Disclaimer: I do not own Courage the Cowardly Dog.

First Meetings

"Eustace! Be careful!" Muriel admonished as she opened the shabby wooden door of their home. Courage, who had been napping in Eustace's chair, quickly jumped off the comfy cushion, landing on his two back feet on the hardwood floor. He watched as Eustace struggled to fit through the doorway, carrying something that looked to be the size of him, but much heavier. In a way, it reminded Courage a bit of the television set they had, but whatever this thing was seemed to have a lot more buttons.

Eustace grunted, having a very difficult time with the weight. He had almost reached the staircase when his gangly arms were no longer able to hold onto the contraption. Instead of letting it drop out of his arms, Eustace dropped with the television-like thing, cushioning its fall.

"OWWWW!" Eustace howled when the full weight of the object crushed his frail bones. He glared at the thing and hissed, "Stupid, no-good computer!"

"Oh, Eustace." Muriel shook her head, walking past her husband who was still lying on the floor. "Take a break and have Courage help ye."

The old farmer squirmed his way out from under the heavy weight. He grumbled to himself as he stood up, but then he smirked, looking over to Courage. Understandably, Courage backed up a bit and gave a lone whine, never liking it when Eustace directed that look at him.

"You! Dog!" he addressed, pointing at him and then to the heavy object on the ground. "Bring that computer up to the attic!"

Uncertain that he could accomplish this task, Courage tentatively went over to the computer. With the television-like part and the rectangular box and the tray of square-shaped buttons, the computer was definitely heavier and bigger than him. It made him nervous and just a bit fearful that this "computer" thing could be capable of hurting him. He was not quite sure what it did, but it could not have been anything good.

Eustace, tired of waiting, mumbled a low, "Stupid dog," and turned away from the dog for a moment, searching through the pant pocket of his overalls. He found what he was looking for and stuck the thing on his face. Turning back to the dog he cried, "Booga booga booga!"

The green mask with crazy eyes and a crazy mouth was enough to scare Courage to the point where he could not contain his scream. Instead of figuring out a way to maneuver the computer so that he could lift the heavy thing up a couple flights of stairs, Courage grabbed the entire object and ran up the wooden staircase with it, still screaming all the way. He rushed straight up to the attic, dropping the computer on the floor and gasping for air. His arms were killing him, and every muscle in his body was demanding some rest. Courage whined, sitting on the floor next to the computer.

A few minutes later, Eustace appeared in the doorway, nursing a fresh bump on his head. Muriel followed him with a stern grimace on her face, obviously not amused with his antics. Courage knew better than to gloat, so he got up from the floor and stepped to the other side of the room, allowing Eustace some space.

Using whatever strength Eustace had left, he lifted the computer and brought it over to the empty wooden desk. Once he had the thing situated, he paused, taking a step back to get a better look at the foreign object. He scratched his head for a bit before grabbing one of the wires hanging out of the television-like object and sticking it into the rectangular box.

"Connected the monitor to the computer," Eustace muttered to himself. He did the same for the tray of buttons. "And the keyboard to the computer."

Cackling at his own ingenious, Eustace pressed a button on the rectangular box. "And now I press the power button!"

Nothing happened.

"Wha?" Eustace tilted his head, expecting his last action to make the computer work. He leaned over and peered intently at the computer, looking over all the parts.

"Well, what's the problem?" Muriel questioned, not having a clue what Eustace had been doing the entire time.

Resulting to a last-ditch effort, Eustace pounded the monitor, wondering if it just acted up like his television set did sometimes. It didn't work.

"It's broke," Eustace declared, crossing his arms protectively over his chest. "Stupid piece of garbage wasting my money..." He stalked out of the room, continuing his rant about how stupid an investment the computer was.

Muriel sighed, turning her attention to Courage. "Courage, would you be a dear and see if you can get this thing to work? I'm going to make Eustace some pie."

Courage nodded his head, which rewarded him with a smile and nice pat on the head from his adoptive mother. Muriel wandered out of the room, humming to herself as Courage ventured near the computer. It looked rather intimidating, being so high up on the desk. He knew nothing about these things, but he figured if Eustace tried to fix it similar to how he tries to fix the television set, this thing must have a bunch of other wires and such in the back.

Sure enough, a long cord hung from the back of the rectangular box that the monitor was sitting on. Courage carefully grabbed it and plugged it into an outlet on the wall. Some other wires hung lose, so Courage tried to find a place to put them in. They weren't designed like the cord he plugged into the wall, so he couldn't use that outlet for them. The back of the square box seemed to have many little holes that were similar to the size of the points of the wires, so Courage plugged them in there, hoping this would be enough to make the computer work.

He crawled out from under the desk, hopping on the wooden chair and standing on his tiptoes to reach the power button Eustace had pressed earlier. The computer beeped, and Courage could hear something that sounded like a low hum start up. Unlike the television set, the screen turned on and remained a light blue-green screen. Courage gave it a wary stare, not quite sure what to do now.

"Well? Are you waiting for me to congratulate you on figuring out how to start me up? Then I suppose this is going to be a long wait for the both of us."

Silence followed the male voice with a British accent. Courage, trembling with fear, slowly turned and looked behind him, expecting some creepy person to be standing there. To his surprise, no one was there. Where had that voice come from them?

"What exactly are we looking for ole boy? Your brain?"

Courage snapped his head back to the computer screen, realizing just where he was hearing the voice. He paled.

"I don't think I've seen a dog turn that white before. You look as if you've seen a ghost."

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGHHHHHH!" Courage darted out of the attic, running until he reached his destination, Muriel's leg. He raced down the stairs and to the kitchen where she had just finished taking a freshly made pie out of the oven. Courage leaped and grabbed onto her leg, shaking like crazy.

"Oh my!" Muriel exclaimed, looking down at her dog. "What's the matter, Courage?"

Courage let go of her leg, babbling in a nonexistent language as he tried to use charades to describe what he had seen. He depicted the scene where he powered up the computer, and then he made a deep growling noise to emulate the deep voice the computer used, and then he portrayed the evil ghost that was inside the computer. Muriel stared at him calmly throughout all of this, setting the pie down on the counter to cool off.

"I knew you'd figure out how to get that thing running," she said, smiling once more. "Let's go tell Eustace."

Courage rapidly shook his head, howling what little English he knew how to speak. "Nooooo!"

"Eustace!" Muriel called out, walking into the living room. Eustace did not even look up from his chair, concentrating on the Nowhere Newspaper that he was holding in front of him. "Courage got the computer to work! Let's have a look at it, shall we?"

"Yeah, yeah," Eustace muttered, folding his paper up and lifting himself off his chair. "Alright. Let's go see it."

Muriel giggled, following her husband up the staircase. Courage stared after them in terror, picturing his beloved Muriel being pulled into the computer screen or those wires wrapping around her so tightly until she couldn't breath, and all the while the computer was laughing at her!

"Oh no!" Courage gasped, rushing up the stairs after the old couple. "I'll save you, Muriel!"

For being old, Eustace and Muriel were still pretty fast, and they were already up in the attic by the time Courage caught up with them. He gave a panicked whine, trying to think of something to get them away from the computer.

Eustace sat down on the wooden chair and stared at the computer screen. He looked down at the keyboard and pressed some buttons.

"Ah, you want the 'Internet,' I suppose." The British voice caused Courage to lunge behind Muriel, gripping tightly at the end of her dress. "You might want to learn how to spell it correctly before you go on."

"Grr, what did you say?" Eustace growled, shaking his fist at the computer screen.

"Is that a rhetorical question, or has your age impeded your hearing to such an extent?"

"Blah, blah, blah!" Eustace snapped. "Just get me on the Internet, you stupid machine!"

"Ooh, someone's defensive," the computer commented. "Here you go. What would you like to look up?"

A familiar mischievous look overtook the farmer. "Hehehe. Ways to make me some money!"

"Thank you for the broad term," the computer drawled. "Would you like articles, websites, programs, stories, advertisements—"

"Just show me how to get rich!" Eustace ordered, clearly not getting the computer's point.

An exasperated sigh was heard from the computer, and Courage found himself intrigued with the new machine. It had not offed Eustace as of yet, and it hadn't mentioned a word about Muriel. It simply seemed annoyed that it had to be subjected to Eustace's greed. The voice could not have been a ghost's, either, as Courage knew there was a routine where the ghost would threaten at least one person in the room by this point. Maybe computers just had voices built in them. It would definitely explain the monotone held within the voice.

Something white popped up on the computer screen with lots of words on it. Eustace adjusted his glasses and leaned closer to the screen, and Courage watched as the smirk on Eustace's face slowly turned into a frown.

"Hey! This ain't helping me get rich!" The old man glared at the computer. "These are help wanted ads!"

"Yes, well, most people work to earn lots of money," the computer dully replied. "I have all the information you could ever need on here, so be more specific and maybe I can find something better, you twit."

That was the last straw for the farmer. He clenched his hands into tight fists before pounding on top of the monitor with one of them. "Stupid piece of junk! I want my money back!"

"Hey! Stop that!" the computer ordered the disgruntled, old man. Eustace did stop, but he got up from his chair and huffed to himself, storming out of the room.

"Oh dear," Muriel commented. "I better go calm him down."

Courage watched her leave the room before turning to the computer. He wandered over to it and pulled himself onto the chair, stepping on his tiptoes once more in order to reach the computer.

"Oh, it's you again," the computer voiced in a tone that suggested he was not very thrilled about Courage's appearance. "To what do I owe this pleasure?"

There was one thing that Courage knew he was good at doing aside from screaming at the top of his lungs. He knew how to read. Talking was another story, but he had some basic communication skills down with this ability. Scanning the keyboard, he started typing out some of the words he knew how to spell.

"Pardon me? 'What is name?'" the computer asked, and Courage could almost picture someone rolling their eyes just by the way the computer spoke. "Computer. Duh."

Courage frowned, but he refused to let Computer's lack of manners get to him. He typed more words in, but when he finished typing them in, Computer did not have an immediate response. Courage feared that he had typed a word incorrectly, but Computer put that fear to rest when he burst out laughing.

"Hahaha! Are you joking? Haha! That is your name! Hahahaha! How ill-fitting!"

Courage glared at Computer's screen, no longer willing to overlook Computer's rude behavior. He stuck his tongue out at it, and folded his arms across his chest.

"How mature," Computer commented, finally calming down. "You amuse me, twit. Fix your grammar skills and come back when you need some help. You're going to need a lot of it if that old man from earlier is your owner."

Courage could not argue with that.

There was a moment of silence before Courage typed in some more words, having one final thing he wanted to ask Computer before he went to go see what Muriel was doing. This time, the period Computer took to think up his answer was not followed by uproarious laughter as it had been before.

"I'm a computer, not a companion, you twit. We will never be friends." Computer seemed insulted by the possibility that they could be friends. Courage, used to being rejected, just shrugged it off.

"Buh!" Courage spoke as he hopped off the chair.

Computer seemed to process it as him saying "bye" for he retorted, "Don't come back too soon."

Computer stopped searching through his memory bank, bringing himself out of the memory of the time the twit and he had first met. It was an unexpected meeting, as Computer was used to dealing with solely humans and not their pets that tended to have too few brain cells and a bad habit of chewing on his wires. He was thankful in a way that the farmer's dog was different from most others.

Shaking off that gratitude, Computer resumed paying attention to the twit who was currently writing more life memoirs that involved his "scary" adventures. The twit had just gotten to the part where Computer instructed him on how to fix the problem. If he could, he would roll his eyes in a good-natured way from the term the dog used to describe him. His closest ally, and the snarkiest computer in the world, quickly searched the Internet for more information.

"Your grammar has improved quite a bit," Computer stated. He was not complimenting the dog, but simply pointing out a straightforward fact.

Courage nodded his head, seeming to be proud of himself. "Mmmhmm!"

"You should put me in your stories more. It makes them loads better than the rubbish that you usually write."

Smirking, Courage shook his head, continuing to type up his story. He must have been typing for nearly four hours at this point, but Computer did not complain, so Courage did not stop. It was nice to have someone to converse with when neither of them usually got much conversation out of their owners.

Courage grinned as he included his next line, expecting some sort of protest from Computer. He waited a moment, and then he waited a few more. Computer did not comment on it.

A sincere smile lit Courage's face, and he continued on with the story.

Courage thanked the Computer for being a dear friend before heading off to save their owners.