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Courage the Cowardly Dog and related characters are used with permission from John R. Dilworth

Otherworld and all related elements and characters used with permission from Gareth Paul Barsby

The Henderson family, Sandy, the former agents, and the K9 Krew are used with permission from Jonathan R

Misty used with permission from Tortured Artist

Alistair used with permission from CrazyCTCDFan

All other cartoon, video game, and literary characters and song lyrics are used without permission (this is not a songfic)

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Story idea and indicia copyright Gareth Paul Barsby/Rexcocorps 2008

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The following story is a continuation of "Courage in Vegas" which can be found here (fanfiction .net/s/1502375/1/Courage in Vegas)

The tie in comic books an be found here (viewmorepics .myspace .com/ index .cfm?fuseactionuser .viewPicture&friendID229338065&albumId1017321)

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Chapter 0:The Introduction

It was absolutely horrible…

Never in my wildest…

How could this have happened?

My god…

It would seem painfully obvious that the world wasn't completely spared from Dark Sonic's wrath as he unleashed Hell in Las Vegas. And also even more painful that this wasn't restored by Reginald and Joseph like everything else was.

But the ruins of the farm house looming before me spoke volumes. Dark Sonic had the final laugh after all…and that made me feel like vomiting on the spot.

With a sudden surge of adrenaline never before felt, I managed to catch up to Kevin's Mustang, who hadn't even reached Woodston Road.

Dashing up Montana Road as fast as my legs could carry me, Kevin obviously saw me in his mirror and skidded to a halt. He picked me up and drove back to see what I was crying about, and volunteered to take me in after all.

Misty was equally upset, as she had just begun to know Eustace and Muriel.

And thus began an adventure to end all adventures. One that would uncover a side of myself that I hoped I never had….

ONE WEEK LATER:

I dreamed I was missing
You were so scared
But no one would listen
Cause no one else cared

I lie there in bed, wide awake…

I glanced over to Sandy, sleeping peacefully. At least I thought she was asleep.

A sigh of relief escaped my lungs as I looked at her. This caught her attention and she rolled over to see if I was alright.

She noticed a slight frown on my face. "What's wrong?"

I glanced at her, feeling her eyes pull the truth from me.

"It's just that…I've been having nightmares lately. Ever since we got back from Vegas and…" I began to cry.

"Shhh. It's okay…I know you miss them…" she assured, running a paw though my spiky head fur.

"I had a nightmare where…I was the one that…that killed them…"

Sandy was surprised, but at the same time, understanding. "You would never do such a thing…"

"How do you know?" I snapped. I glanced away. "Sorry…It's just, after what I did to Rex in Vegas. I…I don't know. What am I capable of? What's the line anymore?"

After my dreaming
I woke with this fear
What am I leaving

When I'm done here
So if you're asking me
I want you to know

"You did what you thought was right. And while it may seem no one agreed, everyone understood." Sandy reassured.

"It's just…I'm afraid of myself…"

"I'm not afraid of you."

I smiled at her. "Thanks, Sandy."

When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I've done
Help me leave behind some

Reasons to be missed
And don't resent me
And when you're feeling empty
Keep me in your memory

Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

I kiss her and we locked stares. I knew she wanted to make me feel better, but I was enough of a gentleman to let her make the first move.

I lay there, looking into Sandy's eyes. She stares deeply into mine as well, and we know what we want to do…

Granted we did it only once before, in that Perfection town, but now, we had all the time in the world. No paranormal enemies or ticking deadlines to interrupt our moment. Yet somehow, I couldn't shake the hollow feeling in the back of my mind. It was a feeling of dread, like this will be the last time I ever do this with Sandy. The last time I'll know happiness. The last time I'll be alive…

Don't be afraid
I've taking my beating

I've shared what I've been
I'm strong on the surface
Not all the way through
I've never been perfect
But neither have you

All my fears were put to rest when she kissed me. My eyes closed as I felt her tongue explore my mouth. I returned the favor, the position a bit awkward because of our muzzles. I brought my hands up to place on her back, as we embraced. I couldn't help but smile at the way she looked at me, that playful twinkle in her eye.

She reached down, all the while keeping her gaze locked on mine. She found what she was looking for, making me close my eyes and break the stare. When I opened them again, she was gone, down below to explore another part of me.

So if you're asking me
I want you to know
When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I've done
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed

Don't resent me
And when you're feeling empty
Keep me in your memory

Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

I still felt a bit shy, despite the fact that we've been though this. But I guess it'll wear off in time. Until then, it added to the anticipation and excitement. Her paws expertly guiding me to arousal as what she was looking for found its way out of my fur, kept steady by the small bone within.

She was blushing too, as she took it into her paw and began moving it up and down over the flesh. Then I felt her muzzle envelope me and the warmth was too much to handle, her tongue moving like a pro.

As much as I tried to fight it, the rookie in me still couldn't hold back for long. But she happily tasted what I had to offer. I still remember the first time, she didn't know how to react to what happened, but now, she was prepared. She wanted to kiss me again, and at first I thought it was kind of gross. But in the end I accepted and it didn't taste all that bad.

Forgetting
All the hurt inside you've learned to hide so well

Pretending
Someone else can come and save me from myself
I can't be who you are

When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I've done
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed

Don't resent me
And when you're feeling empty
Keep me in your memory

I felt her warmth against my thigh, and I could tell she was in the mood now. I was already getting ready for the next round myself, as I placed her gently on her back. We kissed once again as I embraced her, or bodies writhing in passion.

I brought myself down to her area and couldn't help but swoon at the sent.

Smell is one of the deciding factors for a dog, and I could tell she was as serious about this as I was now. I brought my tongue closer to her and tasted her sweetness.

It was amazing and I almost lost it again. But I mustered up the will to hang on until the pivotal moment. I lapped hungrily at her region, and her moans of approval kept me going even faster.

Eventually, for what seemed like eternity, I tasted more of her as it flowed out.

Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

I basked in the afterglow of tasting such sweet nectar, but she didn't give me much time to recover. She shoved me onto my back playfully and climbed up on top, her hips straddling mine.

She leaned down and we embraced another passionate kiss.

Her head lay close to mine. "Take me…"

I nodded and reached underneath the bed, producing an all too familiar package from a box, leaving the others as silent witness. I got ready and into position as she braced herself for our consummation. She slid slowly over and gasped as it still obviously hurt a bit. Her wide smile as she leaned to kiss me again was indication that she was satisfied.

We embraced and rolled around, our friction causing both of us to moan between breaths and kisses. She grabbed me and jerked me forward, kissing me deeply as I could tell she was nearing the end.

We rolled once again, me on top now, as she let out a squeal of joy. Her claws raked across my back, just like the last time, but I didn't care. I was nearing the end myself. I could feel the both of us become one.

She froze, a silent scream on her face. Our heartbeats synched, our breathing rhythmic and harmonized.

I could feel myself expanding the way all canine species do, making sure she wasn't going anywhere as I let go of my own pleasure.

I remember when we tied the first time, I was afraid but Sandy told me it was normal.

I grunted, and arched forward as I came, feeling her tug on me as she leaned in for another passionate embrace.

Finally, exhausted, I rolled over onto my back, bringing Sandy with me as she nuzzled under my chin.

We lay there for the longest time, basking in the afterglow until nature ran its course and freed her from my tie in about twenty minutes or so.

Perhaps someday, we can take the next step and have children. Be a family…

Until then, this was enough. Any past doubt I had was erased in the fog that swirled in my mind.


Forgetting
All the hurt inside you've learned to hide so well
Pretending
Someone else can come and save me from myself
I can't be who you are

Sleep was now in order, our scents mixing a cocktail of pleasure that lulled me into a deep sleep, knowing that she was with me on this journey.

I can't be who you are

I was in a room…a children's room. In this room were several toys and such, and a small puppy in the middle of the room.

I approached this young pup with caution. It looked a lot like me, only a different shade of pink. He had green eyes like Sandy, and some of my features…

It didn't take me long to figure out who it was…

"Daddy!" he piped up happily, running towards me.

I hugged him, feeling tears stream down my face. So this was my future? I was going to have a son!
Nothing's going to happen. Everything's going to be fine. I'm going to have a son and a happy family! We'll go out for picnics, we'll have ballgames and sports, and I'll tuck him into bed and read bedtime stories

I looked at him, a proud fatherly look in my eyes.

But what I saw in his eyes, was fear.

Why was he afraid of me?

"Why did you kill mommy?" he asked.

"What…" I whispered, letting him go from my embrace.

"Why did you kill mommy?" he asked again, making sure I heard him this time.

So this was my future?

A possible one, yes. The fear left his eyes, replaced with blazing hellfire and he spoke in demonic tones. But this may never happen, you know.

I felt relief, as well as harsh tingles of fear.

Of course, THIS could happen.

A cemetery. A pet cemetery.

I knew exactly what I would find here, so all I focused on was looking for an exit. However, a familiar hooded specter appeared out of nowhere, beckoning me towards a grave. I knew exactly what it would say…

and I was right.

The hooded ghost – I saw burning yellow eyes under his hood – pointed in the opposite direction, and Sandy was alive! Misty and Kevin were with her, all dressed in black.

"Poor…I can't believe he…"

I snapped awake…totally freaked out by what transpired. I look to see Sandy is still on top of me, still attached by our bond.

What the hell was that all about?

I drift off back to sleep, hoping that was the last nightmare I had tonight…

Courage and Rex stood side by side, facing the abomination that shared Rex's name. Apparently they both shared this vision.

Courage imagined Rex as a monster, and Rex saw himself as a monster.

Two former enemies united by a greater threat.

The monochrome backdrop of Otherworld served as the setting for a final showdown of the mind.

A faceless man in a top hat sat between two trees, sipping tea contently, despite the absence of a mouth. "This should prove to be most entertaining, and there is some irony to appreciate as well."

Some help he was.

This abomination resembled Rex in some ways, only more mechanical, bloody, and evil. Whereas the real Rex had some glimmer of heart and emotion, this beast had no conscience at all, an automaton with no purpose but to detroy.

A massive mechanical claw served as its right arm, adorned with knives for fingers, glistening with fresh blood. It seemed to emerge out of the remains of skin from the real arm, blood and rotten flesh hanging off of it.

Its tail was bones wrapped in metal, and covered in spikes. A spiked metal shell protected its body. Half its face was rotted away, as a symbol of Rex's mortality.

It seemed to be a combination of Courage's fears, Rex's fears, and Rex's self-righteous attitude about himself when he was evil.

The creature opened its mouth, revealing rows of teeth that resembled – were – drills. They whirred and spun as it pounced towards Rex like a wolf, salivating at the prospect of murdering its copy. It tore at Rex's face with its mechanical claw. Blood seeped everywhere. Courage, feeling a rush of energy at seeing his former master this way, punched the creature in its face, causing it to scream out in pain. It tried to bite Courage's head off, but he darted behind its legs and grabbed its spiked metal tail. With strength obtained from nowhere, he flung the creature out of sight. It exploded.

"I wouldn't be celebrating just yet," said the faceless demon, emphasizing his point with sarcastic applause.

They didn't celebrate. They couldn't. A rush of pink came from nowhere and tore through Rex like a chainsaw.

He fell to the ground, dead.

The pink blur stopped to show itself.

It was Courage!

He looked a darker shade of pink, his eyes were red and bloodshot, and he looked like he had been though hell. Blood stained his fur, and dried in patches on his body. He breathed heavily as he stared at his doppelganger.

"What are you?"

I'm you! it seethed. I'm just how you imagined yourself after that incident in Vegas! This is what will happen to you! You're going to fall so deep into insanity that you'll destroy everything in your path to reclaim your happiness!

"This is a most fascinating development!" the faceless man in the tree began clapping playfully.

"NO!"

NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

Courage shot awake, screaming. Kevin and Misty came rushing in to see what was going on.

Thankfully Sandy was free from his tie, as that would've been embarrassing. She pulled the covers over herself as Kevin tried to subdue the screaming Courage, pinning him to the bed.

"What's going on?" Misty asked, tears in her eyes.

"Sandy, call help!" Kevin commanded, trying his best to hold Courage down.

Sandy nodded, not even caring that she was exposed anymore, and ran to the phone.

Sandy, now in a nightshirt, watched with tears in her eyes as Courage was brought outside and into a waiting van.

The side read "A. McGee Asylum".

"I guess the pressure of losing his owners was finally too much." Kevin observed. "I wouldn't know how I would react if I lost any of my loved ones in such a way. Everyone saw how I reacted when I thought you were dead."

Sandy only nodded. "He said something about nightmares. That he was afraid of himself and what he thought he was becoming."

Misty placed a paw on Sandy's shoulder. "He'll be okay. Big brother can do anything." She tried to sound reassuring, but her voice gave away that she was just as worried.

"I like to tell myself that…" Sandy sighed.

Somehow I was right…that time I spent with Sandy was the last…and now I can only wait to see what is in store for me now…

I lay in the cell they placed me in, darkness surrounding me, literally and figuratively. They say that I was the worst patient they ever seen since a girl that was committed here back in the 1800's. A girl that lost her parents in almost the same way I lost my masters.

I guess fate had big plans for me.

I glanced around, noticing spider webs in the corners and a hard, flat mattress on a rusted metal frame. This place looked like the 1800's.

A spider with a body that looked like a China doll face crawled by, and I passed it off as seeing things.

"Nurse D," a voice called, and a big woman walked into view. "What should we do with him? He hasn't said anything."

"Of course not! He's a dog!" she snapped. Despite my colorblindness, I knew she had red hair.

"We'll keep him here until we figure out what's wrong."

Their footsteps echoed through the halls as they left me here with my thoughts.

I've always thought I had an overactive imagination, and that statement was never truer than it was at that moment.

I heard more footsteps. Perhaps someone was coming to release me!

A green-skinned man with a loose-fitting strait-jacket and a top hat two feet long. He whirred and clicked as he walked. How'd he get out?

"Reliable help is so hard to find these days. Come with me, you're just in time for tea."

I don't want any tea…

He left me alone.

It was cold and dark.