Author's Notes

Don't know where this idea came from, but it kind of grew on me. It sort of stems on from A Pet Problem, but you don't necessarily need to read that to understand this.

Enjoy, and tell me what you think.


Fit to be Tied

One can shut their ears to words, but never to pain. That includes pets. Featuring Kouji's dog (again).

Kouji M & Kouichi K


'I am not chasing you around the yard to put this collar on you,' Kouji growled, holding the said collar, attached to the leash which was securely fastened to the fence. They didn't want a repeat of last time where the German Sheppard had gotten out of his binds and tracked down the older twin at his school.

Ootomi barked and sprung away, almost tripping up the elder twin when he tried to help.

'Is he always like this?' Kouichi asked, a little breathlessly, trying to catch his brother's elusive pet again and almost crashing into the tree. A bark and a hurried warning from the younger twin stopped him.

'No,' the other said bluntly, glaring at the dog, who just barked again. 'You didn't give him chocolate, did you?'

'I'm not Takuya.'

'True. You're not that crazy.'

'Hey!'

Ootomi tiptoed a little closer, seeing the twins occupied in their discussion, then closer still-

The twins sprung and the dog leapt. The end result left Kouji's hand and Ootomi's teeth fighting over the collar and Kouichi holding onto the lower half of the dog to prevent him from leaping onto the younger twin. Goodness knew how many times he had already done that.

'Some help here Ni-san?' Kouji grunted, enlisting the help of his other hand. But the once puppy had grown over the years and was still a force to be reckoned with.

Kouichi let go of the dog to attempt and pry the collar from his mouth, but Ootomi took the chance to ditch the mini tug-of-war and escape.

'Ootomi,' Kouji said in a warning tone, accidently dropping the collar.

The German Sheppard darted between the twins and ran for the door.

'Hey, don't go in there! 'kaa-san will have a fit; she just finished cleaning!'

He chased after the dog who veered to the right and ran off at top speed. Kouichi made to chase after them, but had barely run three paces when his foot somehow became caught in the collar and tripped.

The next second, both Kouji and Ookomi were by his side as he lay on the grass, completely stunned.

'Ni-san? Are you okay?'

It was amusing, hearing the panic in Kouji's voice, until he tried to sit up that is. Instead of the 'I'm fine' Kouichi had been planning, a pained hiss escaped from gritted teeth.

Ootomi's ears and tail drooped…not that anyone was paying attention to him right that minute.

'What's going on?' Kousei poked his head through the door, staring at the twins on the ground and the suddenly despondent house pet.

''tou-san.' There was a sort of sense of relief at having an adult on the scene, and one who cared no less. 'Kouichi's hurt.'

'I'm fine,' the said twin tried to insist, but the second he moved his foot, still caught in the collar, a bolt of pain shot up his leg.

'Don't even try.' Kouji half-glared at his brother who scrunched his face slightly, but not for the same reason. 'Sprained?' He had no idea.

'How should I know?' But Kouichi gave up as his brother pushed him down and lay still. 'I've never had a sprained ankle before.'

'Yeah you have.'

'Really? When?'

'When you fell down the stairs.'

'Hmm…never noticed. I think I was fully occupied with the head then the feet.'

The twins' father was at their side in an instant, lifting the collar away, before examining the ankle while his sons bantered lightly. He left them to it; no need to interrupt, though he almost laughed at Kouichi's last statement. Almost.

Luckily, he knew what a sprained ankle looked like better than his sons.

'It's a mild sprain,' he announced, straightening up. 'Only lightly swollen.'

Two slightly confused looks stared back at him.

'What do you mean by mild?' Kouji asked, in a tone which would be mistaken by anyone other than friends and family to be suspicion.

'It means that we don't need a Doctor.'

'Oh good.' Kouichi smiled in relief, though it was masked by the grass.

'What we will need though…' Kousei looked significantly at his younger son, who didn't look like he was willing to budge. 'Is an ice pack, and preferably an ace bandage.'

Meanwhile, the guilty dog slunk over to the collar that had started the own mess and attempted to paw himself into it…until a shadow fell on him.

'You're not going to make it this difficult every time, are you?' Kouji muttered, tone indistinguishable, fixing the collar properly around the other's neck. And he wondered why he hadn't done it (or done it properly) the last time.

The droopy ears were answer enough…for the time being.