Courage Vs. The Wild One
(A/N: I don't own Courage, only Vandal. Yes, the dog in this story is Vandal from my Outsiders Fanfic. I wanted to use her again, and I think a CtcD Fanfic with her in it would be interesting. Enjoy!)
It was a brand new day on the farm. Muriel and the always loyal Courage were headed outside, baskets in their hands. It was time for collecting chicken eggs once again. The mood was calm and serene, like a country morning should be. The aging Scotswoman stepped into the chicken coop, and got to work, Courage right behind her. A few minutes into the job, Courage paused, and looked around. Huh. Things seemed to be going well…Usually a monster or something similar would show up and cause trouble. But the only bad thing that happened today was Eustace being an ass at breakfast. It was…refreshing. However, Courage wasn't going to call this day a good one so fast.
"Hhh…" was the strange sound to enter Courage's ears, and he froze. Could it be…? Nah…it could've been a hen cooing.
"Huh?" murmured Courage.
"What on Earth was that?" asked Muriel with slight alarm in her voice. "It felt like it was coming from under the coop."
Slowly and quietly, the pair stepped outside, and looked underneath the chicken coop, and staring back at them was two eyes the color of a radiant flame.
"Oh, my!" exclaimed Muriel.
The pink pooch and his owner began to back away into the direction of the house, Courage letting out a fearful whimper. The eyes continued watching them, never seeming to blink. It was then that a raspy growling came from beneath the chicken coop. A large paw, like that of a canine, appeared from the dark space, and then came a head. Finally, the whole beast came into view. It was a large canine who looked like a wolf. Its fur was brown and untamed, and it stared at them wildly. Suddenly, it curled back its lips and growled dangerously. Courage and Muriel screamed in fear, and rushed into the safety of the house. Eustace, who was sitting in his chair and reading the paper, glared up at them.
"What are you two doing?" he demanded. "You're supposed to be out there picking eggs."
"There's a dog out there, Eustace," Muriel explained. "More like a wolf, it is."
Courage nodded, and began to shape-shift, forming his body into that of the dog outside. Courage growled, as slobber trickled from his lips. It wasn't long before he returned to his normal shape and hid behind Muriel. Eustace angrily got up, and peeked outside. Sure enough, the brown dog was still there. But now, it was sitting down and gingerly grooming its rat nest of a pelt. Eustace grumbled.
"That thing's gonna get a hold of the chickens if we don't get rid of it," he spat. He walked upstairs for a few moments, and then returned with a wooden bat. Suddenly he tossed it to Courage. "Take care of it, dog."
Courage whined, but was roughly pushed outside anyway. He swallowed, and slowly crept towards the other dog. It was still grooming its fur, with little success. Its fur just couldn't be straightened. Suddenly it paused, and its eyes flashed up at Courage. The pink dog froze, starting to whimper again. The larger dog got to its paws, and craned its head towards Courage with a quivering nose. Then, it opened its mouth, causing Courage to cower.
"Are you trying to attack me, pink dog?"
"Huh?" muttered Courage, looking back at the other dog.
It was looking at him with confusion in its eyes. Then, it stepped closer, its nose sniffing the wooden bat.
"Why would you attack me?" asked the dog again, its voice like that of a female. "I never did anything to you."
The dog sat down in front of Courage, and curled back her lips in an attempt to smile. Courage wasn't reassured. Just because this dog was being casual, it didn't mean that she wasn't sinister in anyway. The dog frowned when she saw that Courage was still afraid.
"What are you so frightened for, pink dog?" the brown she-dog continued. "Do you think I'll hurt you?"
"Well, you do look pretty menacing..." Courage mumbled.
"My apologies. You see, I had been hunted down by some humans. They wanted to impound me, but I wanted to live a life of freedom. I don't trust many humans...May I tell you something, pink dog?"
"My blood is mixed," explained the she-dog. "I am both wolf and dog. My wolf side definitely shows in my appearance, and my attitude. The humans wanted me contained to keep the streets safe from my unpredictable behavior. Think of it as...bi-polar disorder for dogs. I didn't want what they wanted, though. I've been in the pound before; it's quite a miserable place where dogs are murdered because the humans don't see them as decent pets. Unfortunately, some humans don't care about what dogs think."
For some reason, Courage agreed with that last line just a little bit. It seemed that every time he was suspicious of something, Muriel was too sweet to notice, and Eustace was too stubborn to listen. He lowered the bat and whimpered sympathetically for the she-dog. This caused the brown dog to smile. Suddenly,she scraped her claws against the ground, leaving deep scars in the soil. This startled Courage and made his grip the baseball bat again. The she-dog paused, and her ears fell back.
"I'm sorry," she murmured, looking down. "It's a habit...I'm Vandal, by the way...What's your name?"
"C-Courage," stuttered Courage.
Vandal smiled gently, a twinkle in her eyes. A scared little dog named Courage...how amusing...
"You're a nice little dog, Courage," said Vandal. She scratched her flank.
Courage slowly began to smile. Maybe Vandal wasn't evil after all.
Her mood suddenly changed the instance she saw Eustace charging towards her and Courage. Her lip curled back in a snarl, and her fur stood on end.
"Stupid dog!" Eustace snapped, snatching the baseball bat from the poor fellow. "Can't you do anything right?"
Eustace began advancing on Vandal, and swung the bat at her. Vandal refused to show cowardice, and opened her jaws as the bat came closer to her head. She snagged it in her teeth, and bit hard into the wood. Then with a mighty yank, she pried the bat from Eustace's hand and tossed it away.
"Eh?" Eustace said in confusion. He realized that he was unarmed in front of a potentially deadly half-blood.
Vandal felt herself growing more and more unstable. The human dared to attack her, and now she would get revenge. Rearing on her hind legs, Vandal attacked Eustace, her claws raking against his clothes. Her fangs got dangerously close to his face. Terrified, Eustace tried to run away, but Vandal pinned him down, ready to shed blood.
"NO!" cried Courage as he grabbed and chomped down on Vandal's tail.
Vandal shook her head, finally coming to her senses. With a whimper, she pulled herself off of the old man, her tail between her legs.
"I-I'm sorry!" she said quickly. "I-I don't k-know what happened...I just sn-snapped!"
Eustace picked himself off and started for the house.
"I'm getting rid of that thing, if it's the last thing I do!" he declared before disappearing inside.
"Oh, no..." Courage gasped. He started pushing Vandal's shoulder, causing the she-dog to look down at him in confusion.
"What are you doing, Courage?"
"You've got to get out of here!" Courage explained quickly. "Or Eustace'll kill you!"
There was suddenly the cock of a gun. Both dogs looked up and saw Eustace standing at the front door of the house, holding a shotgun in his hands.
"This is your last warning, wild one; you'd better get, or I'll blast you to kingdom come!"
Vandal felt her blood begin to boil again, but it stopped when she saw Courage's eyes look up at her, pleading her to leave. Vandal didn't want to take the human's crap, but she also didn't want to get hurt, and upset Courage. So, she turned, and was off.
Courage was laying at the foot of his owners' bed, his eyes closed. But he just couldn't sleep. He was thinking about Vandal. Courage was upset that she had to run off all alone, unable to live in society because of her genetics. If only he could do something to help. Giving her shelter at the farm wouldn't work. Eustace wouldn't allow it; he'd probably kill her the moment he saw her. Hmm...what to do...
His thoughts were interrupted when he heard a soft thud outside. With a whine of confusion, Courage hopped out of bed, and peeked out of the window. There was Vandal, rummaging through some wood near the chicken coop. In a hurry, Courage rushed downstairs, being careful not to wake up Muriel and Eustace.
Vandal was attempting to pick up a hammer with her paw, but, because her paws were like an actual dog's, she wasn't able to hold it. But she had to do this. Clucking noises came from behind her, and she hissed, causing them to stop. This plan had to work.
The she-dog's head turned , and saw the pink he-dog.
"Courage," Vandal gasped in relief. "What are you doing awake?"
"I heard you," answered Courage. "What are you doing?"
"I'm building a second chicken coop for your humans as an apology for my behavior earlier," explained Vandal, showing off the materials, and the cages of chickens she carried back to the farm.
"You don't have to," Courage pointed out. Vandal hadn't exactly done anything wrong;she had just been provoked.
"I must, Courage," Vandal said gently. "Whether or not I'm forgiven, I must be responsible for my own actions. I could've killed someone. Besides, if this makes that man happy, he probably won't be so mean to you for a while."
Courage had to admit, Vandal had a point. He grabbed the hammer Vandal had tried and failed to pick up. Vandal smiled, and nodded.
It had been a couple hours since Vandal made her leave for good. Courage had went back to bed, smiling in content. Vandal had told him that she would return someday, and would tell him all about her travels. Hopefully next time, things would go well for the Wild One.