title: Tom Fighter
players: Prumouser/Prussia, Espangato/Spain, Franchat/France, Germouser (II)/Germany, Itabby/Italy, Romantabby/Romano, Romacane/Ancient Rome, Germouser Sr./Germania
word count: ~1,300
warnings: violent imagery
summary: (Nekotalia AU) Prumouser protects his kid brother, getting a bit beat up in the process.
a/n: I had to do it. It's an idea of how Prumouser would get so beat-up looking. I doodled it first. Over a couple days I drabbled, and it dribbled off to blah-ness in the end. I'll probably re-write it sometime in the future.
Lutz = Prumouser
Fernando = Espangato
Toulouse = Franchat
Lakritz = Germouser (II)
Romulus = Itabby
Remus = Romantabby
Roma = Romacane (the only named pooch)
Rhine = Germouser Sr.
Tom FighterIt was a big, ugly dog. It's teeth dripped strings of saliva, soaking Lakritz's little ribbon.
Lutz's hackles raised, and he hissed at the dog as he pulled his little brother closer to him. Tail tucked between his hind legs, Lakritz huddled beneath his brother, feeling the threatening growls rumbling in his chest. The kitten mewed, eliciting a coughing laugh from the dog.
Romacane loped down the street, ears forward, following the sounds of screeching and growling to the alley his grandsons said hosted the brawl. Peeking around the corner, his ears flattened.
Lutz was barely standing upright; his legs shook and his tail drooped, but he still held his ground between the dog and his little brother. He glared at the beast with his one good eye and hissed. There was no way he could withstand any more attacks. If he'd gotten there sooner, Romacane would have grabbed the kitten and gotten him to safety, but there was no time for that now.
Bellowing out a bark that rattled the trash cans, the seasoned hunter charged the other dog, catching him off-guard. His teeth sank into the corded muscle of the dog's neck; no manner of thrashing or clawing could unhinge Romacane's grip. He held onto the dog until it coughed, then he whipped his head and threw the dog to the cracked pavement. It whined but didn't try getting up; instead it drew its tail in-between its legs and cowered, merely offering a submissive lick to Romacane's nose.
"Lutz!" The white cat's legs finally gave way, and he stumbled onto his side. Lakritz jumped onto his shoulder, crying his name and nuzzling his face.
Romacane sniffed Lutz's fur. He was still breathing, but he was badly hurt. "Lakritz," he said, "does anyone you know live near here?"
The kitten's blue eyes looked around the alleyway, alighting on the far entryway. "Toulouse's human lives that way two streets and an alley."
Gently as he could, Romacane picked up the limp cat by his back and started to jog down the alley, Lakritz running beside him as fast as his little legs could carry him.
Toulouse's human lived in a rather fancy building with lots of flowers and trees and no dogs. Lakritz looked over his shoulder to make sure his brother was safely in Romacane's mouth, then he jumped onto a low brick wall, then a potted plant, then up to a first-floor windowsill. He peered inside and saw Toulouse sleeping on a silky pillow on the sofa. He started clawing at the window and meowing.
The long-haired cat's ears twitched and rotated. It seemed to take a long time for his eyes to open from his nap. He yawned, sat up, yawned again while he stretched, licked his shoulder, and looked to the window where the black kitten was still frantically clawing and meowing at the window.
"Toulouse? What are you doing?" The human, Francis Bonnefoy, walked into the sitting room, ready to scold his cat but instead noticed the jumping kitten. "One of yours, Toulouse?" The cat frowned at him, hopping gracefully to the ground and jumping up to the windowsill, pawing at the window impatiently and glaring at his human.
"Open it!" he yowled.
Lakrtiz bounced into the room, mewing and yowling "Bruder is hurt! Bruder Lutz! Bruder Lutz!" before breaking down into tearful cries.
Francis leaned out the window. Romacane wagged his tail when he saw the human. "Mon dieu." He hurried to the front door of his apartment, kitten and cat on his heels. Romacane was sitting on the doorstep, patiently waiting for the door to open.
The human took the cat from the dog's jaws, grimacing at the sticky blood. "Bon chien..." He patted Romacane's head.
Gingerly carrying the injured cat to the bathroom, Francis closed the door on the animals to tend to the bloody wounds in peace. Lakritz paced outside the door, yowling and scratching at the wood until Romacane picked him up and laid in the living room. He kept a heavy leg over the worried kitten, keeping him from fretting by the door.
Toulouse joined them, lying beside the kitten and licking his face. "He'll be fine," he purred reassuringly. "My human's quite good with taking care of wounds. It'll just take a little while."
"But I'm worried," Lakrtiz mewed morosely. "I want to see him. What if he's dying? What if he dies, Toulouse? Romacane? what if I'm left alone...?"
"You won't be alone, bambino," Romacane assured him. "He's strong, for a cat; don't worry so much."
But he did worry. The kitten worried until he heard footsteps from the room the human locked them out of. He dashed to the door, jumping and meowing until it opened.
"Beg your pardon, monsieur chat...I don't want to step on your tail..." Francis stepped over the kitten. He carried Lutz to the kitchen, setting him on the countertop. Lakritz dug his claws into his trousers and climbed up his leg, ignoring protests, and finally checked his brother.
He was sleeping, exhausted after his fight. Gauze and bandages covered most of his legs and his tail. A reddened pad of cotton sat on his side, an injury too wide to simply bandage. Lakritz's ears flattened. He didn't like the smell of blood or anaesthetic. He was almost unsure it was his brother.
"Lutz," he whined, nudging his face. "Lutz, wake up."
"Let him sleep," the human said, picking Lakritz up. "He's very tired, but he'll be alright." Lakritz wriggled and pawed in Lutz's direction. The white cat merely sighed in his sleep.
The animals were all fed, and the human called Lakritz and Lutz's humans. They arrived shortly, visibly upset about the incident. Gilbert, chosen human of Lutz's, gently pet the cat, complimenting his bravery. Gilbert's brother Ludwig held Lakritz in his hand, offering the kitten a perch on his shoulder.
"I should take him to a vet, I think. He's a fighter, but even fighters fall sometimes." Gilbert said, settling Lutz in the carrier he had brought. Lakritz clawed down Ludwig's shoulder; the man lifted him and set him in the carrier to stay close to his brother.
"I hope he recovers, Gil," Francis commented, seeing them out. Romacane trotted alongside Ludwig until they reached their car. He barked softly and licked Ludwig's hand.
"Thank you." The dog loped down the alleyway, returning to his own household.
"He must be dead tired," Ludwig said, sliding his large frame into the driver's seat.
"He fought a hard fight. I'm not surprised; he's always been a tough cat."
"I'd guess he was protecting Lakritz."
"Yea. He probably was...his ribbon is missing."
"We can get him a new one later."
The vet cleaned and dressed Lutz's wounds and prescribed pain killers, releasing him the following day after a night of observation.
His injuries healed well, but many scars remained. The most noticeable one was over his eye, giving the image of a pirate or mobster. He recovered his cocky, protective attitude and often recounted his tale of bravery.
"Bruder, don't you ever get tired of telling the same story?"
"Not at all! It's one of the best; I was totally awesome!"
"You were beaten senseless."
"I was just resting; I could have beaten that mutt within an inch of his life if I wasn't so worried about you."
"Well the next time you're in a fight with an alley dog, you won't have to worry about me. I can take care of myself, now." Lutz sat up and pulled his brother's head down with a paw to lick his ears.
"You'll always be my precious bruder, no matter how big you get."