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Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project 
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Post Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
If you want to know why the name has changed, see "The Way Back Machine" thread for a little explanation. Here we are at the third installment!

However if you cannot find the previous two, or did not realize there is more than one "book" in this series, then fear not!

The links are hither.

CbtS: 1. The Way Back Machine
In which Peanut talks a bit about his life.

CbtS: 2. The New Era
In which a certain Gryphon makes his move: Next stop, animal equality.


Housepets: Pet Project

1. Cats Kissing Dogs


The collective childhood of pets everywhere had been torn to pieces. Gone were the days of playful ignorance and in its place stood the vast trappings of purpose. Life's simple pleasures were as water in the desert. Eight months were spent making changes. Many animal shelters were re-purposed and expanded to accommodate such changes. Schools, living space, help with finding work. Anything animals wanted they could find it.

Humanity watched as their job market was saturated with new competition. Dogs brought fierce loyalty and diligence to any job they worked. Cats had faster reflexes and moved from location to location much faster than their human counterparts. Bears were the new muscle for hire, because who would mess with a bear?

Man feared animals, but animals no longer feared man. Opposition to change formed. Protests erupted in the west. All united under a common question. “Who is going to pay my bills if I can't work?” Companies threw out animal applications in favor of their own species. Some more extreme groups vandalized and boycotted establishments in which animals were employed. Some animals reacted in kind, forming their own vigilante groups. Waiting for vandals and the other disgruntled denizens of the country to make their move.

Despite that all, our story begins where most find their end. Behind the doors of a great and spacious church. Men, women, cats, and dogs made their way in. Filling up pew after pew. Children ran around and payed, paying no mind to their dress clothing. A few human adults gossiped amongst themselves, wondering just who paid for such a celebration. The animals in attendance were dressed in their fanciest collars and situated into rather respectable (and uncomfortable) clothes. No bonus points for guessing what such a venue was for.

The marriage between two different species – let alone pets – was a strange affair. Even to the animals involved. There was a surreal fog that convinced all in attendance that they were just sharing a dream. Such was the case for the wedding of Sabrina and Fido.

Any human watching wrote it off as “just an adorable little affair that made their animal friends feel special.” To some animals and humans alike, it meant denying the special boundaries that nature had put in place. Others looked to it with marked excitement. Fortunately the act was honored with respect by all parties.

For a certain young dog, this meant his Saturday afternoon was going to be spent doing odd jobs here or there for the wedding.

He went down his mental list of things that were already starting to bug him. Tedious tie? Check. Stuffy suit? Check. The occasional embarrassing itch brought on by the suit pants he was wearing? A resounding mental check rang in his mind.

Jon took a deep breath and watched for new guests. All were dressed to the teeth in the crème deal crème of clothes (there was in fact a guest with a golden tooth). Jon would put on his best smile and greet them as nicely as possible. Inside he fought an internal war. One that involved trying to imagine away an intolerable chaffing he felt against his legs. The minutes staggered away like a bad hangover. Made only worse by the broken air conditioning within the church.


“Are you with the bride or the groom?” Jon asked.

“Oh they even got a puppy as an usher! This whole pet marriage thing is adorable!”

The young woman squealed, the man standing next to her covered his right ear and winced a little. Jon did the same. He smiled politely and nodded.

“We're with the groom.” The man said. “I guess...” 

“Right this way then.” Jon said.

He fought a great internal struggle wrought forth by the urge to correct the woman. He was notia puppy. He was an “adolescent”now. A whole step up from puppy! Being something of a patient and forgiving dog, he staid the attitude and led them to their seats. Good dogs get good treats, such was the deal his father had made with him. Bad dogs lose video game and computer privileges according to his mom.

Jon jogged away the moment he had seated the couple.

“Come on where's Denver at?” He whispered to himself. It was well past time to switch “shifts.” 

“I think I saw him go hide in the bathroom.” 

Jon let out what could be described as a newborn puppy's yip and then he looked up with enough force to throw off his balance. He managed to calm down a bit and realize what he was seeing. A cat was perched just above him in a small alcove. 

“Gah Snow! What are you doing up there?” He said.

The spot laden dog took a moment to compose himself while Snow slid down and hit the ground with a delicate thud like most cats were prone to doing.

“Oh nothing, just tallying all of the times guests call you a puppy.”

Snow winked and procured a small notebook hidden behind her back.

“Been keeping it all in here.” She said.

“If I didn't think you were joking, I just might take that note book and punt it.”

Jon rolled his eyes and leaned up against the wall. He stuffed his hands into his pockets and let out a disgruntled sigh.

“Making half threats? That's a little unlike you.” Said Snow “Is something wrong?” 

“If you count Denver acting like a rotten coward and hiding from his shift, then yes, something is wrong.” Jon said.

“Oh my goodness you're actually complaining. Okay are those pants too small or something, what's the deal?” Snow folded her arms.

“I – “

He opened his mouth to speak once more. Then the words were caught in the back of his throat. Something did feel wrong. Yet he had nothing to complain about. He had braved a day in a suit before – during his own parents' real wedding in fact – and it did not seem all that bad. Not at all like the one he was suffering through at that moment. 

“I really don't know.” Jon said. “I guess I'm a little bummed about spending my Saturday ushering people to their seats.”

Snow bit the end of her pencil and looked up. One could see the gears turning in her mind through the intelligent glimmer of her eyes. A smile crossed her lips as she snapped her fingers.

“Okay I have two theories. One is that you've been hanging out with me too long and I'm rubbing off on you.” Snow said.

Jon tilted his head in response.

“That was a joke, you were supposed to laugh.” 

“The other theory?” Jon asked.

“Hormones. You know, pesky adolescent hormones that wreak havoc on emotions.” Snow said. “Why do you think kids your age sometimes act so stupid in the movies?” 

The border collie mix processed the cat's words for a moment. She might have been on to something. There were in fact times he had found himself mad for no reason at all and then he would blink it away and happy next moment.

“Oh...crud.” Said Jon.

“On the bright side that means you might grow an inch or something.” Snow said. “But don't get your hopes up.” 

“Thanks for the reassurance.” Said Jon.

“Only trying to help. Here how about this, I go get Denver, and you take a break. Before you snap or something.”

“I like that idea.” Jon said. “Now-”

“Excuse us?” 

Unknown voices were coming from everywhere that day it seemed. This time they were coming from way below. He looked down and tilted his head. A large family of mice now found themselves around his feet.

“Yeah we're with the groom.” The mouse at the front of the small group said.

“Oh of course! Right this way.”

He prayed no one would not freak out about the large family of mice. His eyes glanced over the room. They needed special seating. As in “away from those who found rodents detestable, but still with a good view.” Then it hit him. They could get “balcony” seats in the small alcoves situated along the walls of the church. 

Such a climb would be treacherous for a mice however. He was going to need some sort of twine to make impromptu climbing equipment for them. Or, perhaps, something he happened to have on his person. He sifted around his side pocket. His paw moved aside his birthday cellphone, some spare change, until he found a tangled knot of yarn. He gestured to the mice to wait and proceeded to untangle the yarn. Then with the finesse of a cat – or at least a dog trying to imitate a cat – he scaled wall. The cracks in the aged masonry made fine footholds and the protrusion of some of the bricks lent themselves to the journey.

He reached the top and huffed with pride. Four months ago he would not have been able to do that. He knew he would have to relish in his achievement later. The longer the mice were down there the more likely they were going to get hurt. Jon began his search for something to anchor his yarn to. At first glance the walls seemed bare. Then he caught the faint glimmer of something. He squinted his eyes a little and leaned closer to the faint glow. It was in fact a nail catching just the right angle of light. He smiled at his good fortune and tied one end of the yarn to the nail. Then he tossed the rest of it down for the mice to use.

“Come on up!” Jon said.

Now to get down. That was always the tricky part. He tried to imagine the way Snow had managed to jump from her perch and land on her feet. He imagined her figure, her form. It appeared to be technique refined by years of training and experience, but he knew better. It was in her instincts. Cats knew how to climb and tumble before they could properly walk.

He focused on the imaginary Snow in his mind and took the plunge. Though he was not counting on what happened next. The way she looked and the way she moved. It made his throat feel dry and his stomach queasy. It seized his chest and messed up his form. It distracted him just long enough for him to realize his landing was going to be botched. Jon held his hands to shield his face before striking the ground.

“Thanks pup!” said the apparent head of the mice.

“He was like a cat, did ya see him Spo?” Said another.

“Except that landing, no offense.” 

“None taken.” Jon said.

He rubbed his sore nose and stood up. Ever so thankful for escaping that with just a bruise and not a broken limb. Jon shuffled his back to the entrance with his pride in pieces. Snow was already there with Denver's head tucked into a head lock of sorts as she dragged him along. A small portable gaming console was dangling from his free hand while one hand tried to pull himself free.

“Come on Snow knock it off.” He whined.

“If you insist.” Snow said.

Snow tapped Denver on the head and shoved him forward. She stifled a yawn and walked towards Jon.

“Now be a good kitty and go do your job.”

“...ow why'd you do that?”

“You asked for it.” Said Snow. “Hey, there you are Jon. How'd seating the mice go?” 

“I fell on my face.” Said Jon.

“Ah I knew there was something different about you, have to say it's a bit of an improvement.” Snow chuckled.

“You think so?”

Jon blushed a little, but chuckled. He had long since acclimated to her sense of humor. It was much like trying to hug a cactus until you forgot what the needles felt like.

“Um...so you want to go look around at stuff now that I'm on break?”

“Sure, can't hurt.” Said Snow.

Jon smiled a little and walked next to her. They took a moment to look at a few stained glass windows depicting famous biblical scenes and saints. The occasional statue would pique his interest. Even though Jon was not all that familiar with such things.

“Who's that?” Jon asked

“That's Saint Francis. He's the patron saint of animals.”

“Never took you as the pious type.”

“I can't say I am. But Fido and Sabrina were scoping out a cool place to hold a wedding, so why not a pet friendly church with statues of Saint Francis about. ”

“Makes sense to me.”

They meandered around a bit longer. Jon had noticed Snow really did not speak unless spoken to. While that in and of itself was not odd, the fact that she seemed altogether distant was.

“So are you excited?” The border-collie mix asked.

“For what?”

“For Fido and Sabrina to get hitched. I hear you're going to move into Fido's house.”

“Oh...yeah I'm elated.”

“That's not what it sounds like.”

“Well, it's been kind of boring around here. I mean does it have to be such a big affair when someone wants to legally move in with one another?”

“I think it's more about the symbolism and stuff.” Jon said. “According to my parents those two were dating in secret for years until they decided to make it a public affair. This is a big deal to them.”

“I guess you're right.” Snow said, though not without rolling her eyes. “Oh I've been meaning to show you what's really in the notebook.”

He ignored how eager she was to change the subject and looked in the notebook nestled in her paws. Snow opened the notebook and showed Jon a page she had marked. A still life sketch of him waiting by the door seemed to just leap of the page. He felt his lips curl into a smile as he looked up and down the rough sketch.

“You were sketching me?” Jon asked.

“I was sketching everyone. They aren't all that great, but I think they're okay.” Said Snow.

Jon thumbed through the pages and washed over each sketch with his eyes. Trying to figure out where the pictures had been sketched and who happened to be the subject. He saw pictures of Fido talking with his police dog friends. Pictures of a few guests he had ushered in not too long before he had left his shift. Each sketch had the air of a beginner, with the neat touches of Snow's naturally flowing and controlled pencil strokes. They were not getting into any art museums or anything like that. But the potential for greatness was still there.

“These are really good!” Jon exclaimed.

“You think so?” Said Snow.

“Yeah, I couldn't even dream about drawing as well as this, and you're just starting.” Said Jon.

Snow felt an intense blush. She found it difficult to take compliments. Not out of humility, but the fact that she was did not want to believe it was that good. She saw her work with one too many flaws to be “good,” let alone “really good.”

“What time does the wedding actually start?” Said Snow.

Once again she had changed the subject.

“Fifteen minutes, give or take.” Jon said. “I guess we had better start finding our seats.”

“Right behind you.” Snow replied.

The two began to walk towards the rows of pews. Snow held her sketchbook close to her chest. For fear of a loose page tumbling out and showing everyone her mid-noon activities. Jon strode along with a smile on his face, offering a hello to those he had recognized.

“You know, I'm surprised Sabrina didn't try to get you a more important role in the wedding. You're like the kid she can't have after all.” Said Jon.

“Like what?”

“I dunno, flower girl?”

“Nah I'm a little too old for that.” Said Snow. “Somebody from Fido's side of the family volunteered their puppy. Her name was Gwyn or something like that. Seemed nice enough, just...really freaking hyper. Answer me this, are all puppies like you were at that age?” 

“More or less.” Jon said. “you know, I guess I still could be considered a pup, just an older one.” 

“See he admits to being a puppy.”

Snow stuck her tongue at him and chuckled. Jon punched her shoulder slightly and huffed a bit.  

“Hardy har, most pups my age are pretty much called dogs at this point.” Said Jon. “But not me, I'm always mistaken for Denver's little brother or something.” 

“Well cheer up. At least they had some sense to not make you the ring bearer. Imagine how people would look at you then.” 

The two squeezed past a group of people towards an open area of seats. Pachabel's Canon in D droned on the organ just above the inane chatter of the wedding attendees. Jon and Snow sat down on the hard wood pew. Jon adjusted his legs for comfort before he looked to Snow and resumed talking.

“I don't look that young do I?” Said Jon.

“You look just like a brand new puppy. If I were you I'd start figuring out how to use that to my advantage.” Said Snow. “If life gives you lemons, build a lemon powered death ray.” 

“Excuse me?”

“I'm saying if you play up the cuteness factor you could get like, discounts at stores or something.” Snow said. “Pull out the big dewy eyes, the puppy pout, ears down. I bet you could rob people blind while they were distracted.” 

A mischievous smile curled along Jon's lips. He let his eyes widen and his lips pout. A low puppy whimper completed his ensemble of heart-string-tugging tactics.

“So that means you'll give me five dollars right?” He said in the most pathetic voice he could muster.

“What? No.” Snow said. “I will not give you five dollars.” 

“Aww please?”

He held the face a little longer. Snow tried not to look at him. Only for him to try and move into her field of vision. She shoved him, but that seemed to make him all the more determined.

“Ugh fine, put that face away before I throw up.”

She sifted around in the pocket of her collar and tossed him a five dollar bill.

Jon slipped the money away as they looked at each other. Both broke out laughing at how stupid they were acting, or rather how stupid he was acting. He was certain they were getting odd stares from the other guests, but that was to be expected no matter where he went. 

“And you two say you aren't dating?” 

Jon caught his tongue to try and stifle a puppy-like yelp. Only for it to come out choked and strained.

“Okay can people stop sneaking up on me like that!” 

Miles' two sons were now seated next to him. Denver stood at the end of the pew with a smirk on his face. He waved a little and returned to his ushering duties. Jon shook his head and rolled his eyes. If people were not staring before, they were after

“Someone's a little jumpy today.” Said Alexander The Awesome (because “great” was so B.C.).

“You're not even the one getting married.”

Rudy added, the elder of the three siblings gave a reserved nod and looked to the front of the room. 

“Not yet anyways.” Alexander said. “At this rate I bet this church will see another mixed species marriage.” 

Jon hid his face. A crimson blush burning bright against his fur. 

“Okay now you're starting to bug me.” Snow said. “Where's your sister anyways, isn't it her job to keep you in check?” 

“You know I find it funny that girls are always trying to protect you.” Alexander said.

“She's helping dad run some errands. We're having a summer Barbeque thing over at our place next week.” Rudy said. “It's kind of an annual thing, we've done it ever since we first moved to the neighborhood.” 

“So does that mean I'm eating something cooked at your house for once?” Jon asked. 

“Don't count on it.” Said Alexander.

The wolf picked at his teeth with a claw and slouched in his seat a little.

“I thought you liked deer carcass any ways.”

“Yuck.” Snow grimaced a little. “Is that why your breath always smells like something died?” 

“No matter how many times I brush my teeth the smell never comes out.” 

“Might be gross to you, but the lady wolves dig a guy with carcass breath.” Said Alexander. “Think of it like a breath mint those humans eat.” 

“...wait they do? That's it I'm never brushing my teeth again.” 

“Ugh you guys are so disgusting. I doubt any self respecting girl out there wants to taste a carcass when they make out.” 

“Shh...it's starting.” said Rudy

He turned towards the group, his finger to his lips. Meanwhile, Denver stumbled towards the group with his awkward gait. Squeezing past the guests and the wolf brothers until he was on Snow's left side. He planted himself next to Snow and took a deep breath.

“What did I miss?” Denver asked.

“Shh!” 

“Ah...not much then.”

Here comes the bride began to play on the electronic organ off to the side. The chatter subsided to whispers that fit themselves just beneath the hum of the organ. Heads turned as everyone watched for the bride.
~~

Fido took a long and heavy breath. There he was at the altar of his own wedding. He had worked his tail off trying to help build up enough funds to pay for it. Everyone told him a dog could never hold a decent job with the FBI. That he'd be too busy chasing his tail during investigations. He had showed them he was more than just a mobile nose. Months and months of work now went into about a day and a half's worth of ceremony.

Was it worth it? 

Right behind him was his younger brother Bino. Any one who knew Bino assumed the dog was there to antagonize his older brother and his choice in a mate. Fido was relieved that Bino agreed to be the best man.

“You know it means a lot to me that you're here.” Fido whispered to Bino.

“I'm not here for you.” Said Bino. “Mom would haunt me or something if she saw I didn't go to my own brother's wedding.”

“All the same, thanks.” Said Fido.

He was just happy his brother put away his ego for a moment and was civil. Part of him knew all too well that come the next day Bino would be back to his regular self. He had to savor what he could of the situation.

The wedding march started playing and at the end of the aisle was the girl of the hour. Sabrina walked out in a wedding dress that was a little different by most people's standards. At least most in the west. An aunt on her side of the family that worked as a seamstress, all the way in Egypt no less, had helped put it together. It was a dark crimson. Its frills and folds gave it the distinct look of a rose. Not a square inch of her fur could be seen. Save for what little could be made out behind the veil.

“You look good hon. Would it be corny if I called you a desert rose?” He said.

“The short answer is yes. And You don't look so bad yourself. It's almost like you're getting married today.” She whispered back.

This entire wedding was building up to what amounted to ten minutes of the day. Months of planning, hours mulling over flowers and wedding colors. Finding the perfect suit. Paying for the wedding dress. Hundreds of dollars poured into making every moment just that much more special. Family on both sides took the time to come visit, some from out of state, others from out of the country. Not to mention the friendships he lost to this relationship.

Was all of this worth ten minutes?

The sound of her voice brought him back to earth.

“I do.” She said.

Fido took a second to regain his composure. This was more than ten minutes. This would be the first day of every day in their lifetime together.

“I do.”

He had hoped his voice had not come off as too serious or somber.

“You may now kiss the bride.” 

The two locked lips, and that moment, Fido was sure everything was going to work out.

~~

“Now that I think about it we should've tried for a double wedding.” Said Peanut.

He stood with one arm holding Grape to his side and a fine glass of bubbling cider in his free hand.

“With your anxiety problems, I don't think that would be such a good idea.” Grape said.


She rolled her eyes and took a sip from her own glass. The small group of friends shared a laugh. Though Fido's was more out of relief than humor. A sense of relief now rested deep in his very bones. He had lost count of the days he had spent in envy of his friends. The only other people in the neighborhood that seemed on board with the whole cat-loving thing. It didn't seem fair. Peanut's parents were just more ready to pay for it.

“I'm just happy that pets can do this sort of thing seriously now.” Said Fido.

“Amen to that.” Peanut said.

“So is everyone enjoying themselves, you guys need anything?” Sabrina asked.

“We should be asking you that question.” Grape replied.

“Good point, I guess I'm just used to hosting these kind of things. Makes me nervous when I don't have to do anything and only get married.”

“Only get married?” Said Fido.

Sabrina gave bespectacled dog a light tap on the nose and smiled.

“Oh you know what I mean.” She said. “Thanks for all of your help guys. We really appreciate it.” 

“What about me?” Max said.

The proprietor of the event was balancing several plates of food as he walked to a small serving table. It was loaded with small treats and sandwiches. He held his breath with each plate he set down. Then he would exhale upon placing them on the table.

“And yes we couldn't have had all this wonderful catering without the hangout.” Sabrina said.

He nodded back and gave her a toothy grin before jogging off and attending to other guests at the reception.

“Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't someone try and buy out this place this past winter?” Said Peanut.

“That lady who owns Heathcliff's now tried to.” Sabrina replied. “Apparently his party convinced a very wealthy guest to make up the difference.”

“The Miltons?”

“Not sure. They requested that they remain anonymous.” Said Sabrina.

The refurbished establishment, newly christened as “Max and Jay's,” was a hit among the pet population of the Gardens. Dogs and cats alike were drawn in by the variety of things to do. The bigger budget made way for new wallpapers, a bar, the entire kitchen being refitted with the latest in kitchen gizmos. With a bit of outside help, they could even hire pet workers.

“Tell your boys I said thanks when you see them.” Sabrina said. “Where are they anyways?” 

“Probably downstairs. That's where the games are set up right?” 

“I think so, hope they're alright. Snow told me Jon was a little mad about missing out on his Saturday fun.” 

“Ah he'll live. I'm sure they're just fine.” Said Peanut.

It was not like Jon went without. He would get over it in due time. He hoped.

~~

Fox glanced about his warmly lit kitchen for a short moment, a small cup of water was bubbling with ever shrinking tablets resting at the bottom of the glass. For once during the day he had a moment to himself. No Bino complaining about the wedding, no Bino complaining about the new club budget, in fact no Bino at all eased many heavy burdens on his shoulders.

Even then he felt a strange sense of aloofness that he could not quite understand.

He remembered once in his life he believed that being a pet was much better than being feral. He did not have to fight for his meals. He was guaranteed a warm bed and a roof above his head. Now heaps of change had been thrust upon him. For once in his self contained existence he had questioned the role of his thread in the grand tapestry that was life. Everyone around him seemed to be moving forward with their lives. Animals were getting married, they were getting jobs, going to schools, some even had their own houses.

So much opportunity for others. Yet this new world threatened him. His bag boy job at the local grocer led to many anti-animal rights sentiments with a few regular customers – nothing like the riots in the bit cities though. That he was thankful for.

It still hurt to be told that they wanted “someone without fleas” to handle their groceries.

Fox sipped at the bubbling water and winced. The stuff tasted of bitter soda. He took a deep breath. Held it. Then exhaled slowly. He tipped the glass to his lips and tried to down the foul liquid as fast as he could. A strange aftertaste lingered on his tongue.

“Thought you were going to the wedding reception?”

The husky turned to face his “dad.” At the moment he still looked like “Officer Lindberg.” Blue uniform and a badge to complete the ensemble. He must have just made it home.

“I started to feel sick. Stomach problems.”

“Again?” Said Lindberg. “Maybe we should take you to the vet.”

“Maybe.”

The husky slumped into a seat at the kitchen table. His dad followed suit. Bill glanced over his dog. Fox had this air of exhaustion around him – one that had been around for days. He couldn't figure out for the life of him what was wrong with his dog. Bill reached across the table and scritched behind his ears. Fox gave him a tired smile. Bill was not what one would call “soft.” But give him a sad animal and his heart strings were aptly tugged.

“What else is wrong?”

Fox looked down at the table.

“Nothing, I don't think.”

“I'm not sure a stomach ache can make you this miserable.” Said Bill. “Is this still about your friend leaving?”

King's absence did trouble Fox for the first few weeks. Months later and that sadness had left his system. The letters and e-mails did give him some comfort in that regard. No, there was something else to this melancholy.

“To be honest. I think it's just stress. All these new laws. My new job. The 'improved' GODC. It's hard to get a handle on it all.”

“I know what you mean.” Said Bill. “Bills to pay, jobs to work to pay the bills. Suddenly life doesn't seem so full of options.”

“Makes me wish I was a wild animal sometimes.”

“Perhaps you could give yourself something to work for. There's nothing to stop you anymore. Maybe you should take advantage of that.”

Fox nodded a little. Bill patted Fox on the head and stood from his seat. He held his arms in the air and stretched his back.

“I'm going to go get ready for bed. Just knock if you need me.”

Something to work for. Fox shook his head and made his way to his room. He decided to sleep on it.

~~

Denver peeked around a corner; the arcade area was empty. A great amount of guests had moved upstairs and left the arcade to a handful of people. Most of them were just looking for someplace a little more quiet than the upstairs. Low voices were just audible above the beeps and boops of the arcade cabinets.

“Okay are you guys happy now?” Denver said. “Can we go?”

“Just hold your horses for a moment.” Snow hissed. “I swear I felt something weird over here.” 

Jon looked at Snow and shook his head.

“So far I think it's just broom closets and stuff like that. I think you're just being paranoid.” 

“No Jon, this is definitely something.” The cat said.

Snow grabbed his shoulders and looked him in the eyes. They were tinged with worry and desperation. Something all too alien on Snow's face. Jon bit his bottom lip and nodded.

“Alright then, lead the way.”

Snow's glowing eyes added to the eerie atmosphere of these back rooms. The rooms back there were still dirty and in complete disrepair. Paint had peeled off of the walls and the furniture had been knocked over. Max had not put much into renovating this area. Though she knew not why, he had enough funds to try it at this point. 

“Hey, you see that?” Jon asked.

“I think that's exactly what we're looking for...” Snow said. 

The two of them walked a little closer to the door. She held her ear up against it. It sounded like classical music.

“Hey that's Chopin's nocturne in b-flat minor.” Jon said.

His excitement following that observation confused Snow immensely. She raised her brow and looked at him. Jon shrugged back.

“It's Clayborne's theme on the Devil Dog television show. I looked it up.”

Snow rolled her eyes and whispered “nerd” under her breath. She reached out to the door, grasped the handle, and twisted. But it did not budge.

“Crud. Jon how good are you at picking locks?”

“You kidding? I'm the best lock picker I know. Since I haven't met any other lock pickers at least.” Said Jon. “But seriously do you really need to see what's back there?” 

“Yes because it sounds like...”

“Jooon! Jon, snow, get back here, quick...oof!”

Denver had tripped at the end of the hallway. Both turned and saw his fluffy brown tail peek around the corner. Jon and Snow looked at each other. Panic apparent more so in Jon's eyes than hers. If he got caught, then his mom would find out, and that was possible grounds for losing gaming and television privileges. Worse yet he might not be able to go hangout with the wolves. He could not have that happen. 

Before the person chasing Denver turned the corner himself, Jon decided it was now or never. He was about to make the dumbest and most desperate move ever in his life. With closed eyes he grabbed Snow by the shoulders and kissed her.

Her eyes widened as she punched him in the chest, but he did not let go. Not until the person turning the corner got a good look at him. Denver looked up and gasped.

“Guys you aren't supposed to be...back...here.”

Jay stood there quite perplexed. He knew people always joked about those two, but it was at that very moment jokes became a reality.  Jon broke the kiss and caught Snow before she fell. She was shocked beyond shocked. His eyes were wide with fright as he turned towards Jay.

“You didn't see that honest!” 

“I think I did see that.” Jay nodded, his face twisted into a half grin. “Dang you are a couple of sneaky kids. Wait'll Max hears this one.” 

“No, no wait! You can't tell him I was back here.” Said Jon. “I might get in trouble...I just wanted a little privacy. Come on don't you know how that is?” 


“Pfft you kids.” Said Jay. “Tell you what, I'll keep a lid on it that you two were back here. I once was in love! And I know exactly how it feels when something steps in to take it away.” 

“You aren't talking about my mom are you?”

“No, no I'm not! Okay maybe I am, but that's besides the point.” Jay said. “Because I like you kid, I'll make sure no one hears about this. Not a soul.”

“You're the best Jay!” J

on hugged the cat. 

“Yeah, yeah, now seriously get out of here. You're not supposed to be back here.” 

Jon nodded and ran towards Snow. He grabbed her by the paw and led her out of the hall. Her expression still dumbfounded. When they were clear of Jay he let go of her paw and looked at her. 

“Are you okay?”

Jon was greeted with a punch to the face. He stumbled back a little and rubbed his cheek.

“Okay I deserved that.” 

“What on earth were you thinking!”

She hissed at him and pressed her finger into his chest. 

“I panicked, I didn't want to get in trouble and I thought we'd get off easy if it was just...you know...and...”

“You weren't thinking at all were you?” Snow glared daggers into his eyes. “Ugh you and your carcass breath. Take a mint or something before you decide to do something stupid like that again! In fact don't ever think about doing that again, or I will skin you and turn you into a puppy rug. Got it?” 

Jon nodded slowly as she walked away.

“At least we aren't in trouble...”

“I'll give you that.” Snow sighed. “Just, go, I need a moment...ugh it's gonna take weeks to get the taste of dead deer out of my mouth.” 

“Okay...”

Jon nodded, his tail between his legs as he left. His cheeks bright red. Denver gulped and followed after Jon. He had never seen Snow that mad before. 

Snow rubbed her temples and leaned against a wall. She was beyond upset. But not entirely at Jon. For one she was pretty sure someone was keeping Alana down in that room. She recognized that voice anywhere. Second, she was very upset at herself. She actually found herself enjoying the kiss at one point. With a groan she kept walking to catch up. 

She was not a dog lover, she did not like a dog in that way! She drew the line at enjoying a dog's company. Besides where did he learn to kiss like that? It was kind of nice. No! She was not liking it, it was all instinct acting out of turn. Even then the carcass breath wasn't all that bad was it? 

She took a deep breath and groaned, what a mess. On her cat loving adoptive mother's wedding no less. Maybe that was Jon's plan all along when he said he would tag along with her. But she knew he had a crush on Lupa. In fact she was the only person who knew such a thing existed in the young dog's mind. 

“I need more cat friends...I think I like a dog.” She grumbled, speaking to no one in particular.

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At the end of the day I often think about what I have done for the world. What I have changed, perhaps made better or worse. I then sit at a computer for hours and look at pictures of cats.

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Last edited by Honorable Intentions on Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:33 am, edited 8 times in total.



Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:08 pm
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Post Re: Changing By the Seasons
Ooohh! Jon and Snow kissed! and she liked it a little bit. Thats awesome. The JonxSnow ship could still happen, if Snow returned some of those feelings to him. But the JonxLupa ship is still sailing in the big open sea.

Its also awesome that you are writing your next story so soon. great job on the speed :mrgreen:

Finally Fido and Sabrina got married but you also upset us since you skipped over any details about Peanut and Grapes wedding. Bad honorable!

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Post Re: Changing By the Seasons
YAY you're sudenly back! :D
Aw, you skipped the Grapenut wedding. But you surely made up with a healthy dose of awesome cuteness, bravo!

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Post Re: Changing By the Seasons
I am happy that you aren't leaving us hanging between episodes. unlike some people =P

so now we need Lupa to turn down Jon to send him running back to Snow so she can comfort him and their feelings will grow ^_^

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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
Sorry about skipping the Grapenut wedding. I thought it might be a little tedious to read two weddings in one story. :lol:

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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
Housepets: Pet Project

2. The Day After

He was panting his lungs out, each limb aching, the occasional sip from his water bottle never seemed to sate him. Drinking too much would make him feel worse than he already did. What a bad year he had picked to live down on a farm. Hot summers with relentless sun and long hours. Of course he had never lived a life like this before. A good chunk of it relied on machines, but someone still had to assist in their operation. Someone had to haul the hay and keep an eye on the work animals. Such a jobs were always reserved for dogs much larger than himself. That never stopped him.

When a dog like King has something to prove, he will prove it.

Perhaps it was the fact he always felt judged. Or because he had been turned into a small corgi. Maybe it really was all just compensation. He did not know. Nor did he care. It fueled his fire. Most of the other farm dogs thought him amusing at first, with his do or die attitude about things such as hauling hay. It spiraled into concern.At first it was just cramps, he would fight the cramps. Those just came with the labor, right?

Drink water, forget about the cramps. Push harder. Carry the hay, haul the tools, plow the field. Don't stop, drink more water. Don't think about his nice air conditioned room. Drink water again. Then the cramps started to act up even more. He drank more water, but it stopped helping.It was almost mechanical how he was drinking and walking.

The next thing he knew he was laying under a tree in the shade with a wet rag on his forehead. His entire body did not want to cooperate.

“What happened?” King groaned and tried to sit up.

“Oh jeez he's awake. You passed out. We thought it was heat stroke.” A large sheepdog sighed with relief. “Your girlfriend would've killed me if you had died out there on my watch.”

“She would've killed me again.” King smiled a little and rubbed his temples. “I think I'm feeling better now I'll just go...”

“Go straight home right?” The sheepdog replied, a stern look hidden slightly behind his shaggy hair.

“No back to work, the plows won't field themselves! Or...something like that.” King sighed. Trying to stand to his feet. To no avail, the corgi tumbled onto his back. He winced and rubbed his head.

“This is coming from a friend, and not your boss, but I just don't think you're cut out for this kind of work.” The sheepdog shook his head and looked down at King.

“What's that supposed to mean? I'm as good as any man out there...I mean dog.” King snapped.

“I could use a dog with attitude like yours.” The sheepdog chuckled. “Just...about four times your size.”

“Well...well I can't just not work. I mean Bailey's dad already thinks I'm a weird. I secretly thinks he hates me but lets me hang around because she makes him.” The corgi whined. “Just let me go back out there and I won't push too hard.”

“You're going to kill yourself, and as a decent dog, I will not let someone kill themselves.”

“Come on Gordon, you have to let me do something farm hand related. So long as I get to keep the job here, I'll do anything.”

“Anything?” Gordon sighed. “Okay okay, we'll see what I can come up with.”

A loud whirring and crunching noise filled the air, Gordon gasped and spun around. Smoke was spewing from one of the tractors while dogs and humans alike ran to the scene. A large canine was fanning his face and coughing while jogging away from the smoking vehicle.

“What on earth...” King shook his head.

“Of course this stuff happens when I'm on duty.” Gordon said and took a few stress easing breaths. “What happened?”

The large dog jogging from the scene gulped when he saw Gordon's eyes. The dog in trouble stood a good three heads above Gordon, a downright monster of a dog. King could not help but laugh at the sight. It was like watching a much smaller pup being talked down.

“I don't know! One minute it was fine and then the next it was smoking and breaking.”

“Hey it looks like there's a big ol' white thing stuck in here. It's jamming up everything!” One of the more mechanical savvy humans called out. With a grunt he pulled it loose, most of the crowd gathered laughed a little. A milk bone about as thick as a man's right arm now hanging in the air.

“Alright, now Antares, how on earth did that get in there?” Gordon folded his arms. The dog feigned innocence and looked away. “I'll give you the benefit of a doubt and call it an accident...”

“Thank you so much! You won't regret it I promise.”

“Hey I'm not the one paying for the repair bill, better hope your dad is just as forgiving.” Gordon shrugged. The sheep dog was rather certain Mr. Foster would pay the bill. He was a little odd at times, but would never mess around with his boys. Especially if it was an accident.

King stood up, using the tree next to him to hold his balance. The scene before had brightened his mood a little. Though he still had the problem of his new job on the farm.

“Gordon, I know now might be a bad time to ask, but what do you think my next job over here will be?”

“I'll call you when I know for sure.” Gordon nodded. “I have to take it up with the bossman, but Mr. Foster is pretty good about getting things done and quick. For now just go home and take a break, before I get Antares here to knock you out and drag you there.”

King glanced over at the large dog and nodded. “Yeah...don't have to tell me twice.”

This Foster character was an odd one. Very enigmatic and did not visit the farm hands during work at all. In the month and a half or so of working there, King had not seen him in person. In fact he had not even talked to him over the phone. It was always Gordon or someone like that if he needed to contact someone for work related things. The man did give King his job however, and the corgi was not about to question the man that gave a corgi work that he was just never going to be qualified for.

With a deep sigh he turned and started his walk to the house.

“Antares will you or your brother get the ATV and drive him home, I don't him passing out on the way.”

“On it bossdog.” Antares jumped to attention and galloped over to King. The corgi yelped as he was dragged away towards the barn where the tried and true all terrain vehicle was held.

~~

...it was such a bumpy ride. I felt like a little pup next that big dog. Why is everyone so huge out there in the country? Though I think Antares, at least his breed, is from somewhere in Europe. Not sure where.

I haven't told Bailey about my little incident, I know she would get mad at me if I did. I hope all is well though. Your last letter made me worry, Bino actually agreeing to be the best man at his brother's wedding? It sounds a little fishy.

With that said, best of wishes. I hope all is well.

Your friend,

King


Fox chuckled as he reread the letter. Trouble seemed to follow that corgi wherever he went. At least he was not dead or something drastic like that. He was really surprised how weird things felt without the corgi. Sure he was a bit of a downer sometimes, but he was a good friend. He even stayed true to his word and wrote.

The dog set aside the letter for a moment and searched around his desk for a paper. A pen already in one hand. He yawned and tapped his pen against the desk, trying to think of a good place to start writing.

Dear King,
nice to hear from you again...


~~

Like King, Fox felt similar suspicion in Bino agreeing to be the best man at his own brother's wedding. It really just seemed too nice for him, and this was coming from Fox, someone considered one of Bino's “friends.” At the wedding, paranoia ran high. There was always the sense of dread. That when the priest asked the guests if anyone disagreed with the marriage, Bino would reject it right there in front of the whole crowd. Standing not but two feet away from his brother, no less.

Fox remembered crossing his fingers so hard they about snapped when the vows were about to be exchanged. Much to his surprise, Bino simply did what the best man was supposed to do. He was even smiling. Fox, and many others in that crowd, could breath a sigh of relief.

The Bino troubles did not end after the wedding, however.

In fact that following day he was back to his demanding and demeaning self. Perched above the crowd on his podium. Even after all of the new laws were established for pets, The Good Old Dog's club survived. Most would joke about Bino's new “human” job though.

No one was certain who coined the little mantra,“cashier by day, dictator by night,” but no one stopped using it to describe Bino. The day he earned his legal license to run the club was the day he became more ruthless than ever. A glaring example was his new “blacklist.” With the right amount of “proof,” anyone on the list could have been arrested for disturbing the peace. All cats were on the list, and a few dogs were there. All of the Sandwich dogs were among them. Some dog's accused of fraternizing with cats also showed up. Even his brother Joey had been placed there. Once he even suggested that Fido be blacklisted. The line was drawn there, however, no dog would ever let Fido be on the list.

Still, Fox did have to give credit where credit was due. The club did receive a serious upgrade in the months of change. With pets bringing actual revenue for themselves, donations were made for the sake of improving the club. They could hold gatherings at better places, offer new programs such as the “propitious unwavering pup” (or PUP for short) scouts, and they could even afford better food for the meetings. Bino did not have a clue how to balance budgets or deal with the money. Fortunately for him Fox was much more money savvy. Thanks to his own father's experience in government work.

It's why he was the club treasurer after all.

“Alright so the Fourth of July is coming up pretty soon and...”

“And the wolves are having a party that exact same day.” Fox said.

“That is exactly why I have called the committee together.” Bino replied. “We need some flair, something to suck in the crowds. We could make a killing with ticket sales on this summer fling.”

“Couldn't we just have a party on a different day?” Rex added.

“Darn it Rex I put you on the committee so you could tell me I was right. Not question my authority.” Bino snapped.

“He's got a point. We don't need to have a Fourth of July party and compete with the wolves. You know all of the dogs will go.” Fox replied. “For one they're wolves, and Lucretia seems to add something to the food dogs can't get enough of. Oh and did I mention the Miltons supply the fireworks?”

“Then we push the budget towards getting better food and fireworks.”

“The Miltons get the surplus Disneyland fireworks, Bino, you aren't going to get much better than that.” Fox replied.

“Then we import from China, the birthplace of the firework.”

“And did you factor in shipping costs?” Said Fox. At this point he was just toying with his boss.

“It doesn't matter, we need to prove to everyone out there that we have the best of the best in entertainment and activities.” Bino was getting a little fumed. “Think about it, members don't join, they don't donate or buy tickets to the parties, we don't get revenue, we lose the club.”

“It's my job to think about those things, and my advice to you is that it would cost way more to compete than to back down and try again a different day.” Fox felt his temper rising just a bit himself. “Why are you being so irrational about this? I mean...wait a second...is this because Fido is acting as a spokesperson for the party?”

All of the dogs in the room could swear steam was about to billow forth from Bino's ears. “Don't you dare say his name in front of me, are we clear?”

“Oh please, then what will I call him? I certainly can't call him all of the things you do, because that's against my morals.” Fox was now quite amused. “You can fire me, but who is going to help you with your finances?”

Bino's eye twitched. Fox was much too smart for his own good. The dog kept in the back of his mind that he was going to fire Fox the moment he found a much more qualified candidate, one that agreed with him or did not openly mock him in front of the rest of the committee, at the very least.

“Alright we'll chalk it up to a vote.” Bino grumbled. “All in favor of having a Fourth of July party say aye.”

The dogs looked at each other, Fox's arguments all made sense. All of them were well aware this was Bino trying to lock horns with his brother. But they were all afraid at the same time. He hired more than half of them to say yes to him, and like trained, well, dogs, they would always say yes.

“Come on guys, you really think it's a good idea to...”

“Aye! A great idea!” Most of the group nodded in agreement. Fox facepalmed.
~~

...the nerve of some people. Bino especially. He rarely ever does follow my advice. But I can't wait to see him fall of that podium of his when the club goes under due to his mistakes. It makes me miss the old days of the club, but then again they weren't all that good either.

Good luck with your job King, and please don't kill yourself while you're at it.

Your friend,
Fox.


Fox glanced over the letter one last time before folding it and sliding it away in an envelope. Now just to go deliver it.

~~

Explosions detonated left and right. Bullets sailed overhead, men fell by the dozen. One lone soldier charged the ranks, the muzzle of his gun blazing. Double kill, triple kill, massacre. He was on top of the world, but then he heard it. The worst sound in the world.

His gun clicked, signaling he was empty. Worse yet, he had no more clips. He was trapped up a creek without a paddle. Then he saw it. Not but a meter or two away was another gun. It just may have some ammo left.

“Come on, come on, grab the gun...” Jon muttered, “grab it dang it!”

With a cry and a shout, the character on his television screen twisted and fell to the ground. Denver jumped in the air and whooped. Jon rolled his eyes and pressed the respawn button. Once again his character was on screen, dropped in the heat of virtual battle.

“Can we play Kings of Eledengard after this round is over? This game is kind a making me dizzy.” Jon grumbled.

“You're only getting dizzy cuz you're losing.” Denver stuck his tongue out and laughed.

“What? No! I'm just dizzy.”

“Riiiight.”

“You only like this game because it's the only one you can beat me at.” Jon gave his brother a wry smile of his own. “I can kick your tail on Street Fighter and KoE.”

“Pfft no you can't. I'm way better.”

“Wanna bet?” Denver rolled his eyes.

“Oh yeah, you're on.”

Denver ran to the front of the television and went to work switching out games. Jon smiled to himself, knowing he had the advantage at the much more strategical hack and slash fantasy game than his much more uncultured brother. Only noobs and 12 year olds were fans of Combata 6. Soon he heard a buzzing sound rumble in his collar. He sifted his hands around in the pouch of the collar and pulled out his phone.

“Hello? Hey Lupa!” Jon smiled. “I'd love to hangout!”

Denver froze in place, his ears fell a little as he set aside the video game controller. Jon took immediate notice of his brother.

“Oh but Denver and I...” Jon started. Denver's ears perked up again. “...he can come hangout too? Great! We'll be right over.”

The brown cat was not at all amused. Jon took care in placing his video game controller where it was supposed to go, and ran to the bathroom. He stood in the mirror for a moment, adjusting his hair a little and checking his teeth. Denver would have laughed if he was not disappointed.

“Hey dad! I'm going over to the wolves' house!” Jon called into the neighboring room.

“'kay son! Have fun.” Peanut said, his voice was muffled through the door. “Oh and please ask Miles if he's up for an interview, I need to get coverage on Milton's security measures for the paper.”

“Got it dad.” Jon nodded. He ran out the front door, only to stop and turn around. He looked at Denver with those pleading puppy dog eyes of his.

“It's okay I'm not going.”

“What? Why not?” Jon asked, running back in and taking a seat next to Denver.

“We hardly ever just hangout together.” Denver shrugged. “Besides every time we go over to the wolves' house it just ends with you trying to get Lupa's attention and me getting hurt.”

“Come on you don't hurt all that often.” Jon gave his brother a punch on the shoulder.

“I've been tackled, I've fallen out of trees, and I was allergic to something they served for lunch that one time.” Denver counted on his fingers. “Besides I always get hit with something when we play imaginate at their house. Remember when I was Tybalt and Alexander was Mercutio...”

“Come on he's never even seen the play...”

“Mercutio was supposed to lose, not bash Tybalt's head in.” Denver rolled his eyes.

“Well...it was the wolf version of Romeo and Juliet.” Jon shrugged. “It's just a little more violent.”

“Right, and you can have fun with that. I'll just hang around here, thank you very much.”

“Suit yourself.” Jon felt a little confused, maybe a little hurt, but he was not about to force his younger brother to accompany him.

With that the Border Collie mix left the room. Denver frowned a little and looked at his paws. It did not take long for him to dash out the door to follow after his brother.

~~

It was the perfect kind of summer day. Clouds lazed in the sky, providing cover from the high noontime sun. A gentle breeze compensated for the intense heat. Perhaps the only thing that would have made it better would have been a cool glass of lemonade. Hot tea was not her ideal choice. Sabrina always insisted on strange foreign herbal teas. Some were worse than others, but Grape was never one to complain.

“It's going to be weird...moving out of the house.” Sabrina said, glancing over her things. Most which now packed away in boxes. “You know, neither of us could decide which house to move in to. Snow was the tie breaker.”

Grape looked over at Sabrina. “And she said Fido's house?”

“Odd as it sounds, yes. She said Fido's house.” Sabrina nodded. “She told me she wanted to see what life looked like inside a house not full of psychics.”

That was something Grape could understand. Psychics and their spirit allies tampered much to often in her life, and when they did she was certain they caused more harm than they meant. Even those with the best of intentions. Though using a psychic holodeck was always the best of fun.

“Whatever happens I'm sure things will work out.” Grape said.

“Oh I'm sure they will, just...weird. I've lived her since I was very young. Now it's starting to set in that I'm leaving soon. I thought I might feel sad, but I really don't.”

“You know I'm probably not the best person to go to for advice about moving, I mean I just moved to my back yard.” Grape shrugged. “But you're still going to live in Babylon Gardens, and see everyone you care about. So maybe that's why you don't feel all that bad.”

Sabrina smiled and nodded. “See, you are good at this whole friendly advice thing. I already feel better.”

“Glad I could help?” Grape replied. She hadn't noticed if Sabrina was really upset or not. Sabrina was, well, herself.

“So...what should I expect in the married life?” Sabrina said and sipped her tea.

Grape took a moment to think. What did she even expect for herself when Peanut proposed? The first time, before they even thought about getting Jon. There was always worry. Maybe her marriage was just flights of passion. Maybe they were just thinking with instinct and not their brains.

“I don't think there's anything you can expect at first.” Said Grape. “My mom once told me that it was like any big change in life, you can sort of see what's going to happen. But sometimes things just shift dramatically.”

“Like the whole Peter Hooke debacle?” Sabrina smiled a little.

“Right, it just kind of came out of nowhere. It changed Peanut, the dog I had married was suddenly different. He changed for me, but it was a different Peanut. When he proposed again, I guess it just felt like I really was getting married again.” Grape looked down. “For what it's worth...I suppose my best advice would be to expect the unexpected.”

Sabrina smiled a little and gave Grape a pat on the back. “And for what it's worth on my part, thank you. Sorry if I struck a nerve or something.”

“Nah, I don't mean to sound like I regret anything. My life is weird sure...” Grape smiled back, “but I don't think I would trade my boys for anything. My life is...well...wonderfully weird.”

_________________
At the end of the day I often think about what I have done for the world. What I have changed, perhaps made better or worse. I then sit at a computer for hours and look at pictures of cats.

RP Character:
Lucky Abbot: S-9 P-6 E-7 C-6 I-7 A-4 L-3


Last edited by Honorable Intentions on Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:00 am
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
the AWESOME keeps being the standard in your updates. I feel small and inadequate :lol:
Bino trying to compete with the ferrets, and the ferrets being nothing but hypercompetitive themselves: why do I see a catastrophe incoming, one not even Alana could set in place? 8-)
ANd my humblest thank you for having the Foster family as owners of the farm where King is living. (milk bone in the tractor, :lol: :lol: )

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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
great update as usual.

I wonder where's Tarot staying now? Is she still going to live with Sabrina's owner even though Sabrina's moving out? Or does she have to find her own place now?

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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
valerio wrote:
the AWESOME keeps being the standard in your updates. I feel small and inadequate :lol:
Bino trying to compete with the ferrets, and the ferrets being nothing but hypercompetitive themselves: why do I see a catastrophe incoming, one not even Alana could set in place? 8-)
ANd my humblest thank you for having the Foster family as owners of the farm where King is living. (milk bone in the tractor, :lol: :lol: )


Aww but your story is so awesome too. :D I got hooked on your series before I started writing mine.

Plus I owed you for all of the references to my characters. Thought it might be nice to see Martin Foster pop up here. :lol:

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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
are you ignoring my question cause it'll be answered in a later update? =P

and Val, you and HI are great writers in different ways. Every one of your episodes is just as awesome as his updates, he just condenses the awesome into a shorter update. But you're both awesome.

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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
Oh yes, your question will be answered in the next update. I do apologize! :oops:

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At the end of the day I often think about what I have done for the world. What I have changed, perhaps made better or worse. I then sit at a computer for hours and look at pictures of cats.

RP Character:
Lucky Abbot: S-9 P-6 E-7 C-6 I-7 A-4 L-3


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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
no problem, I can wait for the answer.

I just can't wait for the update :(

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Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:44 pm
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
YEAH I'M BACK! And I have to say you don't have idea how much I missed your stories. The previous one was epic! I never expected that ending and of course a lot of other things like Peanut choice about the laptop, the participation of Kitsune, the sort of alliance between Alana with Max and Jay, etc. Furthermore I crack laughing a lot of times, it was GENIUS, I can't describe it with other more precise word than that.

And now we have this third part of this series that have a AWESOME beginning. Sabrina and Fido get married and if that wasn't enough, Jon kissed Snow! wow, this sequel is going to be a lot of fun! XD I don't know why but something telling me that Jay is going to messing with them a lot with his subtle antics XD
Oh and now we have a new Sandwich, Denver, who seems a bit jealous of the wolfs cubs because his brother spend more time with them (specially with Lupa) than with him. He go behind his brother after all, so I think he's going to try to turn Jon's attention to him, but how far he can go to reach it? He have a strong card upon his sleeve, he saw him making out with Snow, and well, that could ruin his chances with Lupa (gahh I'm overthinking XD). However, this love triangle is going to be a headache to Jon and a lot of fun to us :lol:

Well, hope I see soon more of your fiction, I'll be waiting in front row :lol:

PD: I must have to see Fido in FBI!

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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
Housepets: Pet Project

3. Svatantratā


Were they coming? He could not tell. The wind picked up a little, rustling leaves all around him. His breaths were calm and even. Though his heart was pounding. Hopefully he had covered his scent well enough. If he had learned a thing or two from the wolves, it was how to mask a scent. A small sound caught his attention. His eyes widened a little, darting around to find the source of the noise. His ceased breathing, his heart pounding ever faster.

Much to his relief, it was just a dainty little bird fluttering towards its nest. Did it startle him that bad? So bad he actually started to panic? Pshaw he would not panic! Then he heard the sound of twigs snapping. They were coming from below him, and something big was coming.

Now it was time to panic.

He held his breath once more and glanced down towards the ground. The figures of those chasing him could not be seen through the thick canopy of leaves. Much to his relief, that meant they could not see him. They were just going to walk away, try a different tree. Such was his advantage. They would never look up a tree like this. And if they did he could escape between trees before they even had the chance to think about climbing up.

His predictions were correct. They were walking away. A smile curled on his lips as he leaned back against the tree. His hiding place had worked. They had not even found his scent. He was getting good at this!

“Boo!”

Denver about lost it right there. With a shriek he jumped from the branch and tumbled backwards. He closed his eyes and braced himself for free fall. This would not be the first time he had fallen from a tree after all.

“Whoa, gotcha.” A fluffy white paw grabbed him by the wrist and pulled him back onto the branch. “You okay? I didn't mean to spook you that bad.”

“No...no I'm fine.” Denver blushed feeling quite embarrassed from his shriek. Not something he wanted to do in front of his older brother.

“I almost didn't check up here.” Jon smiled a little and gave his brother a pat on the back. “If I didn't see that tail of yours dangling in the tree I would never have thought about it. And you say you suck at this game.”

“I'm surprised they found you before me.” Denver giggled a little. “Losing your touch?”

“Not on your life buddy, besides I...well I won't relinquish the details.” Jon rolled his eyes. “Let's just say someone knows my soft spot.”

“Lupa got you didn't she?”

“You said it not me.” Jon held up his paws and blushed. The young dog took glanced down at his feet, reaching for footholds along the tree while he made his way down.

It was nimble, to be certain, the way he climbed. Funny enough it had his own little “signature” to it. Sloppy enough to be a dog out of his element, but skilled enough to garner a response. If he worked at it, most out there assumed he might do it as well as a cat.

Denver followed the way down, at the base of the tree the wolves were waiting for them.

“You know we need to play normal hide and seek one of these days.” Denver muttered. He jumped to the ground and rubbed the wrist that Jon had grabbed him by. “I feel like I'm going to be eaten or something.”

“That's the practical use of hide and seek.” Rudy shrugged. “Think of it as training to catch your own prey.”

“Except I'm not going to ever catch prey.”

“Can't hurt to have the skill.” Rudy smiled a little. “Besides you have that unfair climbing advantage.”

“Both of you do.” Alexander grumbled. “We should ban it from the rules.”

Jon smirked a little. Knowing the middle wolf had been first to be discovered made things all the more amusing. Jon may not have been not the strongest hunter among the wolves, but who needed a size advantage when one could take to the trees.

“You're just mad you're too fat to climb trees.” Lupa stuck her tongue out at her brother, casting a side along wink at Jon. Of course he was far from fat, but it was rather easy to get on the tenacious young wolf's nerves.

“Oh yeah well! Your face...is fat...” He grumbled some more, he was almost pouting like a spoiled child. “Why do you always stick up for him anyways? I'm your brother, I have needs you know?”

“We all know it's because he has that effect on girls.” Rudy laughed a little. “He looks so helpless they can't help but want to run to his side and shield him from the big bad wolves.”

Now the entire group was laughing at Jon's expense. He would have been upset, but he had other things on his mind. A small, bashful smile curled on his lips as he watched Lupa walk beside him. Her eyes straight forward, walking with determination.

Denver took a look between Jon and Lupa, rolling his own eyes along the way. He had his own thoughts about the crush. Snow was the only person Jon had told in confidence. It really did not take some sort of detective to see he had an attraction. If Lupa did not see it, then she was either blind or too nice to say no. Maybe it was his petty feelings talking, they did miss a session of KoE for hide and seek in the woods after all, but this whole crush seemed like the worst possible thing that could have happened.

Well there was something he could do about it. He did know Jon kissed Snow, out of stupid desperation sure, but it happened. If Lupa happened to know too, and Jon was brought into the open about it. Not to mention Jon was a terrible liar, as most dogs were. Any chance of a crush would be, well crushed.

“So you want to stay the night? Mom and dad are going to be out on some sort of special business with the Miltons. We don't ever have the place to ourselves, imagine the fun we could have.” Rudy looked towards Jon. The dog smiled a little and shrugged.

“Thanks for the offer, but I do owe Denver a tail-kicking at Kings of Eledengard.” Jon looked towards his brother.

“Ah, well good luck at...whatever that is.” Rudy looked at Alexander, who was too busy grumbling to answer.

“Pfft I've got skill, who needs luck?” Jon winked and stuck his tongue out at his brother. Denver offered the cunning rebuttal of sticking his tongue out as well.

“You know, you could finish that and still come over tonight.” Lupa added.

“That actually sounds like a great idea.” Jon's ears perked up a little. “I didn't think of that.”

“You never think of those sort of things.” Lupa punched him in the shoulder. It was probably meant to be soft, but the punch did hurt a little. Jon winced a little, but that did not break his smile.

“That's why I hang around you guys.” He replied. “See you then?

“Yup, have fun.” Lupa nodded.

“I guess we'll head home from here.” Jon stopped for a moment and watched as the wolves walked further ahead. Home alone with the wolves meant home alone with Lupa. Sure her brothers would be around, but they might find something else to do. If he just pushed them in the right direction after all.

“Jon are we going?” Denver asked, he too was watching the wolves. Though with different thoughts on his mind. He felt like he should just straight up say 'Jon kissed Snow' that very moment. Yet, he knew he would feel guilty for doing such a thing. Jon didn't mean to ignore him, in fact he chose to go hangout with his brother over spending the night at the wolves' house. Well at first.

“Oh! Yeah, sorry. I was just thinking.” Jon replied, taking the first few steps that would lead out of the forest and back to suburbia.

~~

One by one, boxes were carried out of the door. Each placed in neat stacks along the backseats of Mr. Byron's car. The man was drumming his fingers on the steering wheel as Fido and his friends loaded up the boxes. In the distance the hot summer sun was now sinking behind the horizon, the houses cast long shadows across the neighborhood.

“You sure you're okay with this?” Sabrina asked. Tarot nodded and looked back at the house.

“Sabrina, relax, you're just moving down the block.” Tarot smiled. “You're acting like you're moving out of the neighborhood or something.”

“I...” Sabrina sighed. “You're right. I guess I'm used to the house. The books, the smell, even the ghosts. It's been a long time since I've lived anywhere else.”

“If you get 'homesick' you can still visit. And I'm sure we'll be fine here. Your dad has been pretty nice about this whole thing.”

Fido jogged by the two friends, a hefty box in his arms. “Oh by the way, I don't think my dad would appreciate ghosts and stuff in our house, okay?”

Sabrina rolled her eyes and laughed. “We have already been over this, I think we're good.”

“Just making sure,” Fido grinned and kissed her cheek, “we're almost done here by the way. Are you ready to go?”

“Yeah, I think so.” Sabrina nodded. She could see Fox and Kevin hauling the last of the boxes to the back of the car. The last one was in Fido's arms.

“How about Snow?”

“Right here! And ready to go, sorry I had to get some stuff.” Snow stumbled out of the house, a small drawstring bag full of her belongings draped over her shoulders.

Sabrina took one last look at her house and smiled a little. She might have been a little afraid of leaving. The familiar things that had been in her life were changing with each passing moment. Perhaps it was all for the better, she had Fido and Snow. All of her friends.

What more could she want?

~~

Miles glanced inside his cup with caution. The fizzy drink had been tampered with, he could smell it. Of course his employers were always peculiar. Never afraid of trying new things. Splashing every bit of the world with their own special brand of chaos.

“So how's the family?”

“Doing quite well, can't complain.” Miles sniffed at the drink and looked over at the mustelid staring at him with his paws clasped together. His desk comically large in comparison.

“Good, good.” Keene nodded. “Can I get you anything, more punch?”

Miles sipped his cup and winced a little. The sour flavor nipped his tongue and burned going down. Way too tart. “I think I'll pass.”

“More for me then.” Keene shrugged and guzzled his own cup. “Not sure what's in this stuff but I love it.”

Miles grimaced a little. “If you say so, sir.”

“Please, call me Keene, Miles, Keene! We've been associates for years now. We can drop the whole boss and associate shebang.”

“Alright then, Keene, thus far all we've accomplished in this meeting is a game of golf, and you've complimented me endlessly. What's the catch?”

“Well I wanted to try the new golf course, I say the new hazards out there make for quite a show. Makes golf interesting.” Keen grinned. Mile's rubbed his bruised nose, he would not have called interesting. “And...I need a rather large favor from you and your family.”

“I'm listening.” Miles raised his brow.

Keene pressed a button on his desk, the lights dimmed while a large screen unfolded on the wall to their right. The faint hum of a projector filled the air, images began to appear on the screen as it warmed up. Miles squinted a little, his eyes adjusting to the dark.

“Are you familiar with Project Freedom?” Keene asked.

“Not really...” Miles shook his head.

“Ah...where to begin.” Keene grumbled. “Alright, contrary to popular belief, animal rights isn't a new thing. There have been several movements in the past couple of decades trying to earn equality.”

“I'm not surprised.” Miles nodded.

“One of the more infamous movements started way back in the 1970s, a couple of radical groups in India had gained support from wealthy investors all across the globe and decided they would prove that animals could handle equality.” Keene explained. “My father was one such investor.”

The screen changed and showed a black and white picture of much younger Mr. Milton. Standing next to him was a jackal with a ritzy looking collar. Studded with diamonds and the like.

“Who's that?” Miles tilted his head.

“That my friend, was the former 'Animal prince' of Dubai. Navheed Nair. He was one of the people that started the project.” Keen replied, pressing a button on his desk. The picture changed once again to a large compound type area. Similar looking houses lined up against each other, they almost looked like barracks. At the bottom of the screen were complex Hindi letters that Miles could not even begin to read.

“His big idea was to start an animal city. One set up to model human governments and show off that animals could handle equality. Their own constitution and every thing. Animals from all over the world were involved. The city was named 'Svatantratā,' which roughly translates to 'freedom,' or 'self government.'”

“Interesting.” Miles stroked his chin and smiled a little.

“Very, but...well...this happened.” Keene pressed his button, this time the picture showed the same city with fires breaking out and ruins where most of the buildings once stood. “Turns out all of the different nationalities and animals did not blend well together. Too many different schools of thought, too many different political ideals, too many prejudices. The city collapsed on itself.”

“Oh my.” Miles frowned.

“Poor Navheed was a laughing stock, and many critics against this animal rights buzz have cited the project as their number one piece of evidence that animal equality is a bad idea.”

“And you want to disprove that theory?” Miles muttered, realization had dawned upon him. “You don't mean to say...”

“Yes we're trying Project Freedom once again.” Keene nodded. “We have support from all across the globe, this project will be international once again. The screening process is going to be much more strict of course. And we're not going to introduce ferals just yet. We're going to keep it simple.”

“...Uh Mr. Milton...”

The screen shifted to show a 3D model of the new city. This one looked more like a village than a compound. The houses looked much more inviting, most were one story buildings. In the center appeared to be a center of commerce and trade. A security center off to the right.

“This is what the finished city should look like. It will be as close to home as possible. Makes the animals less on edge and they might even enjoy themselves.” Keene ignored Miles.

“Keene.” Miles said, his voice stern. “What do you mean 'keep it simple?'”

“Yes...well if I could have it my own way it would have only been dogs, or just cats. But no, we had to integrate the dogs and cats. I say the project will fail. But the other investors think otherwise.” Keene grumbled.

“If you don't want ferals then how is my family going to be involved?” Miles folded his arms.

“Simple, you will be security. I can count on you, I always have been able to count on you. I trust you will preserve order and make sure we do not have another humiliating incident.” Keene replied.

“If we just thrust these rules on the animals wouldn't that defeat the purpose of the experiment?”

“Ah but you will only make sure the chaos is contained. If things start getting destroyed and riots break out, then you will intervene. I want you to use your own judgment when it comes to exercising your power.” Keene smiled. “I also need a recruiter.”

Miles shook his head. “And how do you expect me to do that?”

“That fourth of July thing you always do, I want you to announce the project there. We need volunteers my good friend, and we need a lot of them.” Keene replied. “The details are here on this sheet, and a copy of the presentation I have shown you is on this disk right here. Recruit wisely.”

Miles looked down at the papers and cds now being handed to him. “What if I said no?”

Keene nodded. “I would be a little disappointed, but you could go on with life. This is just something I trust you with. I could try to find someone else, but I think you and your family are the best for this job. I promise I will accommodate you all as best as I can.”

“Alright.” Miles gave a thoughtful glance over the CD and paper. “When will the project start?”

“The beginning of August, we'll see what happens in a month. Then if things are going good, the project can continue.”

“And what if the project succeeds?”

“Then I suppose we can make these sorts of cities official, and then more animal cities can be built.” Keene shrugged.

“Well I don't see any reasons not to join, count me in.” Miles nodded, he reached over and shook Keene's paw. His own paw dwarfed the ferret's much like the desk did to the rest of the rodent's body. Inside he began to wonder if things really would work out.

~~

“Why, Petey I'm not sure it's a good idea.” Alana fake pouted into the mirror. “Besides what's the catch?”

“The catch is that you might earn my trust again.” Pete glared through the small vanity mirror. “You should be thankful I didn't have you locked away forever you little...”

“Oh but you like me too much to do that.” Alana smiled, holding her finger to his lip through the mirror.

It had been months since Pete had talked to her. She had not missed him, in fact she would have been happy if they stayed on such negative terms. Sure he had given her money, but he had promised her a room in the white house when he won. Now she had been swept under the rug like some stray cat.

“I find you valuable. You have potential, if you would just listen and follow orders for once in your life.” Pete said, his voice sharp. He felt like a father lecturing a teenaged daughter.

“But Petey, you once told a gullible little alley cat that following orders is for chumps. After all, you're like the patron saint of rule breaking aren't you?”

“You have no room to be presumptuous around me, I could crush you emotionally, physically, and spiritually, do you hear me?” Pete snapped. His eyes were glowing red.

“Then why haven't you?” Alana folded her arms.

Pete was speechless for a moment. That was a very good question. It was one he had never asked himself, one that had not even occurred in the darkest corners of his mind. Why had he not just decimated this little thorn in his side? He could do it with the twist of his wrist, be done with her. Show her what good a smart mouth could do in the face of true power.

Yet that seemed wrong. Was he growing soft? He had punished mortals such as herself before in his vast expanse of life. Why could he not do it now?

“Because you have potential Alana. I hate seeing it wasted on bad decisions.” Pete finally spoke. It was the only thing he could conjure up in his head. “And I do have to admit I've come to enjoy your presence, even if you are just a low level being.”

Alana smiled with sincerity this time. “Really now?”

“Yes really, now will you humor me?”

“Only if you humor me first.” Alana held up a finger.

“I'm all ears.” Pete rubbed his temples. He was going to regret this, he knew it.

“I want Boris out of animal rehab, make this happen and I'll go be your little spy for the animal village.” Alana replied.

“Oh that's all, I thought it was going to be something difficult.” Pete grumbled. “You do realize that bear is in a high security prison for several felonies.”

“I'm sure it's no problem for the president of the United States of America.” Alana blew him a kiss and winked. “Make it happen and I'll do whatever you ask. Deal?”

Pete nodded. “Fine, we have a deal.”

~~

And the stage is set! Now the real fun can begin. Sorry for some of the shorter updates recently, I've been rather busy with schoolwork and I write when I can. I promise interesting things are going to happen soon. Until then, thanks again for reading!

On an unrelated note, nice to see you again Gren. Glad you liked everything so far. Hope all went well on vacation.

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Last edited by Honorable Intentions on Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:24 pm
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
yay for the new update! maybe it was a bit short but it was worth it.
Now Denver is undecided if he should speak or not about what he saw during the wedding. He can't tell what is the best for him and for his brother, and whatever he do could route things in two different ways. What's best for Jon? being more attached to wolves or more attached to cats? That could be the question he have in his head.

Also, the Byron family moves to their new home, Fido's house. Snow seems taking this pretty well, maybe because now she's going to be away from all of the physic thing and have the possibility of be more normal, though her father is going to be a dog. The big question now is if she ever will be capable to call herself as a "Byron" and call Fido and Sabrina as Dad and Mom.

And the unexpected thing of the day was the "Project Freedom". Wow, this is going to be a huge step in their lives, and of course, it sounds like a lot of problems having Pete and Alana involving in all of this. What could be the reasons of Keene? Cash? The dream of his father? And what deal Pete could have in such a thing?

As always, I'll be waiting anxious for the next update ^^

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Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:32 am
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
I would think Pete would be in favor of such a thing.

This makes very little sense, a pet city. That goes about as segregation. Yes, as a one time social experiment, it could make sense as proof of pet's rights, but as an actual deal, it is a hundred steps back, like the ghettos of Medieval Europe, almost...

I like the story! Very character driven when you take out the whole Game thing. I would think the Celestial courts cancelled it and punished them all with the same fate, rather than just the loser getting that punishment.

Do you take criticism, or is this writing just to write?

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Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:23 pm
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
I do have a plan for this sort of thing. :lol: It might be kind of strange at first but I do always have some sort of plan.

Also, I'm always happy to take criticism. It's the best way to get better at anything.

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At the end of the day I often think about what I have done for the world. What I have changed, perhaps made better or worse. I then sit at a computer for hours and look at pictures of cats.

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Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:35 pm
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
After you finish writing, take a day off and don't think about it or posting it at all, then go back and read it as if someone else wrote it. You are missing some spelling and grammatical errors that are rather obvious in it...

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Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:54 pm
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
copper wrote:
This makes very little sense, a pet city. That goes about as segregation. Yes, as a one time social experiment, it could make sense as proof of pet's rights, but as an actual deal, it is a hundred steps back, like the ghettos of Medieval Europe, almost...


Now that I think about it, you have right. Unless the reason behind this cities is with the goal of having their own country and declare independence, and that's could be why Pete don't want this project keep forward, because all what he's done till now would be a waste of time (specially because he is human now, therefore there's no way he could manage them if they pull apart from humanity).

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Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:37 pm
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
I can't wait for the next update! You never fail to deliver quality! :D :D :D

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Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:58 am
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
Almost three weeks and no updates :cry:
I hope you return and continue this epic fanfic any time soon H.I., the suspense is killing me (really T_T)

Come on, you create an awesome story, a truly cool characters and you just decide not finish it? Okay, maybe you're occupied but at least do an effort and write something, or else... (nahh just kidding, but really man, I miss you :( )

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Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:04 pm
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
What Gren said. Needs more Jon, Snow and Denver!

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Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:41 pm
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
EvanAierkan wrote:
What Gren said. Needs more Jon, Snow and Denver!


Yeah, and more of Alana, Boris, Jay and Jenny too! They are all too awesome! :D

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Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:22 pm
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
A good fic indeed... I wish CJ would come back as well as HI.

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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
Housepets: Pet Project

4. Raindrops

Black clouds congregated on the horizon, spilling rain by the gallon as they swept over the city. Thunder crashed and lightning sparkled in the sky, bright like fireworks. Throwing Peanut from his thoughts and forcing his heart up a few beats.

“Jeez...what's with this weather? It was supposed to be sunny all day.” Peanut said out loud, though to no one really in particular.

“If there's one thing I learned it's never to trust a weatherman, we should get animals to do it.”

“You say that about everything CJ.” Peanut smirked at the raccoon busy clattering away at his computer. He could have sworn the former forest dweller was messing around with some sort of video game, the typing seemed much too intense for sports coverage. He did not blame the coon, it was a slow day and all. Peanut skimmed along his page, the erratic rhythms of the tapping raindrops lulled him into a glazed stare. It was going to put him to sleep, if the economic and political coverage he was typing at did not first.

Jenny was always the one who took care of such stories. But she was busy with something that week, at least she had covered most of the research. Peanut would have gouged his eyes out going over the “shocking dives” in the stock market. Meanwhile there was an animal cult on the loose, CJ had that story covered and typed. That might have been more eventful to research and get interviews for.

“Hey Peanut, can I see you in my office?”

Peanut's ears perked up a little, the sound of a door opening filled the air. “Yeah hold on Jenny.”

The dog saved his work and stood from his chair. His legs creaked from their sudden use. Peanut yawned and stretched while walking towards his editor. The dalmatian was dressed in business attire, her fur dark with water. She had been walking out in the rain.

“What did Peanut do this time?” CJ giggled, pressing the panic button on his game and pulling up a page of work.

“Nothing, nice high score by the way.” Jenny reached over and opened up the game window he had closed out of. “Probably should work on your stuff before my dad catches you.”

“...Uh...right boss.” CJ stammered a little, his cheeks flushed. Peanut gave the coon a pat on the back and followed his boss into her office. It was a cozy little office space, outfitted with various trinkets, pictures. Cluttered with books and papers. A lone desktop computer sat at her desk.

“So what's up?”

“Keene Milton, that's what's up.” Jenny's annoyance was unmistakable.

“He wasn't there for his interview again?” Peanut asked, taking a seat on a plush chair.

“Oh he was there, and he had me 'escorted' out. Says he never agreed to such a thing, and when I showed him actual evidence of him agreeing, he had me kicked out.”

“Maybe he was busy and forgot.” Peanut shrugged.

“Something is really up with that ferret. Ever since that bad investment of his went public he has shunned every attempt of contact from us, in fact any news network. Even his PR guy had no comment.” Jenny rubbed her temples.

“Bad investment?” Peanut tilted his head.

“...the one on your article? Come on Peanut what do I pay you for.” Jenny rolled her eyes. Peanut looked stunned, a little embarrassed to realize he had paid scant attention to his work. “Okay, okay, sorry, just a little cranky.”

“I understand.” Peanut nodded, drumming his finger on his thigh.

“That ferret is up to something, and it's no good. He's worse than a cornered animal, he is a cornered businessman.” Jenny bit her bottom lip. “As royal as his cause has been these past few years, I never liked him. A hedonistic fiend of a businessman. You know he tried to shut down this very paper when one of our staff wrote a negative editorial about the ferrets?”

“No I didn't know.” Peanut started to feel very uneasy. What had she called him in for?

“But enough about my personal vices, Peanut I know you're one of the best people for getting to the bottom of this, you have a very special connection to him.” Jenny had calmed herself, her voice stern. Not her usual flirty self at all.

“Miles and his family...” Peanut replied.

“Exactly, I am certain they know something.”

“Well they are having that BBQ soon, and I'm invited. I could maybe bring it up in a conversation or something.” Peanut nodded. Jenny's eyes lit up.

“That's perfect! I knew you were the best dog for the job. You'd be doing this paper, heck even the public at large, a great favor if you could get to the bottom of this mess.”

“Thanks?” Peanut once again felt uneasy. This was still not the Jenny he was famliar with. She almost seemed cutthroat. Whatever Keene really did to her, it must not have been pleasant.

“Keep in touch with me Peanut, and please, pay attention to what you're writing...I need to be alone, I have stuff to do.” Jenny shooed Peanut with her paw and got behind her desk. Peanut hated to see his boss in such a mood. But there was not much he could do by himself. He would have to figure out something later.

For now he had to finish his page.

~~

The rain was pouring down by the bucket full. Drenching every unfortunate soul caught in the open. Wild rivers formed in gutters, rushing in violent rapids down the sides of homes and into the grass. Puddles flooded even the most absorbent of soil.

And there was Jon. Splashing through puddles, charging at full speed. The rain had caught him by surprise. So much for getting prepared for his evening with the wolves. About ten minutes of effor th ad been wasted. He had spent his time looking into the mirror and wondering just what it was a female wolf looked at in a potential boyfriend type person.

Something wild, and no collar, he assumed. Yet he did not look very wild. He had to fix that somehow. A little hair gel here or there did the trick. At least he thought it did the trick. It looked ridiculous, but Denver said nothing, only praying that the neighborhood would point and laugh for his mind addled brother.

Not but ten minutes after he started his short journey to the wolf house, a thunder bold streaked the sky. A freak storm almost out of nowhere. Drenching the dog to the marrow. Worse yet, his hair gel job had been washed away. Now all he was worried about was getting out of the water.

He liked water and all, but drowning on land was not in his plans.

Then he saw it, not at all what he was expecting. Amidst the smell of lightning in the air, his sensitive nose picked up a dangerous scent. One mixed with a familiar place. Uncle Max's place or something, he could not put his finger on it. However, it smelled almost like that bear.

Was that bear loose again?

Jon stopped in his tracks and spun around in all directions. Panic welling in his chest. The bear had escaped and it was coming to take revenge. Though instead of the imposing figure of the monster bear, he saw a sleek black shadow sprint through the rain. It stopped for a moment and looked around, a pair of glowing yellow eyes cut through the darkness like piercing gold knives.

He squinted to get a better look at the figure in the dark. He could have sworn the glowing eyes locked in on him. The pup took one cautious step forward, the dark figure bolted off. It had seen him for certain.

That had to be the cat that had all but disappeared after his kidnapping. She had decided to poke her ugly head out of her little hole. A hole that smelled like Uncle Max's establishment.

Snow had been right.

Jon bolted after the sleek shadow, following his nose the whole way through the rain. A blind run through the neighborhood was not something he had looked forward to. But if that cat got away without him dishing out some good old fashion doggy justice, he may as well call himself a wimp. And a wimp he was not. At least that was what he told himself.

It tried all of the regular cat tricks. Cutting corners, running in circles, taking to the trees and waiting for him to grow disinterested and wander off. Jon could play that game too. The sopping wet bark proved hard to climb, but his claws made up for a bit of the lost traction. The cat was surprised, it leapt from its perch and onto the ground. Jon stumbled down after it, the spongy wet ground absorbing most of his fall.

Now he was gaining some ground. A new smell filled the air, panic maybe. The cat hissed and stopped for a moment. Turning and slapping his face with her bared claws. Jon yelped and stumbled backwards. A faint tingling sensation in his cheek that began to sting. The cat was still moving, he had no time to tend to his wound.

This cat was not about to escape.

Of course this conflicted with the cat's major goal at this point. That being, not getting caught. No more funny business. The cat turned and pounced on Jon. Both tumbled to the ground, a seething fury of claws and fur. He felt all but overwhelmed. He was not giving up this fight.

Scratch, scratch, bite, he endured it all. Memories of that bear kidnapping him fueled his ire. He had the cat pinned down in an instant. Her eyes stunned with shock. Jon's too for that matter. He was surprised he managed to overpower her. He was not without his wounds, however.

“I'm making a citizens arrest!” Jon was beaming with pride. He had always wanted to say that.

“You might want to keep your eyes on the road, sweetie.” The cat gave him a honey sweet grin. What road? Jon turned and looked around.

The sound of screeching tires filled the air. A bright light pierced the rain. A car horn honked. Literal tons of speeding metal raced towards him. His eyes widened as he loosened his grip on the cat. She ducked away from him, cackling like the witch that she was. Just in time too, the car was inches away from Jon's muzzle.

He did not even have enough time to wince and brace for impact.

~~

Rain had always calmed her in the past. It was like the earth was being cleansed. The very air felt cool and clean. On the streets it meant instant fresh drinking water. In the comfort of a home it meant the lulling taps of water against window panes.

This rain was different. Rather than a soothing rush, it was more a heavy war drum. Pounding the roof of the house in enraged patterns, and it seemed to grow heavier with each passing moment. Snow could not even find it in herself to nap in these conditions. There felt like something more to the rain, something more malevolent.

“Something bothering you?” Fido said. His eyes shifted from the book he was reading and to Snow. “You liking the new house okay or is it not quite what you imagined?”

Snow shook her head and looked over at her adoptive father. “No, no, it's not the house. Just...this storm. It feels strange.”

Fido gave her a thoughtful nod. “You know, I've heard that freak weather like this is usually the doing of something supernatural.”

The white cat felt her tail flicked around, that “wrong” feeling the rain brought seemed to grow. “But you don't feel...bothered? Like something is terribly wrong?”

“Not that I can say, but then again I'm not too sensitive to all that spirit stuff like you and Sab.” Fido shrugged. He set his book aside with care and looked Snow, concern in his eyes. “Is it bothering you that much?”

She nodded and said not a word.

“Then let's go talk to Sabrina about it, I'm sure she can offer some sort of solution.” Fido gave Snow a pat on the back and gestured for her to follow. Snow stood from the sofa and kept close to the dog. A single lightning strike rocked the sky, the delayed boom of thunder was so loud it made her ears ring.

Fido almost cursed when the lights cut out. The dog and cat now stood in sheer darkness. Pounding rain grew louder and louder.

“You can let go Snow, it was just a little lightning.” Fido winced a little at the cat, now digging her claws into him, clinging on for dear life. Her fur raised all over.

“S-sorry.”

“I never took you as someone afraid of a storm, Snow.” Fido said, a bemused look on his face.

“I'm not afraid of storms, this one just feels wrong.” Snow grumbled, they made their way up stairs and to Fido's room. Now converted into the room he and Sabrina shared. Of course at this point it was now decked out with all of her things. Her books, her trinkets, and a large crystal ball. It gave him the creeps, knowing that it was an eye that could peer into the world beyond his.

The door was shut, and Sabrina was having her own personal “meditation time.” Fido would leave her to her own devices on any given day, but with Snow's behavior, meditation time was going to have to wait. He gave a firm knock on the door.

“Sab? Can we talk a moment?”

No response. Fido pulled his paw back again to knock on the door. Before it could even connect, the door pulled back. Almost sending the dog stumbling through onto his face.

“Is this about the rain?” Sabrina asked. Snow nodded while Fido regained his composure and footing. “Glad it's not just me, I can't even seem to focus because of this storm.”

“What exactly is wrong with this whole storm?” Said Fido. The dog looked his wife in the eyes and folded his arms. “You two are freaking me out.”

Sabrina looked at Snow and then at Fido. She did not have a definite answer. It was a supernatural storm to be sure. Most would brush it off as a freak storm, but every psychic in the area was feeling the effects of it. These were not rare, per se, but Sabrina knew what their purpose was.

It was a stealth tactic. Used to sneak people around in the cover of a thick storm. Armies were forced to set up camp, due to the severity of the storm. Psychics were addled by a strange haze in the air. Regular people stayed inside. However it was not of demonic origin, like most malevolent weather patterns.

This was from a technical “God.”

Sabrina knew him by the name of “Tlaloc.” Status wise, he was quite a bit higher on the totem pole compared to Dragon or Pete. Thousands of years older than any of them combined. He had so many names that most were forgotten, even by himself. At “heart,” he was young.

Playful showers in the summer, listening to the weathermen on earth and going out of his way to prove them wrong. When he had his temper tantrums, he vented his frustration with lightning storms and hurricanes. The special “stealth storms,” however, were reserved for those that he owed a favor.

But who did he owe a favor?

“I'll get to the bottom of it eventually, don't you worry.” Sabrina said, wandering over to her crystal ball. “For now we'll have to endure...my powers are pretty much useless due to this storm.”

“Well...great.” Snow grumbled.

“I say we figure out a way to distract ourselves, shall we?” Fido shrugged, walking into the room and preparing to light one of Sabrina's candles.

“No wait!”

Fido stopped dead in his tracks. Wondering just what lethal and horribly spiritual thing could happen if he lit a candle. Might it summon witches or something? Was it cursed?

“That's a rare country linen scented yankee brand candle.” Sabrina gasped. Both Snow and Fido were now giving her bewildered looks. “I collect discontinued candle brands, so what, a girls gotta have a hobby you know.”

The dog was the first to start laughing, finally the girls joined in. It did help Snow feel just a little better, but the rain only grew worse. She hoped it would end soon. Otherwise she might go mad.

~~


“You got that bruise from a puppy?”

“If you would like me to demonstrate for you, Jago, I would happily oblige.” Alana licked her paw and glared at her driver. Her sopping wet fur drizzling all over the upholstery of the old getaway car. “Ugh I feel like a drowned rat.”

Jago did not say another word. It had been a long time since had seen his former boss. The cheetah was more surprised that he got a call from the president himself to go out and pick up the cat. What were the up to? He did not care, he was getting paid for this gig.

“Crazy weather we're having huh?” Jago said, his windshield wipers pushing into overdrive trying to wipe away the rain.

“Yeah...crazy.” Alana nodded, resting her head on a soft pillow sitting on the seat beside her. How she missed that pillow. It was a wonder it was still around, many cats would kill to have the down feathered satin pillow to rest upon. “You should have seen that pups face when he saw that car.”

“I almost wish I did.” Jago chuckled, squinting his eyes tight to navigate the road. The lack of traction on the gravel made turning a very dangerous maneuver. Alana hoped Pete's friend was going to stop soon, she was in the car and home free. Then again, maybe it was for the better that they were the only car out on the road.

One question still bothered her. How did that pup know where to find her? It was like he was tracking her. He came out of nowhere. She swore she could smell him and that little witch of a kitten Snow the other night at the hangout as well. Had they been on to her? What made him think he could take her on his own? In fact where did that pup learn how to track in the rain like that?

“Those wolves are a bad influence.” Alana muttered to herself.

“What was that Miss Alana?” Jago asked.

“Nothing, keep driving.”

~~

Alexander was pacing left and right. The power had died and now there was nothing to do. He felt like an animal in a cage. There was nothing to stimulate his mind at all. Not to mention the rain felt weird, like it muted all of his senses. He could only smell the rain and nothing else. He could not see outside of his window beyond the dark drops tumbling from the sky.

“Will you stop pacing like that? It's making me feel nervous.” Rudy grumbled, looking up from the playing cards he was messing around with. “You're distracting me from my game of solitaire.”

“Do you even know how to play solitaire?” The younger wolf said.

“There are rules to solitaire?” Rudy raised his brow and tilted his head. Both shrugged at each other.

“Hey let's play two players, that might be fun.”

“You can't play two player solitaire, it's called solitaire for a reason.” Rudy stuck his tongue out at Alexander. The wolf folded his arms and rolled his eyes. “Fine then we can play something that has two players, like go fish. So long as you stop pacing”

“I thought we lost the fish cards though?”

“We don't need the fish cards to play go fish you dolt.” Rudy rolled his eyes.

“Oh! Then what are we waiting for? Hey sis come and play go fish with us, or you still fantasizing about puppies.” Alexander giggled and stuck his tongue out in her direction. “What do human's call girls that date younger guys again? ”

“Cougars.” Rudy replied as she shuffled the deck.”

“But she's a wolf.”

The eldest wolf shook his head and finished shuffling. Needless to say, Lupa was not amused. She might have liked the pup a little bit, but Alexander already stated the obvious problem. He was much too young for her, it almost felt odd whenever there was a mutual attraction between them.

Though at the moment, she was more worried than anything. Hoping that the poor pup had decided to just stay home and not brave the storm. Inside she knew he was not about to do that. His crush on her was about as subtle as a bull in a china shop. The poor pup was, for some reason, infatuated with her. It made her feel almost uncomfortable at times.

Mostly because she almost liked him a little bit back?

She did not know. If she did not like him, she knew that she would not invite him over all the time. She knew that she would have no regrets in telling him that the attraction was not mutual. Whatever effect Jon had on people, humans and animals alike, many did not like to see him sad. It was his puppy-like features.

A loud, steady knock filled the air. Lupa dashed to the door and opened it. “Jon you idiot get inside!”

The pup limped a little as he stumbled through the door way. Alexander was about to crack a joke, when he saw the poor dog. In the flickering candle light, they could see his mud caked wounds. His left eye swollen.

“Are you okay? What the heck happened to you?” Lupa led him to the couch. Rudy had run to the kitchen to grab an icebag or two.

Jon was silent as an icebag was pressed against his swollen eye. He only winced a little, but he spoke not a word. The wolves looked at each other nevously.

“What's wrong with you, come on bud snap out of it.” Alexander snapped his fingers in front of Jon's face. The pup winced and shivered.

Lupa looked into Jon's eyes. They were dilated and shaking. How he had managed to make his way to their house in such a condition was well beyond her. Maybe he just knew the way back so well. “Jon, can you hear me?”

He nodded a little and opened his mouth. “I saw Alana, and I think she almost killed me.”

“That looks about right...jeez.” Rudy muttered looking over the various scratches and scraps on Jon's body. A few bruises here or there. “What did she do, hit you with a truck?”

“You could say that...” Jon grumbled. He laid his head on a couch cushion and frowned.

“Come on, tell us...stay with me Jon.” Lupa shook him a little, but the pup had started to fall asleep. He looked like he had walked miles, not just a block or two. They would have to get answers out of him when he awoke, for now they had to deal with all of his wounds. And all the mud he had tracked in.

Now she felt guilty. Why did that stupid mutt have to go out in the rain just to come over to her house? This madness had to end. When he woke up and he was in better condition, she was going to have to do something about this attraction of his. Even if might make him hate her.

She knew she could handle it, she was tough. It could not be all that hard, could it?

~~

Hey all. I sincerely apologize for that really long and unexpected hiatus. Some stuff happened here at home that triggered a bit of my own personal depression and anxiety problems. Rather than act like an idiot online due to anxiety and depression, or typing and saying things I would regret, I decided to distance myself from the computer. I feel bad for just disappearing on you guys like that for so long.

So as a way to say I'm sorry I spent a couple of days typing up this update after I started feeling better. Hope you guys enjoy and once again I do apologize! You guys are so awesome for being patient.

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Last edited by Honorable Intentions on Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:18 am, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:20 pm
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
Don't you worry, HI, what's important is that you're ok now. Plus, you mad up with yet another AWESOME update! :D :D :D
Frankly, I never cease to amaze at how you can depict your characters. I just hope that the final punishment for Alana will come and it will be EXTREMELY hard. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:09 am
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
YAY! ANOTHER UPDATE! Oh man, you worried me for a second. Nice to hear you are not abandoning your fanfic.

WOW, this chapter was AMAZING! Certainly Keene is gonna have a important role in this third part, and see Jenny totally mad with him was hilarious.

The best part was the chase and the fight in the rain. My mind went out of reality and only focused in imagine the scene. Sure Jon inherited his fighting skills from his mother :lol:

Oh, and now that you mentioned it, the difference of age was something that was bothering me since a while. You never were specific with ages, but at least I think I can make an approximate with the information you gave us in the previous books of the series. You mentioned that King lived ten years as a dog, so then that means the wolf cubs have more than 10 years since they were already born when King appears in the comic for first time. Only with this data I could tell their ages are approximately this:

Sabrina/Fido -> 16/17 years old
Peanut/Max -> 15/16 years old
Grape -> 14/15 years old
Rudy/Alexander/Lupa -> 12/13 years old
Jon/Snow -> 4/5 years old
Denver -> 2/3 years old

At least this are the characters I can barely calculate their ages. I don't have any parameters to calculate King or Tarot ages, the same with others characters like Alana, Jenny, Boris and Jay.

Now the big question is how Jon will take Lupa's resolution. :o

Take care man, and hope to see you around soon. I can wait for the next update :mrgreen:

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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
...
Jon could have a concussion, he shouldn't be allowed to sleep. It's like the first rule when dealing with head trauma.

great update as always, I only wish I could have gotten to it sooner.

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Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:52 pm
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
I'm going to be super optimistic and say Alana gets her comeuppance and Jon Snow(new season coming up!) happens. It's a shame I can't give any real criticism as I'm not a writer.

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Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:34 pm
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
RandomGeekNamedBrent wrote:
...
Jon could have a concussion, he shouldn't be allowed to sleep. It's like the first rule when dealing with head trauma.

great update as always, I only wish I could have gotten to it sooner.


Yeah you may have right, but that's doesn't matter when you have a special psychic little friend. If he get in a coma, she could always bring him back to reality as she did with King. And if she defeated a dirty mastermind psycho cat in King's brain, then this is a piece of cake.

I can't wait for the next update! TT_TT

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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
Housepets: Pet Project

5. Cruel Summer

When he had first approached the Foster farm for work, he really did not question the enigma that was Martin Foster. King was a dog willing to work to prove himself, and work he did. Until work proved too much for his corgi sized body. But he would not let himself get “fired” over his size. He was not about to let his greatest hurtle in life stop him from showing Bailey's dad that he could work as hard as any other possible “suitor” for the she-husky.

He begged and pleaded to have his job, and now his efforts were going to reach fruition. He was going to meet his boss for the first time since he had actually be hired for his first job. Whatever he was going to do next, it must have been a little important. Just a little.

The inside of the Foster home was cozy in that farm house sort of way. Soft carpet spanned the floor meeting at wooden walls. All of the furniture had a muted dusted brown color to them, worn out with love and age. Everything was kept spic and span, not a single thing nudged out of place. Foster must have kept his big dogs busy, though King had to wonder how such big clumsy dogs kept their house in such a neat manner.

“Ah King you're here!”

King almost swallowed his tongue at the mere sound of Antares' booming voice. The corgi had to wonder just how this dog had managed to sneak up on him like that.

“H-hey there.” King nodded.

“You just get here?” He said with a yawn.

“Yeah.” Said King, twiddling his fingers. Little by little he was starting to regain his nerves.

“Good, good, you are a very punctual dog. Father likes punctual dogs.” Antares grinned. “You're early even! Alderbaran is not even back from the market.”

“Well I had nothing else to do this afternoon, thought I might stop by earlier.”

“I see, have a seat then. Would you like something to drink?”

“No, no I'm fine.” King nodded and took his seat. Antares looked a little disappointed that King did not ask for a drink. It almost made the corgi change his mind, but he had lost any sort of appetite and thirst in his nervous mind.

“Father should be home any minute now, you're going to like your new job. I know I would, it sounds fun.”

“Care to give me any clues?” King said, a sheepish smile crossed his lips.

“Nope! I never ruin surprises. Where would the fun be in that?”

King rolled his eyes and swung his dangling legs over the side of his chair. Trying to think of a “fun” farm type job. He did not hate work, but he did not find it all that enjoyable. At least it paid and he got to keep his in-law sated.

“Oh I heard the door open! They're home.” Antares' tail began to wag, the sound of heavy plodding footsteps made their way through the house to the living room. Alderbaran walked by carrying a gigantic load of groceries. His biceps and back started straining to hold the load in his arms. Antares smirked, knowing his brother might have grabbed more than he could handle. “Need any help with that?”

“No, no I'm fine thank you.” Alderbaran made it to the kitchen just in time and took care in setting down the groceries.

“You're going to throw out your back brother trying to show off.” Antares gave his brother a firm pat on the back.

“I'm not showing off, I'm trying to be efficient. I only need to do one trip with the groceries instead of three.”

“Sure, that's why.”

King smiled a little at the bickering twins. He was starting to wonder how his age compared to theirs. Was he older than them? It would not surprise him. They were like a couple of big pups. Then again he was older than a lot of dogs.

“Oh, you must be King, hi nice to meet you, I'm Martin Foster.”

The corgi's smile dropped. He knew that voice. Though the last time he heard it was many years before. The night before he ran away from home. Things really had changed since then, in ways that King himself could not even fathom explaining. He was not Joel anymore, he was just a corgi with a chip on his shoulder.

“Nice to meet you.” King nodded, trying to keep a straight face. It was a rare occasion that he should encounter a piece of his past under such odd circumstances. Martin did not seem to see anything off, but then again the last time he had seen his own brother, he was not quite as hairy.

“So I hear you're the dog that's trying to kill himself working out there. For a girl no less?” Foster said, reaching into a bag on the kitchen table and pulling out a bottle of bubbling mineral water. “Want some?”

“I'm fine.” King said, he just about bit his tongue. He said it so fast it almost seemed rude.

“Suit yourself, but anyways, I hear you're killing yourself over a girl?”

“She's not just any girl.” King kept his voice calm. “We're engaged, the reason I'm trying to get a job is to prove I can handle farm dog work. Her father is not just going to quietly hand over his dog like that.”

“Yes that's right, you live over at the Lindberg's. She's the husky then, I hear about her when Mr. Lindberg talks about dogs. I don't hear much about you.”

King blushed. He realized just how much Mr. Lindberg cared about him. “I suppose it's because I'm not his dog. I'm just trying to get into the swing of this whole human working thing.” It had been years since Joel had to hold a steady career. Now as the dog known as King he was trying his hardest to do it again.

“It can be a little daunting at first, but I see a lot of potential in you. Just hearing the stories about the 'little corgi that could' makes me realize you have some good work ethic, you are just applying it in the wrong places.” Foster said, taking a sip of his drink.

“Really, and how might I apply it correctly?”

“I am thinking about using some extra funds I get here on the farm to make a business venture, it's nothing too over the top, just a store. The pet market has opened up in unimaginable ways. Since pets have different commodities than humans do, I thought that localizing all of their needs into one place could rack up a fine profit.”

“So I'm trading a farm job for a desk job?” King raised his brow and tilted his head.

“Far from a desk job my friend. Did I mention you might be able to land yourself a co-managing position. With that sort of job you will be running all over the place trying to keep up with”

“Co-manager, sounds exhilarating.” King smiled, the sarcasm just rolled off of his tongue.

“Well I could just drop the whole thing and you don't get the job.”

“Fair enough, but just a question, if I may Mr. Foster.”

“Go ahead, and please call me Martin. Mr. Foster is my father.”

King almost wanted to correct him. Martin was most definitely a Robinson. And both Robinson boys ran away. One after the other. “Why are you giving some strange dog you don't know such a heavy responsibility.”

Martin paused for a moment and set his drink aside. “You've demonstrated that you are willing to do anything to keep a job around here, and you work your little heart out like every day is your last.”

To King, it felt embarrassing to be patronized, like he was some pup that did not understand his circumstances. On the bright side, he was getting to a job. One that he could handle better than hauling hay around a farm. It had potential to pay better as well.

“And...I hope this doesn't sound weird, but I feel like I already somehow know you. Like we've met before. But you and I both know we haven't.”

Martin was wrong in that regard. King definitely knew the man sitting before him. “You know I got the same feeling when you walked in.”

“Good! Good, it's almost like a sign.”

“Yeah something like that.” King looked away.

“So are you in?”

The corgi took a deep breath before nodding. “Heck, why not. This sounds like an interesting opportunity.”

“Good! I like the attitude. Just swing by here tomorrow around the same time and we can get this whole thing set up.” Martin beamed and reached out to shake the corgi's hand. “Here's hoping for a successful little business venture. I have faith it just might work.”

King grasped the man's hand and shook it. It felt like his life was still coasting on some strange track set forth by some cosmic nerds. Meeting his brother again seemed too much of a coincidence. Not that he was about to complain. As far as he knew, Pete was too busy being president to care about some dog situated in the middle of nowhere Kansas.

~~

Snow felt small, very small. It did not help that she was the shortest animal standing in the room. The dull roar of a television set and idle chatter filled the air, the sound of a grill sizzling elevated only slightly above the noise. Dogs were surrounding her in every direction.

“It'll be fun he says...you'll blend right in he says...” Snow muttered to herself as she navigated the crowd. Had it not been for Fido, she would not have been anywhere near such a gathering. Of course he roped her into coming. He promised to take her on a “daughter bonding” trip to go see the latest Nick Flash movie if she played the part of good sub-urban girl for him at one of his silly dog parties.

If the movie Fido had promised was any other movie, she would have refused. But it was A Night to Rember. She adored the book, cheesy lifetime movie romance and all. Besides the idea of forcing Fido to sit through a chick flick was all too hilarious in her devious little mind.

Of course it was ample pay back for making her sit through some dumb party. To make matters worse, she could not seem to find her friends anywhere. All two of them. Jon and Denver.

She took a breath and paused for a moment. Finding him herself was a little more difficult than she had surmised. The cat swallowed her pride and turned to the nearest dog, her paw reaching up and tugging on its tail. “Excuse me?”

The dog's ears perked up, Snow realized she must have not been thinking too hard trying to get the attention of a rather large great dane, his rippling muscles tensing in his shoulders as his eyes snapped to attention. “What? Who said that?”

“Down here.”

“Oh!” The dog looked rather shocked. He glanced over the unfamiliar cat, trying to figure out who she might be. “Yes what is it?”

“I'm looking for a dog, he's about this tall, white with black spots.” Snow said, holding her hand above her head to indicate Jon's height. The doberman's eyes turned pensive for a moment, and then lit up.

“Yeah I saw him. He was on the porch last I saw, standing next to that weird purple cat.”

Snow was quite certain she was not going to miss Grape in a crowd. She dropped a quick “thanks” ran through the crowd. Weaving between furry and human legs alike trying to reach her destination. She did not realize how many people could be crammed into the wolf house. Her mind was used to seeing it rather empty, save for the cubs and the occasional relative hanging around. The journey across the house came to a halt as she tumbled out into the fresh open air of the backyard.

There sitting on a law chair curled up and looking rather glum was Jon Turkey Sandwich.

“There you are!” Snow shouted, running up to the white furred dog. “I've been looking all over the place for you, are you okay? What happened last night, don't spare the juicy details, did you really see Alana?”

“I don't wanna talk about it...” Jon muttered and looked down.

“Did she give you that shiner?” Snow pointed to the black eye on her friend's face.

“Why are you so hyper today? Someone slip coffee in your milk.” Jon grumbled.

“No, but it seems like your milk went sour this morning.”

The white pup rolled his eyes and shook his head. “I'm sorry, just had a bad night is all.”

“I can tell that much, I just want to know what happened.”

Jon took a good look at his friend and sighed. She did guess right about Alana being at Max's little hangout. She did have a right to know. Jon took a moment to recap the story, embellishing a few of the details a little bit. For the most part it was true. Him running after Alana and pinning her down in a scuffle. Had that car not showed up he might have had a chance of taking her in.

“You got hit by a car?” Snow shook her head in disbelief. “You're making that up.”

“I'm not I swear! It's just...not as drastic as it sounds.” Said Jon. “The car had been squealing to a stop long before I had seen it coming. When it hit me it was already almost stopped. It bopped me on the nose good and sent me falling on my back. I was a little dizzy, but I had enough sense to move out of the way and see Alana escape into the car.

“Ouch.” Snow winced.

“I know I was so close to catching her...but things only got worse since last night.” Jon buried his head. “I didn't bring my collar with me because I wanted to be all tough and feral to show off to the wolves, but I left my cellphone on the collar...and mom found out I was out there by myself and hurt...and I got in a huge heap of trouble.”

That explained why he was moping by his lonesome on a lawn chair. Snow took a look around, taking note that Grape was not that far from where they were standing. He had been on a leash so to speak. But she had a feeling something else was bugging the dog. It was a little more than getting into trouble with his mom, Jon getting in trouble was not at all on odd occurrence.

“What else happened?” Snow asked.

“I told you everything.”

“I don't think you have.” The cat folded her arms. Jon may have had cat-like tendencies, but he had such typical dog reactions. She figured he was blaming himself for everything and calling himself a bad dog over and over again in that wild head of his. “You can tell me, we're friends right?'

“You'll think I'm dumb.” Jon shook his head.

“I already think your dumb, how much can you make it worse?”

“You're such a charmer.” Jon stuck out his tongue at the cat.

“Jon stop acting like this and just tell me what' going on.”

“Lupa told me herself that she doesn't want to be my girlfriend.” Jon looked down at his toes. “She told me she wasn't even interested that way at all.”

“Oh...” Snow held her tongue. Her usual brand of sarcasm was fighting to break loose. This was a new development in her life. Relationship woes were not something she cared about. Now her friend was amidst his own little woes and now she had to care just a little bit. She did not want to kick the dog while he was down. Yet she wanted to tell him it was one of those things that was never going to work in the first place. It almost made her feel bad for letting him run around in his little lover's fantasy only for it to hit its inevitable bad end.

“Why is honesty so darn hard?” Snow grumbled under her breath.

“What was that?” Jon asked looking up at Snow.

“Nothing,” said Snow, “do mind if I be frank with you for this Jon, or should I keep my mouth shut?”

Jon looked a little perplexed at the cat's question. She was asking him permission to be, well, herself. Something she did without restraint all day long on a regular basis.

“I don't mind, ” Jon felt like he was going to regret his answer, “I think.”

Snow took a deep breath. “Okay Jon, I want to hear your answer, your one-hundred percent honest answer. Did you really think that she was going to return those feelings back to you?”

“Well, yes, I mean she was so nice to me and she always invited me to things and she always stood up for me...”

“I hate to say it Jon but that doesn't exactly mean she had the hots for you.” Snow folded her arms. “I have a feeling you landed yourself in the 'brother zone.'”

Jon once again looked perplexed. “Excuse me?”

“Ahem,” Snow cleared her throat and looked prepared to offer an intellectual discourse, “the 'brother zone' is a relative of the 'friend zone,' in which a male offers his affections to a female, and she does not return the same levels, but in the case of the 'brother zone,' levels of affection returned are that of a sibling. In essence, she sees you as a little brother. Not a little lover. Besides she's not your type.”

The lovelorn dog rolled his eyes. “Not my type? What are you going on about now? Bah forget I asked...you're not helping. What do you understand about this anyways, you hate this stuff anyways.”

Snow folded her arms and glared at Jon. “Look pup, I'm trying to get your head out of the clouds about this whole thing. I've only seen you moping like this for ten minutes and I'm already sick of it.”

“Stop calling me pup!” Jon snapped. “So what, like you've ever been in my shoes.”

“I've had better things to think about in my life, you know like trying to get by out there on the streets. And all you can think about is your own personal little girl troubles.”

The two of them did not realize the silence growing around them as dogs started watching the scene unfold. Snow felt about ready to punch Jon in the face again. Jon felt about ready to retaliate if she did. The cat saw it in his eyes that he just might bite back, and decided it was not worth ruining the party. Instead she turned and left in a huff, storming off in the opposite direction.

She could hear the murmurs of the pets in the crowd about cat lover drama. A growing resent of the pup building. Of course anything she did with the dog construed her as his lover.

“You could have handled that a little better.”

Snow stopped in her tracks. “Oh no you saw all of that?”

“Yup I did.” Grape was leaning against a wall and staring at Snow.

“I'm so so sorry! Oh jeez...” Snow felt panic building in her throat.

“Whoa, whoa, calm down. Sorry for what?”

“For being mean to your son like that and causing a scene.” Snow felt very small in Grape's presence.

“To be honest I think he needed to hear stuff like that, just I don't think he needed to hear it the way you told him.” Grape shrugged and walked towards the white curl cat. “He gets it from his dad. When he's done being dramatic he might be more willing to listen.”

Snow was silent for a moment. She was more used to talking Peanut, Grape. Watching Grape take on a bear the past winter had made Snow think twice about ticking off the lavender furred cat. On theother hand she felt a little more comfortable than normal when talking to her best friend's mom.

“I hope he get's over himself soon, it's bugging me.”

“Just be patient. It's his first 'breakup.'” Grape smiled.

“He keeps this up it won't be his last.” Snow folded her arms.

“Why? You thinking about hooking up with him now that he sees himself as single?”

“Aren't mom's supposed to be protecting their kids from the evils of women?” Snow smirked, she wanted to snap about the whole liking Jon thing, but she was not about to push the wrong buttons. Grape looked a little amused and shrugged.

“I am a firm believer of equal treatment, I won't treat anyone evil until it's proven as such.” Said Grape. “I don't think you've proven such a thing to me yet.”

“I think I'm flattered Mrs. Sandwich.” Snow nodded. Grape smiled and walked past Snow, making her way to Jon. She stopped for a moment and chuckled.

“Oh and Snow, if you need an intimate moment alone with my son, you don't need a permission slip, just please don't be all secretive about it.” Grape gave Snow a gently punch on the shoulder and kept walking. A smile cracked on her face the moment she Snow's dumbfounded reaction.

“B-but Jay said...and...no it's a secret you don't know what...”

“Jay? Jay didn't tell me.”

Snow paused for a moment. The gears in her head turning. If Jay didn't tell her, then who did? Jon did not for sure. The poor guy was afraid of losing his privileges. She also knew that she herself was not the culprit. That much was obvious.

There was only one person left, and that very person was probably out there hiding.

“Oh he's so dead...” Snow stormed off. Grape had to chuckle. Kids and their drama, it was quite a spectacle.

~~

A very large serrated knife cut into the succulent meat, tender juices dripping from the cut as it was carried into a hungry maw. The juices dribbled from the corners of its mouth, jaws busy at work tearing the meat into even more manageable pieces. Officer Bill grabbed a napkin and wiped the juice from his mouth and took a swig of his drink. The other men at the table laughing at some zany police anecdote that Bill was in the midst of telling.

Fox was too nervous to care. Of all the dumb people out there in the world, why did he find himself friends with one of the dumbest? Somewhere out there his “friend” was stumbling around in the middle of the party in search of high powered explosives. Somewhere out there a hair-brained scheme was being set into motion that would be the end of the Good Old Dog's Club as he knew it.

“Dad, have you seen Bino anywhere?” Fox asked.

“Fox you need to relax a bit. The K-9 guys are on it. Besides that guy is more bark than bite. If he really does anything with those fireworks we'll know it was him and if Miles' presses charges then he'll get his comeuppance.”

“I guess you're right. This is one of those things that he set his mind to though.” Fox grumbled. If things went sour, he would literally have to sit there and watch the fireworks. “Well I'm going to go get something to eat.”

“Have fun with that, you'll know where to find me.” Bill nodded towards his dog.

Fox walked away, his hands subconsciously reached towards the middle of his abdomen, searching for a pair of pockets. They only met the soft flesh of his furry stomach. He rolled his eyes and set his hands at his side. He was so used to wearing his bomber jacket, but it was much too hot that day to wear it. It made him feel naked out there without it. Even if that did sound kind of silly. Fox decided to ignore his nerves and went to the back porch where Lucretia was busy preparing another round of meat for human consumption. His stomach grumbled a little when the smell of hamburgers hit his nose. Dogs of all kinds were outside, some were playing tag, some were messing around with a Frisbee.

Others were waiting with salivating mouths, tongues lolling out the sides of their heads, Lucretia smiling at the hungry housepets. Ever so often she would take a disk of pounded ground beef and toss it to the dogs. All of them would leap and jump at the morsel of food. The ensuing scuffle was that of epic proportions. With the biggest dog getting the piece of meat in the end.

It was all in good fun of course. If dogs loved one thing, it was play fighting. Fox was not interested in the raw disks of hamburger meat, however. He was looking for one cooked. A folding table had been set up with tons of different bbq foods lined up and ready for eating. He gave a hungry glance over the food and started getting to work fixing up a burger.

Loud bouncy music played over a few speakers set up all over the place, anything from 70s to modern hits were in the playlist. One of the cubs must have been in charge of the music. He never saw Miles as much of a music buff. He tapped his foot along with one such song as he finished preparing a burger. The sound of a video game character exploding caught his ear, a few hushed curses followed after. Intrigued, Fox peeked under the table cloth of the food table and tilted his head.

“Denver?” Said Fox.

“Shhh I'm not here!” Denver gasped, looking up from his game.

“Obviously you are, what are you doing under there?” Fox shook his head.

“Hiding, Snow and Jon are a little mad at me.” Said Denver. Fox pulled his head out from under the table and looked around. Sure enough, the white dog and cat were talking to each other. Both looked rather exasperated and their conversation was escalating.

“Hiding awfully close aren't you?”

“The best place is right under their nose.” Denver replied. “Now shoo, before you draw them to me.”

“There you are!”

Denver's eyes widened. He gulped as he looked up at Fox and pounded his fist into the ground. “Darn it now look what you've done.”

The brown cat was ripped out from underneath the table and dragged off by his tail. Fox managed to grab a peek at a tuft of white fur as the cat was dragged away. He almost felt guilty for getting Denver into trouble. Whatever he was in trouble for. He shrugged and walked away, digging into his hamburger, when he noticed a crowd of dogs standing around a makeshift stage.

“Hey! Can I get everyone's attention please?” Miles called out. He cleared his throat and tried again. This time much louder. The crowd hushed and turned towards the wolf. “Thanks everyone! Now before I start, how is everyone liking the party?”

A chorus of happy and excited howls filled the air. Miles smiled and nodded, happy that the dogs approved of his little gathering. He cleared his throat and called out again. “Now this year's party has a bit of a surprise here. If you will all look at the...”

Fox gasped when he found himself being pulled into a nearby bush. He just barely managed to save his hamburger from tumbling to the ground and he was about ready to bludgeon whomever decided it would be funny to scare him like that. Much to his surprise he was now staring face to face with Bino.

“Got you, traitor.” Bino growled.

“Will you just go home and drop it already? You are going to hurt people.” Fox sighed. “Besides, now that you got me, what do you intend on doing with me.”

“For one you're fired for squealing to your dad.” Bino stuck his finger into Fox's chest. “Next, I need a scape goat for this whole thing when it all goes off and I think I found him.”

“What makes you think I'll agree to this?” Fox shoved Bino and folded his arms.

“You don't have to agree, but when everything goes down, you'll get the blame.”

“And so what? Now that I have you I can just drag you to one of the police dogs and be done with it.” Said Fox.

“Ah I just wanted to scare you.”

“Good job, now you're coming with me.” Fox sighed as he grabbed Bino's arm, Bino jumped forward and grabbed Fox by the collar. The husky yelped with surprise when Bino began tugging on it. “Get off!”

Fox shoved Bino off of him and watched the dog tumble into a couple of bushes. He ran over to Bino to snag him, but he had already disappeared.

“How on earth did he...”

Now he was a little worried. What was Bino up to?

~~

Miles looked out to the crowd and smiled. “We just need a few volunteers to go out this weekend and get screened to see if they are eligible for the experiment. You will all be compensated for your services. Any questions?”

A hand paw shot up in the back of the crowd. “What's the point?”

“I already mentioned that we're trying to further prove animals are capable of making 'human' decisions under 'human' circumstances. It's also to rectify a very bad past mistake.” Miles replied.

Grape decided to keep her comments to herself. There was no way she was going to get involved with this whole thing. It sounded like bad news. Sticking a bunch of dogs and cats in one village together was just asking for trouble. Still she did not have to care, it was not her problem.

Another paw shot up. A familiar, cinnamon brown paw.

“Yes you?”

“Where do I sign up?” Peanut asked.

In the middle of the yard, sitting next to her sullen child, was Grape. Her reaction was a little nonplussed. Peanut did not even talk to her about it and her husband was signing up for some stupid pet experiment.

“That's easy, you just need to show up to the facility mentioned in the flyers on the dates mentioned. More will be explained when you get there, but I think you will pass the screenings. Any more questions?”

No more paws went up.

“Okay! Then I would like to welcome our guest of honor this year, Keene Milton! Who funds all of these little parties we can have and is helping bring this experiment to life.”

The dogs whooped and cheered while the familiar play boy ferret stepped up to the stage. He climbed up a stool with a stack of phone books sitting on it just to get a full view of the crowd. Miles held up a bullhorn from where he was standing up to Keene's mouth. Grape saw this as her opportunity to get moving.

Keene went on about the good of petkind and all sorts of other patriotic hogwash. She had one goal in mind. The lavender cat walked up to her husband, grabbed him by the collar, and dragged him off. Most of the dogs were too distracted to notice what was going on. With a gasp, Peanut looked down at his wife and rubbed his neck.

“Hey what's the deal?” Peanut grumbled.

“Oh I dunno, you agreeing to go to that stupid thing without even asking me about it.” Grape hissed.

“I was going to talk to you about it later. It just sounds like fun.” Peanut tried to disarm Grape with a smile. It did not work.

“Peanut Butter Sandwich, there is nothing fun sounding about a bunch of cats and dogs getting lumped together in a city to fend for themselves.” Grape's eyes narrowed. “You've been acting funny about this whole party for days and now I think I know why. You knew this was going to be announced weren't you?”

“Sort of but...”

“But what?”

“Just let me talk kitten.” Peanut held up his hands defensively.

“Don't you 'kitten' me.”

“Look...I...” Peanut looked around and leaned in close. “I'm doing an investigative report of the experiment for the paper. Keene ticked off Jenny and now she wants his head on a silver platter.”

“I knew it! You...wait what?” Grape shook her head.

“I'm not going to say it again. I need to get a report and I'm going to go get it. Jenny thinks there's something up and frankly I trust her judgment, but I'm sorry for not ever telling you about this. I didn't think he'd be planning anything like this.”

“So what, you're just going to leave Babylon Gardens for a month to go live there?”

Peanut froze for a moment and shook his head. “Wait you're not coming with?”

“Of course I'm not coming with Peanut. I love you, I love you more than anything, but Peanut it sounds dangerous. The only reason people like Bino haven't started witch hunts on all cats out there is because there are laws here that prevent that. Takes those away and bad things happen! A-and if I went with you we'd both get a nasty label and be attacked by both sides. Same with our kids.”

The dog's ears fell as he looked into his wife's eyes. They had gone from rage, to worry. Good old Grape, always thinking ahead. Peanut was aware there might be a few risks involved, but Jenny trusted him. “Grape if I don't take advantage of this opportunity now, I might lose my job at the paper. And if that happens how will I make due when tax day rolls around?”

“Peanut you are not going.”

“Yes, I am Grape.” He said, grabbing her shoulders and leaning his head against hers. “We've been through worse.”

“Yes, we've been through worse. I am not dragging the kids into a potential war zone, so this will just be you Peanut.”

Peanut hugged his wife and kissed her forehead, a smile crossed his face. “Come on now Kitten, if you really are worried about the kids we can have them stay with mom and dad for thirty days, Sabrina and Fido can check up on them ever so often. Then you can come with me.”

The lavender cat looked at the crowd of dogs, all entranced by Keene's speech. Cheering when he said something they liked. Their tails wagging like crazy. Grape sighed a little and laid her head on Peanut's shoulder. “If something goes wrong when we're there I'm going to kill you.”

“You have my full permission to.” Peanut scratched behind her ears like he always would when she was stressed. “Think of it like a break from regular life. It'll be like before I had a job every day. For one whole month.”

The two held each other for a moment longer, the sun was starting to set. It had dawned on them that twilight meant it was almost firework time! Both cat and dog looked at each other, excited looks in their eyes. Everyone, young or old, could not say no to the firework show. Grape was no exception. The two of them walked together towards Jon, the dog was staring off somewhere. His eyes squinting like he was looking at something.

“Hey I'm back, you up to any trouble?” Grape asked as she took her seat.

Jon tilted his head. “No, but I think he is.”

The white border collie mix pointed. Peanut glanced down his son's arm and to where he was pointing. He gasped when he realized who it was.

“Hey that's Bino!” Grape said. “Wait but he was blacklisted because Fox told everyone about the whole bomb threat.”

“Wait a sec, the fireworks are over there!” Peanut yelped. Before they knew it, the dog was charging full speed towards Bino. In the offender's paw was a faint ember. The glow illuminating the night around him. It was a match!

This prompted Peanut to run faster. He was nearing Bino, the dog getting ever closer to the fireworks. Peanut knew his tackle technique was a little bad, but at the moment none of that matter. The Milton's had enough firepower in those fireworks to level a city block if all of it went off at once. He figured Bino did not seem realize (or care) about the magnitude of such a situation. Peanut closed his eyes and dove forward. Knocking him into the makeshift stage.

Keene cried out when his makeshift tower began to fall out of balance. Miles reached out and grabbed Keene out of the air while the rest of the tower tumbled to pieces onto the stage. The crowd gasped when the saw Peanut pinning Bino against the side of the stage.

“Bad dog!” Peanut scolded.

“What is the meaning of all this?” Keene said, leaping from Miles' arms and running to the scene.

“I was preventing a bomb threat.” Bino shouted, reaching to the ground and picking up an extinguished match. “Somebody here judged too quickly and attacked an innocent dog.”

Confusion filled Peanut's eyes. He turned to the crowd of dogs, all of which were a little confused themselves. Bino climbed onto the stage and began pacing, holding his piece of evidence high for all to see.

“You see the culprit is one of you in the crowd. Yes someone I used to consider a close friend.” Bino waved around the matchstick. “And that someone is none other than Fox Lindberg!”

Everyone gasped and turned towards Fox. The husky stopped in his tracks, feeling the sudden weight of a thousand eyes on his back. With a gulp, Fox took a few more steps with his hands up. “What are you talking about? How could it possibly be me?”

“Check the pocket in his collar!” Bino ordered the dog nearest to Fox. The dog shrugged and reached inside of Fox's collar. Everyone, including Fox, gasped when they saw what was revealed.

It was a book of “Mighty Man Strike Anywhere” Matches. Fox shook his head. Bino had sought out Fox to plant evidence on him! The husky gave Bino a death glare, he swore the dog was more snake than canine.

“Those aren't mine, I swear.” Said Fox.

“Open the book of matches.” Bino ordered again. The dog obeyed, revealing that only one match was missing amongst the others. “Aha! Caught you in your lies again. See that little traitor was trying to frame me because he...just doesn't like me. Notice how it was him who spread those nasty lies about me trying to blow up the place with fireworks.”

The crowd grumbled with disdain. Fox could not believe what was happening. “Come on guys, really? I'm a police officer's dog.”

“So what? Last I checked you couldn't quite cut it at the K-9 academy. You obviously don't share police dedication to the law.”

“You're the last one that should be pointing fingers.” Fox's eyes narrowed.

“Oh oops, I forgot, you quitting the academy because you're too much of a wuss is a secret. Hmm how careless of me.” Bino played with the matchstick. “You just had to be the jealous friend, couldn't make it as a police dog, couldn't make it as the guy who handles my money. What a mess.”

“Alright that's it I'm wringing that little pencil neck of yours until it snaps.” Fox shoved past a couple of dogs and jumped on stage, tackling Bino to the ground. The two dogs traded a few blows when Officer Bill and Miles separated them. Fox saw that his dad was now looking down at him, his stern eyes laced with worry.

“Dad...” Fox suddenly felt ashamed. “I didn't do it! The matches were planted in my pocket and...and...”

“Calm down Fox, I've got it.” Bill sighed. “Okay now I refuse to believe my boy would do such a thing. I raised him better. I would be sorely disappointed if he was acting out of jealousy like a petty pup.”

Bino stuck his tongue out at Fox. Fox now felt alone there on the stage. Even his dad seemed like he was against him.

“But one is innocent until proven guilty. The matchstick should have a DNA sample, and if there is any trace of Fox's on there, then we can have reason to believe he can be blamed.”

Bino now looked rather shocked. That was a little unexpected in his plans. He gulped and looked at the matchstick in his hands. “H-hey Fox you want to hold this trophy condemning you to your dirty deeds.”

Bill grabbed Bino's wrist and looked the dog in the eyes. “Now why you so nervous, you look like you got caught telling a lie.”

“I...uh...” Bino looked at the matchstick then at Bill. The two had a stare down, and Bino's weak will was contested with an iron stare of truth. The dog stammered a bit trying to talk, before he broke down blubbering. “Okay so you got me, just don't take me away and lock me up! I was just joking I wasn't really gonna blow the place up, honest, I just wanted to steal some for my club.”

“Stealing is a crime too.” Bill frowned and flicked the matchstick away. He dragged Bino to the edge of the stage, Fox was smiling like he just found water in the desert. Someone out there smiled down on him.

“Now hold on a minute, you made up that whole scheme by yourself?” Keene jumped back into the scene.

Now the crowd was all focused on the ferret. Bino looked at the worlds richest rodent and nodded. Keene looked up at Bill. “Officer I am ready to pay this dog's bail right now. He's perfect for the experiment.”

“Excuse me but he broke the law and...”

“And I have lots of money. You put him through this whole process and you just waste people's time and the taxpayers money. Let me just pay you off right now and I'll take him.”

Bill looked the ferret in the eyes and asked, “are you serious?”

“Dead serious.”

“Ugh all of this pet stuff is driving me nuts...I mean fine, fine take him. But if he does anything else like this then it's out of my hands.” Bill gestured for Fox to follow him off the stage. The dog and owner looked at each other. Fox smiled a little and then noticed Peanut at the edge of the stage. Panting a little from his mad sprint.

“Now hey there's the other hero in this mess. I saw that crazy run there, now what are you doin as a pencil pusher, you would've been great at the academy.”

Peanut shrugged and smiled. “Hey maybe I went in a different life.”

“Heh, maybe, well thanks for your help. Want to get your little family in a cool place to watch the fireworks? I know a few good places.” Bill offered.

“That'd be nice, but...hey I'm going to be with some other friends if you don't mind.”

“Oh, who?”

“Fido and his family.” Peanut said.

“Hey he's got good connections too. You can bring him along if you'd like. I'm sure we'd end up in the same place.”

“Yeah, okay sounds cool.” Peanut smiled as he turned to go and grab his family. If there was one thing he could count on, it was that anything weird would find its way into his life and take him on a wild ride. He began to wonder what just might in store for him come the day of his screening.

For that moment, however, he would relish the time together with his family.

~~

A/N: I've been writing throughout my springbreak, and now that it's coming to a close for me, I decided now is a good time to post. Hopefully it's long enough to make up for the wait.

Also hope you guys enjoy, I'm trying to get back on my old update schedule but real life seems intent on not letting me. XD

Oh and before I forget, I won't lie and say I thought very hard about the ages of the characters. In fact I did not realize Rick Griffin had a whole system for their ages already in place. I always figured they lived to be older than regular pets. I do however think the ages that Gren came up with sound plausible. Congrats it's now canon. :lol:

_________________
At the end of the day I often think about what I have done for the world. What I have changed, perhaps made better or worse. I then sit at a computer for hours and look at pictures of cats.

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Lucky Abbot: S-9 P-6 E-7 C-6 I-7 A-4 L-3


Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:15 am
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
Another dose of WOW for your loyal readers!
Bino is definitely going from just being mean to just being evil. This was callous even by his standards!
I am not sure one can bail out a crime suspect without passing through the police station and a minimum of procedural, but again, this is KEENE MILTON fo' ya!
Aw, poor Jon! Turned down by the pretty wuffie cub... But now, Sandwich-boy, open your eyes and look out for the pretty kitty. Don't be afraid and follow the family tradition :lol:
And of course, King at the Foster Farm is my joy and pride! LOVE how you're running them characters from my ficcie! Owe you big time for this :D :D :D :D

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Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:36 am
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
YAY! another update! and in my B-day! (so I'll take it as my personal birthday present XD).

Aww, I feel a bit sad for Jon and his break up, but I'm sure it wasn't for nothing, something good is going to come up from this (that's what say the rules of karma XD). And poor Denver, he is TOTALLY dead :lol:
Snow as impish as ever. Haha, definitely I have to see her torturing Fido with that movie, it would be so hilarious, I would kill to see his face! :lol:
And now Bino working with Keene? I don't want to know what could happen if you combine Bino with Karishad and a huge amount of money at his disposal. :shock:
It seems Peanut and Grape are going to have their own adventure leaving the kids behind with their owners. I could imagine Peanut saying "come on sweety, it would be like the honeymoon you always wanted" :lol: . Oh and I wonder if that conversation between Peanut and Bill about being a police dog it was another reference to Val's ficcie (that I must definitely have to read).

The big question of this chapter would be "What they will do Alana and Boris since now they were exposed?" I suppose they wouldn't going to sit idly when it's just matter of time to have all the K-9's over them. What chances they have? Find a new hideout or make some sort of magical disguises (or Joey's disguises XD). And what they would do Max and Jay about this?

P.S.: Thanks for approve my sort of "ages scheme". I could also (barely) add the next ones to the list:

King/Tarot: Around 20 to 22 years old
Fox/Bailey: 16/17 years old (I suppose they are around Fido's age)
Jay: 15/16 years old (around Max's age I suppose)

I think King's age in the comic it could be around 10 to 12 if we take his age as Joel (around 25) and scale it to dog's lifespan. Then you just have to add the years passed in the fanfic.
With Tarot it's more difficult, but you can barely tell that she must be one of the eldest between the cast since she is very cult and was trained by the previous avatar. Besides it's a matter of fact that she must be older than her apprentice.

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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
Peanut and Grape going to the pet city project with Bino. Housepets: hunger games?

honestly just looking forward to the Jon, Denver & Snow slice of life

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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
Indeed, with Grape as this version's Katniss *shot*

Hopefully I don't disappoint when slice of life stuff arrives. There's tons of characters (canon characters especially) in this universe and I'm just trying to divide up my favorites into separate spheres to work with. I suppose I'm really working with 3 different stories, and hopefully that hasn't detracted from the quality of the fic thus far.

In any case we will see more of Jon, Snow, and Denver's day to day antics in future updates.

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Lucky Abbot: S-9 P-6 E-7 C-6 I-7 A-4 L-3


Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:19 pm
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
Well guys, in all seriousness, this has been a very fun story to write. I love the reception I get here on the site and you have all given me such a wonderful experience as a writer. It's nice to know people read my stories and then I get really good feedback. Helpful critiques and compliments that help keep the stories going.

But alas this writing journey is coming to an end.

I am sorry to say it but I am quitting the story. My interest in it has waned and it is just really hard to write these days. I realized that I am unable to motivate myself to go further. But it's not you guys, it's me. :( Sorry everyone.

Since I feel so bad...I'm going to post the final update I was working on.

Housepets: Pet Project

6. Sailing Ships

A great pillar of fire engulfed the sky, ash and debris clogged the very air. Casting a black shadow all across the land. Atop the burning mountain, three brave heroes climbed their way through the hellish landscape. Tress were reduced to cinders around them, and their only hope of protection were scant rock platforms. At the maw of the burning mountain was a beast made from the very fabric of evil itself.

“Shouldn't convection currents cook us?” Said one of the heroes, a skilled archer dressed in heavy chain mail. His cat tail raised itself above the flaming rivers of lava around them.

“Will you stop trying to ruin the mood, remember if you think too hard it becomes too real and then we all get hurt.” A mage at the back of the group snapped. “Remember what happened with the spiders?”

“Yes...”

“Stop your bickering, the beast awaits us!” A heavily armored knight pointed his sword towards the great and powerful creature. Its eyes were gaping black holes with lava oozing forth from them. Its teeth were lava encrusted spires, the tips of which were white hot. Not two, not four, but six arms with talon like claws held it in place at the mouth of its lair.

“Is your head cooking in that helmet of yours? I say we sneak around it.” The archer grumbled.

“You say that about everything, remember how well that worked with the spiders?”

“Stop reminding me about the spiders!” The archer growled. “Fine I'll hang back here and watch you get incinerated and take all your stuff when you die.”

“What about the negate fire spell we found in the ice caves?” The knight folded his arms and looked at the mage. The mage pulled a scroll from her robes and skimmed through the list of spells.

“Fireball, frog spell, magic missile...negate fire! Yes I think that could work. Good thinking there, I'll just cast that and damage should be cut down to about a fourth of what it would normally do.” The mage read the description next to the spell. She raised her staff and the group was enveloped in a circle of light. The air around them grew heavy with cold steam.

“Great...now I'm freezing.” The archer sighed.

“Do you have to complain about everything?” The mage began crossing the rock platforms leading to the gigantic monster.

“I have trained for this very day foul beast!” The knight raised his sword above his head and charged towards it. The creature snapped to attention and looked to the armored dog before it. It uttered a roar that would have forced the most brave of warriors to wet themselves in fear. The knight was not affected.

A giant blast of lava spewed from the creature's lips, the knight braced himself and held up his shield. The negate fire spell worked its magic and let the lava tumble to the side. Shielding the dog knight from the blast.

Ambition burned in the dog's eyes as he charged towards the creature and sliced one of its hands off at the wrist. Lava oozed from the wound and dribbled down the rocks. The creature was not amused. It raised on arm and slashed at the knight.

He held his shield high and let it absorb the blow, but the sheer power of the strike left a large crack in the metal. The dog gasped and looked at his shield. His enchanted shield had been damaged. He gulped and looked up at the monster.

From behind, an ice coated arrow struck the creature in the eye. The lava flows oozing its eye socket solidified, sending the creature into an uninhibited fury. It clawed at its face, trying to pull the arrow from its eye. A giant magical ball of ice sailed into the creature's chest, leaving a large patch of it frozen.

The knight took advantage of the opening and thrust his sword into the frozen chest of the creature. Lava exploded forth from the icy wound and all over the dog. He yelped and jumped back trying to wipe the substance from his body, for fear the spell would wear off. The creature's now exposed weak point throbbed and pulsated.

They had exposed its heart.

An arrow sailed towards the heart, but the monster deflected it. An ice spell sailed through the air once again, but the creature countered it with a gushing fountain of lava. The wound was already beginning to heal, lava hardening into rock and coating the weak point once again. No longer had they an element of surprise. Drastic measures had to be taken.

The dog knight knew what had to be done. He took his sword and charged towards the beast's heart. Sure he might die, but he had a sense of calm about him, he had consigned himself to fate. He closed his eyes and readied to deal the final blow, when a single piercing sound shook the world.

A blaring and beeping ring tone filled the air. The dog's eyes grew wide. Behind him the mage groaned out loud and pulled out a small cellular device. The world around them began to fall apart at a rapid pace. Lava flows turned to carpet, the rocks they had used for safety became furniture. The holy sword of the Gods turned into mere plastic. The enchanted shield of hrothgar turned to the steel lid of a large pot.

The mage's staff became a broom once more, and her robes simple bathrobes. The fairy bow of their cynical archer turned to its regular toy state, and the quiver once full to the brim of arrows became empty. The great and powerful lava beast was no longer there, and the knight, now reverted back to plain and simple Jon T. Sandwich, fell flat on his face.


“Yes Fido, I mean dad, right...” Snow said into her cell phone. Her free hand playing with her tail. “Did you try the spare herbs box?”

Denver sighed and fiddled with his toy bow. Both boys looked at each other and shrugged.

“It's just a simple potion, it's like cooking spaghetti, except without the noodles and sauce...yes I know you burned cereal once. Pretend you're interrogating the herbs for answers...yes that was supposed to be a joke.” Snow paced a little for a moment, and then took a seat. Her tail flicked around with annoyance. “Okay, uh, love you too dad. Maybe you should wait for Sab- mom...yeah I meant mom, just wait for her to get home. Yeah bye.”

Jon and Denver stifled giggles and watched Snow put away her phone. The dog rubbed his sore muzzle and took the pot serving as his helmet from atop his head. The she-cat pocketed her cellphone in her collar and slid out of the bathrobes.

“Of all the people that can't make a simple potion brew, it has to be Fido.”

“Don't you mean dad?” Said Denver. A sly little grin planted on his face.

“You laugh, but I'm not used to calling anyone dad. He's always been Fido to me, and now they want me calling them 'mom and dad' like we're a normal family or something.” Said Snow. “Oh...and sorry about pulling out so suddenly guys.”

“Meh, no need to apologize, I still had fun. I've never used a psychic holodeck before! Dad said it was the coolest thing ever and he was so right. We need to do that more often Snow.”

“I'd rather not, it's a little tiring to keep up. You have to realize I'm trying to manage your active imagination. I'm surprised your little fanfiction characters didn't pop out somewhere along the way.” Snow yawned and laid her head on a plush couch pillow.

Jon blushed through his fur. “Hey...that would have ruined the mood.”

The three animals looked towards the blank television screen. Jon searched in between the cracks of couch cushions and procured the television remote from its favorite hiding place. He turned the television on and began thumbing through channels. Denver stood from where was sitting and stretched.

“I'm going to go get something to eat...be back in a bit.” Said the brown cat. Jon nodded as his brother shuffled off to the kitchen.

Jon looked towards Snow and yawned. “Any thing you feel like watching?”

Snow grunted what sounded like a “I don't care.”

The white dog shrugged and let cycled through the channels. He decided to settle on a relatively new network. The PET channel. He had never sat down and watched anything from it, and considering its audience, he might find something interesting.

At that moment he found himself watching a movie about dogs and cats, A Dog's Tail. Nothing too offensive, dog doesn't like the cat, cat doesn't like the dog. But in the end they settle their differences and play nice together. A human probably wrote the story.

“Of course this is on the PET channel.” Snow said, her eyes poking just above the pillow she was resting upon.

“What do you mean?” Said Jon.

“I mean the network just shows mushy stuff about pets playing nice with each other. They like to pretend that real life issues just don't exist.”

Jon took a moment to think. “What if they really don't exist though?”

“Come on, do you really think that some cats just hate dogs for no reason at all?” Snow was no longer paying attention to the television screen. “I mean do they show the stray cat getting kicked out of her territory by a pack of dogs just because they're bigger and stronger than the cat?”

“And you want to judge a whole species based on the actions of a few.” Jon rolled his eyes, now his attention had turned from the television. “I know you had it rough out there, but you seem to want to hold me responsible for something someone else did at some other time.”

“I'm just saying that the issues between species isn't some superficial hate. It's beaten into the poor and defenseless by the poor and defenseless. And movies like this don't show that side of the problems at all.”

“Fair enough, so should I change the channel?” Jon said, grabbing for the remote.

“Don't let me stop you from watching your sapfest.” Said Snow. Jon paused for a moment and looked at her.

“I find the characters likeable and the dialogue very witty thank you very much.”

“Like I said, don't let me stop you from watching it. I'll just take a nap.”

“Yeah you do that.” Jon grumbled and looked towards the television.

There was a moment of silence between the two pets. One dozing a little and the other focusing on the opening credits to the film. Jon cleared his throat and shifted around in his chair. The air around him felt uncomfortable for some vague reason. He wanted to say something but he had no idea what.

A sudden thought clicked into his head. “Hey what were we fighting about again?”

“We were fighting?” Snow muttered into her pillow.

“I...guess not.” Said Jon. He looked at the ceiling, fishing through his thoughts for something to talk about. “Hey when can we use the holodeck again?”

Snow looked up from pillow and shot Jon a very unamused stare. The two pets locked eyes for a moment. Jon shifted around with unease while Snow held her gaze.

“If it wasn't obvious I am trying to take a bit of a nap right now.” Snow said, her voice saturated with mild annoyance.

Before Jon could say anything. The subdued introduction of his film took a sudden shift to a blaring guitar solo. Both pets jumped and turned towards the television. The channel had changed and now they were watching the opening to an anime. Cheesy lyrics subtitled in English sat at the bottom of the screen. Just next to them was Denver, holding the television remote in one hand and a bowl of cereal in the other.

“What? You guys seemed preoccupied with all that flirting.”

“We weren't flirting!” Jon and Snow snapped at the same time.

“Yikes, I was only joking.”

“Might I remind you that you still aren't forgiven for squealing.” Snow exposed her claws. Denver gulped and looked at her claws. He had to ask himself, why were all of the girls in his life so scary?

“Yes ma'am.” Denver turned towards the television and scooted a good three feet away from the female feline.

Snow looked at Jon and glared. She held her index finger to her lips and pressed her face into the pillow once again. Covering her ears this time. Jon was certain she was going to take that nap so hard he would feel it if it was interrupted. He turned towards the anime on screen and said nothing.

~~

“Ralph quit the force today.”

Fido nearly spit his coffee into the pot of potion brewing. The police dog looked across his kitchen table at the musclebound doberman. Kevin was known for saying outlandish things but such a statement took the cake.

“What do you mean he just quit?” Fido shook his head and watched the herbs settle in the boiling elixir. It smelled of moss and trees, and more than likely tasted just the same.

“Ever since you moved on to the FBI, K-9 hasn't been doing so well.” Kevin played with the bandages on his arm. They were fresh, having been just changed when at Fido's house. “The boys, they've been taking bribes, they're convinced their pay is just too low.”

“And Ralph thinks this too?” Said Fido. He was unconvinced, that was very much unlike Ralph. He was a traditionalist to the core.

“No, Ralph skipped out of the system when no one backed him up.” Kevin winced a little and looked into the pot of potion. “Are you sure that stuff'll help?”

“It might, Sabrina is way better at this than me. Heck, Snow is better at it than me. But they're both not available.” Fido sighed. “So you just get me, besides, how did you get that nasty wound anyways?”

“My senior officer turned the other cheek while I didn't, I went after some bad guys by myself, but I was outnumbered and he had a knife.” Kevin looked down, his ears drooped. “Because I did that some of the higher ups had my insurance revoked and threatened me with my job if I pulled anything.”

“Ralph did the smart thing Kevin, you should just leave. I'm going to get on their tails about this. They'll listen to me, they have always listened to me.” Said Fido. The dog took great care the moment he pulled the potion from stove and stirred it for a bit.

“Fido, I hate to say it but you're losing your rep with the boys.” Kevin's eyes looked that of a sad puppy. “First you went to the FBI and then the cat lover marriage. You don't have as much pull on them as you used to.”

“Come on, I'm still me, it can't take that much to convince them that.” Fido grabbed a ladle and dipped it into the brew. He peeled away Kevin's bandages and looked up at the dog. “Brace yourself, this might sting.”

Kevin bit his bottom lip and watched Fido drizzle the steaming, vapid smelling liquid onto his gash. The doberman gasped and shivered, at first he felt chills where the liquid touched skin. Then a startling numbness. Kevin sniffed at it and tilted his head, the pain was gone.

“That felt...kinda good actually.” Kevin picked up his arm and moved it around. Fido sighed with relief and filled a large thermos with the potion.

“Just apply this stuff every day until you start to see the wound patch itself up. Keep it bandaged and make sure you don't lick it or anything.” Said Fido. Kevin nodded a little.

“Thanks again Fido. You're a good dog.” Kevin applied fresh gauze and bandages to the gash on his arm. The fact that he felt no pain was spectacular.

“Nah I'm just a regular guy.”

“You'd be surprised what being good can do.” Kevin smiled a little. “But please, don't go back to the K-9, I know that goes against every instinct in you, but for the love all things holy, stay away from there. It's not what you remember.”

Fido drummed his fingers on the table and nodded. “I hear what you're saying Kev, and I appreciate the concern, but this is something that I need to do. If I can't do it, then who can?”

“Just remember you have people here at home you're taking care of now.” Kevin replied. “Well I'm off, I think I might go find Ralph and see what he's up to. You take care of yourself Fido.”

“Yeah, you too.” Fido smiled and watched Kevin leave the room.

~~

A cute looking cat waitress scribbled down orders. She found herself taking orders for a table of four, and it was the strangest group of pets she had met yet. A dog holding hands with a purple cat, a dalmatian in a red dress was sitting in front of them and a feral raccoon sitting next to her. Of course money was money, she hoped weirdos tipped well.

“Can I help you guys with anything else?” The waitress asked.

“Nah I think we're good.” The cinnamon colored dog smiled and nodded.

“Okay then, just holler if you need anything, and thanks for eating at Heathcliff's.” The waitress walked off and left the table four to themselves.

Peanut glanced around himself. Heathcliff's had changed a lot since he had last talked to Sabrina there a few years before. While it was still outdoors, the alley atmosphere had been given a themepark make over. Everything was stylized and a fog machine was always running. He could hear the bass line from Stray Cat Strut hum up and down a scale, rumbling disguised speakers all around the room. The waiters were dressed in fifties diner attire and the tables were actual tables.

It was different but he liked it in a weird way.

“Hope you don't mind that we talk over dinner here. I had been saving coupons.” Jenny chuckled a little and smiled at the couple sitting in front of her.

“No, no it's fine. Been a long time since I've been here is all.” Said Peanut. “It's nice getting out of the house for a bit too. I love my boys and all, but it can be a little taxing raising adolescents.”

“Speak for yourself, I have experience.” Grape poked her husband's chest. “You were pretty bad at that age too.”

“Oh? Care to share any stories Missus Grape?” CJ's eyes glimmered in that black mask of his with a mischievous smile on his lips.

“Nah I won't embarrass him in front of his friends.” Grape smiled at Peanut.

“Thank goodness for small favors.” Peanut rolled his eyes and reached up to rub his eyes. He winced a little retracted his hands when he accidentally pushed a pair of glasses into his face. He was still not used to wearing a pair. “Darn things, I should invest in contacts.”

“I think you look good in glasses.” Grape gave him a playful shove.

“Might I ask why you're wearing them now?” Jenny tilted her head.

“When I was at the screening this morning, you know for the project, it was discovered that my eyesight was a little under par.” Peanut blushed, he looked almost ashamed. “I insisted it was fine but...”

“He's just getting old and doesn't want to admit it.” Said Grape.

“I'm not that old yet.” Peanut grumbled.

“Relax hon, I'm just poking fun.” Grape scratched his back.

“Might be something in your breed.” Said Jenny. “Mine is known for back problems, poor grandma Gulliver was so bent out of shape we had taken to calling her Lady Pretzel when she wasn't looking.”

Jenny had said such a thing with such a straight face that all three of her fellow diners were looking at her shocked. They shared a laugh for a moment as Jenny cleared her throat and smiled again. She played with her napkin and began to speak.

“Speaking of the project, I hope you are prepared to do some investigating Peanut.” Jenny's demeanor shifted to a serious one. “They are dead set on keeping details from getting out. I am aware that if any officials know that I have seen the documents you sent me, you will be expelled from the program.”

“Right, I'm just not quite sure what I'm looking for.” Peanut looked at Jenny and nodded.

“You might need to talk to some officials, get close to the guards. See if you can squeeze anything out of them. Record what goes on from day to day. Get other accounts on the inside. Things like that.” Jenny kept her voice low.

“Alright but any sort of e-mailing outside of the compound is forbidden. And any written letters are intensively screened.” Peanut replied. “How do you expect to get a hold of this?”

“That's where I come in.” CJ piped in. “I'm the mailcoon. I'm going to sneak into the compound using the schematics that came with the documents you sent us. I'll get in, snag whatever evidence you have for the day, and swing on out. Maybe even give you some info from the outside world.”

CJ looked very proud of himself. At least he was excited for his job. Peanut could not fault him for his enthusiasm

“What can I do?” Grape asked.

“Ah, I'm glad we have a cat on board, a female one at that, you might be able to...get into places Peanut can't. Just be careful. I don't want you getting hurt on my watch.”

“Oh but my husband is expendable?” Grape gave Jenny a wry grin.

“I didn't say that, you have me all wrong Grape, what I mean to say is...”

“Relax Jenny, I'm only poking fun.”

Jenny opened her mouth to speak again, but simply laughed. “You're good at that.”

“It's how I survived being a Sandwich all this time.” Said Grape. “So is that all the business we need to discuss in public?”

“Perhaps, I will say you might be getting, erm, gadgets, before you go in.”

“Ooh like James Bond!” CJ jumped. “That is so cool!”

“Calm down CJ, it's nothing too crazy. Just hidden cameras and recording devices.” Jenny rolled her eyes.

Peanut watched their waitress come back, their food steaming and ready to eat. His stomach growled a little the moment it was set in front of him. He had not realized how hungry he was until he got a whiff. His sensitive dog nose went off when the smells hit his nose like a spark to a powder-keg.

“So how are the kids?” Jenny asked. She took a napkin and rested it on her lap.

“Oh they're doing fine.” Said Peanut. “Jon's having girl trouble, but that's expected for a guy his age. I was about the same age when I started crushing on Grape here. Denver is a bit of an introvert, he doesn't like to hangout with other people in general. Just his brother and his friends.”

“Does Jon have the same taste in girls that you do?” CJ giggled to himself and picked up his food. The waitress was kind enough to leave him a little bowl of water for him to rinse his food in.

“For strong, independent, and rather tomboyish females? Yeah pretty much. Though he went for an older girl first.”

“That she-wolf right?” Jenny replied. She had remembered Peanut talking about Miles' kids and mentioning something about him having a daughter. “She's quite a bit older than him don't you think?”

“She thought so too, she told him they shouldn't date.” Peanut shrugged. “Jon wasn't too happy about it, but things happen for a reason, as I've learned in my life time. I have a crazy story about that, I might tell you one of these days.”

“He needs his visuals to tell it properly.” Said Grape. She smiled at Peanut and chuckled.

“Oooh pictures?” CJ clapped his hands. “I do need to hear this story someday.”

“Yeah I have a scrap book I like to use.” Peanut blushed a little and played with his new glasses.

“It might be interesting to hear one day.” Said Jenny.

She said something else, but inane chatter from other pets in the restaurant grew a little more excited. Distracting CJ from the conversation. The raccoon peeked over his chair and saw a crowd of dogs suddenly enter the room. His whiskers twitched, tinged with curiosity. Inside he deducted, that perhaps, there was a party for someone. Sensitive ears picked apart conversations with adept scrutiny.

The dogs were conversing about “the big break” they had just received. His dinner-mates were still absorbed in their conversations, there came a swift realization that at this point he was invisible. His paws gave the chair he was sitting in a tentative squeeze.

Go now, investigate, or play it safe and just be a good little coon.

The next question he asked himself, since when was he just a good little coon?

CJ slipped out of his seat and crawled between the legs of the dogs. Making his way towards the center of the vivacious congregated dogs. Well wishes filled the air, a chorus of “good lucks” and cheering here or there. Even a few of them were singing “for he's a jolly good fellow” in that terribly out of tune bar patron sort of way.

He stopped when he was just a few mere feet from the center. The nucleus of this large furry biomass. A few large dogs were holding aloft their leader, propping him on their shoulders.

“Alright boys, time for some drinks! I'm buying!” And with that the dogs cheered.

CJ scratched his chin. The dog looked familiar. A little portly in the middle, a green gem-like tag, his spine bent a little like it was used to sulking. Though at the moment he seemed to have good reason to be very, very cheery. By way of deductive reasoning, CJ believed this dog had gotten his paws on a large sum of money. Of course the free drinks for all really tipped him off.

“Bino, ain't that a little hasty.” One of the large dogs said. CJ tuned into the hushed conversation. “I mean how are we gonna pay for all of this if things fall through?”

“They won't fall through. I have a contract and everything. Once I do my part for the project I will be fully reimbursed and then some.”

“I dunno, with Fox gone I feel kinda worried about any sort of money issues.”

“Rex, are you doubting my capabilities as a leader?”

“To be honest, yes.”

“For your information, bucko, I have every reason to be faithful in this transaction. If things go the way they are supposed to, then I'm getting a full sponsorship from the Milton Ferrets themselves. We won't have to do fund raiser dinners again. And the chances of things not going the way they are supposed to are like a gajillion to one.” Bino hissed at the large bull dog.

“I'm just sayin, Fox was a smart guy. This seems too good to be true and I'm sure he would know what we were getting into. You won't even tell the boys what exactly you are doing.”

“It's none of their business, they just play along, smile and cheer, and benefit from my contract.” Bino said, CJ caught the indignant tone in his voice loud and clear. “And if you were smart, you would do the same.”

The dog known as Rex did not say another word. Dogs crowded the bar at the other end of the restaurant and left CJ behind. Such valuable information had been uncovered that fine evening. The coon rubbed his paws together and trotted off back to his table.

“...and then he ate the shrimp because Maxwell said he could beat him in a shrimp eating contest, you haven't seen Peanut's competitve side before, anyways, he ate the shrimp and poor Peanut is allergic..”

“I don't think now is the best time for that story, kitten.” Peanut hid his face a little.

CJ just about jumped onto the table. He only manged to get onto his chair. “Guys! Guys! The party bomber from the other day, I think his name was Fino or somethin, he's getting paid by the Miltons to be in the project!”

Peanut looked at the raccoon. At first out of shock, registering his words one by one. “Wait you mean Bino? He's getting paid?”

“I overheard him talking about some sort of contract he has, I dunno what else he has to say but it sounds like it has the potential to be some juicy stuff.” CJ let out an impish giggle.

“You sly little coon, glad you're on our side.” Jenny pat the raccoon on the back.

“'twas nothing m'lady, all in a day's work for CJ.”

Grape and Peanut looked at eachother with unease. “I think we should keep a special eye on Bino.”

“Agreed.” Jenny nodded. “So anyways, this shrimp story, how does it end?”

“Well Peanut has an allergy, so he was about ten shrimp in when he started to...” Grape shivered a little and looked in her collar pocket. “...oh it's the boys, they're calling. I need to take this.”

~~

Denver held the phone close to his head and peeked back into the living room. Snow was still bashing Jon on the head with a pillow. Jon was yelping and trying to hide his face and the brown cat could only pray that she did not start grabbing harder objects to bludgeon the poor dog with.

“Uh, mom, in the event that female cat is rudely awoken from her nap, what can I do to calm her down?”

“Find your nearest bombshelter and come out in a few years.”

“Mom this isn't a time to be funny. Jon is being pulverized with pillows.” Denver said with serious urgency.

“You think I'm joking?”

“I...is there any other way.” Denver rolled his eyes. “Anything at all.”

“Ride out the storm and hope you come out with all of your limbs intact.”

“Great, thanks for your help.”

“Is that sarcasm young man?”

“No ma'am.” Denver covered his mouth and shook his head. Even though his mother could not see.

“Thought so, hope Jon's okay when I get home.”

“Yeah...hope so too.” Denver sighed. “Well bye.”

“Bye Denny, and don't forget to order only two large pizzas for dinner. I only left enough money for that much.”

“I know mom. Bye.” Denver put down his house phone and ran back to the living room.

Jon and Snow were nowhere to be found. He gulped and ran around the house, he could not believe how easy it was to lose a dog and a cat getting into a scuffle. Panic filled his chest as found himself running in circles. Then he saw the dollar bills sitting on the kitchen table.

The cat's stomach growled a little. He shrugged and grabbed the money. “I can't do anything on an empty stomach.”

Meanwhile, Jon was hiding under his parent's bed. His heart racing. It was an innocent mistake, and only that. He could fathom why Snow had exploded so much on him. The door opened to the room and there he could see two fluffy white paws walk in. He covered his face and watched the paws pace the room from between his fingers.

“Aha! Found you.”

Jon hit his head on the frame beneath the bed. He groaned and rubbed his sore head. The pain was forgotten, though, when he felt a tug on his tail. Jon cried out for his mother as he was pulled out from underneath the bed. He covered his face and began pleading.

“I was napping and in my head I thought you were someone else! Please don't kill me, I swear it wasn't you in my dream!” Jon sobbed.

“Why do you always insist on doing this. I swear I don't get you. All you talk about is Lupa but you know the only girl you have ever made moves on is...is me!” Snow threw her pillow down. “Look I know you're rebounding and stuff, but don't rebound on me.”

“In my dreams it was Lupa.” Jon sniffled and looked down. Snow clenched her fist and took a deep breath. Jon closed his eyes and braced for a real punch.

“You...are so...Ugh...” Snow slumped down and rubbed her temples. “I can't even properly beat you! You're so...so...”

“I know, pathetic and like a puppy.” Jon felt a rotten feeling in his gut. Like salt on the wound, he would have liked it more if she smacked him. Snow took one look at the dog and rolled her eyes. Now she was feeling a little bad.

“No, well okay maybe a little, but...well you're one of my only friends here in the neighborhood.” Snow said, Jon's ears perked up. “Sure you're stupid sometimes but I really can't hurt you.”

“R-really?” Jon sat up and blushed a little. “That's sweet of you.”

“Pfft or maybe I'm a masochist.” Snow grumbled. “It was a innocent mistake, like you said.”

“Yeah...innocent mistake.” Jon rubbed the back of his head.

There was pure silence between the two pets. Their eyes did not meet once, the air was tense. Even their breathing was subdued. Jon stood back up again and walked over to Snow. He held out his hand to help her up.

She ignored the gesture and stood up by herself.

“Snow, can I ask you a hypothetical question...” Jon looked down.

“Yes, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to regret this.” Snow replied.

“What if, by some really off chance that would never happen in a billion, no, a zillion years, that I wasn't napping when I did what I did and it wasn't a little innocuous mistake.” Jon took a few steps in away from her.

Snow took one long look at the dog staring at her with his best puppy dog eyes he could muster. “You know you are a terrible liar...and I think you're rebounding.”

“I know, I know...” Jon played with his paws. “Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. I just needed a hug that's all. I mean have you ever had a crush on anyone in your life?”

“You could say that.” Snow shrugged. She paused for a moment and coughed. “Alright, alright, go on.”

“I almost want to ask who...anyways, I really really liked Lupa. Like how you see it in the movies.” Jon emphasized with his hands as he paced. “Call it puppy love, but she was someone I thought I could see myself being with for awhile.”

“Forever awhile?” Said Snow. She folded her arms and tapped her foot.

“Well, yeah.”

“Jon, you're just a kid. It's a little early to be making hasty decisions like this don't you think?” Snow grumbled a little.

“Don't talk to me like I'm a little kid that doesn't know better...come on I'm older than you and I might not know your life but I'm not stupid.” Jon shivered a little. “It hurts to hear that she doesn't love me at all.”

Snow sighed, she took one long look at Jon. “I'll bet a million dollars she never said that, for one, and two, she just sees you as a friend. That happens Jon. Life goes on.”

Jon opened his mouth to speak, but simply looked down instead. “Yeah, yeah you're right. I'm sorry for acting like I have been. You're one of my only friends too and I'm taking advantage of that. I don't mean to use you like a crutch and I hope we can still be friends.”

There was more awkward silence. Snow walked over to Jon and looekd him into the eye. They looked at each other for a moment. Jon felt his face grow warm, a strange thought popped into his head. He gulped and watched her smile. It was a real smile.

“I never said we couldn't be friends.” Snow patted his cheek. “Just, try not to be too weird about anything, I forget you were raised by a cat lover.”

Jon licked his lips and looked around. His tail started swinging and his palms grew tense. He was a dog that wanted to say something, but that something was risky. In his mind he could hear his dad talk about his mom. He swore he would do things a little different, before things got too complicated.

“Snow, can I ask one more question.”

“...yes?” She looked very confused.

“What if...well I dunno, would it be too weird if I said we could, maybe hangout more, perhaps on a more personal level. Like just the two of us, with your consent of course, and we could go get dinner and I could help pay for it and...”

“Just say what you really want to say Jon.”

“Ugh...Snow I want to go on something like a date...but it'll just be friends because you don't like dogs...but...”

“Jon, a date is fine.” Snow rolled her eyes. “Just promise me that it won't be in a place where everyone we know can see.”

“Yeah, yeah that's cool.” Jon's tail wagged like crazy. He ran up to Snow and hugged her tight and squeezed her. “Oh my goodness I didn't expect to hear that at all.”

“It's a little spontaneous, but, sure, why not. I'll admit I've been a little mean about all this.” Snow rubbed the back of her head and sighed.

“You won't regret it! We can go to an arcade or something too!” Jon let go of her and ran out of the room. His whole being seemed to have brightened. It almost made Snow smile, until she sat there in her thoughts for a moment longer.

Snow leaned against a wall and put her hands over her eyes. What had she done? She did everything she was so adamant in refusing. All because he had a really good puppy dog face. In her mind she kept telling herself it was not going to be anything serious. The dog was just rebounding, and he would be over himself and he would get bored and he might see someone else when he was ready to be over the whole Lupa phase he would friend zone her and she would pretend to be all torn up.

“Yeah, he's just rebounding.” Snow consoled herself and nodded.

Though a small question nagged in her mind. A strange giddy and anxious question. A part of her she did not like to think about.

What if, just what if, she really would be torn up if he decided he was just rebounding?

~~

Just an authors note guys...










APRIL FOOLS :lol: Well okay partial April Fools. I really think you guys are awesome and I love all of the feedback you have given me. This has been a wonderful writing experience and it's been fun here on the forums. It's kept me motivated to write and I'm happy to say that this story will go on. I am finishing it by gum! So happy reading guys and see you again soon.

Oh and for those who were happy when they said I was quitting...well dang that's cold :lol:

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Lucky Abbot: S-9 P-6 E-7 C-6 I-7 A-4 L-3


Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:40 pm
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
I wasn't happy.
I got a heartstroke.
Do.
Not.
Do.
That.
EVER.
Again!

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Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:16 am
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
"sailing ships" indeed.

also, I kinda peeked at the end before I read the beginning, so I didn't have a chance to be fooled.

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Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:29 am
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
Ah you cheater, you're no fun. :lol:

And I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. For what it's worth I felt so bad that I actually updated the story alongside the prank just to make up for it. I was going to be extra mean and update a day later :twisted:. But that's just cruel.

_________________
At the end of the day I often think about what I have done for the world. What I have changed, perhaps made better or worse. I then sit at a computer for hours and look at pictures of cats.

RP Character:
Lucky Abbot: S-9 P-6 E-7 C-6 I-7 A-4 L-3


Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:50 am
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Post Re: Housepets! Changing By the Seasons: 3. Pet Project
I almost "eeeeee"d out loud when Jon asked Snow on a date. :mrgreen: Well I guess like father like son. Now if only we could see Denver taking some interest in a girl. Then sailing ships would really fit.

Also Bino is probably going to stir up lots of trouble within the pet project, hopefully peanut and grape won't be on the receiving end of those plans.

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Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:22 pm
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