/A.N. hiya! I will be posting the chapters.. well... whenever I finish them basically XD/

5 years later….

A young Lombax sat on the doorstep, watched and the small group of children played some sort of game that seemed to be a cross between tag and wrestling in the dust nearby the orphanage. It looked like such fun… but it was very unlikely that they would let him play.

It was worth a shot though. He got to his (bare) feet and began to shuffle towards the group of children; his knees knocking and his tail twitching nervously. The children stopped playing and stood in a defensive line, staring with raised eyebrows at the Lombax cub. He rubbed behind his right ear, in a perfectly explainable nervous tick.

"Uh, h-hey guys," He whispered quietly, shuffling in the dirt.

The largest of the group stepped forward with crossed arms, glaring threateningly at the cub. He was huge and muscular Blarg, even at seven years old. He was a giant to even the other children, but practically towered over Ratchet, at 4"6.

Ratchet recognised him as 'Mort Redback', and cringed. Mort leaned forward so he was almost eye level with Ratchet, who instinctively took a step back.

"What, titch?" He growled, his piggy little eyes narrowing so far they practically disappeared into his face.

Ratchet winced as the Blarg's gooey spit sprayed over his face, sticking to his fur.

"Um," the cub hesitated, contemplating backing off. Then again, he'd got this far. What did he have to loose? "I was w-w-wondering… if I could y'know… p-play?"

"You? Play with us!? Why would we let a little titch like you play!?" Mort's eyes widened in amusement, and he threw back his head and laughed, showing jagged yellowed teeth. The posse behind him instantly copied him; unclear on what they were laughing at exactly…

Ratchet shuffled slightly, and summoned the last of the courage in his little body.

"Finished yet?" He muttered uneasily, keeping his emerald coloured eyes firmly fixed on the dusty floor.

Mort stopped laughing immediately, and adopted the same, well practiced position as before; yet again patronising the small stature of the Lombax.

"Excuse me?" He whispered dangerously, clamping one large hand over Ratchet's left ear and twisted slightly. The other he wrapped around Ratchet's tail. The Lombax let out a yelp of pain- Lombax ears and tail, are their weakest points.

"I-I-I," Ratchet felt his stammer return as his eyes began to burn hotly. He bowed his head. "N-nothing…."

Mort smirked. "Thought not." He let go of Ratchet's ear and shoved him in the back, keeping his hand tightly grasping his tail. The momentum shoved the cub forward several feet, yanking out a small but painful chunk of hairs from his tail tuft. The whole group let out howls of mirth.

Refusing to let the bullies see him cry, he yanked his tail from the Blarg's vice like grip. He started to run, but tripped over his own feet and fell over, winding himself in the process. Of course, this made the group laugh harder. Tears stinging his eyes, the Lombax rounded a few more corners, dust flying up around him as his feet hit the ground, until he caught sight of the familiar sturdy tree that leaned over the edge of the steep hill. A fallen branch that had been there as long as Ratchet remembered was the perfect hoist. He jumped on top of it, and began to lithely claw himself up the tree, where he arranged himself in a crouching position on the largest branch that reached furthest. Shrouded by crisp brown leaves, he hugged his knees to his chest and finally let the tears fall.

/A.N. Poor Ratchet... XD I always seem to torture him in my stories... I just wanna hug him ;n;/