Title: getting dirty
Characters: Nita, Kit and Ponch
Warnings: Umm... it's dirty? In a very clean way, of course.
Author's Note: Posted as a response on livejournal community comment_fic.
Nita winced, as she stepped off of the concrete ledge and into three inches of squelching mud. "I hope there's a spell to get rid of all of this mud," she murmured to herself. "Or my mom is going to kill me for ruining these clothes."
She had just been shopping for new clothing last week. She had been growing lately, and new clothes had only been one of the changes. Still, there was no help for it - Kit was already several yards ahead of her, and picking his way through the muddy landscape of the riverbank, and besides, Errantry couldn't be put on hold for such silly sensibilities as dirty clothes. She waved a goodbye to a forlorn Ponch - tethered by his leash, and barking like mad - and started off after Kit.
"I just hope it doesn't get the manual dirty," Kit said, holding the book in his hand well above the mud with a dubious frown.
"I don't think it can get dirty," Nita said abstractedly. "I mean, I think the dirt just slides off. It's not like it's really a book, anyways. I mean, it's a book in physicality, but in actuality it could be anything. It's all dependant on our preconceived notions, or something - at least that's what I read."
Kit turned around, and raised his eyebrow. "In the manual?" he asked, a little dubiously.
Nita nodded, and then shrugged a little, as if to say, 'well, that's what it said.'
The young Hispanic boy gave a bit of a confused grin. "I guess the manual is capable of meta-consciousness," he said, looking at the utterly normal book.
Nita grinned. "I'm sure it's capable of much more than that," she said, with a shrug. The manual was still too complicated to really understand. "C'mon, though - I just know my parents are going to wonder why Dairine can take a trip to Jupiter and still be back on time for dinner, while I'm coming in late and muddy from three miles away."
Kit nodded. "Right," he said, and he turned back to picking his way across the muddy riverbank, Nita right behind him. She was focused on not tripping and falling, and didn't notice the noisy barking getting louder, until--
"Oh, boy, mud! Mudmudmudmud! Wheeee!"
A black and white and very muddy blur hit the back of her knees, causing Nita to topple and catch herself with her elbow. The blur rocketed past Nita and Kit, and then whirled around, and jumped up onto Kit's chest. The momentum bowled him over, right over the top of Nita.
For a moment, the three of them were a tangled mess of very muddy bodies, limbs, and one tail. Then Nita wrenched her arm free from underneath Kit, Kit shoved Ponch off of him, and Ponch bounded happily away to roll in the mud. In a few seconds, the large black-and-white mutt had made an utter mess of whatever had been clean on them.
After a moment of shock, the two of them scrambled for their manuals - the pages were pristine - and then they met each other's eyes with relief.
Kit half-laughed. "I swear, he gets smarter every day," he said, indicating the furry dog busily turning himself brown, and the half of the leash still attached to him.
Ponch stopped rolling suddenly, and looked at Kit with solemn brown eyes. He looked extremely sorry.
"I just wanted to come with you," he said, as innocently as possible.
Kit sighed. "Well, just this once," he said to Ponch. "But don't go scaring off any of the birds - we kind of need to find them."
Ponch nodded his head - a very human gesture that left Nita a little baffled - and then resumed his rolling and playing.
Kit's eyes met Nita's once more. He expression echoed Ponch's apologetic one, at least a little bit.
"I really hope there's a spell for getting out mud," she said, with a laugh.
Kit grinned at her.