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DT-02 Football Season

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    DT-02 Football Season

    Desperately wanting a new video gaming package, Lindsay Dunmore is tricked into joining the football team. Shaq nearly kills himself in an explosion and spends much of the season in the hospital. Rick begins dating Jade in an agreement with Dennis so that Jade could be on the football team. And Warneeri's pregnancy is enough to put everyone on edge. More friends to encounter and many surprises await our heroes.

    "Dunmore Tales"

    DT-02 Football Season
    By Darrel James VanWinkle

    Chapter 01

    The late September autumn mists mixed with the fading colors from the falling leaves, marking the end of another season. Ravibren University saw a change in perspective as the nearby forest began taking on the appearance of oaken columns releasing their golden treasures in their preparation for another winter to come.

    Mr. Sethnic, an adult male gray wolf, studied the student roster to see if he could discern enough potential players for this year's football team. It was going to be a tough enough choice, as is, because he already knew of several deserving hard-working students who wanted to be on the team. For instance, he knew that Dennis Andrews was certainly football material. Mr. Sethnic grinned to himself as he mentally drew a circle around Lindsay Dunmore, the human male student with a buck stag form that was definitely built for a quarterback position. Yet... Mr. Sethnic knew he had to be fair. Just because he had favorites to choose from didn't make it okay to neglect students who had true potential. Mr. Sethnic again studied the student roster.

    "Good morning, Mr. Sethnic." Jade's voice said just behind Mr. Sethnic's left shoulder. "How are you today?"

    Mr. Sethnic smiled. "Good morning, Jade. I am very well today. How are you?"

    Jade flicked her iguana tongue at an annoying fly. "I am well. Whatcha doing?"

    Mr. Sethnic turned to look at Jade. "I am studying the student roster to see who might make play well together for this year's football team. There are several potential students."

    Jade's eyes glittered for a moment, then she said, "I've played some football, unofficially, before attending this university. Before you say no, let me explain something... I am obviously more built for a rough sport than Dennis Andrews is, whom I noticed you already have check marked in your guidebook. I am certainly not a cheerleader and if you even suggest it, I'll break every bone you have. Something you need to keep in mind is that we females also have equal potential to play any sport that our male counterparts play. And while it is true that not all females are built like I am, Those of us who are built for it are just as tough as any brigand or enemy university football player."

    Mr Sethnic hummed. "I always keep an open mind, Jade. And I will keep you in mind... but don't be counting on being chosen. I am not even the one who chooses the team players. I'm just the university athletics coach."

    Jade arched an eye. "You don't choose them? Then who does? Who do I appeal to?"

    Mr. Sethnic closed his guidebook and stood up. "Jade, you're a very nice young lady. And it is admirable that you want to join the football team, but..." He looked off towards Ycehart Hall. "Dennis Andrews is the football team captain. So he's the one who chooses who joins. All I do is present him a list of potential students who also can keep their grades up."

    Jade also glanced toward the boy's dormitory building. "So I have to talk to Dennis..."

    Chapter 02

    On the roof of Ycehart Hall, Shaquil Pernardo and his associate friends, Joseph Huxley, Aiden Harris, and Duma Matambo, were working on a science project having to do with satellite communication channels. They had all the parts individually prepared, and now, Shaq was putting it all together.

    Shaq grinned and said, "Who all is ready for a test run?" Without warning, Shaq activated the device!

    Joey, Aiden and Duma all dove for cover behind an air-conditioning unit!

    Shaq just grinned. "Cowards. I don't know why you're running... Everything is working just..."

    About that moment, the device exploded in a loud and smokey bang. The others could hear and see all mannner of parts of debris raining all over the rooftop and beyond.

    Joey and the others emerged from their hiding spot and gaped at the destruction. There was now a huge hole in the roof of the boy's dormitory. Shaq was lying on the rooftop with burned fur, bleeding somewhat and unconscious. Duma ran off to call 911.

    Several minutes later, two paramedics, a male eagle morph and a female otter morph, arrived on the scene and began working on Shaq. Firefighter dalmations and weasels also arrived to check for fire damage. Joey, Aiden and Duma stood out of the way and watched the professionals work.

    Then, the otter paramedic and one of the dalmation firefighters approached the three. The two took turns questioning the three on how this happened. The discussion ended when the eagle paramedic announced that they needed to get Shaq to the hospital.

    Joey, Aiden and Duma were then approached by campus security and, once again, had to explain how all this happened. Shaq was rushed off to the hospital while the others were being questioned.

    Campus security took the three in to headquarters for further questioning. Joey was starting to get tired of all the questions. Plus, he was worried about Shaq. The interrogation continued for several more hours. Aiden was already a wreck from having to deal with this pressure. Duma kept his cool as best he could, but like Joey, he too was getting tired of being asked the same questions over and over again.

    Chapter 03

    Dennis Andrews and Lindsay Dunmore were with Rodney Waters and Toby Romsawai at the local shopping mall. Rodney was picking up his new DVD player that he had on lay-away. Lindsay still couldn't get over how strange it felt to be walking among actual, real, living, breathing furries... each as varied and actively different as humans are to one another. All of this was still a huge transition for Lindsay, though he was glad that most of the furries had accepted him for what he was.

    The male squirrel sales clerk handed the packaged DVD player to Rodney, with a smile. "Your final payment comes to $28."

    Rodney smiled and dug out the $28, handing it to sales clerk. "Here you go. I should be fully paid now."

    The squirrel smiled. "And you are correct. Enjoy your new DVD player, sir, and have a nice day." The squirrel handed Rodney the receipt.

    Rodney grinned. "I now own a DVD player! Whoo-hoo!"

    Toby smiled and hugged Rodney. "I am so pleased, love."

    Dennis came up behind Lindsay to see what he was looking at. Sitting there was a brand new Multi-Master System, a combo DVD-video game player that could play all the other game cartridges and CDs all on one gaming system. Lindsay just sighed.

    Dennis nudged Lindsay. "It costs a lot, Lindsay. You'll probably have to get a job in order to earn the money for this thing."

    Lindsay nodded his head. "You're probably right. But where can I find a job around Ravibren University and not miss any classes?"

    Dennis hummed, rubbing his chin with his paw. "You'll likely have to check in with Furry Resources. It's an organization that helps furries get jobs around the area. Just don't be expecting anything long-term or permanent. It is more of a temporary job locator service."

    Lindsay nodded his stag muzzle. He was currently wearing his buck stag morph body. "I guess that is what I'll have to do. I really want that game."

    Just then, Smokey ran up to the group, panting raggedly. He held Dennis' shoulders and said, "Shaq's in the hospital! You gotta come quick!"

    Chapter 04

    "This is all your fault!"

    Warneeri was lying in her bed, partially covered with a blanket, holding her enormous black-furred tummy, with her rabbit paws. The person she was yelling at was her husband, Huckleberry Slyfingers. Warneeri's pregnancy was becoming a good reason to NOT be around.

    Huckleberry stayed near the door. The male ferret was wearing a white silk shirt, brown cloth trousers, and a green komodo scaled apron, tried to keep a nice smile on his muzzle. "I only got you pregnant... blame O'kali for making you THAT fat!"

    Warneeri threw a throw-pillow at Huckleberry, but the ferret too was fast. Warneeri missed her mark; she KNEW not to hurl a fireball. "Hold still, you slick greasy worm!"

    Huckleberry grinned. "I may be slick and greasy, but I'm no worm. You should learn to take it easy while you can. I sorta enjoy doing all the housework... though I pity the hospital when you have to go."

    Warneeri growled and started chanting a spell!

    Huckleberry was quickly at her side, stuffing a banana into Warneeri's muzzle! "Uh-uh-uh! You promised me that you wouldn't cast any spells while you were pregnant."

    Warneeri folded her furry arms over her tummy.

    Huckleberry petted Warneeri's ears. "If you weren't so argumentative, I'd be very disappointed to be your husband." He kissed Warneeri's ears softly.

    Warneeri slowly swallowed the banana. "You always brought out the best in me, love. And I know I promised not to cast any spells. Tell me something though: do you keep your skills in check?"

    Huckleberry grinned and kissed Warneeri again. "I still have my tricks. What weird cravings are you having, love?"

    Warneeri grinned. "I want three things. I want our adventuring friends to come by and see our new kits. I want the winning football from the annual football game between Ravibren and whoever they end up playing. And lastly, I want to go on a friendly little date with Lindsay."

    Huckleberry slyly grinned. "Anything for you, love."

    Chapter 05

    Dennis stood at the foot of the hospital bed speaking to the adult male coyote medical doctor who had treated Shaq. "How is he, Doc?"

    The Doctor was writing on the clipboard, and never raised an eye, as he responded, "Your friend isn't as invulnerable as he may think he is. Second degree burns, a few broken ribs, a severe concussion, and some sort of obstruction in his lungs. He's earned himself a nice two to three month stay here in the hospital."

    Shaq opened his eyes slowly and opened his mouth. "Stupid quack arseholes don't know what they're yapping about. I'll be back on campus by tomorrow." He coughed a few times.

    The Doctor glanced in Shaq's direction. "I know enough to see that you're not as healthy as you're pretending to be. And you'll behave yourself, or I'll be forced to assign a guard to your room."

    Dennis hummed. "You better assign a guard to the room, Doc. Otherwise, Shaq will try his best to leave the hospital."

    Shaq gave Dennis a dirty look. "Traitor!"

    Dennis grinned. "I'll bring your class books and homework to you so you don't fall behind, Shaq. Besides, you know that the Doc is right. You're lucky to be alive."

    Shaq sighed. "Stuck in the hospital. I might as well be dead."

    Dennis winked at Shaq. "If you're good, you might meet a cute nurse."

    The Doctor hummed. "If he's not good, he'll get Nurse Brunhildegarde, and she doesn't take no guff from anyone. Especially from a cheeky patient."

    Shaq closed his eyes and coughed some more.

    The Doctor led Dennis out into the outer hallway, and closed the door. "I hope he tries to heal up."

    Dennis looked at the Doctor eye to eye. "Tell me the truth, Doc. How is Shaq doing? I mean really... not what you said where he could hear us, but the real deal..."

    The Doctor lifted his head to look at Dennis. "Shaquil Pernardo will need surgery. After that, its anyone's guess."

    Chapter 06

    Ycehart Hall had seen better days. The building was being evacuated for repairs. Lindsay and Joey were busy packing up all of the belongings within their dormitory room. The Ravibren Building Saftey Commissioner had declared the building, unsafe for occupation, but was nice enough to give the students time to get all of their belongings out of the rooms.

    Lindsay sighed as he glanced at Joey. "Where will we be transferred to, Joey? We just barely got moved in." He muttered, "I hope we don't miss any of Dennis' and Shaq's stuff."

    Joey patted Lindsay's shoulder. "Chin up, mate. The other dorm buildings offered to take the occupants of Yce'art 'all in. We'll not be out in the cold." Joey resumed packing.

    Soon, Lindsay and Joey were carrying several suitcases and pushing a large, wheeled laundry wagon full of Dennis' and Shaq's belongings, out of the building. Even though they had the greatest distance out of the building, they were the first to get their room vacated. Mr. Sethnic and Dean Omar Kinsbert met with Lindsay and Joey in the Ycehart parking lot.

    Omar hummed. "If we're lucky, the building will be repaired by mid-December. In the meantime, Mr. Sethnic has a solution for you boys."

    Mr. Sethnic smiled. "Through some connections of mine, there are some dorm room openings in Alpha Tai Dashpaw. Normally, only certain people can get into the place, but because of the emergency situation, they have offered to let you boys, and Dennis, to stay there until Ycehart Hall is repaired. You'll be sharing a floor with two other Senior Class students. I know you'll get along great. But because I pulled these strings, Lindsay, I'd like something in return..."

    Lindsay looked to Mr. Sethnic. "What do you want?"

    Mr. Sethnic seriously replied, "I'd like for you to play just one season of football for Ravibren. I mean, you're as built as Jade and Dennis, and I can't let an opportunity like this slide by. Please?"

    Lindsay blinked his eyes, then sighed. "...There goes any chance of my earning money for that game..."

    Mr. Sethnic patted Lindsay's shoulder. "If you say yes, I'll see about getting you the game you're talking about for Christmas. How about it?"

    Chapter 07

    Alpha Tai Dashpaw... Normally the home base of Ravibren's Senior Class students and grade "A" football players. Dennis met with Lindsay and Joey at the entrance to the very ritzy establishment. Together, they headed inside and to the receptionist's desk.

    Dennis smiled to the female phoenix-fox secretary, "Dennis Andrews and roommates. Mr. Sethnic sent us."

    The secretary smiled kindly to Dennis. "Hello Captain Andrews. You don't come by often enough." She handed three sets of keys to Dennis. "Mr. Sethnic arranged for you three to move into Rudolph Ranger and Gusto Cristian's floor. Take the elevator up to the 4th floor, but you surely know the way." She winked and smiled to Dennis.

    Dennis blushed, taking the keys, then led Lindsay and Joey to the elevator, and inside.

    Once the doors slid shut, Lindsay asked, "You know the way because you lived here once before? Or you dated the secretary?"

    Dennis pushed the button for the 4th floor. "Yeah, I lived here once. And I am not happy about living here even temporarily. I'm helping you two get settled in. But after that, don't expect me to be around much. Shaq is in real bad shape, and I'm worried about him. So I'll likely be at the hospital a lot. His parents don't care that he's in the hospital. What a bunch of evil snooks! Made me sick having to call them to get medical permission for Shaq's surgery."

    The elevator reached the 4th floor, the doors sliding open, thus halting any further discussion about Shaq. Dennis led the way into the 4th floor living room.

    Rudolph Ranger, a large muscular male dalmatian, and Gusto Cristian, a slender, yet athletic male otter, were both sitting in the dining room, wearing only their shorts, playing a board game. Gusto was the first to notice Dennis' arrival. "Dennis Andrews! Mr. Sethnic said you'd be arriving today. And these are your roommates?"

    Dennis grinned. "Hello Gusto. Hiya Rudolph. Strip Monopoly again?"

    Rudolph winked at Dennis. "You only wish, Dennis."

    Dennis smiled. "This is Joey Huxley and Lindsay Dunmore. Be lucky Shaq isn't moving in, though it's hard to be moving anywhere in the hospital. Be nice to my friends, if you know what's good for you..."


      Chapter 08

      Dennis had returned downstairs to get himself a soft drink from the soda machine. Man, he hated this dorm! And now he was back here again. How could things get worse than this?

      Jade came walking up just then. "There you are! I've been looking all over campus for you!"

      Dennis lifted his head. He noticed that Jade was with Rebecca Mooney, Rick's sister. "Hello ladies. I'm not too hard to locate. Whatcha need?"

      Jade pulled a football out of her book bag and handed it to Dennis.

      Dennis eyed the football, then glanced back to Jade. "I don't get it?"

      Jade grinned. "I want to sign up on the football team. And I won't take no for an answer."

      Dennis mentally cursed the fates. Now he knew how it could get worse. "Jade... You know the faculty won't approve of a girl within an all-male sporting team. Why don't you try out for volleyball or women's basketball."

      Jade grabbed Dennis' collar and brought Dennis within range of her serpentine tongue. "Sign me up or else! Be lucky I am in a nice mood."

      Dennis glanced at Becky. "Rick will throw a fit if I sign Jade up on the team. Surely you're not agreeing with Jade, are you?"

      Becky just tilted her head for a moment. "I am not the football team captain. I am just a neutral party. I am mainly here to verify that Jade didn't dismember you for saying no."

      Dennis irked. "Jade... Whereas I cannot just sign you up without a proper tryout, you can get the same chances the others on campus get. Saturday... show up in something tomboyish and I'll give you a fair tryout. That's all I can promise you." He muttered lowly, "Not like I don't have enough to worry about."

      Jade grinned and released Dennis' collar. "A reasonable vulpine, when the proper presentation is given. I'll be there Saturday, Dennis. You had better be there too, or I will hunt you down and super-glue you into a cheerleader's uniform."

      Dennis closed his eyes and mentally pondered. (Why me?)

      Chapter 09

      Rudolph led Lindsay off into his portion of the apartment floor, while Gusto led Joey off into his own area.

      Rudolph started making space by moving clothing from three of the six drawers into the top three drawers. "Until we can get extra beds in here, you'll have to share the bed with me. You can have the bottom three drawers once I get my things out of them. Though I am surprised that a human is so interested in furry affairs."

      Rudolph glanced at Lindsay as he said this.

      Lindsay was still in his buck stag morph. "Well, believe it or not, I was given an invitation to attend here. So my being here is a special circumstance. I am pleased that the furries have been so open around me. As for my being 'here', Mr. Sethnic wants me to play football for one season. This stag body seems to turn Mr. Sethnic on. Though he has likely forgotten that my human body, though somewhat athletic, has never played any football before."

      Rudolph turned fully to Lindsay. "Ouch. Mr. Sethnic doesn't know you've never played football? Hoo-boy. Why did you agree to do this then?"

      Lindsay sighed. "Two reasons. One, I didn't want to be separated from Joey and Dennis. Two, Mr. Sethnic sorta bribed me, and I felt sorta compelled to accept the offer."

      Rudolph hrm'ed. "What was the bribe?"

      Lindsay replied, "I let it slip that I wouldn't be able to raise any money for a new game that I really wanted, and Mr. Sethnic said he'd see about buying it for me if I played football for one season. The 'game' is a brand new Multi-Master System, a combo DVD-video game player that can play all the other game cartridges and CDs all on one gaming system."

      Rudolph whistled when he heard the reply. "No offense, but I think you better not rely on Mr. Sethnic buying you that. I've seen the price tag; it's up there. I've wanted one myself. You better look into getting some part-time jobs. And I think I know just the place that can use a nice stud like you... if you're interested."

      Lindsay brightened up a bit. "You do? Of course I'm interested."

      Rudolph smiled. "I work part-time there myself. It's after-hours, but we can get you cleared with campus security, I am sure."

      Chapter 10

      Gusto grinned as he slipped down into the swimming pool like depression in his own room. "You and Dennis can use the bed. I never sleep there. I'm an otter, so I sleep in water!"

      Joey giggled at the rhyme. "Thanks Gusto. It would have been slightly awkward for you to share the bed with a werekangaroo and an over-sexed arctic fox." Joey winked at Gusto.

      Gusto chirped happily in the water. "So you're a werekangaroo? Have any problems with that? Weird cravings? Full moon hunting sprees?"

      Joey hrm'ed. "Not that Ah know of. Ah am still going through my first year of being one, even though Ah am a true blood."

      Gusto grinned at Joey. "I notice you have a pouch. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I always thought that only female roos had the pouches. Why do you have one?"

      Joey fingered the opening, then replied, "My uncle Reed says, normal female roos 'ave pouches for their young. But wereroos, like us, 'ave pouches due to a supernatural dreamtime link we 'ave to our ancestral outback 'ome."

      Gusto wow'ed! "That's really interesting, Joey! I never would have thought that."

      Joey grinned. "Thanks, mate. Ah use mine to store my gear in. Like a backpack."

      Gusto swam around a bit more as Joey put away his things. Then, Dennis entered the room and began packing away his things. Gusto climbed out of the 'pool' and grabbed a towel to dry himself with. Dennis started sorting through Shaq's course books and computer manuals. Gusto watched for a bit, then tossed the towel into the hamper.

      Joey asked, "When do ya think Shaq will be able to leave the 'ospital? Ah already miss 'im."

      Dennis sighed and replied, "I miss him too. His parents don't give a damned about him. We're all he has. Shaq will be in the hospital for about two or three months. If he's lucky, we'll see him back on campus sometime in December."

      Gusto frowned. "I had no idea Shaquil's life was so sad. Is there anything we can do to help him?"


        Chapter 11

        "Evil vampires. Mad med-student doctors with nothing to do."

        Shaq sighed as he eyed the bandages covering his recent surgical experience. "Dennis... please don't leave me here..."

        Shaq was scared.

        He didn't want to be in the hospital all alone. He missed having Dennis around. Dennis was the only one who understood him. And he appreciated every moment Dennis provided.

        Oh, sure they argued and threw shouts back and forth. But it was on a friend level of competition. No one else on campus wanted to endure his presence for any length of time.

        He tried hard to curb his language. But no matter how hard he tried, he always seemed to revert to his father's mind level of verbal utterance.

        The cute German shepherd police guard that the hospital hired to guard Shaq's room was very attractive, in Shaq's eyes. "Who am I kidding? I'm just a useless potty-mouthed tabby cat. He's probably not even interested in who I am."

        Shaq sighed again and picked up the TV remote. "I hope there is something educational on. Any fix-it or technical program..." He clicked on the TV and started browsing through the channels.

        Outside the room, the guard stopped two students approaching the room. "I'm sorry, but I need to see some ID if you're planning on going in there. Just doing my job."

        The cheetah and raccoon looked at each other.

        Aiden exclaimed, "Since when does Shaq merit police protection? I'm Aiden Harris and this is Duma Matambo. The doctor said we could visit Shaq."

        Duma growled, "If you have a problem with that, take it up with the doc. Now, can we go inside?"

        The German Shepherd hummed. "Okay. No need to get uptight. My being here is to make sure Shaq stays in, not to keep others out. Go on in."

        Aiden smiled and winked. "Shaq is pretty lucky to have a handsome guard like you to drool over." He and Duma entered the room.

        Chapter 12

        Rick Mooney and Colin Young were playing some one-on-one basketball as Dennis sat nearby explaining his current dilemma to them.

        "So now, I have to show up on Saturday to give Jade a fair tryout, or else. What am I supposed to do?"

        Rick hrm'ed. "Jade as a football player? Hmm... You know, Dennis. The other team would never suspect us using Jade as a secret weapon. They wouldn't know how to handle it."

        Colin shot the ball into the hoop. "Let her try out. But make sure you have some witnesses there to back you up. A few faculty members, to make it official. I'm glad I'm not football player material."

        Dennis pondered this for a moment. The other team's reaction to seeing Jade enter the game during a crucial moment. Dennis slowly grinned from the thought.

        Rick grinned too. "At the least, we could legally have Jade in the locker room with us."

        Dennis frowned. "That's the last place I'd want to be with Jade at. But if you're that foolhardy, be my guest!"

        Colin laughed. "You don't know Rick. As long as it's a girl, he'll go anyplace to be with them."

        Rick laughed too. "I've dated a lot of girls. Not Jade, of course, but there is hope..."

        Dennis paled. "Rick, you're scaring me."

        Rick grinned and said, "Booga booga!"

        Dennis suddenly brightened! "Say Rick... Are you serious about dating Jade?"

        Rick shot another ball through the hoop. "Sure I am. Why?"

        Dennis smoothly said, "If you promise to date Jade, I'll sign her up on the team. And I mean a date every weekend until we win the big game. Is it a deal?"

        Rick hummed. "That's all you want? I just have to date Jade?"

        Dennis grinned. "That's all I want."

        Rick grabbed Dennis' paw and shook it. "You have yourself a deal. Whoo-hoo! What an easy arrangement!"

        Dennis chuckled to himself. (Oh yeah... you'll be regretting this deal... and begging me to end it!)

        Chapter 13

        Rudolph and Lindsay got out of Rudolph's sportscar and walked into the employee's entrance of an establishment called 'Reverse Polarity'. Rudolph introduced Lindsay to the owner, a buff, muscular skunk, Mr. Pierre Robinson.

        "My friend Lindsay needs some part-time work, Pierre. He's trying to raise some funds to buy something special he's been eying."

        Lindsay blushed a little as he sat there. Pierre had been checking him out with a smile the whole time.

        Pierre smiled. "Az good an emplo'ee az 'ou, Mezzieur Ru'dolf, 'e 'az, 'ow 'ou zay, certain ztyle, zi vouz plait? May'apz, zi, we 'ave a zpot fo' 'im. Ze pay, eez, quite rewarding. Zi?"

        Lindsay blinked his eyes. He could barely understand what the skunk was saying. "Um, thank you, sir. I'll try my best."

        Rudolph grinned.

        Pierre directed Rudolph to go check in with Frances Yukon, a male husky stud who was the main manager of the Reverse Polarity, to see where Lindsay could be placed.

        Rudolph nod-nodded his head, and led Lindsay out of Pierre's office. "Told you the owner was cool. And he seems to like you, too, Lindsay. That's a big plus."

        Lindsay um'ed. "What sort of place is this, Rudolph? You've been so secretive about it so far. And it doesn't appear to be a shopping store of any sort."

        Rudolph grinned again. "We perform." He winked. "On stage. And the pay is outrageous! I was nervous at first too, but how can I turn down such a huge amount of money. It's how I bought my sports car."

        Lindsay hummed. "Perform on stage... What kind of acting do you do, Rudolph? You're almost too well built to do any serious dramatic Shakespearean roles." He blinked his eyes at the passing buff and muscular Arabian stallion wearing nothing but a speedo thong. "Who was that?!"

        The Arabian stallion stopped and turned his head to Lindsay, with a slow wink of his amber eye, and a glistenly white smile, as he slowly ran his hand up his own side to his lips. He then blew Lindsay a kiss and exited into his own dressing room.


          Chapter 14

          Rudolph giggled and replied, "'That' was a little bit too big for you, Lindsay. If you decide to keep working here, I'll see about introducing you to Asim Sahndeem. You're lucky Asim only winked at you."

          Lindsay blinked his eyes and blushed under his fur. "This is a strip club, isn't it?"

          Rudolph replied, "We don't call it that. The Reverse Polarity is a lot more refined than a standard strip joint. Pierre and Frances provide respect, good wages and an education in on-stage performance acting. Did I mention that I am also in the University Drama Club?"

          Lindsay shook his head.

          Rudolph smiled. "Well, I am. If you agree to work here for the length of the football season, I'll get you into the Ravibren Drama Club. The benefits of that club include V.I.P. passes to a lot of performance events. I've seen some good operas, orchestras, and professional theater plays since I joined."

          Lindsay said, "Ooh. I was wondering how to get into the drama club!" He sighed. "Okay, I'll work here at the Reverse Polarity, providing it's on the nights you're here. I'd be too embarrassed to be here by myself. In return, you'll get me in the drama club?"

          Rudolph smiled again. "I'm sure you'll be okay, Lindsay. Pierre really liked you."

          Lindsay shivered a bit. "Pierre liked this form. I have two forms. The other is a bit smaller and human. I'm not sure he'd like that one."

          Rudolph grinned. "Pierre might not like it, but Frances would! He's a bit kinky anyway. Come on, you can watch me work tonight, so you get an idea on what to expect."

          Lindsay hummed. "Frances Yukon is that husky that Pierre mentioned. Is he around?"

          Rudolph grinned again. "Frances is likely in the production booth with the jazzy kook of a DJ that works the booth during the shows. Now follow me to my dressing room. I need to get changed into my stripable fireman's costume. When I set foot on the stage, the fires literally alight within my audience's hearts." He winked.

          Chapter 15

          Colin laughed when he saw Rick in the rented tuxedo. "And who are you supposed to be fooling, buddy?"

          Rick razzberried at Colin. "It just so happens that I am dressed up for my date with Jade. We're going to have a very refined dinner, go to a dance hall, then see a theatrical love play."

          Colin grinned. "And why are you doing all that?"

          Rick glared at Colin. "Look. I want Jade on the football team. I promised Dennis that I would date Jade every weekend until the big game, itself. Besides, Jade is going to be putty in my paws."

          Colin hummed. "Isn't that presuming a bit much? Jade's not a little girl, you know. She's huge."

          Rick grinned and jokingly said, "Hey! You been looking at my woman's breasts?"

          Colin yeep'ed and blushed. "NO! I mean... I have enough problems without getting on Jade's bad side."

          Rick grinned. "Wish me luck!" He headed out the door.

          At the same time elsewhere... Becky sat in her chair pondering a homework problem.

          Suddenly, Jade emerged from the bathroom wearing a western-styled outfit, cowboy boots, stetson hat, and blue jeans. Jade's shirt had frills and sparklie sequens all over the front side, seeming to pronounce the tightness of her breasts within. "How do I look?!"

          Becky about fell out of her chair laughing! "Where 'are' you going looking like that?"

          Jade grinned, serpentine tongue tasting the air. "I have a date tonight with your brother. We're going to grab some grub, hit a dance club, then go see a dirty movie. I'd invite you, but you said you were studying tonight with Colin and Joey."

          Becky smiled, getting back into her chair. "Rick never mentioned that he was dating 'you'! He's likely in for a rough time then. I've seen the remains of some of your dates." Becky winked. "Do try to leave my brother in one piece."

          Jade laughed. "He's a football player. If he can't handle a girl like me, then maybe 'he' should be on the cheerleading squad."

          Becky laughed too. "Anyway, have a good time, Jade. I'll leave the light on for you."

          Jade nodded her head and left the dorm room.

          Chapter 16

          Saturday morning brought Dennis Andrews and Mr. Sethnic to the football stadium for the annual tryouts at the college. The two were comparing their notes when the cheerleading squad also arrived to practice their acts and cheers. Dennis grinned when he saw them. Mr. Sethnic noticed that there was quite a large crowd of on-lookers gathering in the stands, showing their support to their fellow students. Mr. Sethnic also noticed a 'We Love Lindsay!' t-shirt on a few of the gathering students.

          Mr. Sethnic slyly grinned. "Perfect."

          Dennis glanced up, as he was fastening his cleats. "What is perfect?"

          Mr. Sethnic smiled to Dennis. "The gathering students, of course."

          Dennis grinned. "Of course. Gotta show team support and cheer on the sex symbols."

          Lindsay and Rudolph emerged from the locker rooms, together. They were chatting idly, though dropped the discussion once they were within range of Dennis and Mr. Sethnic.

          Lindsay said, "I'm here. As promised..." He muttered an additional, "...the things I do for a game..."

          Rudolph grinned. "We had some breakfast at Waffle Haven this morning. So, I think we both are prepared for today's chaos."

          Dennis nodded his head, as Smokey came charging across the gridiron.

          Smokey came to a halt and panted. "Alarm didn't go off. I had to rush things and eat a honey-basted iced cinnamon roll, nectar-laiden egg and sausage croissant, and mint-flavored mocha." He grinned.

          Lindsay smiled at Smokey. "You'll make a fine chef, one of these days."

          Smokey winked and grinned. "Did I make anyone hungry?"

          Lindsay's stomach growled in response. "Oh hush, you. I filled you up this morning."

          Mr. Sethnic laughed! "All I had was a cup of coffee and a cold hot dog."

          Rudolph laughed too! "You should have joined us then. I was being generous this morning."


            Chapter 17

            Just then, Rick and Jade came trotting across the field to the small gathering. Jade looked all pepped up for some serious game playing. Rick appeared to be slightly queasy from some unknown condition.

            Dennis grinned. "Hi guys! How was the date?"

            Jade spoke up first. "I thought it was pretty interesting. I was a little under-dressed for some of the places Rick took me, but all in all, I'd say that Rick held himself quite well. However, next time... I get to choose the dating hot spots."

            Dennis glanced to Rick.

            Rick shot a very dirty look at Dennis.

            Dennis grinned. "Just remember, Rick. Every weekend until the big game. You did promise..."

            Rick grumbled and growled. "I know, I know..."

            Mr. Sethnic smiled. "Get out on the field and let me see some motivation. I don't know who we'll be playing against this year, but we can't be caught unaware. Go!"

            The players headed out into the center of the field to practice. Dennis glanced to Mr. Sethnic and said, "Do you think its a bad idea for Jade to be on the team?"

            Mr. Sethnic replied, "She keeps her grades up. She does have a sports scholarship. And, she seems more motivated than the rest of the players. Maybe Jade will work out."

            Dennis nodded his head and ran out to join the others.

            Just down the field, the cheerleaders were practicing their drills, though one, a shapely and beautiful morphic doe stag seemed more interested in Lindsay than in the drills. {So that's the coach's secret weapon this year. He is quite the buck. I'll have him eating out of my paws by the time the big game rolls around, or my name isn't Bambi Roesley!}

            Of course, Bambi wasn't the only one with an eye on Lindsay... a few other girls were watching him too. As was a certain male ferret. And that ferret was wondering how he would be able to convince Lindsay to date his sweet black bunny-rabbit wife.

            Chapter 18

            Shaq yawned as he sat in the hospital bed. "How much longer do I have to stay in this boring place?"

            Aiden grinned. "Would you rather be tortured on the football field with Jade?"

            Shaq made a face and became pale. "Ya know something? This hospital bed is starting to feel more comfortable."

            Jack Carlos laughed. "I brought my chess set, if you're interested. Though you're a little layed up for shadow boxing."

            Shaq grinned. "Find a way to get that guard in bed with me, and I'll be glad to show you a laying!"

            Aiden blushed. "I... he IS sorta cute..."

            Jack hummed. "So you're actually hot for someone! Well, if I go and figure out how to do it, what will you give me?"

            Shaq hummed back. "What do you want?"

            Jack grinned. "How about you and me trade roommates for a year? I get Dennis and you get Stuart Masterson."

            Shaq paled again. "But... but... Dennis is the only one who understands me... name something else... please..."

            Jack frowned and placed his paws on his hips. "I guess you don't want to have that guard very badly, do you?"

            Shaq whined. Then, he sighed and closed his eyes. "...okay, you have a deal, Jack. It's a trade only if he sleeps in the same bed with me. Otherwise, the deal is off."

            Jack grinned. "Child's play! I'll have that guard in bed with you in no time!"

            Aiden stood back, thinking, (Uh oh... why do I get the feeling that Jack is about to be in trouble?)

            Shaq opened his eyes and wiped aside a tear. How can he possible live without Dennis' daily understanding?

            Jack was already ogling the guard just outside the door...

            Chapter 19

            Lindsay released a sigh of relief as the day's football practice ended. He had sweat dripping off of his brow and he smelled vaguely like a buck in rut. Lindsay was heading for the showers, looking forward to a nice thorough rinsing. However, what he wasn't expecting was the near-collision with the very pretty shapely morphic doe. Lindsay rounded the hallway corner, and there she was.

            And they both fell to the floor from the surprise!

            Lindsay said, "Oh! I'm terribly sorry. All my fault."

            The doe smiled as she slowly stood back up. She seemed to be white all over and had the most beautiful blue eyes. "It's okay. No one was hurt. I'm Cordelia."

            Lindsay slowly also got back up. "I'm Lindsay..." He felt like he had butterflies in his stomach all of a sudden. "You new here?"

            Cordelia smiled and nodded her pretty head. "Visiting to see what kind of place this is. I didn't know I'd meet such a nice buck."

            Lindsay blushed and smiled. "Um, pardon me please. I do need to hit the showers. Maybe I'll see you around campus later?"

            Cordelia very slowly blinked both of her eyes, still smiling. "I'd like that, Lindsay."

            Lindsay hurried on to the shower stalls. He entered the shower area and began washing himself off. Moments later, as Lindsay was stepping out of the showers, a towel was handed to him. Lindsay dried his face and eyes first. Then, as he lowered the towel, he blushed again.

            Standing there was an elderly morphic white buck stag, 12-points on his antlers, and wearing the garb of a faculty member. He also had the prettiest blue eyes. "You're Lindsay, aren't you? I'm Counselor Franklin Tennyson. Everyone calls me Frank. My daughter, Cordelia, told me about her encounter with you. Do you like her?"

            Lindsay blushed profusely again. "Um, it was a chance encounter, sir. But... she is very nice. And pretty..." He blushed again as he looked to Frank. " you are, sir."

            Frank smiled. "I am the campus counselor. Can I buy you lunch? Without Cordelia... you are blushing enough, young buck. I'll be waiting just outside for you." He exited the locker rooms.


              Chapter 20

              A pretty puma woman nurse slowly pushed Shaq's wheelchair through the hospital's courtyard gardens. Shaq had literally begged the doctor for some time outside of that room. This was the bargain that was struck. He could be out once a day, with escort.

              The puma nurse softly exclaimed, "I've been watching you, Shaquil Pernardo. I think you're really cute. My name is Lucita Ricardo."

              Shaq glanced up at Lucita with a smile. (Why is she being so nice? Why does she seem so attractive to me?) "Thank you, but just call me Shaq. All my friends do."

              Lucita grinned. "Then you can call me Sita. All my friends do." Lucita petted and carressed Shaq's head fur gently.

              Shaq purred happily. (Damn, that feels nice. She seems to know all my pleasure zones. Sita. That's a real nice name. Almost too nice for me.) "You work here all the time?"

              Lucita smiled. "No, I am studying to be an optometrist. And I think you have the nicest eyes, Shaq."

              Shaq smiled. "Thank you. You have the nicest paws." (Am I falling for this nice puma? She certainly has a nice scent.)

              Lucita carressed Shaq's headfur some more. "How come I've not seen you around campus?"

              Shaq laughed. "You've not seen the great foul-mouthed trouble-induced Shaq? How could you miss seeing me, let alone, hearing me?"

              Lucita giggled. "You're that Shaq? Oh my!" Lucita came around to face Shaq and lay a gentle deep kiss on his muzzle.

              Shaq murred and blinked his eyes!

              Lucita stopped kissing and smiled. "Want to go steady with me, Shaq? I know I am not supposed to look for dates among patients, but you look like you need some support in the hospital. I'll make you a deal. If you help we with my studies, I'll help you around the stuffy shirts here in the hospital. What do you say?"

              Shaq grinned and hugged Lucita, and planted a deep compassionate kiss upon her succulant sweet puma lips. "It's a deal."

              Chapter 21

              Lindsay stood nervously in the wings backstage of the Reverse Polarity watching Rudolph do his fireman strip show. Lindsay was wearing a loose lumberjack costume. Frances Yukon had helped Lindsay choose the costume; Frances proved to be a very nice husky.

              So, here Lindsay stood. Awaiting his first time on stage. He was scared and nervous. He was absolutely sure he was going to mess up. And everyone would laugh at him.

              The dinner he had with the counselor went pretty well. He seemed more interested in Lindsay than his daughter did.

              Lindsay suddenly felt a warm presence behind him.

              It was Asim. "What's wrong, Lindsay? You're all tense."

              Lindsay's heart raced when he saw Asim. "I'm scared and nervous about being on stage like this. What if I mess up?"

              Asim petted Lindsay gently. "You'll do just fine. What works for me is to pretend that I am performing in front of a mirror or a TV set. Just molest the pole as if it were your special playmate. And when you strip, everything is expendable... except for your underwear. You got to leave your audience guessing what else you have to offer. I remember Rudolph's first time. He was as nervous as you were. But sweating a lot. The sweat turned on his audience even more. He got a lot of money that night. So relax and don't think about the audience. It's a mirror or a TV set. And the only one judging you is yourself. You'll do just fine... By the way... do you have a boyfriend?"

              Lindsay blushed a bit. "Um... no... just several friends... am I that attractive?"

              Asim smiled and kissed Lindsay's nose. "Very attractive."

              Lindsay fidgeted. "I am human underneath this form."

              Asim grinned. "Even better! I happen to like humans. Glad to see I wasn't wrong. Hey, you're on next. Rudolph is just finishing his act. Just remember what I said and you'll do just fine. I'll see you after your act."

              Rudolph grinned to the audience, collecting his costume and money as he walked backstage to Lindsay and Asim. "Piece of cake, Lindsay. Go have some fun. You're a new face, so the crowd will go easy on you the first time, though they can be very demanding."

              Lindsay gulped and slowly walked out on stage. His first time.

              Chapter 22

              Sunday morning. Lindsay entered the confessional booth at the local church and sat down. He waited.

              "Good morning, my son."

              Lindsay sighed and replied, "Forgive me father for I hath sinned."

              "How long hath it been since your last confession... my son?"

              Lindsay stopped. That voice... even though muffled, it sounded familiar. "It has been about four years. I didn't see a need to seek a confession until last night."

              "That is quite a long time, my son. Tell me of your sins."

              Lindsay took a breath and began. "Unless you don't already know, I am Lindsay Dunmore, a human from the surface world, here with permission to attend college classes with the other furries. Warneeri gave me the power to assume an anthropomorphic buck stag form so I'd fit in better with the students here. I've had some ups and downs since arriving, but none of these have warranted a confession until only recently..."

              "Continue, my son."

              Lindsay fidgeted in his booth. "Well... recently I saw this electronic game that I wanted, and I didn't have the money to get it. A fellow temporary roommate suggested I work where he was working and it turned out to be a... a strippers club. I had my first performance last night... I was so nervous and scared... but the audience was pretty nice, and they tipped me with lots of money... after the show, another stripper, an arabian stallion, invited me to his place, and well... we got intimate. I think he was trying to help me relax... but instead... I just feel so dirty and sinful now..."

              The muffled voice sounded as if it was stifling laughter, and not very well either.

              Lindsay blinked his eyes. "Hey! This is serious! Who's in there?" He got up and exited the booth, and opened up the priest's booth. Lindsay smiled and hugged the person within. "Garla!"

              Garla Canopyskimmer, a morphic flying-squirrel priestess of Okali, hugged back and kissed Lindsay. "I'm sorry, Lindsay. But I never imagined that you'd do something so amusing. I am very glad to see you. Don't fret; I'll see to it that Okali forgives you."


                Chapter 23

                Weeks later at the campus laundromat, Lindsay, Rudolph, Stuart, Aiden, Toby, Rodney and Rick happened to all be in there at the same time. Aiden was mainly there to get a good look at look at the guy's pants groins, although he was doing his laundry at the same time. Rodney and Toby sat in the back of the laundromat on a bench, almost literally in each other's laps. The others were gathered near the coin changer, and soda and snack machines.

                Rick takes a drink of his cold soda. "Man oh man. This year's football season is brutal."

                Rudolph nodded his muzzle. "Yeah, I agree. I don't know what's worse: being tackled by Jade or watching that slutty cheerleading doe throw herself all over Lindsay."

                Lindsay ate a potato chip, then said, "Anytime you guys want to rescue me, just give the word. She doesn't even interest me. You know that I've been seeing Cordelia off and on. It's about all I can do to prevent myself from slapping some sense into Bambi's over-perfumed head."

                Stuart grinned. "I'm glad I'm not going through that! But I certainly wish I hadn't volunteered to be an angel in the upcoming theatrical production. I make a very unbelieveable angel. I make a better devil."

                Lindsay hummed. "I've played an angel once. If you'd like, I can give you some pointers."

                Rudolph laughed. "Hey! That's an idea. Why don't we get Frances to dig up an angel costume and let you strip out of that on stage?"

                Lindsay blushed hard!

                Rick arched an eye. "Strip? Am I missing something?"

                Stuart mock-slapped Rick's shoulder. "Where you been, homey? Lindsay's been trying to raise some serious money to buy that multi-system video game at the shopping mall, and Rudolph got him a job stripping at the Reverse Polarity. And you know...? Lindsay's not half-bad doing it. I've caught several shows with my girlfriend."

                Rick hummed. "Seriously? Maybe I should drop by and check it out. Does it help relieve the tenseness from dealing with football practice sessions?" Rick was getting an idea on where to take Jade for their next outing.

                Lindsay grinned. "Actually, it does. Limbers me right up and makes me a stronger man for the, ahem, ladies." He winked.

                Chapter 24

                Shaq grinned and purred throughout his relaxed and comforting position as Lucita slowly and firmly massaged his back and legs. Shaq's time spent with Lucita had been very very enjoyable. Not only had he helped her with her school-work, but Lucita seemed to have a positive influence over Shaq, for he had not cursed or swore once while she was around. In fact, Shaq was making such good progress in the hospital, that his recovery was speeding up right nicely.

                Lucita smiled as she worked over Shaq's thighs. "You been such a good tabby these last few weeks, Shaq. The head doctor says that you might be getting out of here early."

                Shaq looked over his shoulder at Lucita. "Seriously? I could be released early? Gee..." Shaq was at a loss for words. What would happen to his relationship with Lucita after he was released from the hospital? "...what about... us?"

                Lucita stopped massaging Shaq and kissed his muzzle again. "I'm sorry, Shaq. I really should have told you from the beginning."

                Shaq pulled back from the kiss. "Told me what?"

                Lucita sighed and straightened up, and turned to face the windows. "I really wanted you to recover faster and feel good about yourself, Shaq. I... I remove my ring when I am working here at the hospital. I've been married for the past two years. My husband is that cute police guard out in the hallway. I'm so sorry I made you think that you and I could be together later. I really am taking nursing classes, but... I never meant to hurt you." Lucita was quietly crying at the end of her confession.

                Shaq quietly turned his head and gently placed his head into the pillow, softly whimpering.

                Lucita sighed again. "Please don't cry, Shaq. I know you'll find someone. There are other girls like me on campus. I know there are."

                Shaq muffledly replied, "...please leave..."

                Lucita quietly exited the room.

                Only then did Shaq cry. (nobody loves me. nobody. even Dennis doesn't come by to see me. everybody hates me. well... no one cares what happens to me, so i may as well make everyone happy by killing myself. and i know how to do it, too... i'll show everybody...)

                Chapter 25

                Dennis and Smokey sat in a cafe located right across the street from the hospital. With them, was a sleek, yet muscular tabby cat wearing quite the theatrical superhero costume. In fact, the tabby had just signed a few autographs earlier that day in front of the TV station.

                "...And you say that your friend likes my show a lot, and gets a lot of his computer ideas from watching my show?"

                Dennis smiled. "That's right. Shaquil Pernardo is one of a kind. I couldn't live without him. Shaq just makes life more interesting than it normally would be. The world needs a guy like him around. If anything bad were to happen to him, I'd... I wouldn't be able to cope with college life from day to day."

                The tabby actor smiled. "And where is Shaq right now?"

                Smokey replied, "The normally foul-mouthed boy is in the hospital across the street. He tried to build a satellite communication modulator, like the one you made in your TV show."

                The tabby actor smirked. "Mine blew up, if you'll recall."

                Dennis sighed. "So did Shaq's... it almost killed him. That's why he's in the hospital now. We're just lucky that the others who were helping him at the time weren't also injured."

                The tabby actor said, "Oh, I'm sorry. Anyway, you think Shaq getting to see me will cheer him up and help him recover?"

                Dennis smiled again. "Yes. At least, that's my hope. I'd do anything for Shaq. I love him more than I openly show. Being a football team captain doesn't really leave me much time for being with my favorite friend... but when I heard that you, Dominik Segundo, was in town for the week, I just knew that I had to get you over here to see Shaq."

                Dominik smiled. "If seeing me in person would be that great a help, and he is a fan of mine, then it's the least I can do for him. Though I personally think that if he's not seen you in a while, that seeing you would be a greater gift. When can we go see him?"

                Dennis stood up. "We can go over right now. I just know he'll be surprised to see you."

                Just then, the head doctor ran into the cafe. "Dennis Andrews! Come quick! Your friend Shaq overpowered the police guard, stole his gun, and headed to the roof!" The doctor ran back out, with Dennis, Smokey and Dominik rapidly following!


                  Chapter 26

                  Shaq sat on the edge of the hospital roof, gun in paw, sadly thinking about how to do this. Dennis, Smokey, Dominik, and the head doctor arrived from the elevator and quickly located Shaq.

                  Dennis erfed. "Shaq! Don't do it!"

                  Shaq sighed and glanced towards Dennis. "You came to see me off, did you? About the only time you've ever bothered to come see me. In another few minutes, you won't ever have to worry about me ever again." Shaq looked at the gun he held.

                  Dennis sighed. "I'm sorry I didn't come visit sooner. I know I promised to come see you often. My damned life has been full of stress and unheard of demands. Between dealing with Jade on the football team, Rick's bitching about having to date Jade, and now, you wanting to kill yourself... I'm sorry. You're the only rebounding board I have, Shaq. If you're not around, where will I go?"

                  Shaq just looked at the gun. "You were the only one who ever understood me. You said you'd not leave me in this hospital. You lied. Nobody cares what happens to me. It's better that I end it now." Shaq started to raise the gun to his head.

                  Smokey gasped. "Shaq! Please don't do it... You're Dennis' best friend! Who else does he have? Lindsay? Joey? You know they don't come first in Dennis' life. You do. You're at the top of Dennis' concern list. He hasn't stopped talking about you all the time you've been here. Are you really going to take away the only thing that keeps Dennis sane on campus?"

                  Dominik stepped forward now. "Hello Shaq. I am Dominik Segundo, the actor. Dennis told me a lot about you. He spoke highly of you. This action you're about to take doesn't measure up to how Dennis described you. Put the gun down and let us help you. Please?"

                  Shaq sighed again. "I'm sorry. I've made up my mind. Goodbye." He pointed the gun at himself and pulled the trigger.

                  And.... *CLICK* Nothing....

                  Shaq blinked his eyes and stared at the gun. "I don't get it... I made sure it was loaded just moments ago..."

                  The cute German shepherd police guard walked over and took his gun away from Shaq. "We sure are lucky that Shaq left the safety on."

                  Chapter 27

                  Finally, the Saturday afternoon of the big game against Donaworth Polytech arrived. The Ravibren players were gathered in the locker rooms getting suited up as Mr. Sethnic gave his players a pep-talk. Dennis helped Rick and Rudolph into their pads and gear. Aiden walked around handing out ice cold water bottles to the players, helping out in the best way he knew how. Fortunately, Colin and Joey were on the medical squad, ready to aid their fellow classmates at a moment's notice.

                  Cordelia had taken notice of Bambi's interest in Lindsay, and was giving the slutty cheerleader a piece of her mind.

                  In the far back of the locker room, behind some lockers, Jade and Lindsay were suiting up together. Lindsay was blushing.

                  Jade glanced over at Lindsay, saying, "I'm sorry I embarrassed you at the Reverse Polarity last night. Rick thought it'd be a fun dating stop, and when I saw you stripping, I couldn't resist dropping that wad of money on you. Forgive me? Please?"

                  Lindsay lifted his gaze at Jade. "You didn't embarrass me. Rick did. All those lewd cat-calls and stuff. Asim wanted to go out there and pull Rick up on stage and strip him in front of everyone, for free."

                  Jade nodded his head, starting to pull on her numbered shirt. "It won't happen again. Last night was the last scheduled date with Rick. I hope he never asks me out again."


                  Lindsay blinked his eyes, as Jade pinkened within the shirt.

                  "Oh damn... Now what am I to do? I can't go out there shirtless."

                  Lindsay smiled and, like a true gentleman, handed Jade his numbered shirt. "I think you've earned a higher number for having to endure Rick. I'll just rush your shirt down to the team tailor and have him sew it up, then I'll wear the shirt and join the rest of you later."

                  Jade smiled, accepting Lindsay's shirt. "Thank you, Lindsay. I'll play my best until you join us on the field."

                  Lindsay nodded his muzzle, taking Jade's ripped jersey. "I'm sure you'll do just fine. Just play to have fun." (So she'll play her best UNTIL I arrive, is it? Maybe I shouldn't go out on the field at all. I do so want Jade to do more than her best.)

                  Jade headed up front to join the others, as Lindsay headed out the back door toward the tailor's chamber. Thanks to Jade's magnificent monetary tip the previous night, Lindsay had the money he needed for the video gaming console he had been after.

                  Chapter 28

                  As Lindsay entered the chamber of the team tailor, he first noticed the wide screen television connected via closed circuit cameras on the football field, allowing one to watch the whole game from there. Then, Lindsay located the tailor himself, a handsome and slender, yet muscular, male dolphinoid named Chipper Shoals. Chipper had been relaxing in his whirlpool hot tub and spa combo.

                  When Chipper saw Lindsay, he smiled and said, "Hi there! You're just in time for the game. The players just ran unto the field. That Lindsay kid must've finally shed his antlers, like most male deer do around this time of year. How can I help you?"

                  Lindsay tried hard not to blush. He was glad everyone thought Jade was him. "Jade, the coach's secret weapon, ripped her shirt, and asked me to bring it to the tailor to get it repaired. Is he in?"

                  Chipper giggled. "In the tub, you might say. I am the tailor. You're being really polite. I wish everyone was as polite as you." Chipper got up out of the tub and examined the jersey shirt. "Man oh man! She really did a number on this shirt. But I can repair anything. Right now, if you want..."

                  Lindsay hummed. "Jade isn't due in play until the 4th quarter of the game, so you can take your time. Can I watch the game with you?"

                  Chipper grinned. "Sure you can! Pull up a chair near the tub. I was soaking myself thoroughly. Yesterday was pure murder tailoring all those jerseys, but I guess I tailored Jade's too tight."

                  Lindsay pulled up a chair as Chipper got back into the tub.

                  Lindsay asked, "Anything major happen before I walked in?"

                  Chipper laughed. "I thought it was major. That slutty cheerleader that no one seems to like ran over to give Lindsay a hug and kiss, and he belted her one. Knocked her plumb unconscious. The medics had to cart her off the field. Then, someone found a hypodermic needle half sticking out of the cheerleader's purse, and they determined that it was filled with a powerful sedative. Strong enough to knock out an elephant. I believe that they mentioned expulsion from the university regarding the subject."

                  Lindsay asked, "Lindsay being expelled?"

                  Chipper grinned. "No, the cheerleader. It is believed that she was a spy planted here by the other football team, and she was going to sedate Lindsay so he couldn't play with the others."

                  Chapter 29

                  At half time, Chipper began repairing Jade's shirt. Evidently, no one on the field had noticed that Lindsay wasn't Lindsay. Lindsay had been sure that even Rudolph could have told the difference between Jade and Lindsay, unless Jade was simply not using her voice in the huddles. If that was the case, then Jade was getting away with being Lindsay for as long as Lindsay did not join the game in progress.

                  When half time ended, Chipper handed Lindsay the repaired shirt, and entered his hot tub, relaxing once again to watch the game.

                  Lindsay smiled. "Thanks, Chipper. What do I owe you?"

                  Chipper hummed. "Owe me? I don't know. I do the tailoring and never get a real reward. It's just something I do. What can you offer?"

                  Lindsay blushed as a thought came to mind. "Have you ever heard of a place called the Reverse Polarity?"

                  Chipper nodded his head and winked. "Oh sure, though during football seasons, I don't get to go there. Too much work to do. Why?"

                  Lindsay grinned. "I work there on Friday nights. How about if I give you a free private show as a payment for your work on this shirt?"

                  Chipper grinned. "It's a deal. When can you do one for me?"

                  Lindsay smiled back. "Anytime next week, after Sunday. I attend church services with Cordelia Franklin."

                  Chipper arched an eye. "You do? But that would make you Lindsay... but if you're here... who's wearing your shirt on TV?"

                  Lindsay grinned. "If I have Jade's shirt, who's shirt must she be wearing?" Lindsay winked.

                  Chipper laughed out loud! "Man oh man! A female on the football team! I just have to wonder if they even know that she isn't you..."

                  Lindsay chuckled. "If they can't tell the difference between an iguana and a buck stag, then it's their problem, not mine."

                  Chipper laughed some more. "Coach Sethnic will blow a gasket when he finds out about this. You'll be kicked off the team so fast you won't know what hit you."

                  Lindsay grinned. "Good. I never wanted to be on the team in the first place. I just wanted to buy me a new video gaming console."


                    Chapter 30

                    The big game ended with a score of 50 to 20, in favor of Ravibren. Everyone was cheering and celebrating so wildly that no one noticed the winning football vanishing off the field where it had sat.

                    Lindsay finally made his appearance on the field as he approached and hugged Jade, saying, "Here's your shirt, Jade. The tailor was a little busy." Lindsay winked at Jade.

                    Jade grinned and winked back. "We won, Lindsay! Thank you for giving me this chance to play in your position!"

                    Mr. Sethnic, who had been standing nearby congratulating Dennis and the others, overheard that statement, and walked over to confront the two. "Jade's been playing in your place the whole game?"

                    Lindsay nodded his muzzle and gave a cocky grin. "Jade ripped her shirt and needed one, so I lent her my own. Then, I took Jade's shirt to get it retailored, and it took the whole game to get it repaired."

                    Mr. Sethnic growled. "Lindsay Dunmore! We had an agreement!"

                    Lindsay nodded his muzzle again. "I know we did, but I am sure you've not upheld your end of the bargain, have you? Rudolph even suggested that you wouldn't uphold your end of the bargain. That's why I've been working at the Reverse Polarity every Friday night. Raising the money I needed to buy that game I was lusting after. Admit it, you said what you said to get me to agree to play football and you never bought the game. Am I wrong?"

                    Mr. Sethnic sighed and backed off a step. "I was going to... really, I was... then I saw the price tag... and... okay, you're right. I never bought it. I tricked you into agreeing to play football. But even so, you gave your word that you'd play in the big game and you didn't. So, I'd say that all offers are null and void."

                    Lindsay replied, "Agreed. And I'm sorry I didn't play today. But had I played, I am almost sure we would have lost. Bambi would've successfully sedated me with that drug she had prepared. If Jade hadn't been wearing my shirt, that's exactly what would have happened. So, due to the circumstances, you can't say that my not playing was a detriment to the team. They won. Without me. With Jade. And I am glad that Jade got to be a part of all this. After having to endure Rick on a date every weekend, she deserved a full-time football team position, and she wasn't going to get one."

                    Mr. Sethnic nodded his head. "This is true, but because you didn't play today, win or loss, I have no choice but to kick you off the team. I'll expect you to have your things moved out of Alpha Tai Dashpaw by tomorrow morning. That dorm is for football players and near graduate students only."

                    Chapter 31

                    Lindsay and Joey packed their things, once again. Rudolph and Gusto stood aside watching.

                    Rudolph was a little perturbed. "I can't believe he's making you move out because you did what you thought was right. It was sneaky, but we did win."

                    Gusto exclaimed, "What was he wanting? For Lindsay to actually suffer getting sedated and hospitalized through deceit? This is so lame."

                    Joey nuzzled Lindsay as he closed the fourth suitcase. "Ah'm be'ind ya, mate. Ya kin count on me."

                    Lindsay nodded his head. "Guys, I appreciate your concern, but I never wanted to be on the football team. Mr. Sethnic pulled a fast one to get me to agree to play. Besides, it's not like I'm out of the college on my cute little butt, you know. Huckleberry and Warneeri are taking us in for awhile. Though, I'll miss you guys. You were really nice and friendly to all of us. And I'll still see you, Rudolph, on Friday nights. Right?"

                    Rudolph grinned. "If you tried bailing out on Asim, he'd track you down." He set a serious look on his muzzle. "You stuck with the Reverse Polarity job, even after you found out what it was. That was nice of you. On my end of the bargain, you'll be given membership into the college drama club. I did promise, after all. And unlike Mr. Sethnic, I like to keep my word."

                    Gusto winks with a grin. "And you can expect the two of us to drop in on you at your dorm from time to time, from now on. Maybe Dennis had a point when he moved out of this place. Dennis seems to have a lot of freedom in the world, and I've rarely heard him complain, after moving out of here. Perhaps he had to open the way for the rest of us. Maybe... we just needed a hint. Instead, we got you, Lindsay. And it was a nice hint to throw at us."

                    Lindsay was blushing again. "Come on, guys... Oh sure, I am nice, but I'm not that great..."

                    Rudolph grinned again. "Asim and Frances think you're that great. By the way... Frances wants to see you in your human form. Remember my telling you that he has kinky tastes? Well, he wants to see the human Lindsay. But then again, we all know how huskies are, don't we?"

                    Lindsay blushed even harder.

                    Chapter 32

                    That night in the Slyfingers household, Garla was playing midwife to Warneeri, as Huckleberry held Warneeri's paw. Lindsay, Joey, Dennis, Shaq, Dominik, Aiden, Rodney and Toby all stood nearby watching the event. Warneeri looked huge with her litter-sized pregnancy. She had broken water earlier, and was now in labor.

                    Huckleberry held her paw tightly, "Come on, love! Push! We got to force out six more!"

                    Warneeri was panting heavily, but she was still able to grittingly hiss, "I'll kill you for this! I swear it!"

                    Garla spoke up, "Just push, Warneeri! I don't have my paws up in you for my health, you know!"

                    Rab Streambattle and Brand Irondam entered the chamber carrying fresh towels and a tub of hot water. Rab was a male otter, appearing to be in his late twenties, looking to be about five foot eight inches tall, and weighing about 150 pounds, although being slim in build. Unlike most otters, he had long glossy black hair, pulled back tight over his head, tied with a single braid running down to his mid shoulder. His fur color was a dark chocolate, with white fur covering his chest and stomach. He wore an evergreen tunic, "V"-necked, one which was donned by slipping it over the head. Around his waist, he wore a black komodo leather belt, about an inch thick, with an intricate weaving of metal serving as a buckle. Strapped to his back, in cross sheaths, were twin katanas, one black, the other white, with the ends of the hilts each fashioned to form one half of the Yin and the Yang. Brand was a male beaver who wore only the studded leather armor that Rab Streambattle had given him long ago, and had a quiver of arrows strapped over his back. He carried his bow in one hand, most of the time. He was adorned with hand-crafted crude jewelry, and bore the facial markings of a Wind River tribesman. He wore little else, and at times, wore nothing, company permitting such.

                    Rab grinned. "How is the fat old magic bunny?"

                    Huckleberry stifled a laugh. "You trying to get me in trouble? I have to live with her, you know... She'll be fine. I am just glad you and Brand came when I asked. Getting Warneeri's cravings hasn't been an easy task. She wanted you guys here at the birthing, the winning 'big game' football, and..." He winked at Lindsay. "A date with the buck stag standing over there. How could I say no?"

                    Lindsay blushed again, and Rab laughed. "If Lindsay is that good a date, I may have to date him myself!"

                    Brand smiled a little. "Wait your turn, Rab. I am sure Lindsay is embarrassed enough." Brand walked over to Lindsay, and whispered, "You and I can train together later. Promise."

                    Lindsay smiled and nodded his head.

                    Chapter 33

                    The following morning, Dennis had joined Rick and Colin for some basketball at the campus gym.

                    Rick stood agape. "She had how many kids?"

                    Dennis grinned, as he sipped his cold soda. "Thirteen of them. And all super cute. None of them look like her or Huckleberry."

                    Colin shot a basket, laughing. "I heard that Warneeri threatened to kill Huckleberry. Is it true?"

                    Dennis chuckled. "Sure is. She sounded pretty serious, at the time. But I suppose we'd say the same thing if we had to birth a baby out of our bodies."

                    Rick grinned, and took his turn at the hoop.

                    Just as he shot the basketball into the hoop, Jade walked into the gym. "Hey Rick! You owe me one more date!"

                    Rick jumped in surprise from Jade's announcement! "Oh No! The big game is over! No more dates! None! Zip! Nada! No way!!"

                    Jade grinned. "Not even to see Full Moon in Concert? I happened to win two tickets on a radio call in show, and I'd hate to go alone."

                    Rick stopped. "Full Moon? The hottest rock band in the Realms? Well... I guess I 'could' take you on just 'one' more date... I'd really hate to see you go all by yourself..."

                    Colin and Dennis quietly slipped out the back door of the gym, and across the street to the campus diner.

                    Dennis ordered some lunch for the both of them. "Them two dating scares me more than anything."

                    Colin bit into his hamburger. "I hear you, Dennis. After all the Hell they put up with, you'd think they'd stay away from each other."

                    Dennis grinned. "Well, weren't you the one who said that Rick would date any woman?"

                    Colin nodded his muzzle. "Rick would; but I have the smarts to stay away from Jade."

                    Dennis laughed. "Good thing you don't share a dorm room with Rick."

                    Colin laughed too. "Better than sharing a dorm room with Jade!"

                    Stay tuned for the next episode, DT-03 Cupid's Powerplay

                    Send all inquiries to Darrel at:

                    Permission to use the ClosetCoon characters of Aiden, Colin, Rick, Becky, Toby, Rodney and Duma were given by LeafDog prior to writing this story. The ClosetCoon characters are all copyright 2003 by LeafDog. All rights are reserved.