He growled, kicking a nearby tree with his foot. A howl of pain was sent through the air as he rubbed at the injured limb.
"He doesn't even know what he's talking about. He's an idiot anyways." He mumbled as he walked further away from his home.
His mind replayed the incident earlier again.
'You totally want to smooch with her and make, like, 100 babies.'
His eye twitched. "I do not like her that way! We're just friends!" He shouted to the sky.
He then blinked, he hadn't noticed how colorless the usually blue sky was.
A single drop of water landed on to his nose, slipping down when he lowered his head.
The others began to drop on to his body, small and gentle drops.
But soon enough, the drizzle picked up and turned into full on rain.
He raised his arms above his blonde head, hoping to block out some of the attacking water pellets as he found shelter.
Eventually, he settled under a playground's slide. His knees were drawn up to his chest as he shivered. He was soaked to the bone.
'Where'd all the trees go when I needed them?'
He was still seething with anger, Dan was an idiot and didn't know anything.
A sneeze jolted him out of his daydream of killing a certain friend of his.
He looked over to see a huge lady bug shell, cat ears sticking out from the creature's head.
The animal sneezed once more.
"B-Bless you." He managed to say, his voice barely above a whisper.
It turned around with wide eyes before scampering behind a nearby pillar with a whimper.
"H-Hey, it's okay. I won't hurt you, I promise." He held his hands up as he dragged his knees over to it.
It still held on to the pillar tightly. That's when he saw the dark bruises on its arms.
Animal abuse had never been taken lightly with humanity, it still hadn't.
He hated animal abusers.
He held out a shaking hand, a small smile on his features. "My name's Chris. What's yours?"
The animal shook its head.
"Do you have a name?"
It shook its head again.
"Well then buddy, your name is now officially Catbug." He smiled widely, showing perfect teeth.
Catbug let go of the pillar and took a small hesitant step sideways.
Chris's hand was still shaking when Catbug slowly walked over and put its paw over his hand.
Chris tilted his head, the smile never faltering.
"Now, are you a boy or girl?"
"Danny! We have to go see where Chris is!" A female ran across the living room.
"He'll be fine." The male waved as his other hand held the remote, thumb pressing the volume button.
"IT'S POURING OUT THERE!"
"Again, he'll be fine!"
He was suddenly shoved up the wall, his hands gripping the wrist of a single hand that clenched his shirt collar.
"I swear if something happens to him, I'll kill you."
"DO YOU UNDERSTAND?"
"Yes ma'am!" He said quickly.
The raven-haired girl smiled as she let go of his collar, hearing a satisfying 'thud' as Danny's body hit the floor. "Good."
"Chris!" A jovial voice greeted.
Beth immediately ran to the front entrance. Her arms wide open as she tackled her best friend. "Chris! I was so worried! Are you alright?" She pulled away to check him.
A blush covered his face as he cleared his throat. "I'm fine. Just a little wet and all." Then he looked into his shirt. "Oh! Are you okay in there buddy?" He reached in and pulled out a new friend he had made earlier.
"Aw!" Wallow suddenly burst with happiness. "Who's this?"
"His name is Catbug." Chris said, rubbing behind one of Catbug's ears.
Catbug leaned into his touch and purred.
Beth and Wallow clasped their hands together. "Aw!"
A towel was then thrown over Chris's face.
"Ya know, you shouldn't just stand there in those wet clothes. You can get sick from the rain." Danny lectured with a smirk, arms crossed.
"Actually, you can't really get sick from the rain." Chris said as he removed the towel from his face and wrapped Catbug in it. "Your body temperature just drops and that makes it easier for you to catch a cold."
Danny rolled his eyes. "No need for a lesson today professor, dry clothes are calling out for your arrival."
"I'll make some tea! And ready your bath!" Beth announced before performing the tasks.
Chris watched as his childhood friend ran to the kitchen.
"So, did you figure out if you're gonna tell her or-"
Before Dan could finish the sentence, a wet hand was placed over his mouth.
"If you finish that sentence, I will cut all of your hair off. All of it." Chris said before walking away, Catbug snuggled into his arms.
Wallow waved a hand in front of his friend's face. "Uh, Dan?"
"EW! HIS HANDS WERE WET! HIS HANDS WERE WET!"
Catbug splashed around in the bath with Chris. Beth had prepared Chris's favorite kind of bath, a warm rose scented bubble bath with candles surrounding the tub.
"I really don't understand how girls work. That doesn't make sense right? I mean, I've known one since I was born." He looked at his friend.
Catbug continued swimming in the big bath.
This caused Chris to sigh. "Do you even understand?"
He looked up and nodded, then continued his recent activities. He dunked himself under the bath for a while. When he surfaced, a beard bubble was placed on to him.
Chris blinked, then burst out laughing. "Catbug, I'm starting to really like your style."
A knock came from the holojohn door.
"Tea's done, come out when you're finished." A feminine voice said.
"Okay! We'll be out in a minute!" He responded as he scooped Catbug up and stood, reaching for his towel. "She's really bossy huh?"
"I HEARD THAT!"
"SORRY!" Chris blushed as he wrapped the towel around his waist. "Here, let me dry you." He got another towel and patted Catbug dry. "There. All done."
Catbug giggled and ran to the door as Chris quickly put his boxers on.
He threw his towel over his shoulder and walked over to Catbug. "Holojohn, open."
A shriek vibrated through the house.
"PUT SOME GOBBLING CLOTHES ON CHRIS!" Beth squealed as she covered her face with her hands.
"They're in my room, stop over reacting." He rolled his eyes. "It's not as if you haven't seen me like this before."
"OOOH~! Care to explain Beth?" Dan wiggled his eyebrows.
He and Wallow had seemed to discreetly appear after hearing their female friend.
Beth swung a fist at the middle of his face, successfully knocking him out. "Please take him to his bed Wallow." She said before turning away and walking to the kitchen.
"Uh... Okay?" He shrugged before slinging his brown-haired friend over his shoulder. "See you tomorrow Chris and Catbug." He smiled, then walked to Dan's bedroom.
Chris looked down to Catbug, whom shrugged. "I know. But they're all great."
Catbug nodded, then ran off the same direction Beth had gone in.
"Hey! Wait for me!" The blonde yelled, racing after him.
"So, he might be someone's pet? Chris, we have to put up signs."
"Were you not listening? He's covered in bruises!"
"He could have just fell before you found him!"
"He has wings!"
"You said they were broken!"
They glared at each other for a while, pupils burning from exposure of dust and other unwanted particles.
Finally, Beth sighed. "Look, I know you hate animal cruelty-"
"As much as anyone could."
"-but let's not jump to conclusions." She placed a hand over his. "If he already has a home, then he belongs there."
"But... What if he doesn't like his home?" Chris said, his other hand gripping the cup's handle tightly and looking into the tea.
"Then we can keep him."
His head snapped up, eyes glimmering with delight. "R-Really?!"
She nodded, squeezing his hand. "Absolutely."
He glanced over to Catbug, who had been caught up in eating. "Did you hear that? We can keep you!" He leaned over and rubbed the back of his ears.
Catbug lifted his face from the bowl and leaned into Chris's hand, purring.
"Thanks Beth." He lifted his eyes from Catbug to look at his old friend. "Really. Thank you."
"Y-You're welcome." She pulled her hand away, her cheeks red.
"Good night Chris. Good night Catbug." She pulled up the bed sheets, kissed the top of Catbug's head, and patted Chris's.
"Wait! Tell us a story!" Chris blurted out before she could get to the lights.
She rose an eyebrow, hands resting on her hips. "Chris, you know how I feel-"
"Please? For Catbug?" He jutted his lower lip.
She furrowed her eyebrows before sighing and pulling a chair up to his bed. "Fine. But just this once! Don't expect any more story nights!"
Her childhood friend smiled as she sat down and tapped her chin. Catbug also smiled, cuddling deeper into Chris' chest.
"What story should I tell you?"
"Okay, this is a really old story Catbug. Have you heard of it?"
He shook his head.
"Good, cause I like it a lot." She responded with a smile.
"There was a duckling, she was the daughter of a king and queen. Her father always had business at the pond, he never had time for her and her sisters. Her mother would barely take them out, because she was almost always ill.
One day, the queen was healthy and decided it was a good day to take her children out. Though illness was practically a personality for her, she was the most beautiful of ducks in the kingdom.
The princess duckling had always been jealous of her mother and sisters, they were all so beautiful. At school, she had been given the name 'princess ugly' because of her feathers being grey and not the normal white.
So as she followed her sisters at the back of the line, she stared at all of their beauty. Then she looked down to a nearby puddle.
She thought about how ugly she looked, how she wasn't fit to be a princess.
So she ran away.
She ran until the grass became cobblestone, until cobblestone became cement.
The rain started to pour, but she still hadn't stopped running. All that was in her mind was the thought of her being called ugly.
So she kept running in the rain until she forgot who she was."
Beth sighed. "The end."
The two listeners exchanged a glance.
"That's it?" Chris asked.
"That's your bedtime story?"
"Doesn't her parents find her? Isn't she told she's beautiful? Where's the happy ending?" Chris asked, sitting up.
"Chris, you know as well as I do that there's no such thing as a happy ending." She stood up, putting the chair back to its corner.
"No, I know for a fact-"
"Goodnight Catbug, goodnight Chris." She flipped the light switch off and shut the door closed.
Chris sighed and laid back down. "She thinks that we'll never see our parents again."
Catbug blinked at him in the darkness.
"It makes sense for her to think that though."
Chris closed his eyes.
"Her parents have heart failure."
1 month had passed and Catbug had become a part of the Bravest Warrior's family.
Although, Impossibear was being difficult and didn't like the idea of another animal/pet living with them, he had grown comfortable around the little guy.
"Chris, Catbug! Breakfast!"
"Come on Catbug, today's not a lazy day!"
"Watch where you're going Chris!"
"Oh! That's probably Beth's..."
"She's gonna kill you Chris!"
"Shut up Dan!"
"Maybe you can make it up to her with-"
"I'm going to kill you!"
"Ha! If you can't get pass Wallow, then you can't get to me!"
"Thanks Captain Obvious!"
Beth sighed as Catbug flew to the dining room table. "What did you two break this time?"
Catbug made a vase shape with his paws.
The female teen pinched the bridge of her nose. "That one was my great uncle's."
Their new pet flew over to lick her cheek in apology.
Beth giggled, petting Catbug behind the ear. "I know, I know. You didn't mean it." She turned away so she could call the boys again. "Guys! Stop fighting or I'll find the flamethrower!"
"Coming!" They all responded, running into the dining room.
The teens had their usual breakfast conversation, who was doing what, where each person was going, how long they would probably be there. Just for when there was an emergency.
"So, then what're you doing today Chris?" Beth asked as she finished her breakfast.
Chris shrugged as he sipped his orange juice. "Gonna go out with Catbug, take him on a walk."
"Put those flyers up?" She asked with a raised eyebrow as she stood.
"Yes ma'am." He sighed, picking at the last of his eggs.
"You don't have to eat it all if you don't want to." Beth rolled her eyes.
"Thanks!" Chris stood up immediately and picked Catbug up. "We'll be back soon! I promise!" He yelled, putting on his jacket.
"Be careful!" She managed to yell before hearing the front door close.
"So, are we gonna wash the house now or what?"
Chris whistled as Catbug flew in front of him, leash tightly held in his hand.
"Hey, wanna go to the playground?" He asked his little friend.
Catbug tilted his head and blinked in confusion.
The blonde sighed. "The place we met, do you want to go there Catbug?"
After awhile of thinking, the pet pulled his new owner towards the playground.
Chris laughed, stumbling with the stack of "found" flyers in his other arm.
With that certain unfamiliar yell, Chris's wrist were yanked painfully. He yelped as he was dragged to the playground faster than his normal pace.
"Hey! Wait! Blonde guy!"
Now Catbug flew 4x faster.
"Catbug! Slow down!" Chris yelled as his feet were dragged on the pavement, leaving smoke on its trail.
"I said wait!"
With a whimper, Catbug stopped.
Chris rubbed his red wrist with a wince. "Jeez Catbug. What's wrong with you?"
The animal in question flew into his chest, rubbing his face into Chris's blue jacket.
"Wha-What's wrong Catbug? Why are you crying?" He asked as he held his friend close.
"Dude, why'd you run so fast?" A voice asked, short of breath.
Chris turned around quickly, Catbug pressed tighter into Chris's chest.
"That's my cat."
"Uh..." Chris took in the person's physical appearance, unable to speak.
He definitely did not expect a girl to be Catbug's owner.
She was tall, as tall as him in fact. Her hair was light brown, eyes hazel. She was wearing a green hoodie and blue denim jeans, scratching her covered wrists with a frown.
"Excuse me? That's my cat."
"You abuse animals?"
"Huh?" She gave a confused face.
"When I found your... 'Cat'... He was covered in bruises and cuts and his wings were broken."
The girl before him bit her lip and scratched her wrists nervously.
He gave her the same confused face she had given him earlier.
She smiled with a sad smile. "My parents abuse Catbug. And me."
"Do you want more sugar? Maybe honey?"
"No, you put enough. It's fine. Thank you."
She sipped her tea thoughtfully, Chris watched her as he petted the sleeping Catbug in his lap.
He sighed, looking at her while she stared at the tea in front of her. "How long?"
"16 years. As far as I know."
"How old are you?"
He pursed his lips into a thin line. What he hated more than animal abusers were people who abused their relatives, their children nonetheless.
She was so calm, so f*cking calm. It was as if it was no big deal, like she's told total strangers before.
"No one else?"
"No one else." She said before sipping her tea.
With a sigh, she lowered the tea-cup in her hand. "What's the use? They won't listen."
"You took him in. When I asked everyone else and they refuse, you take him in. You deserve to know."
"You know people with no heart."
"That is correct."
"So, you were heartless too?"
She stayed quiet, tears forming in her eyes.
"You left him alone? In the cold? Without a home? No back-up plan? Nothing?"
"I didn't know what else to do." She whispered harshly.
"You could have reported it!"
"I was going to kill myself!"
Chris looked at her, jaw slacked and eyes wide.
"I was planning it for years, but never had the guts until they finally laid their hands on him." She cried. "I tried to pull them, push them away, but they just hit me more. They hit me until I was barely conscious. Until I couldn't move."
The tears fell into her tea, Chris watched and listened while his heart broke.
"Until all I could do was yell and watch him get hurt." She buried her face into her hands. "It went on for a week, I couldn't handle it any more. I could handle getting hurt, I just couldn't handle him getting hurt."
Chris gulped as he walked over to her and took her hand into his. "It's gonna be okay. It's gonna be okay."
With a wail, she wrapped her arms around Chris's waist and buried her face into his stomach.
Chris sighed as he patted the top of the stranger's head.
He didn't even know her name.
He was a complete idiot sometimes, but being an idiot helped him a lot.
Especially when he got her parents into jail and her with the nicest foster parents they could manage.
She had yelled and cried, but in the end she had hugged him and thanked him for doing such a nice thing.
She kneeled down to Catbug and scratched him behind the ear. "You seem happy again."
Catbug nodded with a purr.
"You can stay if you want."
His ears perked up, along with his eyes.
"But, you can always come back. You can always visit me. Okay?"
Catbug nodded and hugged his old owner, whispering something in her ear that had made her cry.
Chris and Catbug waved at her as she climbed into the car and drove to the house of her foster parents.
"If you want to, we can visit her any time you want." Chris said as they headed back to their house.
Catbug nodded fervently, a smile on his face.
"But, you can always go back home with her. Any time."
Catbug blinked at him, face twisted in confusion.
"I'll miss you though."
With a smile, Catbug hugged him.
"I'll miss you too."
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