to their homes.
“Peanut, what are you doing there?” Grape called him from the sill. “Dinner’s gonna get cold.”
The dog was standing in the middle of the garden, watching the first stars emerging among the last clouds. Venus’ bright light was well visible. Tiny star, shining bright… it’s time for me to say goodnight…
But more he couldn’t have, he knew that. He got a taste of the perfect life. Now, he could fight to make it real… Or not?
Here things were so different. He hadn’t the right to force Grape to love him, at home.
He must be glad that somewhere, somehow, things had gone well. And who knows? Maybe another wish could be granted, one day…
“Coming, love,” he said, managing to stifle the lump on his throat. “Ah, do you mind if… we just go to bed? I’m really not hungry and I just want to be with you tonight.”
Grape gave him that smile that he would never see again. “Of course. But now come inside, I don’t want to spend the night worrying over a cold.”
Peanut followed her inside, chuckling.

At 23:55, a deep silence filled Sandwich House.
Peanut and Grape slept holding to each other. The Raven Nevermore was resting on his perch. None of them heard the door opening with a slight creak.
Three figures entered the room: one was the Tarot, her eyes shining with emerald light. The second was a cat. He was completely black, save for the scarlet stripe that ran from his forehead and down along the back to his tail.
The third was... Peanut Butter Sandwich.
The dog gently stroked his double’s head, getting nothing more than a slight groan. Of course, he knew how heavy he could sleep even without Tarot’s help. “You know, I’m really sorry he has to go back.”
The Pomeranian held his paw. “I am, too. But certain things cannot be changed, interfered with.”
Peanut nodded.
“He leads a good life, back in his own place,” said the cat who went by the name of Streak.
“But he doesn’t have her. No offense, Tarot.”
“Not yet.” Streak winked at him. “But it doesn’t depend on us, you know.”
“Does your device work, now?” asked Tarot.
Streak punched the commands on the biokeypad tattooed on his forearm. “It works great. The DimWarper’s leaks which had accidentally brought King and Peanut here won’t happen again.”
“Will he forget everything?” Peanut asked, looking at its counterpart.
Tarot nodded. “It must be so. Some memories will emerge, but for him it will be little more than the remnants of a beautiful dream.”
Peanut stooped to kiss himself. “Good luck, then. I know you can do it.”
“Now step back, please,” said Streak, and punched the last key.
He and the sleeping Peanut disappeared in a glow intense as the Sun’s…

...The same glow that greeted the rising of the next day.
Peanut opened his eyes. Focusing them, he aimed them at his desk.
The picture of him and Grape in the church was gone. Instead, there were the two familiar separated pictures.
Peanut rolled over in his good old ‘single’ bed.
The dog sat down. He put his paw under the mattress, and pulled out the special photo. He tried desperately to remember what had happened on that special day, but it was as if a veil had fallen between him and his memories. Looking at the calendar on the wall, he saw that only a night had passed, not a whole day.
It had all been a dream. A beautiful dream.
*Sigh* “Wish I could have more of these dreams...” If he concentrated enough, he could even remember the sounds and smells.
And the kisses he and Grape exchanged
Peanut stroked the special photo of Fido and Sabrina recolored one last time, then put it back.
It was then that he noticed something.
The morning sun was reflecting off something that sparkled in his fur. Peanut carefully picked out the tiny object.
A shard of glass. Nothing that could hurt him, but... how did it end up… there..?
The memories resurfaced with a vengeance! And Peanut’s sadness became a long and powerful song of hope.
Tiny star, shining bright…
Now he remembered! There was one thing he wanted to do, something that he had vowed to do…
He got out of bed and ran out of room. He didn’t have to force her, he didn’t have to stress her out! But he had to try, he owed it to himself! He wouldn’t deny his heart, not if he had hope! How could he win Grape’s affection if he didn’t even respect himself enough to try!?
Heck with the consequences! He would say it loud and clear. And also be the nicest dog in the world, her brave knight. But she must hear it from him!
He went downstairs and stopped in front of the lavender cat’s favorite couch, where she was sleeping. “GRAAAAAPE!” he howled.
The poor cat almost had a heart attack, and also she hated so very much to be yelled awake in the morning! “Argh! Peanut, if this is something stupid... What do you want?
“I love you,” he said, without hesitation, looking straight into her eyes.
Whatever answer Grape had prepared, that simple phrase left her without any speech. She stared at Peanut for five full seconds, unable to utter a word, while he stood there looking at her without turning off that happy, puppy smile.
Finally Grape lay down again, resting her head on the pillow to hide her expression. “I love you too, Peanut,” she said without the slightest irritation in her voice. It was as if... she had hoped he would say it “But try that again and you die. Lovingly.”
“Okay!” Peanut turned and walked away, wagging his tail, laughing, happy to have made that step.
He could do it!

In his dreams, King was thinking back to a conversation he’d had with Sabrina. In another world.
I didn’t quite understand what you meant about my soul being in limbo.
And Sabrina had answered, I mean there was a problem when you were transformed into a dog.
And that was when the lightning had struck, filling the room with light and sound.
And King was back.
Alone. Afraid.
But could it still be a dream within a dream? Could it be..?
In the darkness, his paw fumbled in the nightstand’s drawer, looking for the picture, the symbol of that existence he had craved, he had obtained, somewhere, somehow… And Sabrina’s words taunting him. You see dog heaven is very lenient, compared to human heaven. This isn’t unprecedented, but you weren’t exactly a paragon, either.
And found the watch. The darn symbol of his awful reality. Where he had to work hard from scratch.
King watched the luminous display: 12:04. End of his special day. Only the fading scent of Fox remained.
Until you embrace whether you’re a dog or you’re a human, the resolution is a tricky matter. I wouldn’t worry too much, though, someone should be along to pick up the watch any day now.
The you can stop worrying about that.
Yes, but stop worrying about what?! About a possibility he could realize, or a never-to-become future that would taunt him for the rest of his life, even if he chose to stay a dog?
King kept staring at that fine piece of machinery, until another lightning bolt illuminated the room.
“Well. This sucks.”

HOUSEPETS: THE SERIES
Special Episode 1 - CROSSOVER
FIN

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Last edited by valerio on Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:00 am, edited 3 times in total.



Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:57 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
And this was the conclusion. I'm glad yuo enjoyed this trip. Soon I'll start working on Season II. Stand ready to get blown! :lol:

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Oh my goodness. Working in those strips...how adorable.

You're so much better at this writer thing than I am. Just means I have to work harder!


Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:58 am
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Woo, over 10,000 visits!
That puts me in the same league with awesome TWO TWIG, HOPPER200456 and CHRISTOPHERJACKAL!
*does the happy dance*

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
HOUSEPETS!: THE SERIES
Season II
Episode 1 - Weddings and convictions
Written by VALERIO (Later revised by OBBL)

1.
Byron House, Babylon Gardens

They say your life passes before your eyes when you’re about to die.
But the dog named Bino, in the minute that passed before those who stood behind the door responded to his knock, didn’t think he was dying. In fact, he was... calm, relaxed. He should feel thrilled like never before, hopping impatiently, having difficulty breathing... Lovers acted like that, right? He had seen it on TV!
Instead, Bino felt calm.
Like a person sentenced to death in front of the firing squad.
The dog shook his head to ward off the dreadful image. In recent days, he had made two important decisions. He had thought about them carefully, and would not pull back now!
He had only to remember why he was doing it.
Oh, yes, to remind the dogs in the neighborhood it was not just Fido who could play the hero.
And to prove that he was a responsible canine. He really liked working for the Good Ol’ Dogs Club, he was the founder and President, all the initiatives of the neighborhood’s canine half came from him. He had to set a good example!
Above all, it was nothing short of absurd that a cat lover such as Peanut had beaten him on something so important! Bino had heard too many times the occasional barbs that the other members of the club threw behind his back on the subject. It was time, therefore, to prove that he was the best. Once and for all!
The door opened. “Good morning-day Biney-bon!” Sasha said, happily. Bino felt like melting, especially because, in the days when she was abandoned, he had seen how much she could suffer, and something had moved into the hard shell that was his heart. After that terrible experience, though Sasha had moved to Fido’s place, with far better parents than that crook Roger Hartford, Bino had realized and accepted he was sincerely in love with the cute, bubbly female German Shepherd with her creamy fur, her candy-pink eyes and brown muzzle, ears and paws. Sasha’s joy, meanwhile, had given way to an expression of curiosity. “We didn’t have a date, today. And Uncle Martini postponed the housewarming party of his new house because he has to deal with his bad brother first, but it doesn’t matter you may come in and—” the flow of speech was interrupted by the paw that was gently placed on her mouth.
Sasha saw Bino… smiling. It was a sincere expression, which went all the way to his eyes. A rare thing indeed!
Bino then put his paws to his own collar. “Sasha, I... Heh, and to say I had prepared a beautiful speech, and now I have forgotten everything.” His fingers began to unfasten the object. “You know, since Peanut and Grape were married, I always thought about the two of us, you know. I was always so busy, and I’ll be honest, I still will be. A lot. I really have a lot of things to do, and...” Bino was forced to draw a deep breath. “In short, despite being a major character in Babylon Gardens, a pillar of the community, there is still something I’m missing. Someone who makes me feel really good, someone truly worthy of me, someone to be devoted to.”
Sasha hardly dared to breathe. Was Bino really saying what she thought?
Bino’s paws unfastened the collar. Bino went to his knee, offering his collar to his girlfriend. “My heart exposed to you, naked to the world, Sasha Byron, I ask you: will you marry me?”
Image
---
House Sandwich.

“Agh, why did they turn on the air-raid siren?” asked the lavender cat, well-curled on the couch in the arms of a cinnamon and brown-furred dog, with sky-blue eyes.
“I think it’s Sasha,” said Peanut Butter Sandwich. “Wow, I never heard her howl like that. She must be very happy right now.”
“Hmm,” said Grape Jelly Sandwich, leaning her throat on her husband’s shoulder. She then purred loudly. “Not as much as I am, hubby.”
Peanut chuckled. Even if the nuptial ceremony between pets had a mere symbolic value, it was still fun to play the newlyweds like Mom and Dad. Peanut and Grape had already made their promises to each other long before they set foot in the church of The Order of Saint Anthony Abbot.
Yet, in their relationship, Peanut was able to surprise his cat and ask her if she wanted to become a mom in every right.
After the subject had been mentioned, the two pets had mutually decided to take some time to think over it seriously. In short, Peanut and Grape couldn’t have puppies, like it or not. And he really wanted to care for a litter, now that, thanks to Uncle Martin, the family didn’t lack money.
That left open the question of the donor. The cat that would...
Peanut still felt a block of ice in his stomach whenever he thought about it. He was really tempted to change his mind, to suggest adopting them... After all, they had not yet spoken with their parents.
But Peanut really, really wanted so much for Grape to become a mommy, he wanted to see the kittens be born and grow, a healthy and numerous litter, those who would carry on the legacy of their parents, the new generation to let the world know that a dog and a cat could love each other and be good parents. He wanted a solid bond between him and Grape. He wanted a family of their own.
And this was well worth the intervention of a donor. Even Mizar and Alcor, two of the Foster family pets, a mixed couple like Grape and Peanut, had chosen to do likewise. The important thing was that there was trust.
And Peanut trusted Grape. He trusted her more than his own parents, more than anyone else in the whole world!
Grape was hesitant, and he understood that well. He must give her time, and accept any answer she gave him. Certainly, she would never put Peanut aside, would never fall in love with anyone else. They were one, nothing would change that!
---
Foster House

“Sasha must be in a good mood,” said the muscular black dog by the name of Antares. If it were not for the scar that ran along his left flank, it would be impossible to distinguish him from his twin brother, Aldebaran, as both were busy setting up the party in their back garden. Bino had explicitly asked that there be extra decorations, extra food for the event he had – coincidentally – planned just with the inauguration of the new, albeit temporary, home of Martin.
For once, a plan of Bino’s suited just fine Mizar and Alcor. The snow-white female German Shepherd and likewise pure white cat would have another factor to distract the guests from her imminent date with her donor. They didn’t want to be the center of general attention, since the occasion stressed the technical failure of a mixed couple to have their own litter.
But Mizar was keen to have a puppy, really wanted it, and needed Alcor’s love and comprehension now more than ever. And he had made it clear that he would never abandon her would never let her down, and never, ever made her feel guilty over that matter. In fact, he had always stressed how happy he was to be daddy soon.
They had met at the old shelter, when it was still a lager from which strays and abandoned souls rarely would come out alive. And life itself, there, was a succession of sufferings of all kinds. Mizar and Alcor were only two strays the system was happy to get rid of. At the shelter, they had fallen in love, had sworn eternal fidelity. This puppy was bound to make their union stronger... but at the same time, they didn’t need to be reminded of their… limits…
The doorbell rang.
“I’ll get it,” said Aldebaran.
“Hope it’s not early guests,” said Mizar. “If someone starts to court me, I swear...”
“Mizar?”
At the kitchen door, there stood a familiar male German Shepherd, in his prime, with iron-gray eyes and a police whistle as collar tag.
Mizar found herself swallowing. She knew she had chosen Ralph as a donor because he was the best choice, but now she felt as nervous as a kitten. And poor Ralph didn’t seem exactly comfortable himself – even if it was not the first time, for him, he felt somewhat unworthy in the face of such beauty.
“Ah, hello,” said Ralph. “Uh, I came early for... some privacy, you know,” his ears turned red as cherries.
Mizar cleared her throat a couple of times. “Er, ah... Hello.” She went to shake his paw. “Um, shall we go upstairs?” She cast a last look at Alcor, who nodded solemnly. To Ralph, she said, “I have some drinks upstairs. Sicilian Latte di Mandorla. I hope you like it.”
“Uh, yeah. Thank you very much.” They had spent a whole day chatting about a bit of everything about themselves. Mizar didn’t want it to be something cold and anonymous, she wanted it to be beautiful. But now she felt as if she had committed a terrible mistake. It was stupid, why was she obeying her hormones like some uncivilized beast?! She loved Alcor, and Aldebaran and Antares were like two overgrown puppies she always had to watch out for already, like a mother.
Then, Mizar’s memories went back to Awesome. To that hyperactive, merry English Foxhound puppy who lived at Reuben Sandwich’s farm. How she had cradled his sleeping, innocent form between her arms. How her own soul had cried for the void that was still waiting to be filled...
No, the hormones weren’t in charge, here. It was the oldest of desires, a need that she wouldn’t neglect!
“Everything okay?” asked Ralph, seeing her calming down, smiling softly at him with a new light in her eyes.
Mizar nodded. “Yes, all right, Sergeant. Thanks for coming.”
The couple headed upstairs.
---
District Court

Martin J. Robinson-Foster
Lottery Winner.
Animal lover.
Owner of the Lucky Charm Grove for the Abandoned and the Ferals, the State’s most advanced animal shelter.
Co-owner of Peanut Butter and Grape Jelly.
Proud parent of Antares, Aldebaran, Mizar and Alcor.
Hero.
Scared.
He sat behind the wheel of his sedan, in the tribunal’s parking lot. Outwardly, he appeared calm and detached.
Anyone who knew him, knew that inside, his mind was a whirlwind of thoughts that were stirring like the Great Red Spot.
In a cell, inside that building, was his brother. Joel Zechariah Robinson. Detained awaiting trial.
Martin was supposed to be excited to finally be able to fight for the freedom of his brother. The same magical tricks that had made him a fugitive had made him an unjustly detained man. Freeing him would be easy.
Everyone happy? Like heck.
Two Christmases ago, a magical gryphon had pulled Joel out of prison, just before being sentenced for kidnapping a dog in the Gardens. And even if that sounded absurd beyond all reason, there wasn’t the slightest doubt in his mind that Joel had been transformed into the grumpy corgi that everyone knew as King.
King, best friend of Fox.
Fox, the dog that Joel had kidnapped, as a PETA member, to make a stray out of him, ‘liberated’ from human ‘slavery’.
Martin dug his hand into the pocket of his jacket and pulled out a couple of aspirins. That story made him want to get drunk, and he was a teetotaler.
Martin chewed the aspirins. This gryphon, ‘Pete,’ as he called himself, had decided to mess up the lives of men and animals without the slightest remorse, and this was in itself a very scary thought. Question: if Martin could somehow help it, did he have the right to make it so that Pete left Joel in his human form, at the expense of poor Fox? As King, according to what the same husky had told him, Joel had become another person. The good things that a life of abuse had buried deep inside had resurfaced. King had eventually adapted to his new life.
Martin had always known King as a dog, without knowing the truth. And he trusted and liked that dog, understood why a caring canine such as Fox would help him.
Martin missed Joel a lot, had never lost his hopes of finding him. Especially because he had abandoned him, just like he had done with Helias, Honcho and Ringo. Joel was the last living member of his family to care for, to apologize to. He couldn’t wait to hug him again, to release him from prison.
But Martin didn’t want Fox to suffer. Even if Officer Bill’s dog didn’t live alone anymore, his heart would break all the same. It was that special love only two good friends could share. Martin knew it.
Odd considerations, for a human being? Not for Martin, who would put an animal’s welfare before his own life, if necessary.
Martin flexed his left fist, remembering how he had lost his left arm, and almost his life, fighting a killer dog that threatened the pets of Babylon Gardens. Yes, he really wanted to find a solution to make Fox happy, first things first.
But for God’s sake, it was really upsetting all the same!

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Last edited by valerio on Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:27 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
:D *Does the panda dance*, *then, the panda dance REMIX*. (The panda dance was made by a friend)
Again, another great work. Please, keep being this awesome, Valerio, yes?
Thank you for great stories.

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WHAT, ANOTHER CHAPTER?!?! I just finished the other one!

I got ninja'd .__.

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Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:29 pm
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Not just 'another chapter', but the start of epic SEASON 2. :mrgreen:

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Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:32 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
If these come as fast as they did before, I'm going to be one distracted puppy.

Hurrah for season 2!


Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:41 pm
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AH, so many stuff going on! I would write them here, but it would be spoilers for the people who haven't read the new chapter and season.
Crazy stuff awaits in the next chapter, I think... and hope.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Woah, that was fast! =D

Great start of a new season, valerio, and you've actually explained and elaborated on a subject that I always find intriguing all these while. ;)

And so many surprises from all directions! It's quite a way to get myself excited 5 minutes after I've just woken up. XD

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Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:23 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Wow. You should stop updating so many good stuff so soon, Valerio. You'll make us demand more!
I had to say I was a bit surprise when Bino asked Sasha in marriage. I wonder how hiperactive their puppies will be. :D
Also great season start. I hope to read more soon.
See what you've done to me! :D

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Great updates! Streak is still around! Huzzah! I like that fellow.

Good start to a season. I can already see so much epicness starting, and dealing with quite the issue, are we? :lol:

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2.
Foster House, Babylon Gardens

“Hi, Rex,” said Alcor, as he opened the door.
The muscular, grey-furred bulldog was holding out a cream-colored envelope. “For all of you. Is Mizar home?”
Alcor sniffed tentatively at the envelope. He had of course recognized the seal, in the shape of Bino’s diamond tag. “She is… busy, right now. Any messages?”
Rex nodded. “Bino wants her as bridesmaid. If you’ve got problems, ask him.” And with that, he left, to go finish with his round of distribution.
Alcor didn’t understand. Who was getting married? A pet nuptial ceremony was an exceptional event, surely word of a new one, after Peanut and Grape’s, would’ve spread out by now. And why was Bino involved?
Alcor closed the door. He threw a glance to the stairs, knowing what was happening, feeling both happy for Mizar and so… sad for not being able to give to her, himself, what she wanted above everything in their relationship.
But Alcor couldn’t help that. This was really something he had to cope with, or the grudge would poison his relationship forever…
Alcor used a claw to open the envelope. He read the content… “I’ll be dipped in cranberry sauce!”

From a dark corner in Mizar’s mind, came a malignant voice. The voice was whispering to her she had just tainted the room in which she and Alcor slept.
She silenced that voice thinking of the puppy whimpers that soon would fill that very same room.
“Happy?” asked the male German Shepherd, who laid with her, holding her between his arms.
“Mmm. You surely are no shy puppy, Mister.” Mizar yawned, showing a perfect row of teeth. Ralph thought that she could be one of the finest police dogs. She was strong, very, and her bite, he was sure, could rip off metal from a car! Ralph imagined himself training her, working with her in the chase of baddies, keeping the Gardens secure from evil, and their cubs who would learn to do the same—
“I know that gaze, Mister,” said Mizar.
He brusquely snapped back into focus. “Uh? Wut? Oh, yes. What do you mean?”
“You’re falling in love, Mister.”
Ralph reddened up. “Not true, Madame. I know the rules. I know my place.”
Mizar sighed. “I’ve lived with Alcor long enough to know that gaze, Sergeant.”
Ralph rolled his eyes. “Sorry, madame. But I was thinking I should make sure the operations’ goals were fulfilled.” He leaned his muzzle to kiss her again, when the door burst open, making both dogs’ fur stand up on end!
“Incredible news, folks!” Alcor said, waving the envelope. Then his eyes widened and he turned so fast he left a trace of smoke from the floor. “Gak! Naked doggies!”
Mizar sat up, while grabbing her collar. “Please! As if you never saw my neck before!”
“Who was talking about yours? Ralph, I got only a glimpse but you are impressive. What a scruff you have!”
The male was fastening his collar as well. He grinned proudly. “Heh, thank you, Sir. With due modesty, the ladies appreciate it a lot.”
The cat turned. “So, er, do you think you two… she… well?”
Ralph wagged, although his expression was quite formal. “With due respect, no one has asked for my presence a second time. Thank you for your trust.” He shook paws with Alcor. “And please, don’t feel less of a mate to her. I think you did the right thing.”
Alcor nodded. “In fact, Mizar and I talked, and… we wanted to ask you to be present when the pups are born. I hope it won’t be a problem, Sergeant.”
Ralph’s eyes lit up. “Sir, it will be a great honor and pleasure. Sir!”
“Hey, you two loverboys,” said Mizar, approaching the couple. “Before you ask Ralph to bear his puppies, show me the ‘incredible news’ for which you barged in like a bull at Pamplona.”
Alcor handed her the open envelope. “Hold on steady, love.”
---
Lindberg House

H.L. AND FAMILY ARE INVITED THIS DAY TO THE CHAPEL OF
THE LUCKY CHARM GROVE FOR THE ABANDONED AND THE FERALS
TO ATTEND THE WEDDING COMMUNION OF
BINO COSTNER AND SASHA BYRON
THAT WILL TAKE PLACE AT 11:00
OFFICIATED BY FATHER WILLIAM GHETTI
COCKTAIL AND BUFFET TO FOLLOW
RSVP

“Well,” said Bino, standing at the door, back to his familiar scowl. “Could you please be a bit more unhappy?”
Fox was holding the invitation in one paw. If he was happy for his old friend, he surely wasn’t showing it. “Thanks for the invitation, Bino but I don’t think I can attend. Not today.”
Bino’s eyes widened. “What does that mean?! I personally came to deliver it to you, because I care for my friends, and you—”
“I’m supposed to be at the court room, today, to testify against Uncle Martin’s brother.” Martin was called ‘Uncle’ by every pet in the neighborhood. It pained Fox to no end to testify against Joel, especially because Joel was King, a man turned into a dog and back. And that made every lie he had to tell Bino even more painful. “King has disappeared and there is no news about him, so help me Bino, I am really not in the mood to celebrate anything. Please, don’t push it. This is not about you.” He felt angry, he really wanted to explode, to vent his frustration, but he felt like those insomniac people very, very tired yet unable to sleep. And it was better like this, or he’d have seriously hurt Bino.
Instead, Fox added, “Why did you tell us with such short notice? Giving us a couple of days would—”
Bino waved his paw in an annoyed gesture. “Because I thought I could count on my real friends and loyal followers. In fact, you’re the only one of my elite who won’t respond. And for what? For that—” He shut up the moment he heard the first growl coming from the husky’s throat.
Fox gave the invitation back to Bino. “One word of wisdom: I seem to remember that this ridiculous feud started because his name is ‘King’, right?”
Thinking back to that fateful Christmas Day, when Bino had given the new dog of the neighborhood a catnip bomb as a ‘gift’, Bino had the decency to redden up in shame a bit. “Yeah, so?”
Fox grinned mischievously. “And Rex is still elite, right?”
“...So?”
The grin widened. “‘Rex’ is Latin for ‘King’. Think about it. Friend.” And slammed the door shut over Bino’s dumbfounded expression.

“Well, that’s it!” Fox hissed through clenched teeth. “The last straw, last drop, last laugh and whatever else you can think of. Lucky, if Bino shows up again on these premises, bite him, since I did it already and it didn’t serve to make the point!”
The Alaskan Malamute who had recently joined Fido’s family nodded. He put a paw on Fox’s shoulder. “I’m still praying everyday for his return, Bro. Believe me, I understand you. When I thought I had lost Princess — I mean, Grape, I called to the Heavens every single day to be reunited to her. And here we are, both in Babylon Gardens, we both found a nice family, and it’s all thanks to Uncle Martin. I’m sure that somehow he’ll help you work this into a happy ending.” He underlined the concept by wagging.
Fox nodded, and held his paw – It was true, when Martin was involved, things… happened. Perhaps he could help Joel get back to King, but Fox felt so ashamed that he could separate two long-lost brothers…
But he *did* miss King, he missed that grumpy fuzzball with a heart of gold. The corgi’s absence was gnawing at his very soul. Heck, he’d became an avatar for that stupid gryphon, Pete, if it would serve—
“Fox,” said the human voice, cutting off that train of thought. A moment later, Bill ruffled his dog’s head. “It’s time to go, Fox. Ready?”
Fox nodded. “Yup. Ah, Sir?”
Bill smiled. “Yes, son?” When Fox called him ‘Sir’, it meant it was an important matter.
“Ah, do you mind if I stay alone a few minutes with Uncle Martin and Joel, at the Court. Please?”
Bill scratched his temple. “I don’t see why not, if an agent is behind the door and Martin is present. I won’t ask questions, but promise me one thing, son.”
“Yes?”
“No teeth. I want him whole in front of the judge.”
Fox stifled a laugh. He had been about to promise ‘no tonguebath’. “No teeth, sir. Cross my heart.”
---
Byron House

Happiness, today, had a name: Sasha.
The candy-pink eyed female German Shepherd kept admiring herself in the full-length mirror. Bino had done an impressive job, what with organizing everything to the last detail without anyone knowing… but that was his specialty. He was good at it, and he did know his dogs. In fact, he had done a splendid job in choosing Sasha’s dress, although she’d have been happy to wear her first puppy blanket for this superextraspecial day!
Her wedding dress was a mantle of white silk that reached down to her hips. A silver necklace with a heart of diamonds replaced her collar. The shelter’s pet store that also sold these kinds of accessories never expected to sell two wedding sets in such a short time. Either Bino had saved way more than he intended to say – which was Sasha’s secret hope, since it would mean her beau had planned this day for a long time, perhaps since the day she had given him that gracious unicorn! – or Uncle Martin had given him a hand, which suited her just as fine, since she liked that human a lot! He was always so kind to every pet!
“I think you can take it off,” said her bridesmaid. “Unless you’re planning to marry yourself.”
“*Giggle* No, I’m marrying Bino, silly,” said Sasha to the lavender cat. Then she took off her dress and handed it to her second maid, the white female Mizar. The German shepherd put it down into its box, neatly folding it. Her Daddy may be a great person, but when it came to putting things in order, he was single. Martin kept his kitchen all nice and tidy, but the rest of the house was for his pets.
Grape took some starch powder and rubbed it in the bride’s creamy fur. Then she took a brush and began to smooth out her fur. “You know, I’m really, really happy for you two. I would’ve never bet on that mutt’s sense of responsibility towards you, but I’m happy I was wrong. It looks like you were right all along, to stand his antics... But, say, why did you want me and Peanut as your witnesses? You know Bino’s point of view on mixed couples.”
Sasha wagged her tail. “I want you and Peanut because you are the first couple to get married, it’s a good luck charm. Also, you two are really cute. I convinced Bino it would be a sign of his generosity and good heart if he accepted. Oh, and I threatened to postpone the marriage and spoil his party if he didn’t obey.”
Mizar chuckled. “Yes, that would be a far better argument. Thank you for the honor, Sasha.”
“Think nothing of it. I’m sorry it came on such short notice. I didn’t want to spoil anyone’s plans.”
Mizar shook her head. “You didn’t, don’t worry. Also, it’s not your fault. I wonder why Bino should act with such hurry.”
Grape sighed. “Knowing him, the marriage is just a cover-up for one of his schemes.”
Sasha scowled at the cat. “Don’t say that about Biney! He is a caring dog, and you know it! He wanted his Dad to adopt me when my Dad… left…” Her shoulders sagged.
Grape put down the brush and hugged her. “I’m sorry, sweetie. I know you know better than me, about him. I was too busy protecting Peanut from him, to see past the veil.” She hoped, she really hoped she was wrong, because if Sasha suffered…
But Grape couldn’t imagine she was right about Bino.
She had only mistargeted the object of her doubts.
---
Costner House

“YOU’RE GOING BACK TO THE ACADEMY?” Fido, Joey and Peanut asked at the same time. It was hard to amaze them, when it came to Bino, but that tricky dog always had an ace up his collar, it seemed.
Bino was strutting like a rooster. “Surprised, huh?”
Fido looked at him as if he was an alien. Bino had been expelled from the K-9’s academy because of his temperament. It was one of the most humiliating shames, for a dog. Especially if said dog’s eldest brother was the top dog in the neighborhood. Bino’s humiliation hadn’t done any good to his character. He had done his worst to out-top Fido, and only recently events had brought the three brothers together.
And now... “Wow,” said Joey, no words sufficient to describe his feelings.
Bino stroked his younger brother’s head fur. “I understand your reaction, but this time I’ll really give it my best shot. It’s time your colleagues get a real winner in their ranks!”
Fido embraced his brother with enough force to threaten his ribs’ integrity. He had tears in his eyes and laughed with joy unbridled. “You don’t know how proud I am of you, brother! Today, you’ve made me the happiest dog in the Gardens!”
Bino hugged him back. “Heh, just following my nature, as you’d say.”
“Your nature is to sow chaos and terror, stinking mongrel.”
“Stupid cat lover.”
“Jealous.”
“Of you? Always.”
“Daww, how sweet,” said Maxwell, entering the kitchen at that time. The black cat opened the fridge and took out a bottle of milk. “Should I pronounce you husband and husband now?” He filled a glass and took a sip.
“Yes, enjoy it while you can,” said Bino, breaking the hug. He approached his housemate, and put a finger to his chest. “You better not mess with my stuff: when I get back, I better find my room as I left it, or I’ll serve you as turkey stuffing!”
“Aw, you’re such a killjoy!” Max flashed him two perfect Bambi eyes, all shiny and huge. “Do you want me to die of boredom, cruel doggie?”
Bino gave him a mocking fist at the shoulder. “Ahh, drop it. I’d rather discuss some really important things. One is the interim President of the GO-Dog Club – nice nick, by the way, Max. I decided to give the title to Fox.”
Fido nodded. “That was one wise call, brother. I’m sure Fox will run things smoothly. And what other important matter did you have in mind?”
Bino looked at Peanut. “Well, I think it’s time we made a real hero out of you mutt. Shape you up, so to say.”
Peanut, who had been sitting apart from the group, feeling himself out of place in that family reunion, looked at Bino quizzically. “What do you mean?”
Bino grinned. “What about coming to the Academy with me?”

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Last edited by valerio on Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:59 am, edited 2 times in total.



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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Oh my God, the updates just keep on coming, aren't they? =D

*giggle* Pushing the ratings a bit, right off the bat, huh? I like the way you do it so discreetly XD

Losing a best friend can really tough, I know how that feel, so I can empathize and sympathize with Fox...

And I'm rather confused about Bino now, it seems like he's scheming something again, but he seems really earnest about his intentions :? . And call it a reader's hunch, but I feel a very serious plot twist coming up in the future.

Bino wrote:
“What about coming to the Academy with me?”

You can't imagine my surprise reading this last sentence. :shock:

Nice work as usual! And I'll be waiting for the next one, Valerio~

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Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:23 am
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