It's Against Nature
Saturday, 6:30 a.m. Alfred's room.
16 year old Alfred lay on his bed, twisting and turning in his sleep while whimpering and mumbling incoherent words.
"Alfred. Alfred dear, wake up!" his mother said, as she shook his shoulder, trying to wake him up.
"No!" Alfred screamed as he suddenly awoke and sat up in his bed, breathing heavily. He also startled his mother when he did this.
"Another bad dream," he said close to a whisper.
"Alfred sweetheart, what's going on? This is the fourth time this week you've been having those bad dreams." His mother said to him.
"It's really nothing mom," he said to his mother, trying to convince her that everything was ok so she wouldn't worry. But he knew she wouldn't let it slide this time.
A few months ago, another Hedgehog family had come to live in Gnarly Woods. They have two daughters and a son. One daughter is around Alfred's age, the other is three years old and the son is about Lily's age who is now 11 years old.
About a month after the new Hedgehog family came to Gnarly Woods, two new families, a Wallaby and a Skunk family also came to live in Gnarly Woods. It was around this time, when the Wallaby Family showed up that Alfred started having those bad dreams.
The new Wallaby Family has three sons. One is in his late teens, one is Alfred's age and the youngest is just a year older than Lily. The new Skunk Family has two daughters who are twins and are the same age as Alfred.
Alfred and his friends quickly befriended the new comers and they would hang out with each other whenever Alfred, Camille and Milo weren't solving mysteries.
But lately, Johnny Wallaby, the one who's their age, started spending more time than usual with the group and it was around this time, that Alfred started having the bad dreams more often. Sonia Hedgehog had started spending more time with them as well, but Alfred didn't seem to notice.
When the Wallaby Family showed up and Alfred and his friends met the boys for the first time, is when he started having those bad dreams. The dream started the same week he met the Wallaby brothers, Johnny in particular, and then continued getting them once every other week, but it was the same dream every time.
But when Johnny started spending much more time than usual with them, he started having the dreams once or twice every week. He also started having feelings he was unfamiliar with, which was really mysterious to him.
When he researched it, without the help of Camille and Milo because it was kind of personal, he couldn't and didn't want to believe what he found out. So he sort out professional help, by visiting Dr. Anna.
When he explained everything to her, she confirmed to him what he feared wasn't possible. After that, he's been getting the same bad dream every night, and the conversation with Dr. Anna was five days ago.
"Nice try Alfred, but not this time. You've been having bad dreams once every week for the past few months and now every night. Something's wrong sweetie and its ok for you to talk to me about it." his mother said. It's now 7:00am and the sunlight was starting to shine through into the room.
"I already know what's wrong mom, and it's something that should not have happened." he stated
"Oh. And what's that?" she asked
"Something that goes against nature." he simply replied
"Hmm?" she question.
"Mom... a hedgehog, has fallen in love with a wallaby..." he replied not looking at his mother, but instead suddenly finding his bed sheet interesting.
There was silence for a while until his mother spoke up.
"I can think about this in two ways Alfred. Either Sonia likes Johnny, and you feel hurt that she likes him and not you. Or..." she cut herself off when she saw him lower his head further, most likely from shame, when she said 'or'. She gasped in surprise when she realized this.
"See. I knew you wouldn't agree to it." he said, dropping his head back on his pillow and covering his face with a second pillow. "I just can't believe I've fallen in love with my best friend who isn't even the same species as me." he said under the pillow, making what he said sound muffled.
"Oh sweetie, I'm not against it." his mother said, causing him to remove the pillow from his face and sit up straight.
"You're not?" he asked
"No." she smiled at him "But are you sure it's love and not just a crush. You are a smart kid and I would assume..."
"That I did some research on it?" he finished her sentence. "Yes I did mom, and I didn't want to believe it. So I spoke to Dr. Anna about it and she confirmed, that what I found out and what I'm feeling was indeed... love."
"So I'm guessing you haven't told Camille or Milo about this since you keep having those bad dreams."
"Actually mom, it's the same dream all the time. And no I haven't. I can't tell Milo because there's no telling how he'll react."
"True." his mother said with a short giggle, knowing how Milo reacts to any little thing.
"And I can't tell Camille. If I tell her and she doesn't feel the same, it would ruin our friendship and make things awkward between us." he said in a fearful tone.
"No, it wouldn't Alfred," Alfred and his mother heard a voice, coming from Alfred's door, say. They looked towards it to see who it was.
"Camille! What are you doing here so early? And don't you usually call before you come over?" Alfred asked in surprise, his cheeks turning a shade of red.
"First, it's almost 8:00a.m." Camille started
"Guess we've been talking for a while," Mrs. Hedgehog said, looking to her son then back to Camille.
"And I did call you, about four or five times, but you didn't answer. I got worried and thought something happened to you, because you always answer your phone no matter what, so I came over right away to make sure everything was alright." she finished, a pink hue tinting her cheeks as she tried her best to hide it.
Alfred quickly checked his phone and realized that she had indeed called him, four times. He rubbed the back of his neck as a sure sign of embarrassment, as he apologized to her.
"But how did you get in dear? I didn't hear a knock on the door," Mrs. Hedgehog asked.
"Lily's playing out front with Spike, so she let me in," Camille replied.
Mrs. Hedgehog nodded. "Ok then. Well, I have some garden work to do. I'll leave you two alone now. You probably have lots to talk about." she smiled and winked at her son just before she got up and walked to the door towards Camille. She rested her hand on Camille's shoulder and winked at her as well as she finally exited the room, closing the door behind her.
Alfred took the cover of his bed off him and sat at the edge of his bed. Since it was summer, the nights were a bit warm, so he slept with a pajama pants and a vest. He sat there and looked to the floor, afraid to look at his friend.
Camille's blush got brighter when she saw that he was almost shirtless as she still stood by the door. She then slowly made her way towards the bed and sat at the other end of it, she too not looking in her friend's direction.
There was a really long pause of silence between them, 5 maybe 10 minutes until Alfred spoke up.
"This is why I didn't want to say anything." Alfred said, still not looking up at his friend.
"Why?" Camille asked, taking a quick glance at him
"This... awkwardness, that's going on right now between us." He replied, finally looking to his friend who's sitting on the other end of his bed. Camille said nothing.
"How much of the conversation did you hear?" He finally asked.
"From when you told your mom you knew she wouldn't agree." Camille replied, still not looking at her friend.
"Sooo... there's not much for me to say since you pretty much heard everything." Alfred said, looking in her direction as she refuse to turn around and face him.
"Mmm," she nodded. She then felt and heard movement coming from the bed, then felt arms wrap around her from behind making her gasp in surprise.
Alfred hugged her close to him, making her back rest on his chest as he rest his head between her neck and shoulder on the left side, and close enough to her ear.
"Cam... we've been best friends for as long as I can remember. We've been through everything together, no matter how hard they were." He chuckled softly, "Even when Milo was the one who got us into it in the first place."
Camille giggled. "Yea. Milo's always the one to get in some kind of trouble and we were always the ones to bail him out." she replied, placing her hands on top of the ones wrapped around her.
"Cam... I hope this doesn't ruin our friendship, but, I'm in love with you. It's ok if you don't feel the same, but I thought I should let you know." He said to her softly in her ear, also digging his face deeper, if possible, into her neck.
"I just hope the pain of rejection is better than not telling her or knowing how she feels." Alfred thought.
"Like I said earlier, it won't... because," she paused, rubbing her hands over Alfred's. "I'm in love with you too Alfred." she replied.
"You... you are?" he asked, taking his head away from her neck, but keeping his arms around her.
"Mm hmm." she nodded and smiled, turning her head to finally look at him.
"But, I thought that you-"
"I always rejected him Alfred, because my heart belonged to someone else," she said, turning around to face her friend causing him to loosen his grip on her, but his hands stayed rested on her waist. "You."
The two smiled at each other when she finished. But then, Camille's smile quickly turned into a frown when she remembered something, and this worried Alfred.
"But..." she started
"But...?" Alfred repeated, not liking how she said it.
"You're right. Our love cannot be, because it's against nature. A hedgehog and a wallaby cannot be together." she choked, trying to keep her tough exterior.
Alfred knew she was right. But after finding out that she had feelings for him too, he didn't really care anymore that they were of different species. He brought his hands up to her face, cupping her cheeks and lifting her head up to look straight at him.
"Cam, I'm usually the one who likes to stick with facts, but I'm willing to make an exception in this case."
"Huh?" Camille was confused
With his hands still on her face, Alfred leaned forward and kissed her on the lips. Camille quickly responded by kissing him back. The kiss only lasted a few seconds, but it felt like hours to the two. When they broke apart, they smiled warmly at each other.
Alfred took his hands off her face and placed them back on the sides of her waist.
"So, how are we going to tell Milo about this?" Alfred asked after a few moments of silence.
"Oh, I wouldn't worry about him right now," Camille replied with a mischievous grin.
"Cam... don't!" he knew that look all too well, and knew she was up to something. The only thing he didn't know though, was what she had in mind, because it would be completely random.
Before Alfred had a chance to react, Camille pushed him on the bed to lie on his back as she began her tickle assault on him.
"Cam... haha... stop... haha." Alfred said while laughing.
"Try and make me," she challenged
That was one of the things Alfred loved about Camille, she was always there to give him a challenge and in most cases he would always win in the end.
Alfred soon found an opening during her assault on him, and took it as an opportunity to switch their position. Camille squealed in surprise delight when he did this. Now she was on her back and he was the one assaulting her with tickles.
When he felt that she had had enough, he stopped and allowed her to regain her breathing. After the first few seconds, he leaned down towards her, resting his forehead onto hers and allowing their noses to touch, their eyes closed.
Once she had regained most of breathing, she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him once again. Alfred didn't hesitate in kissing her back. However, this did not last long.
"Alfred!" Milo yelled as he burst into the room. "Alfred, come quick! There's..."
"Milo!" Camille exclaimed, quite annoyed.
"What happened to knocking Milo?" Alfred asked, calmer than Camille.
"Wait a minute! Were you two... and are you two...?" Milo asked. His response from the two was their faces turning red.
"WAHOO! I knew it! And about time too." Milo exclaimed, doing some kind of victory dance.
"I guess we don't need to tell him." Camille confirmed.
"Guess not," Alfred smiled in agreement as the two watched their friend do his dance.
"Oh! I just remembered why I came here! Alfred, Cam, I saw something really strange near the lake. Hurry up!" Milo exclaimed, quickly exiting the room.
"He's exaggerating again," Camille confirmed.
"Maybe, but he hasn't really done much of that since we became teenagers, so..." Alfred said.
"Serious mysterious?" Camille asked, smiling from under him
"Serious mysterious!" Alfred confirmed, smiling as well and giving her one more, quick kiss before getting completely dressed and off to solve another mystery.