#19 of No Good Deed
What better way to re acquire muscle memory than ducking or being beaned in the face?
The gym was fortunately not hard to find. The Wolf knew the floor at least, and once up the steps a leads us to a long straight shot down the hall past the library where we could see kids running in and out of the locker room. A very fluffy looking white and gray patterned Rat with a pink bow between her ears was waiting outside in the hallway, standing on her tippy paws and waving excitedly
"Oh hello, You must be Ronan"
"And his boyfriend" a human added from just inside the gym.
"heisnot" we both shot back in unison. My collar started to play a message using the gym speaker "Ronan and his escort are late with my permission. Signed Mister Niklaas"
"Escort huh?" this time the Rat cracked her tail like a whip at the door, and the head retreated inside with but not before a chorus of
"OooOOOOOOoooooos" erupted from inside.
"I don't see the problem, you two are an adorable couple. " she nudged the Wolf into the gym and took me by the paw. "Migel, go get changed. Or don't. Ronan if I could see you a moment in my office?"
"Aw come on I had a note..."
"You're not in trouble sweetie, just some ahhh..." her nose twitched, sending her whiskers wriggling up and down "paperwork "
She lead me into an office which seemed too big, then I remembered it had probably been built for a human. The current occupant had adjusted for the unnecessary height of the ceiling by adding a second vertical layer connected with ladders , ring swings, and rope netting. My ears swiveled a bit as they caught the sound of movement in one of them.
"Coool" I said, looking up, surprised to feel her fingers under my arms lifting me onto a table with surprising ease.
"Sorry, the boys have a ball and that SHOULD keep them occupied for about 5 minutes before devolving into something requiring medical attention. And you, well, you're soaked"
My ears flushed red hot and flattened at her frank but she smoothed them out, putting her snout close to mine and giving me a nuzzle that was oddly reassuring. From straight on the white patch on her face looked an awful lot like a heart. From a quirk of genetics or did she have that...eeep
Strong, dexterous fingers reached into my pants and tugged them down in one pull, revealing the heavy sodden puffing padding between my legs. I tried to pick my legs up just as she tried to roll me left and wound up pulled into a ball. She smiled and grabbed me by the the scruff of the neck and rubbed it as she unknotted me.
"Thank you for helping. But since we don't know each other yet , and I can do this without you but you can't do this without me, how about I lead okay?"
While she was talking the Rat took my legs and twisted them, putting me on my belly. Something was slid onto my tail, she took my legs again and turned me belly up, where I could see her slipping some pink training pants over my legs.
"Heeeey They're pink...!"
The gym teacher hmmed? "Oh yes, so they are. Hush or you'll wake the oth.. the baby" she dropped her voice "I'm sorry I grabbed the wrong one. " I tucked my tail a bit at the reminder of what might have prompted THAT. She nevertheless pulled them up around my waist, gave the thin padding a pat and added a pair of terrycloth shorts that were a bit too big but had a very small tail hole. She flexed them open a little bit and put them on and stood me up.
"There, hows that?"
"Good. erm.. thanks" I said with a bit of a flush, my tail wagging a bit at it's relative freedom. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a young Rat with black fur stuck his head out of one of the compartments and climb down a rope head first and stopping halfway down. His timing was suspiciously good, had he been peeking?
"My turn mama?" he asked, toddling over and rubbing his eyes. He had a cozy looking one piece sleeper done up like a space suit over his chubby little form and an obviously padded rump. My Gym teacher started washing her paws in the sink hard enough for me to take it personally, while the little Rat hugged my tail without batting an eye.
"Alright up you go" and lifted her kit as if all of his fluff were fur "and out YOU go" swatting me with her tail to get me moving.
I poked my head around the door to the Gym, getting a brief glimpse of a bunch of other boys lined up on opposite sides of the room throwing a semi squishy ball at each other with a great deal of gusto and very little accuracy. A yellow haired boy with spiky hair picked the ball up to throw it, and halway through the throw turned and sent the ball flying at my head so hard the sphere went slightly oblong.
"AhhOMF!" I let out in surprise, reflexively biting the projectile. I staggered back a bit from the force of the impact but kept my feet, and the ball
"Figures she'd be good at keeping balls in her mouth..."a short kid in a red jersey quipped causing a moment of dead silence followed by uproarious laughter from the class, human and Kin Alike. Even Migel barked a laugh, putting a hand on the bleachers to keep from doubling over.
I felt my whole body tense and I took a step forward without thinking, only to be scooped up from behind and held kicking and squirming at waist height on the Rat, four paws just barely off the ground.
"Dodgeball it is. Jason, you start the game out. Twice
"He caught the ball. " she tapped it to tell me to let it go. Which I did. Eventually. "AND no head shots, is that understood?"
"Yes miss Rat"
"I CAN"T HEAR YOU WHAT WAS THAT?"
"YES MISS RAT"
"That your family's real name?" I asked. The coach shooed a pack of rats onto different teams and swapped them with the burly human from english class, then started tossing more foam dodge balls out to the class.
"Oh yeah, great...great...something Grandma just got tired of DUCK" I dropped to all fours and let the ball pass overhead "correcting people and just went ahead and changed it." She looked at her watch " Muligan, you're out. Ball says it nicked you! Don't wear parachute pants next time " She didn't literally throw me into the game at that point, but it was close. I scrambled across the floor like a feral, leaping into the air over a ball thrown at my feet and then rolled left left left as two of the Rats launched a one two combination from right at the line while I was prone. The Rodents on my team scooped up the ball and launched it at the humans in the back instead of their brethren scurrying away, prompting the coach to chide them
"Eh,you're on THAT team now you work with THEM. Miss an opportunity like that and I"LL bean you..." she chittered something too fast to pick out, but the next time they picked up the ball they chucked it at the rats as hard as they could.
I dove head first, picked up a ball and threw it at the Spikey haired kid, but he easily stepped aside. Being semi quadruped had its advantages but a humanlike shoulder for throwing wasn't one of them.
"You throw like a girl" I grrrrred and ran for another ball bouncing off the wall, got hit in the butt and had to go to the wall to be out.
I wasn't the only one having trouble throwing. A fair bit of the class seemed to throw like they were using their off hands, or as if they'd never thrown anything before which... In a sense the probably hadn't if they were using new muscles.
The last one in was the big kid from english class. "Brock the rock! brock the rock!" Half the class started chanting.
"Wait.. that's. BROCK? THE Brock?" I asked the Rat next to me, who looked slightly surprised I was talking to her. "What's he doing here?"
The boy in question ran across the floor and stopped suddenly, arms out to stop suddenly and let a ball pass in front of him. It bounced off the wall and rolled back to the other team
"Oh yeah, you woulda bin in da vat for that. Got knocked off the court clear into a regression vat hehee. BABALITY! Well. Kidality. Dun think crashballs had a good bability in 50 years."
Despite being four to one and having all the balls the other team looked nervous.
Their fear was justified
"Alright guys, on the count of three we throw. One. Two..."
Half of them threw on three the other half waited for three then threw.
He sidestepped one ball with surprising agility for someone his size, stuck his arm out and palmed a ball moving past him, used it to bump another ball high up in the air and knock the fourth ball to the side. While moving backwards Brock beaned the Fox hard in the stomach and then put his arms out to catch the throw that had been bumped into the air
"Two catches. " Ms Rat called out "Lockford, Shnarl you're in, Vulpes you're in too because that was really good"
The Fox on the other team pointed at himself.
"Not you the other Vulpes. Did your team catch the ball? Ronan."
A large, gray and white patterned wolf welcomed me back on the court with a side armed blast to the chest that hit like a rocket launcher. Despite going head over tail over tail over head with the force off the throw I rolled to a stop and held up the ball. " Barry, you're in. Andy, yer out" The other teams other wolf Walked with him to the sidelines and started arguing with him in low growls, not noticing when the rat I'd been talking to walked up, tapped his ankle with the ball, and retrieved it on the rebound. "Sere. Serenak...." she looked at her watch. "Fang. Yer out, since you want to talk anyway"
The Fox on the other team ran up with the ball right at Brock, who veered left along the center line, but then dropped the ball instead of throwing it.
The former crashball player whipped the fox in his tail with his own ball, but then a rat popped out from the Fox's tail and hit Brock in the foot, making him laugh so hard he had trouble making it to the wall to wait in line.
I was really panting now, the spikey haired kid nodded to the one in the parachute pants and they both sent their shots at me. I ran into the wall past the first one, bounced off the wall and fell flat on my back to avoid the second, looking at a few stars as the wall had a fair bit less padding than I was expecting.
One of the Rats walked over my stomach to get a ball and tossed it to a human standing over me, who took it and helped me up. "Oh hey there, Barry. Big fan. I uhm. OW!" The other Vulpes caught him on the rump for his sportsmanship. I picked up his ball and threw it back, but it bounced on the ground before landing and rolled to the spikey haired kid.
"you throw like a.."
"Don't even" the red jersied human cut him off "I already did that one. Besides. he's throwing better than you "
"Hey!" one of the Rats tossed me a loose ball and I beaned Spikey hair while he was arguing and gave the Rat a thumbs up.
Brock went to throw a ball at one of the other teams rats and softballed it, letting the Rat catch it rather than nail him full bore.
RedJersey got a ball from one of his own rats and reared back. I ran for the wall planning on flipping off of it. Just as I got near the wall SpikeyHair whistled
"Your pink panties are showing foxy!"
I stopped, looked under my tail and got caught in the head with the ball and fell over.
The whistle blowing was almost as painful as the headshot.
Ms Rat dropped the ball, kicked it with the front of her foot hard enough to make it go obling and sent it flying right into Redjersey's midsection with a hallow PING. He doubled over laughing and in pain.
"What did I say at the beginning?"
"No headshots Ms Rat!" Even Redjersey joined in , though his came out in a wheeze.
"Good" She got the kid on his feet and I slowly got up to mine.
I grumbled "He tricked me!"
" "All warfare is deception" Use it. Or at least expect it. Line up and shake hands"
We passed each other in a line slapping hands. SpikeyHair tried to put his hand quickly back behind his head, but at a cough and the warning of a dodgeball being tossed into the air From Ms Rat, he relanted. Red Jersey actually stopped to shake mine. "No hard feelings right? Just joking. Don't bite me" The gray and black wolf on the other hand, while courteous to everyone else, walked by looking straight ahead when it was my turn. Ms Rat glared at him. He shook his head, she held up a pink slip. He nodded and took it and headed into the showers.
"Ass...inine Wolf" I caught myself just as the teacher caught my arm. "Come on, let's see how hard you hit your head on that last one"
She stopped moving her mouth and dropped her voice very low. "Would you rather I tell the class you're getting your pullups changed?"
I tucked my tail, just realizing how damp I was. When did that happen?
She lifted me back up onto the changing table, took out a multi colored light and shined it in my eyes.
"All good there. You've got a hard head. How are you feeling otherwise?"
"That stupid dirty trick and I can't believe I fell for it and WHY DID YOU MAKE ME WEAR THE PINK ONES!"
"Shhh sweetie he didn't see anything. See?" she turned me to a mirror. Swishing my tail around there was nothing to see but the shorts. Even the padding was only visible because I knew what to look for
"I'm so stupid because I fell for it and I want to punch him and bite him and I'm scared because I don't WANT to want to do that anymore after an an..."
Black and pink ears, a pink nose and glittering black eyes poked over the changing table from nowhere. The lip quivering that was threatening to descend into a full on bawl paused in surprise, and stayed there when tiny pink hands held up a soft godzillia plush.
"Awww.. Thank you Jacob. What do we say?"
"Thankyou..." I said as Ms Rat guided my paws into hugging the plush. It was soft, and cushy, and smelled so much like the toddler that it had to be one of his favorite toys, of not his favorite.
"Good kit" she plopped a cool bottle of orange juice in my muzzle, which started suckling greedy on it's own, the cool juice getting soaked up by a tongue that I suddenly realized felt like sandpaper. One arm occupied by the bottle and one with Godzilla made it easy for the instructor to lie me back, massage my legs into jello with a few gentle kneads. My eyes lowered along with the level of juice in the bottle, and I felt more than saw a thick pink pawper being shimmied up my tail , wrapped snugly around my waist.
"Collar, what is Ronan's next scheduled class?" she whispered.
" Study Hall. Should I inform Miss Herbinawitz that Ronan will be taking their nap here?" The nearby baby monitor asked.
"Yes please, thank you"
"Up you go" I was lifted into a tree fort esque section of the room. The little rat scampered in to join me and started to pet my tail.
" That's it Jacob, nice and gentle. You're in charge" He pet my tail softly, and I pet Godzilla softly. Gently. Relaxed. And exhausted from a hectic game of dodgeball, napped.