DISCLAIMER: I own the Animorrrpppphhssssohgwaoirh! Oww;wgh a! OW! Hey who are yo-owriah 'wh rh? EptsihUJRTS. OWW! STOP – AWRJHI – gah! AHH!rpijh wiprj …:silence:

NOTE: I know, I'm slacking with THE UNTITLED again. Turns out I picked a crappy time to resume writing. I should've waited til the summer…or spring break. Because yes, Freak Apple does have a teensy bit of concern when she it turns out she might flunk all her classes :blush: But I hope you can accept this peace offering in the mean time…

2nd NOTE: I still despise this whole inability to make thought-speak brackets ARGH!

Jake –

(I'm going to kill you, Marco.) I growled, (I'm going to rip you apart with my bare hands and deep-fry the pieces.)

(Hey, I didn't drag you here.), Marco objected. (It's not like I had to pry your fingers off the doorframe or anything, dude.)

Marco and I, in the guise of furry brown rats, were in the Girls' Locker Room. Why? Good question.

(Remind me again why we are here?), I inquired, keeping my beady black eyes on the cracks in the dirty, moldy concrete floor. Our school definitely needed a more generous budget. But I took note of the gray sofa against the far wall. The Boys' Locker Room didn't have a sofa.

Sexism at its damnedest.

(I'm telling you, man. Rebecca Wells and Carly Kriesburg, two known controllers, have been coming here regularly every three days.)

(And you know this how…?)

(I'm a skilled observer, reconnaissance is my specialty.)

(You mean you stalked them.)

(You wound me!)

(Well how do you know they just don't have gym class?), I argued.

(I told you. Because Chris Garcia and Kevin Treeger, other known controllers, have also come this way despite their lack of uterus.), Marco explained exasperatedly. (Come on, it's in between periods. You don't need to go all weird; there are no naked chicks here now.), He sounded sincerely regretful.

(We should have told the girls. Or at least Ax and Tobias.), I grumbled.

(Yeah right, and get reamed at by Rachel? You know that if it was Rachel who found out about this possible Yeerk Pool entrance, it would definitely only be her and Cassie here. They wouldn't tell us either, you know. And this is just a reconnaissance. No need to risk more members of our party.), Marco explained logically. There was definitely something wrong about this, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Especially as a pair damp, naked legs crossed our path.

(Holy crap. Brooke Stephenson!), Marco gaped. (How you doin'!)

(Marco!), I admonished weakly. (You said no one was here!)

(No one should be…), Marco thought for a moment. (Oh, unless the girls are doing swimming, in which case they must be taking longer in the showers.)

I glared at him. (You knew!)

(I swear I didn't!)

His rat face didn't give away a thing. Damn it.

"Hey Cassie, can you grab that towel for me?"

"This one?"

"Yeah, thanks." Rachel caught the purple towel and wrapped it around her long blond hair.

(Okay, that's it. We are so gone.), I swiveled around and started to scamper away.

(Whoa. Jake I know she's your cousin and all, but that is one smoking-hot piece of !)

(Let's go.) I grunted angrily.

(And oh my God, is that what Cassie is hiding under all that bird poop!)

(Marco. We. Are. Going. And then I will kill you.), I went behind him and tried to nudge him away roughly.

(Okay, okay.), Marco gave in. (But nice work on snagging Cassie.)

(Shut up.), I kept my eyes glued to the floor like a gentleman. I may have been a rat, but I had my morals.

"Cassie, your towel is - ." Rachel told her. I chose the very moment to accidentally, accidentally, glance upward at our two friends, our comrades. Damn my morals.

"Thanks Rach." Cassie hiked up her towel, but not before I got my first glimpse of -

(WHOA.), Marco and I felt our mouths hang open.

The Holy Land.

(WHOA.), We repeated.

"Guess who I saw making out in the showers just now." Rachel said suddenly. I saw Marco's ears perk up.

(They really do gossip in the locker room!), Marco exclaimed gleefully. (I knew it wasn't just a myth!) Before I could tell him again "shut up we're going" and before he got any more eyefuls of my cousin or my, uh, close personal friend, Cassie answered.

"Rebecca Wells and Chris Garcia?" Cassie guessed. I eyed Marco, trying to keep my rage under control.

"No. Well, yeah, but that's not who I was talking about." Rachel said. "Carly and Kevin!"


"Yeah, just now! Its crazy how these guys are so hormonal they have the balls to sneak into a girls locker room to get some." Rachel rolled her eyes.

I was killing Marco with my death-glares now. Murdering him.

(Ah…oops?) Marco said sheepishly. (But, um, hey, maybe they'll start talking about one of us.)

(Marco, you are the biggest, stupidest - )

"Actually, I think it's kind of romantic." Cassie admitted, somewhat dreamily. Rachel eyed her with a smirk on her face.

"You know I can arrange for Jake to – "


(No!), I yelped, without even realizing. Thankfully, it hadn't been public. Marco and Rachel snickered as Cassie and I, a rat, blushed and looked down at the floor.

"Yeah, well boys suck anyway." Rachel huffed. "I wish I could write a letter to all the guys of the world. Like, 'Dear boys, You annoy girls and make them turn into lesbians. Love, Rachel.'."

Cassie laughed. I practically heard Marco raise his eyebrows.

(Well, that's a whole new stirring fantasy.)

(I'm going.) I said firmly. I turned on my heel, er, paw and started to stomp away when –


Yellow blanket of softness all around me. It smelled like Cassie.

"You dropped your towel again." I heard Rachel say.

Marco whistled appreciatively in my head.

(Stop, Marco!)

(Okay, okay. My eyes are shut.)

(Are they really?)

(Hell no, Jake. I'm a heterosexual male.)

Suddenly the yellow towel was lifted off of me, and I found myself missing the soft Cassie-scent.

"Hey!" Cassie exclaimed. "There's a little rat!"


(Uh-oh), Marco said helpfully from the safe shadows beneath the lockers. –(Um, run!)-

I tried, but my stupid stubby little rat appendages weren't quick enough. Cassie's long fingers encircled around my round middle and lifted, leaving my useless paws scrabbling at air.

"A rat!" Rachel wrinkled her nose disgustedly. "God, this school sucks. Would it kill them to clean once in a while?"

"It's kind of cute." I found myself eye-level with Cassie, her thoughtful brown eyes boring holes into my little black rat ones. She smiled, and though she probably didn't realize, I unconsciously started to smile back.

(Um, Jake? I think we should go now…), Marco whispered.

(GEE, YOU THINK?), I hissed at him.

"Cute? Cassie, it's a rat. You probably have bubonic plague or something now." Rachel said, coming over. I might have been able to stand that Cassie was holding me at a very awkward angle were I could view far more of Cassie than I could ever have wished for (not that I have) but now my cousin was here, in a similar state of undress.

This wasn't fun anymore.

(Dude! Dude, are you looking down their - )

(Shut up, Marco!)

"Don't be silly, Rachel. And besides, I've had all my shots. If this little guy has anything, I won't be getting it. Isn't that right, little guy." She softly petted my head with a finger. I melted into a little ball of fuzz.

"Guy?" Rachel said skeptically. "I don't know, it looks more like a girl rat to me."

(I DO NOT!)- I cried defiantly.

(Ahaha!) Marco laughed. (AHAHA, that's like the funniest thing. Ever…!)

(We morphed the same rat, you dork!)

"I don't know, it looks rather masculine to me." Cassie said.

(Yes, yes! I am a masculine rat!)

(Oooh, Jake, you are the manly, macho rat. You are the only rat for me, come and take me right here, right now, you studly hunk of sex-rodent.)

(Shut UP, Marco!)

(It's the Axe Effect, my friend.)

"It totally looks like a girl rat."

(You are so not getting anything from my family next Christmas.) I glared at Rachel.

"Well, I can check…" Cassie said.


(How?)Marco and I echoed.

To my complete, unadulterated horror, Cassie flipped my body onto my back right there in her palm, keeping my back legs spread with two fingers.

(AHH! What the – what the hell is she doing!) I yelped.

(Umm? Umm!) Marco sounded as shocked as I did.

Then, before I could do anything, Cassie blew lightly on my…area.

I froze. Marco froze. We had no idea what to do about this, but freeze. Unfortunately, other parts of my body chose not to comply.

"Boy." Cassie announced. "A little boy."

My brain wasn't even functioning enough to resent her use of the word "little".

"Ew…?" Rachel wrinkled her nose. "That was…weird?"

(Dude…) Marco was at a loss of words. Marco was at a loss of words. (Dude…)

I lost my ability to speak. I would never speak again. At this point I wanted to strike out my eyes. Painfully. With something blunt.

"It is not weird." Cassie argued. "But yeah, we should get dressed. We have class in like five seconds."


Cassie put me down, still in a stricken state. When I didn't run automatically, due to having just been shamefully violated, Cassie frowned. "Go on, little guy."

"Go on? You just blew on his man-parts. If he's going anywhere, it's to the showers were he can drown himself!"

This was one of the few times I agreed with Rachel.

(Jake, they might get suspicious. Move!) Marco said. I forced myself to temporarily shake off the "holy crap"-ness and scampered my little rat butt as fast as I could. I didn't start breathing again until I was safely in the shadows under the lockers with Marco.

(Um, Jake…?)

(I'm still going to kill you.)

(Oh. Okay.)

As we scampered away on our stubby little legs, I heard Cassie release a soft "Awwww!"


"The little rat has a little friend!" Cassie pointed at us.

"Cassie. You need a new hobby."

"Wait…" Cassie frowned. "Those markings underneath the tail. That's unique."

"I'm telling you, Cassie. Knitting. Motocross. Sword-fighting. Anything. I will buy you ninja stars."

"No, I mean I've seen those markings on a rat before…"

(Um, Jake…) Marco whimpered.

(Faster.) I breathed. I knew it had been a stupid idea to acquire these rats from Cassie's barn. Cassie knew all her animals like the back of her hand.


"Well, two rats are running out of our locker room right now with the exact same markings as one we have in our barn."

(Faster, Marco!)

(Faster? Faster! Gee, d'ya really think so!)

Rachel's eyes widened in comprehension. Then her face grew red.