Hello, my frandz! Today's little story is all thanks to FanFiction's own Crystal Persian! The idea was all hers'! I just added in a few words. ;) So thank her for her brain and be expecting more to this story soon.
Disclaimer: I own nothing... Like. Really. I don't. Not even the idea. I'm cool like that.
Mr. Peabody didn't get angry at others often, but if he did, he was quick to get over it. He had always told Sherman that anger toward people was a futile emotion. It did no good for one's self and no harm to one's enemy. It simply kept unnecessary fires ablaze until, eventually, a good heart was turned to ash.
Such was the example of the grouch downstairs.
Sherman never understood how one man could be so angry at someone who had never done anything to him.
Mr. Peabody had instructed Sherman to greet the man kindly whenever he saw him, but to try to avoid engaging in conversation.
The man clearly made Mr. Peabody as uncomfortable as he did Sherman. Even now the boy could tell by the way Mr. Peabody's ears perked forward, just barely, that he was growing frustrated by their neighbor's grumbling.
"Yes, Mr. Sandlin, I can see how you might get that impression, but I assure you it was a simple mistake. No harm done."
Mr. Peabody was always polite, always kind, but even his most pleasant tone had a way of making Sherman squirm.
No one else ever noticed the signs. No one else saw the forward stance, the fixed gaze, the high shoulders as anything more than a show of confidence. But Sherman knew what it really meant.
Mr. Peabody might look completely calm to any other person on the planet, but to a boy who had been raised by a dog, these were all signs of a steadily growing aggravation which, if not kept in check, would soon boil into defensive anger.
Sherman knew very well that Mr. Peabody was protective of him. He just hoped Mr. Sandlin wouldn't push his dad too far.
"No harm?" cried the old man. "That little brat of yours could have broken my neck!" Mr. Sandlin crossed the room and dropped to the sofa, snorting angrily.
Mr. Peabody looked at Sherman and made a shooing motion with his hand.
The seven year old retreated to his room and shut his door just in time to muffle the string of curse words flying from their neighbor's mouth.
"It was just an accident," Sherman muttered.
It had been an hour and twenty-seven minutes and Sherman could still hear the sounds of rage tempered by Mr. Peabody's ever calm voice. Mr. Sandlin hadn't left yet and Sherman was bored out of his mind.
Couldn't Mr. Peabody just threaten to call in a favor from the president or something and force the man to leave?
Mr. Sandlin yelled loud enough for Sherman to make out a few inappropriate words.
Rolling off his bed, Sherman noticed that Mr. Peabody had left the phone on his desk. The red head picked it up and dialed a number.
"Hey, Sherman," sang the sweet voice after a few rings.
"Something wrong? You sound sad."
Sherman glanced over his shoulder at the door. He could just barely hear the sound of the elevator doors sealing. A muffled snarl echoed into his room. "I messed up... Again."
Sherman imagined the blond rolling her eyes. He smiled. "Is it that stupid neighbor of yours again?"
"Don't call him stupid, Penny. Mr. Peabody says that just because you don't like someone, doesn't mean you shouldn't show them respect." Another growl echoed through the hall.
"So? You can respect someone to their face and say what you want behind their back." She sounded smug.
"I don't think Mr. Peabody would agree with that. He never talks bad about anyone. He says that if you can't say it to a person's face, you have no business saying it at all." A door slammed.
"Whatever." A pause. "So what did you do to make him mad this time?"
"Hang on, Penny." Sherman placed the phone on his desk and walked to the door. He opened it, poked his head out. "Yes, Mr. Peabody?"
"HAVE YOU SEEN MY CHEW TOY?"
Sherman winced. Mr. Peabody was really, really mad if he was looking for his chew toy. "Did you check under the blue, striped towel in the bathroom?"
He could hear the shuffling of paw pads across the wood flooring. A distant thud of a door followed by a few squeaks told him it was safe to return to his room.
Sherman crossed the room, picked the phone back up and moved to sit on his bed. "Okay, I'm back."
Sherman thought back over the last few hours, still trying to understand what it was that had upset Mr. Sandlin so much. "Well, Mr. Peabody and I went by the store after our trip to Edo, Japan this morning and I was hungry because I didn't want to eat sushi and Mr. Peabody wouldn't let me have any chips. So anyway, I asked him what I could eat and he said I could have some vegetables, because I needed something nutritious, but I didn't want a salad!"
"Wait! You were at the store and hungry and the only thing Mr. Peabody would get you was a salad?" Penny sounded annoyed at the revelation. "Seriously?"
Sherman shrugged, though he knew his friend couldn't see him. "He says that junk food is diabetes, kidney failure and heart disease waiting to happen. But anyway, I asked him if I could have a pickle—I don't really like pickles all that much, but they're better that starving—and he said he liked pickles so we bought a jar.
"Then, we went by the theater to see if there were any good movies that we could see later and there was this one about spider that eat people! But Mr. Peabody said I wasn't old enough to see it."
Penny spoke up. "My parents never let me see any of the movies I want to see!"
Sherman could tell she was mad about that.
"So what happened next?"
"Okay," Sherman paused when he heard pots clattering on the floor. He kept his voice quiet. "So, we were on our way back home, but first we were dropping off a cake we got for one of the old ladies on the floor underneath us because it's her birthday today, and I was carrying the pickles and Mr. Sandlin's cat ran out in front of me and tripped me! I fell and threw the pickle jar on the floor and it smashed open!"
"Yeah! Then Mr. Sandlin came out to get his cat and he slipped in the juice and started yelling and, and, and..." Sherman took a breath. "And then I said I was sorry and he kept yelling. Mr. Peabody told me to go home and get cleaned up, but Mr. Sandlin followed me to the elevator."
"And Mr. Peabody followed Mr. Sandlin?" Penny guessed.
"Yeah." Sherman tried to ignore the ruckus coming from the kitchen. "He stayed here for almost an hour and a half, yelling at Mr. Peabody."
"Now Mr. Peabody's a little tense."
Penny giggled. "You should scratch him behind his ear again. Maybe then Mr. Peabody would calm down."
The doorknob clicked and Sherman watched his father enter the room. "Sherman, I- Who are you talking to?"
Sherman smiled sheepishly at the Beagle. "Just Penny, Mr. Peabody."
A few awkward moments passed. Penny was asking what was going on, but Sherman ignored her. "Did you need me to do something, Mr. Peabody?" he asked after what seemed like hours.
"Oh, uh, yes..." Peabody smiled tiredly. "Would you like to invite the Petersons over for dinner?" He could hear Penny squeal excitedly on the other end of the line. "But no WABAC," he stated firmly, making sure his voice was loud enough to be heard by the child.
Sherman was playing French Revolution in his room when he felt his stomach beginning to rumble. He glanced at the clock, saw there were still a few more hours left until his friend would be coming over. Maybe he could get a snack.
Sherman crept out of his room, down the hall, poked his head from behind the wall and surveyed the space. Mr. Peabody was nowhere in sight. "He must be in his office," Sherman whispered to himself.
Taking a few more tentative steps, the seven year old listened for anything that might speak of his father's presence. Nothing. He dashed for the kitchen.
Pushing the heavy door open, Sherman peeked inside the room. Still no one. He sneaked to the pantry housing his "special" snacks. He knew they weren't for him to have just whenever, but for special occasions, but he still really wanted some chips.
He had just barely opened the door when he heard a faint tapping noise. Sherman quickly jumped inside the pantry and pulled the door back until it was almost shut. He peaked through the crack, watching Mr. Peabody walk to the fridge, paw/hands curling into fists as he mumbled to himself.
Sherman held his breath, not wanting to be caught taking food he knew he shouldn't be eating, and listened.
"What am I going to do about him?" Mr. Peabody brooded. "He is always complicating things." He pulled out a bottled of Vitamin Water, twisted the cap off. "Anytime life is going swimmingly he has to be there to mess something up." He took a long drink, smacked once out of enjoyment. He did love his Vitamin Water. "One day, Peabody, you will wake up and find that he is no longer a part of your life." He walked back to the door, drink in hand. "And I can't say I'll miss him when he does."
Peabody paused at the door. "Ugh. I can still smell his pickle soaked shirt."
Sherman waited a few more seconds before carefully sneaking back to his room. He sat on his bed, looking at the pickle juice stains on his shirt.
He forgot he was hungry.
If you like it, you should put a ring on it. :)