Title: Street Savoir-faire 1/1
Word Count: 2022
Notes: Crossover with Disney's Oliver and Company. Written for LJ's fanfic100, prompt #19: White
Summary: Out 'boarding with Klunk, Mikey comes across an injured dog.
Mikey had always said Klunk was a unique cat. Initially, Donatello had disagreed with him. Oh, sure, he was cute and all, but original? The orange tabby resembled any dozen of the alley cats they saw during their runs. But it wasn't until he saw Klunk perk up and streak after his younger sibling whenever Mikey grabbed his skateboard, that he felt his original viewpoint needed some reassessing.
"I can't figure it out," he murmured to Raph, shaking his head. "That cat should be shredding him to pieces, but instead, Klunk actually enjoys being tossed and flung around during one of his joyrides."
"Mikey's idiocy must be catching," Raph shrugged, waving him off. "It's infected the cat. It's beyond hope. Better put it out of its misery."
"Raph!" Donatello rebuked his sibling, muffling a small smile. He knew Raph wasn't serious – they'd all caught the red-banded mutant stretched out on the sofa for a snooze with Klunk curled into a ball on his plastron. Klunk was an endearing little thing, when all was said and done. For a simple animal, that is.
The cat in question was currently crouched on the shoulder of his master. Mikey held one hand on Klunk's back, keeping him in place as he swooped and looped through the sewer pipes, leaping over the debris in the way. The tunnel abruptly curved downwards, and Mikey turned his board sideways, straddling the pipe and sliding down it with the screech of fiberglass on metal. Pressing his feet down for added lift, he bounced himself, the cat and the board into the air. He pushed himself into a hard flip, and landed with the board tucked securely under his free arm. Klunk was still stationary on his shoulder, completely relaxed.
"Awesome, huh Klunk?" Mikey reached up and scritched the kitten under his chin. "You're such a good boy. You just love those rides, don'tcha Klunkers?"
"Thought so." Mikey grinned and headed for the grating. There was a fantastic set of pipes leading in a long curve that would eventually take him back to the lair. The grate was kept closed to discourage critters and lost humans but was a regular doorway for them. Flicking the hidden switch Donnie had installed, the grate cover swung aside, and Mikey stepped through.
Just below him was the tunnel entrance. He jumped down, grabbing a thinner pipe on the way down to swing himself – and Klunk – three hundred and sixty degrees before dropping to the ground in a graceful crouch. "Whaddaya think – a 9.9 on that landing?" Klunk didn't seem impressed. Mikey rolled his eyes. "Tough crowd."
About to move into his tunnel of choice, something high-pitched yet extremely faint drifted down from another side opening. Mikey paused, one hand on the rim that lined the entrance. A minute later, the sound repeated.
Mikey started as Klunk suddenly leaped off his shoulder, dodging into the tunnel with the sound. "Klunk! Klunk, get back here! It's not nice to run off on daddy!" He took off after his cat, thankful that there was no light inside the tunnels save for what drifted in from the ends. This tunnel wasn't that long because he could already see light creating shadows . A bright circle in the distance told him he was close to the surface.
Klunk was still darting forward, picking his way with cat-like grace mixed with kittenish clumsiness. A still form was curled on the ground a few meters from the sewer pipe opening. Mikey, still clinging to the bits of shadow created by debris, narrowed his eyes, trying to make out what it was. Suddenly it shifted, and another whine drifted up. Mikey's heart broke a little, as he realized it was a dog. An injured one.
"Poor guy," he murmured, moving forward slowly so as not to scare him. The bits that the light revealed showed a lot of blood, and a few deep cuts and scrapes. He was relieved to see that what he thought was a big patch of blood was actually a dark red bandanna tied around its neck. "You've been in a fight, that much is for sure."
The white and brown dog whimpered again and turned its head, staring directly at Mikey. Its teeth were bared suddenly, and a weak growl could be heard. Mikey held up his hands. "Easy fella," he said soothingly. "I don't want to hurt you. I just want to help."
The dog watched him warily for another minute, and then lay its head down with another low whine. Mikey moved forward again, just as slowly, and gently lay a hand on the dogs flank, making sure not to touch any cuts. The dog stiffened, but when nothing happened, it seemed to relax a bit. "There's a good boy," Mikey crooned. "Very good boy. Let me help you." A flash of orange made him look to the side. "Klunk, stay back!" The sight of a cat might upset the hurt animal, or make him try to move.
The dog caught sight of Klunk and Mikey froze, ready to snatch up Klunk out of harm's way. Instead, the dog chuffed, and lay its head back down, watching the cat with what Mikey would have called amusement in a humans eyes. "Well, you definitely must belong to someone," Mikey muttered, resuming his check of the dog. "The bandanna gave me a hint, but no real street dog shrugs off a cat like that. Right?"
The dog looked back at him. Mikey blinked. It was almost like it knew what he was thinking.
Another minute and Mikey had a good idea of what was going down. "And I'm proud to announce you're definitely a 'he'," he said with a grin. "Those are some nasty bite marks you got, pup, but nothing life-threatening. Picking fights? Or just ran into one?"
The dog snorted.
"Saving a pretty lady-dog it is, then," Mikey decided. "You're not wearing a collar, so I don't know who to return you to." He ran gentle fingers over the bandanna the dog wore, and noticed some stitching on it. Straightening it as best he could, he made out the word 'Dodger'. "Is that your name? Dodger?"
The dog perked up a bit, lifting its head to yip at him.
"Well, that's settled." Mikey sat back on his heels. "Too bad whoever gave you that snazzy bandanna didn't stitch your address on it too."
Suddenly, a small shape dropped in front of the sewer entrance, and raced towards them. Mikey blinked as he saw an older version of Klunk – the same orange with brown markings, but bigger, leaner. It came to a halt in front of the injured dog and arched its back at Mikey, hissing and snarling. Mikey backed up. "Hey, whoa!" Klunk meowed, and the cat turned on him, yowling defiantly. Klunk skittered behind Mikey's legs.
As though the matter had been settled, the cat gave them one last glare before turning to check out the dog. The dog rumbled something and the cat sniffed, reaching out – claws retracted – to bat the dog hard across the face. The dog whimpered, one paw coming up to cover his face, and Mikey would have sworn under oath that the cat rolled its eyes.
Mikey watched, fascinated, as the two seemed to communicate on a level solely reserved for the furry and four-legged. After a few minutes of pissed-off meows from the cat, and pleading whimpers from the dog, the cat snorted, and finally strode towards Mikey.
"Um, dude, I didn't hurt your pal there," Mikey said, watching warily.
The cat huffed and sat down, thrusting its chest out. On a blue silk collar, a medallion of what looked like real gold shone in the weak light from the tunnel entrance. Mikey reached out slowly, letting the cat sniff his fingers before tilting the license so he could read it.
1125 Park Avenue.
Mikey whistled. "Park Avenue, huh? Ritzy." And actually not that far away, considering how close the lair was to Central Park. "So, Oliver. You telling me Dodger here bunks with you?"
The cat snorted, and went back to the dog. Latching his teeth into the bandanna, the cat – Oliver – gave a hard tug. The dog whined, and slowly tried to get to his feet. Mikey moved over to help.
"Easy, big guy, easy," he said. The dog stumbled, and Mikey scooped him up. The dog wasn't a small breed by any means, but he was way lighter than carrying a passed out Raphael after one of he and Casey's marathon drinking sessions. Klunk leaped to his shoulder, and he winked at Oliver. "The other shoulder's free if you want a ride, little dude."
The cat considered his offer, and Klunk, obviously feeling a little bolder, meowed encouragingly. Oliver gracefully jumped up on his other side, digging his claws into Mikey's shoulder just enough to secure a grip. "It's a good thing I'm thick-skinned." he told the two felines, and began jogging through the sewers to bring the two lost pets back to their homes.
1125 Park Avenue conveniently had a manhole cover in the alleyway just behind it. A fire escape led up the side of the building. The sun had set, something which Mikey was grateful for. He set Dodger down on the ground gently, and Oliver nimbly leaped form his shoulder to the fire escape, meowing loudly as he made his way to the window.
Mikey hid himself in the shadows and watched with a smile as a young girl, no older than eleven or twelve called out 'Oliver!' in a relieved voice. The cat let her snuggle him for a minute before pushing his way out of her grip and jumping down the fire escape. The girl followed, and gasped in shock at the sight of the injured dog by the manhole. "Dodger!"
"Jenny!" An elderly gentleman poked his head through the large bay windows, looking worriedly down at the girl. "Jenny, are you all right?"
"Winston, it's Dodger! He's hurt!"
"The poor fellow," 'Winston' said, and carefully edged his portly body out the window. "Let's bring him inside. We'll find a way to contact Mr Fagin to let him know he's here."
"Good idea, Winston." Jenny helped the man gently pick up the dog. "I knew there had to be a reason Oliver ran away like that. Dodger's his best friend. Of course, he'd know if he were hurt."
"They say animals are very empathic creatures after all." Winston led the way back around the alley, presumably to the front door. Jenny paused though, looking at the ground. Mikey blinked and looked at where she was standing - and groaned, silently. His footprints were around the manhole, the cover of which was not completely replaced.
A strangely thoughtful look was on Jenny's face, and she suddenly knelt down, placing her hands on the cover and giving it a push. It was heavy, but she was persistent, and it finally moved a few inches. She peered into the darkness, and called out softly. "Thank you for saving Dodger." Oliver jumped on to her shoulder and nudged her. "Say thank you, Oliver." The cat, as though understanding her words, meowed into the darkness – but flicked his eyes up into the shadows where Mikey was crouched. He meowed again, gently this time.
"You're welcome," Mikey whispered as the girl and her cat went into the house. Still perched on his shoulder, having been silent the whole time, Klunk nuzzled the side of his head. "Let's go home, Klunk."
And so they did, with the air of having both done a good deed for the day, and the feeling of having been a part of something very special – though Mikey never could figure out just what it had been. It could have been just his imagination.
But as he made his way home, he looked at Klunk out of the corner of his eyes, and wondered just how much really were animals aware of the world?
"I guess we'll never know, eh Klunk?"
Klunk merely meowed contentedly.
I was watching Oliver and Company again (my all-time favorite Disney flick) and found myself comparing Klunk's appearance to Oliver. Re: the bandanna thing, well, Dodger lost his original one in the subway tunnel when he was fighting Rosco on Syke's car, but he had a new one in the final scenes of the movie. I'm of the mind that Jenny gave him a new one as a thank you for his role in saving both her and Oliver, and since she's so wealthy, naturally, she had it monogrammed. :D
Like it? Love it? Hate it? Willing to read a series of 'The Adventures of Klunk and Company' (takes place after this fic) if I can ever get it done? :D Lemme know.