Sozont ate a lizard and some grubs, but he was still
somewhat hungry. He walked along, thinking happy thoughts, trying
not to look as dejected as he felt.
In a clearing he came across an echidna. There
were books and papers spread around, but it seemed the echidna's main concern
was with the tan he was trying to get on his hairless belly.
—"Hi! I'm Spike," said the echidna.
—"I'm Sozont," said the Tigri-Hippo-Strich.
—"Yeah, I know. You don't pay much attention
to the other carnivores around here, do you?"
—"I guess not. Just call me 'nerd'."
Spike gave Sozont's body a look-over, seeing things
that Sozont had convinced himself were well-hidden.
—"Echidnas are insectivores. We eat ants and
earthworms," said Spike, unnecessarily.
—"I know that." Sozont flicked his hippo-tail.
"We are not competitors."
—"Yeah." Spike looked at Sozont's tail for awhile.
He did some ab crunches, which emphasized the glint of his tan.
—"Nice body you got there, Spike."
—"Yeah." Spike flexed his hindpaws, rippling
his quadriceps. "So, uh, you wanna?"
—"Oh, why not?" Sozont took off his belt and
<lame sex scene deleted>.
"That was oddly unsatisfying," thought Sozont. "That
was good," he said to Spike.
Sozont ran a forepaw over Spike's spines — with the
grain! — and snuggled closer. Spike snuggled back, which actually
seemed more worthwhile than the sex.
—"So, um, Spike..." How should he put this? "You
Spike laughed. "I don't think so. It's
a bit late to ask now! Isn't that an RL problem? Nobody ever
gets AIDS here in Furry Fairytale Land."
—"Well, it's just a matter of time, they say. Soon
it will be here too."
Suddenly the sun ducked behind some clouds and a light
—"Shit!" ejaculated Spike, "I gotta grab my stuff."
He got up and started stuffing books and papers into a backpack.
Sozont got up and put on his belt. The raindrops
glistened on Spike's spines. He actually looked sort of nice. Sozont
—"Appropriate name, Spike!" His hips wiggled
—"Thanks." Spike smiled as he finished packing.
He stared appreciatively at Sozont's hippo part. "Nice, um,
segment!" he said, but then—thinking he had fumbled—he went on: "Or, I
—"So, um, maybe we could, like, do it again sometime?"
Spike seemed like he really wanted it.
Sozont was unsure. Maybe there were better lays,
furs he could respect more. "Yeah!" he said, surprising himself with