8th May 2006, 11:48 PM #1
This is rated PG-13 to be safe, but I think it’s more PG if anything. Comments/crits/etc. are greatly appreciated.
By: Saffire Persian
You hate him. There’s no plausible end to how much you hate him. Loathe him. Despise him. Every day now you see him, walking in a casual, leisurely fashion, like everything is just a walk in a meadow, complete with fluttering Beautifly and a pond filled with lilies. He does not take life seriously. Hard work -- true hard work of blood and sweat and toil, not the sissy stuff – is certainly not part of his daily routine. He never has done a single day’s hard work in his life – that you are sure of.
This is one of the many reasons why you hate him.
To you, he has no positive qualities – no saving grace that might redeem him in your eyes. What’s worse is that he’s trying to take someone you care about away from you. He is trying to take Riley away.
The stupid git should have never caught her attention in the first place. Whatever absurdity that caused him to notice her is something you try not to think about.
You think that it was the first time you both saw him. It was during your lunch break, and you and Riley were wandering the streets of Saffron. He was one of the men walking along one of the crosswalks, carrying a load of papers clutched in one hand and a book in the other. He barely had finished crossing the road before he ran straight into a street sign, too busy reading his book to notice the giant pole in front of him. (Or perhaps he was watching someone else, but you’d rather not think about that.) And, of course, Riley just had to go and help him pick up his papers that were, by then, scattered across the ground and being trampled upon.
(She always does stuff like this, cleaning up other people’s messes. Why she doesn’t just leave idiots to be idiots is something you have trouble comprehending.)
It was a sickingly disturbing by-the-book case of ‘love at first sight’, and to your horror, he began to make an increasing habit of following Riley wherever she went.
(And wherever she was, you were. Wherever she went, you went. There was no her without you. So of course you noticed.)
One of the first events where it was so glaringly obvious, was the time you were at the coffee shop (he, incidentally went to the same place Riley, you, and the rest of the Police Team did for lunch) and he was stupid enough to spill coffee onto one of your comrade’s partners named Blaze as he walked past. Now, Blaze is not a patient creature, always on the lookout for an excuse to fight, and in your most expert opinion, he possesses the same amount of intelligence as the man of whom had just spilt steaming hot coffee all over him. The man didn’t know what orange fury hit him, but, you suppose, he did try to put on a gallant fight, and was doing a remarkable job armed with only a worn, dog-eared book.
(The thing is, he and Blaze might share the same intelligence, but he, unlike Blaze, does not possess the ability to breathe fire.)
You were not one of the ones that helped pull Blaze off the man that day; however, Riley was. Her golden, hawk-eyed gaze could tame the most savage of creatures, and cause the most hardened of criminals to cringe in terror. But this man – this man dared to smile, telling her, once he had been helped up, that: “Everything’s all right. Don’t worry about it. Not your fault.” He looked as if an angel had just snatched him away from the fangs of death, saying: “Thank you.”
You wanted to say: “We save people’s lives all the time, rat. You’re not that special.”
(You’re just stupid.)
But you didn’t. You just glared at him as he walked out of the coffee shop like a drunken man. Riley, however, laughed.
It was then you knew that the man was going to be more problematic than previously thought, because no one could make her laugh.
(No one but you.)
He was not going to take Riley away. There was no way on the face of the earth you were gonna let him.
But, as it turned out, he was going to make your new mission in life hard.
But then again, you’ve always liked a challenge.
When they came home after their first date, you were waiting. You glared at him with a vicious smile of uninhibited malice. And even though you did not say it, he knew exactly what you were telling him deep within those burning eyes: Bring it on, rat.
(The war is on! The bugles are blazing, the bells are ringing, and the drums are sounding! Ready, steady, go!)
One day, not long after their first date, you hear the doorbell ring and rush towards the door, intending to get there before Riley can even dream of answering it. You can already guess who’s outside the door. It’s the Rat, as you now fondly call him. You think you can smell the roses and you also can hear him pacing nervously back and forth on the other side of the door.
Through the slit where the mail comes through, you see him. He’s dressed in a fancy shirt and tie, looking for all the world like he was going to some sort of awards ceremony. You snort, disgusted at his attempt to look nice. If this man really knew Riley (and you’re glad he doesn’t) he would’ve known Riley could care less about displays of fashion sense.
By Entei, Riley doesn’t even like flowers.
You try to stop Riley as she comes into the hallway from the exercise room. You attempt to push her back, distract her from going to the door, in hopes that the Rat will go away. But she perseveres, answering the door, dressed in her athletic attire. Her face is a surprised one when she recognizes who exactly came to the door, and you feel a bit relieved. That meant that she didn’t know he was coming.
The man looks embarrassed, turning the same shade as the roses in his hand. He stutters, absolutely tripping over his attempts to form a coherent sentence.
You grin, but your entertainment is short lived.
She accepts the invitation to dinner , while all you can do is sit there and watch in disbelief as she takes the roses and puts them on the table instead of into nearest trashcan.
She goes to get ready, and the man flops onto the couch with a long, heavy sigh, wiping his brow. You growl in disgust.
When they depart together, you’re left alone. You have no intention of leaving the house; you’ll stay until Riley and the Rat get back. Your angry eyes move over to the table, where the roses are placed, and grimace. An odd, but satisfying idea then comes into your head, and you drag the roses off the table and into the backyard.
There, you have the pleasure of watching the roses burn, their red petals curling and writhing from the fire’s touch before being reduced to insignificant, dead ashes.
Totally, and completely unimportant. Worthless. That’s what they are.
Your smile widens.
You can’t help it if you’re a pyro.
When they return, you’re lying spread-eagled on the couch, watching some stupid, trivial talk show on TV. You hear them before they even come in the door, laughing and joking as if they were childhood friends.
(It’s you who has been with her since the beginning. Not him.)
Your eyes darken, the dark flames of anger burning deep within your chest.
He’s not made for her. You knew that from the day you had the misfortune of running into him.
She’s everything he’s not.
He smells of cologne, the cheap kind you can buy at the local store. It’s almost flowery. Just smelling it makes your eyes itch and water.
She smells of gunpowder, of fire and ash – the scent of battle and triumph. It’s not something that can be so easily acquired, nor can it be bought cheaply.
He’s dressed fine and conservative in white, neatly ironed, made to perfection. The tie is straight, not an inch off and his shoes are shined. He’s one who has too much time on his hands.
She’s the total antithesis, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt with her hair tied in a loose ponytail. She doesn’t care about whether or not her shoes are shined or if her shirts are ironed. She knows she doesn’t have the time to waste on trivial appearance protocols; instead, she focuses on what matters most, knowing each day could be her last.
He works in an office, reeking of paperwork and computers, entering meaningless bits of data into a machine. He doesn’t have to worry about whether or not somebody might be waiting to attack around the next corner. Why, the worst wound he’s probably received is a paper cut.
She works outside, exhausting her body to the physical limit. She pushes herself, each day as difficult as the last, and it never gets easier. She has scars from where bullets have scraped past her and Pokémon have attacked her. They will never go away.
You bury your face into a nearby pillow, eyes narrowing. The more you think about it, the more certain you are this man is not made for her, nor is he worthy, and the more certain you are of that, the more determined you are to stop him.
Riley prepares to sit down on a cushion to the right of you, so you move out of the way, making room for her, but when the Rat comes you obstinately refuse to budge from your place and let him sit by Riley. So, he’s forced to sit on the other side of you, as Riley puts in an action movie. You can see him watching you out of the corner of his eyes, looking extremely nervous.
And he should be, you think, making your welcoming smile as feral as you can possibly make it.
For two hours, you endure the agony of sitting right next to him. You can’t stand him at all, but know if you budge the consequences of those actions will be far, far worse. Already, you have stopped three of his attempts to put his arm around Riley’s shoulders. You let him know exactly what you thought of his dirty, underhanded ways when he tried, snapping at him angrily, and sitting up straight against the back of the couch.
After the third time, he resigned himself to watching the movie in silence.
It was a small victory, but a victory nonetheless.
Your efforts of sabotage seem to be working, but the Rat has been proving to be as persistent as the species of which he is being compared to. He has persevered, despite your numerous attempts to let him know you hatred and disgust for him.
In fact, his advances have been extremely common and frequent the last few weeks. He’s been spending more and more time at the house lately. He’s even been there before work’s been over, seated on the couch, reading a book. Riley’s given him a key, it seems.
You do not like this new development in the least, but all you can do is watch, and wait for the next viable opportunity.
That opportunity comes on Sunday two weeks later.
He enters the house in the early afternoon. For once, his clothes are not neat, and he has a rather bedraggled, rag-tag appearance – like he’s run on the treadmill for three minutes. Even you’re surprised by his sudden change in look, and Riley’s concerned as well, though you see she’s trying to contain her laughter at the same time.
“My apartment’s flooded. All of it,” he says despondently, flopping onto the couch. For the first time you’ve heard him, he curses loudly, muttering something about ‘Grimer’ and ‘pipes’.
You string that together, and smirk. You didn’t notice it before, too baffled by his appearance, but he does smell suspiciously like acid and sludge.
Riley tries to look halfway apologetic and manages it.
You don’t even try.
Riley’s gone to check the apartment out herself, taking some of your fellow police team mates with her. You know nothing about pipes and pluming, and you’re totally useless when it comes to that stuff, or else you would have gone with her. Plus, you don’t exactly savor the idea about having to wade through knee-deep, sludgy water – you really don’t like it at all.
So.... you are stuck with the Rat for the time being. Alone.
Forty-five minutes pass. Currently, you both are staring at one another. You’re sitting lazily on the floor, looking bored, and he is standing up just feet away from you, tapping his foot. You both make eye contact, and you immediately look away at a cuckoo clock on the opposite wall.
Tick. Tock. Tick.
Tick. Tock. Tick.
You notice he’s watching you, an unreadable expression on his pale, dirty face. You snort, feeling the tenseness in the air. It’s an almost tangible thing.
Tick. Tock. Tick.
He shuffles his shoeless feet across the carpet. Then, breaking the silence, he says: “You know... I feel that there’s some...animosity between us.”
Your eyes move from the clock to him rather lazily.
Really? you think, rolling your eyes. What gave you that idea?
But you don’t say anything out loud. Instead, you watch him squirm. He looks frustrated.
“Why am I even talking to you?” he says, brushing his hand through his hair and grimacing. “It’s not like you listen to me.”
A pause. He sighs. “I smell like sludge. “
You wrinkle your nose in response. He walks halfway towards bathroom, then stops by the living room table, brows furrowing.
You don’t move.
Tick. Tock. Tick.
“Out,” he says.
It takes you a moment to finally realize what he said. Out? OUT?!
“Yes, out,” he says, noticing your suddenly wide-eyed expression. He sounds a bit nervous, reaching for an object on the table.
You glare at him. Bite me.
You stare, practically burning a hole through the glass door that stands between you and the inside of the house – and that rat. You’re still fuming. How dare he use such underhanded tactics to get you out of the house. You never knew the Rat had that much of a backbone.
He’s been spending too much time with Riley, you decide for the umpteenth time today. She does the same thing when she wants you out of the house and you stubbornly refuse to leave for some reason for other.
For her, though, it’s justified, as unfair as it is.
For him, it isn’t.
He’ll pay for it.
You continue to gaze through the glass, snorting before standing up, determined. He may have locked you out from this side, but you have other ways to get on – ones that he wouldn’t know about, or think about.
Your spirit heartened, you run down the stairs of the deck to the other side of the house, slipping through an entrance only you use. Riley locks it when she kicks you out, but the Rat wouldn’t know about that now, would he?
You’re inside, enjoying the whirring sound of the air conditioner, a newfound sense of conquest rising within you. Slowly, you make your way down the hall. Steady, but sure, you don’t make a sound as you carefully continue onward, step-by-step -- it’s natural, just like another training exercise. Soon, the sound of running water greets you as you continue along the hall – that as well as some off-tune singing.
You wince. Badly off-tune.
But you’ve been taught to persevere, no matter what the situation.
Your head peeks around the corner.
Clear. Just like you thought it would be.
And now that you’re closer, you can determine exactly what the Rat is up to. He’s in the shower.
Eyes narrowing to tiny, cat-like slits, you decide he has been feeling much too comfortable inside the house as of late. You’ll have to do something about that.
Your grimace morphs into a grin as you gently push open the bathroom door. It never quite closes properly – never has; with a single push you can usually urge it ajar without it making much of a sound. Riley’s never bothered to fix it. Besides, with that singing, you doubt he’ll hear anything at all.
Five minutes later, you find yourself back outside, your head dangling over the deck in contemplation. A pile of clothes and a towel -- his clothes and towel to be exact -- rests beside you in a great, jumbled heap. The Rat never even saw you, and you never saw him. You just dragged his clothes out of the bathroom, and the towel for good measure.
They had been lying on the floor, just begging you to take them.
So you did.
And no, you don’t feel the least bit guilty about it. In fact, you feel rather accomplished, and the clothing (acidic smelling as it is) is an apt emblem of your victory.
Now, to burn or not to burn? That is the question.
The more rational side of your brain tells you to leave his clothes alone – it’s probably the best set he has, and perhaps the only set, depending on how bad his apartment’s flooded.
But the other side, the not quite so sane side, is telling you to make a bonfire out of it, and dance merrily in the flames and laugh like a mad man.
It was a pity no one was around to see the green, red, and orange flames as they burned with manic frenzy. The acid, sludge, and other chemicals in his clothes turned out to be a bit flammable.
(Hence the green.)
But the fire has long gone out – its lifespan lasting a total of about three minutes. The clothes and towel had long since disappeared into a pile of soot, smoke the only hazy remnant from the raging fire. You still feel a bit giddy from your exploit, lying on the deck enjoying the sun. The door to the backyard creeks open, and you sit up. Riley emerges, looking triumphant. You rise to greet her, never mind the sewage smell.
She laughs and waves before she spots the rather large pile of ash in the middle of the sidewalk.
She sighs and shakes her head. “Burning things again, are we?”
“Well, I hope it wasn’t anything important.”
You shake your head just as an unearthly, angry scream resonates from inside the house. Riley, rushes to the door, her face quickly changing from alarm to fear as she finds out the door’s locked. “Come on!” she yells angrily (at you, or the keys, you don’t know) fumbling with the keys as she tries to open the door.
You stand up, taking your merry time as the door slides open and Riley rushes in, her gun now in hand, with you following close behind. Riley runs with practiced ease through the entrance, looking around every corner with her hawk-eyes. Finally, you both arrive to the long hallway that leads to the bathroom - the door is open, and just ten feet ahead of the door is a body, clothed in shadow. All the lights are suspiciously off.
“Freeze!” Riley yells, and you decide, just for the heck of it (after all, why not?) to reiterate her command.
The body moves, and says a familiar word, his voice barely a whisper, sounding suddenly stressed. “Riley…”
Oh, it’s no thief. It’s only a rat.
(Of course, you knew that all along.)
Riley flips on the light switch. The lights chase away the shadows, and with the newfound light comes a very startling revelation. You blink as the idea takes hold, and you head.
Make that one very naked rat.
It takes a few moments for that idea to make its way into both Riley and the Rat’s brain, both staring at each other, completely and utterly stupefied, their thoughts probably scattered like bowling pins.
The Rat’s yell of surprise and horror finally frees an embarrassed shriek from Riley. Both Riley and the Rat turn a deep shade of crimson, before making a very hasty retreat; Riley darts around a corner, while and the Rat bolts behind the bathroom door, slamming it shut.
You, meanwhile, just sit and watch – it really doesn’t bug you.
There is a moment of warranted silence.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Cukoo! Cukoo!
Riley laughs – a short laugh as the shock of the encounter wears off. You can see her trying to find her voice, slowly shaking her head with her hand over her eyes.
“Well,” she yells loudly, her voice strained. “Um.. well. We umm.. fixed…er… your … Grimer problem.”
A quiet voice from behind the door answers, reeking with a high-pitched, fake sense of cheeriness. “Great!”
Silence fills the room once more, until you hear the Rat sigh. “Umm… you don’t have any clothes I could wear, do you? A robe another towel or something – anything.”
You snicker, and Riley, her face flushing back to its original color, looks confused. “I thought you had some.”
”Well, that’s the thing…” he says back, chuckling nervously. “You’ll probably think I’m crazy… but… well, when I came out of the shower, they were…umm…gone. The door was open, so I went out to go and try and find them – or something else… as I really don’t have…err…anything and no one else was in the house at the time, and then… well…”
Slowly, the fate of what happened to the Rat’s clothes seems to dawn upon her. She looks at you, wide eyed. “You didn’t…” You don’t make any motion to deny it. She slaps a hand to her face. “You did.”
You had expected Riley to chew you out after your current endeavor, but she didn’t. All Riley made you do in apology was bring him a sack of clothes (Courtesy of a male friend of Riley’s). Once the Rat had gotten all necessary things to be able to be seen public he left, saying he’d be staying at a hotel until his apartment was fixed. Riley didn’t bother to stop him.
And to make matters even better, your venture, as it turned out, had been a success; you haven’t seen the Rat for two weeks now. He hasn’t called and he hasn’t come over, nor has he been to the coffee shop at all – he didn’t even let Riley know what hotel he was staying at. You’ve seen him but once, and he left the building as quickly as was humanly possible, both he and Riley blushing like mad.
You enjoy the newfound freedom of not having the Rat trail you and Riley everywhere with extreme gusto, not taking a single moment for granted. For once, everything seems to be going back to normal again. Everything’s finally as it should be.
And you hoped it would stay that way.
For another week, your luck holds out, and each day you come home, savoring the time spent with just you and Riley; although the police work has been keeping the both of you busy. Often, you’ve been coming home now, completely and utterly exhausted from the amount of work put upon you, to the point all you want to do is sleep.
Right now, you’re following a trail of a Rocket member uncover. It’s tedious work, walking the streets of Saffron City day in and day out, following leads, and whatever else you can find. So far, those leads have been few and far in-between, and you’ve been following near-dead trails for days, but you feel your luck’s about to change.
(You’ve never failed a mission before, and you don’t intend to start now.)
The thought of failing makes you work at an almost obsessed pace, and you quite literally drag Riley along through the thick crowds of people and Pokémon alike each time you go out to work.
And this day is no exception. So far, it’s been like every other normal day: cars whiz by across the streets, vendors sell their wares, and constant battles from trainers are going on all around. It makes it hard to work; the sights and smells intermingle with one another, and with the constant jabber of the metropolis, it’s hard to hear.
You’re used to working in such conditions, but the distractions do not please you in the least.
All you concretely know is that he’s here – the Rocket man. He’s lurking about, using the crowds for cover. You’ve seen his picture, and know what he looks like, but even though he might stand out with a scar above his eye, Saffron is so crowded, even he could be easily overlooked.
Suddenly, you hear a yell and you look up just in time to see a thread of long, white flame flash in the sky, before disappearing. Your heartbeat quickens, and excitement surges through your veins like electricity.
It’s the sign! Someone’s found him!
(But the thread of flame is also a call for reinforcements.)
You need no more incentive, darting through the crowd with Riley close on your heels. You navigate through the maze of people – pushing, shoving, and yelling, your eyes fixed on where the flame had come from. You speed up as you break through into an open space, taking a moment to look over your shoulder. Riley’s having a hard time breaking through, as she’s clad in her civilian clothing.
You’ll have to go forward without her.
Another shot of flame bursts in the sky just ahead of you, and it doesn’t take long before you hear the sounds of battle – roaring, yelling, orders being given. You round the corner quickly, spotting the battle just a few yards away.
(Not in the least.)
(Why should you be?)
(Your heart is pounding; muscles tensing; eyes constricting…)
(The thrilling song of battle is in your ears, increasing in volume at a rapid crescendo, filling your body with adrenaline and fire…)
You enter the fray in a matter of moments, dodging blasts of energy that ripple past you through the air. You can hear orders being given above the commotion, and through the mass of bodies, both friend and foe, you can see the Rocket you’re after. But you’ll have to get through his Pokémon first.
You dodge to the side as another blast of energy shoots past you, your own fiery bullets finding their marks with amazing, deadly accuracy. You can see Blaze dart past you, roaring aloud, baring his fangs in a fearsome snarl as fire erupts out of his throat. On the other side, you can see Sinatra the Commander’s Ninetales, slowly weaving her way through the pack of fighting animals, glowing white. Each tail is surrounded by a silver nimbus, and you can see the beginnings of Imprision at its work – the faint wisps as thin as fish line, but stronger than steel.
She’s just waiting for the opportune moment – for the Commander to give the final order.
But the time is not yet, there are still enemies to dispatch.
The Rocket’s Fearow dives toward you, but your assault sends it reeling in pain, cawing as it attempts to keep afloat, while at the same time looking murderous. It dives.
You brace yourself for the strike, but neither you nor the Fearow see Blaze’s torrent of fire until it slams into the back of the bird mercilessly, singing both beak, talon, and feather to an almost blackened color, pushing it into the pavement. The Fearow has barely time to utter a frustrated caw before Blaze takes it down for the count.
Then, through the mass of confusion, comes two almost simultaneous flashes of evanescent light. Out of the white haze, you hear the man giving an order to his newly appeared companions: two large Weezing.
Immediately, all four heads release a spew of thick, purple gas. It clouds the air with its sickly purple haze, becoming larger, laced with poison. You can’t see through the thick veil, and the Smog stings your eyes and obscures your vision, and all you can smell is the sickly, rotting scent. But you keep running. You have to keep running – you can’t let the Rocket get away.
Frustrated cries are coming from all sides of you as you run – the smog has no doubt filled the area, and it will take time to disperse. Your team’s most lethal weapon: fire, cannot be used here, as you know from experience the deadly haze is flammable, and the merest touch of fire could trigger a large, devastating explosion. So all you can do is plow through, and hope you’re heading in the right direction.
You finally escape out of the smog into the free air. Looking around quickly, you spot Sinatra chasing after the Rocket and his remaining fighters as they flee across the street, just a foot behind them.
But she’ll need help.
You rocket forward, dead set and determined to secure your goal.
(You will not fail.)
As you dash across the pavement, you look back over your shoulder; you see only the billows of violet and a few stumbling bodies as they clear the fog. One of them, you think is Riley.
She had better be watching.
Your eyes return to your the Rocket, now running at a dead sprint. You move onto the road, your concentration fully on the just yards ahead of you. You’ll be upon him any time, now, and victory will be yours. But so concentrated are you on your goal that you don't see the car coming up the street. It's only when you hear Riley's panicked voice that you snap out of your reverie. You slow down, looking over your shoulder to see if anything's wrong.
It’s then, in that one terrible moment, that you hear the horn on the car blare and the warning cries of bystanders as they scream at you to get out of the way.
(But the cries sound echoed, as if they’re coming from a place far, far away.)
It’s then you smell the scent of burnt rubber on asphalt as the car tires screech against the road.
(But the smells are dulled, like smoke from a fire long gone out.)
It’s then you see the car – a great monster hurtling toward you. It won’t stop in time.
(But you can’t move; your legs are frozen, and your mind is in a shocked stupor.)
They say that when you’re about to die, your life flashes before your eyes, but it is not so. Your mind is a blank slate, uncomprehending – even the feelings of fear are dulled. It’s like you're watching the coming events from behind another’s eyes.
Only one single word floats about in the blackened void.
Your eyes close, and your body prepares for impact –
Suddenly, warm arms wrap around your torso, pulling you up and back. Then, you and the body collide against the curb as the one who picked you up throws their body to the side – away from the car as it darts past.
You slowly open your eyes.
“That was close.” A nervous laugh.
The voice is familiar, your eyes widen.
It’s the Rat.
Gradually, your thoughts kick back into gear, and the realization on what’s just happened hits you like a Thunderbolt.
Did he just…. save you?
Stunned beyond all reason, you don’t even utter a sigh of relief. All you can do is stare – stare at the man who has just saved you. You can’t quite believe it. You don’t want to believe it.
“You’re both so – so stupid!”
Both yours and the Rat’s head snap around at the sound of Riley’s voice. She’s standing just feet away from the both of you, tears brimming at the corners of her eyes. It’s one of the only times you’ve seen her cry.
“I don’t want to hear it. ”
You blink, now deeply aware the Rat’s arms are still around your torso. You wriggle out of his grasp, and walk slowly back onto the sidewalk, sitting at Riley’s feet. The Rocket isn’t of concern anymore – Sinatra will take care of him, and the rest of the team. Riley needs you now.
“You stupid dog,” Riley says, sighing as she sinks down to her knees, scratching you behind the ears. “You know better. You know better.” She then embraces you, holding on as if she'll never let go, tears falling down from her pale face onto your red fur. You bark in reassurance - showing her that you're still here, giving her a lopsided grin.
Her tears slowly fade, and her gaze leaves yours, wandering over to the curb where the Rat is sitting, looking at a small, shiny object in his palm. “What were you even thinking? The car… you...”
He jerks, surprised, and the shiny object falls from his hand and into the ditch. He doesn’t bother fetching it, and looks over his shoulder at Riley. He shrugs. “I don’t know. People just do crazy things sometimes… for different reasons.”
You break out of Riley's embrace, a determined gleam entering your eyes. You step off the curve into the ditch. You spot the golden object hidden in bits of asphalt and dirt
It’s a ring.
Well, his actions may have been crazy, but you’re going to top it, right here, right now.
You pick up the ring carefully in your jaws, and paw at the Rat’s pant leg.
He turns. You open your mouth just a bit, letting him see the diamond ring clenched carefully in your jaws, before depositing it in his outstretched hand.
Definitely crazy. But…
He quickly pockets it before Riley can see. He nods once, showing his understanding, before standing up and going to Riley’s side while you watch on.
…you suppose you can share… just this once.