By : Socks the Catt
© 2002 Socks Furrotica Press, all right reserved
It had been two months since the con. Bob, also known as Socks, had already abandoned his glasses, and his clothing had started to fit looser than it had. It also hid the few markings that Panther gave to him on the quests he had taken in the last few weeks. He never did buy new clothing, as the loose fit of his old clothing hid his new frame better. He knew what was changing, but he tried not to let it affect him outwardly.
He was home with his friend Tony. Tony was also into furry, leaning more towards the fox. They hooked up with each other out of a mutual friendship some years prior. Tony knew his friend's sexual orientations, but it never affected their friendship. Tony was straight, his feline friend was bi, no big deal. Sex never came up. But they did go to places together, like the con a few months ago.
It was a Friday morning when Tony wanted to borrow a DVD from his friend to watch before work. Without thinking he opened the door to Bob's room quietly and grabbed a disk from the milk crate stack Bob kept just on the other side of the door. He found the movie he was looking for, and glanced over to Bob. He shook his head as he closed the door, snickering that Bob was sleeping over the sheets in his costume.
Four feet over the sheets. In a glowing ball with sparks coming out of it.
Tony stopped dead in his steps. He closed his eyes and shook his head. He kept on thinking that it wasn't right, that there was no way that could really have been what he saw. But he knew what he did see, and had to check. He quietly stepped back to Bob's room, and opened the door quietly.
There was Bob, over the sheets yes, but on the bed. He was sleeping in his Socks costume, yes, but he had on a red leather collar, not his usual nylon one with the bell he always liked. It had runes stamped in the leather, and a charm he hadn't seen before. Tony shook his head and closed the door quietly behind him.
Socks was being guided back out of the dream plane. "It's morning already?"
"I'm afraid so my young warrior." said the great dragon. "And I think something happened in your home. I felt a presence in your den briefly."
Socks nodded. "Am I in danger?"
"No." Terradene said. "It went away very quickly. But be careful. You are ready to handle things on your own for now. Take the time to magically alter the clothing you will use when you can dedicate a full evening to the process." Socks nodded, and the dragon kissed him on his muzzle. "I'll see you next week, my warrior."
"I look forward to it!" Socks said as his form dissipated from the dream plane. He woke up with the sun on his belly. He felt nice and warm, the black spandex of his costume holding in the light. He liked using the suit to center when he was going into the dream plane specifically, even though he knew he didn't need it. Slowly, Bob opened his eyes feeling refreshed, and fully alert. He purred softly to himself as he removed the collar, then the rest of his costume. The feeling of loss was no longer there when he took it off, as a part of Panther was always with him now he never truly removed that part anymore.
He rubbed his shoulder idly, tracing the last marking that Panther gave him. He looked at the small disk with the Terra clan symbol in it. Bob smiled and slid a very loose shirt over himself with a pair of loose sweat pants. He wandered out of his room to see Tony on the couch. Tony jumped when he saw Bob.
"What?" Bob said
"Nothin'." Tony said. "Just kinda didn't think you'd get up." Tony looked at Bob carefully, nothing looked too out of place. "Umm, borrowed 'ALICE cat' from ya."
Bob looked at the TV, and the movie had just begun. "You were in my room?" he asked, sounding curious. Tony nodded slowly. Bob let out a sigh of relief. "Ok. No big deal. It's cool. Just put it back later." Bob then walked into the bathroom.
Tony became too curious for his own good. He quietly got up, and stalked into Bob's room. He looked in, almost in disbelief of what he saw before. But, nothing was unusual. "Socks" was laying over a chair, limp. No scorches, nothing out of place, other than Bob's bed wasn't made. Nothing unusual there either.
His curiosity satisfied, he went back into the living room to watch his movie as Bob went about his usual morning routine. Tony couldn't shake the image he had seen, however. He considered asking Bob, but how would you ask? Tony considered he couldn't just walk over to Bob, and ask "Hey, why were you floating over your bed in a ball of fire?" But he never did ask, and Bob eventually had to leave for his work.
As the day progressed, Tony just couldn't let it go. He spent the day at work trying to concentrate on what he was doing, but kept on making mistakes. He came home that evening almost a wreck. Bob was home, and saw Tony come in. "Dude? What's up?" he asked.
Tony looked at Bob, almost like he was looking at him for the first time. "Long day at work." he said.
"Ok, well, umm… Pizza? I'll buy." He said.
Tony threw his jacket into his room, and followed it in. "No, it's ok." He changed out of his work clothing and into jeans and a shirt. "I need to go out a bit. I'll be back later." Bob shrugged as Tony walked out of the apartment. Tony tried not to make eye contact with Bob, Tony needed to figure out what he would say to him..
Tony walked around the college town for hours. Whatever it was that he saw around Bob had a lock on his emotions, and he needed to talk to Bob about it. They had been friends for a long time, now he didn't know what was going on. Tony had never bought into supernatural mumbo jumbo, but he was scared for his best friend. Was he suddenly into Satanism? Was he possessed by something? Tony just walked around the bike path while running the morning's events through his mind over and over again. He sat down and watched the sun set over the edge of town, lost in thought. It was after dark when he finally figured out what he was going to say to Bob. He got up from the park bench and went for home.
Socks was in his den, the protection runes locking the Darkness out. He had already performed a ritual bonding on some of his clothing, so that he could transform in them and not ruin them. He was about to begin closing the ritual circle for the night when he felt a presence in the room. Socks smiled with the pleasant surprise.
"You're early Terradene." he said, eyes still closed. "It’s not next week."
"The fox is in trouble." the dragon said. "He needs you. Now."
Tony was walking down the bike trail in the darkness. He had done this hundreds of times before, he enjoyed it. The artificial lakes were quiet, and no cars ever drove past at night. It was a peace he needed from time to time. He kept his hands in his pockets, as the wind had put a chill in the air. But it got colder. And still colder. He rubbed his hands together as he walked past the playground slide.
Then he felt a hand touch his shoulder. "Show meeee…" a voice said.
Tony spun around "Who's there?" he shouted. Nothing was there but the blackness of night. He could feel his heart pounding as he spun around in a circle. Nothing. He let out a nervous laugh, and slowly moved his feet back on the trail. He took a few steps, and stopped next to a tree to gather his wits. He figured that he was spooking himself out, and just getting home would be good.
While he stood there, a form slid out from the moon shadow of the tree a like a snake. It looked human, but was darker than the night that spawned it. It's eyes sparked, and cherry red flames sparked from within them. It's form became more human, and it glided to Tony. Tony watched in panic, and tried to back away, bumping into the tree.
"Shoow meee what you know!" the creature hissed as a hand formed from in it's folds. Tony froze in fear. The creature's hand floating closer to his eyes. "I seeeee you saaaaw some-thing! Show meee!" Tony's breathing got very shallow. He braced for the worst.
"Huh?" The creature barely had time to react. Socks dropped from the tree, raking with all four sets of claws from the creature's shoulders down. With a triumphant cry Socks spun his wrists and brought his hand paws up, and dug his claws deep into the creature. The creature never had a chance to cry out as it's essence was destroyed, it's form bent back into the moon shadow of the tree.
Then nothing. No sound. No light. The night returned to what it was. Socks looked at his paws, then at the ground, and looked in amazement. "Woah."
Tony looked at what stood before him. A bipedal cat, white paws, white bandit mask over it's eyes, and a tip of white on it's… tail? He was wearing a pair of black cut-off BDU shorts, an open black BDU jacket and a red collar with runes stamped into the side, the charm hanging from the D-ring had some kind of ring around it, as it never clanked when it moved on the ring.. "Wh… What are you?"
"I'll explain later Tony." Socks said. "Terradene told me to get this on you first." Before Tony could argue Socks had put a necklace on him. He then placed his paw on it and spoke a fast chant in Latin. Tony looked down to see the necklace give a faint glow. Socks lowered his paw. "We need to go home. Now." He then took in a deep breath and raised his chin. His fur retreated into his flesh. His muzzle collapsed back into his face rapidly, whiskers and fur being pulled into his body. His tail also spilled back under his spine. His pants sealed behind the retreating tail. He then rocked back onto his more human feet instead of his paws, and his hands split, giving him five fingers back instead of his feline four. Bob moved his joints around, letting them fall back into their human places.
Tony stood in shock. In the span of a minute he had seen more than he was ready for in his lifetime. Still in shock, he just nodded, and looked over Bob. "You forgot your shoes." Tony said in a daze. Bob looked down, and laughed
On the way back to the house Bob kept looking around for something. "Terradene said you were broadcasting loud. He was alerted by a clan member in Rochester about it, and he sent me out here to get you out." Bob explained. "We need to get home. Fast." Tony just nodded every time Bob said something. In his mind he was trying to rationalize everything that had happened so far. But nothing made sense.
When the got home Bob locked the front door. He motioned to Tony to join him in his room. Tony did. The room was glowing slightly, but Bob went in anyway. Tony followed him in, still in a daze.
"You were right." Bob said to seemingly nothing. "I think I killed something of the Darkness. It was about to do something to him before I got there. Hey, close the door?"
Tony nodded, and did. When he turned around he saw a ghostly form of a man, he man he saw a the con that Bob had crashed with all weekend. He was standing in the middle of the room, inside a green circle. The man looked at Tony. "He's the fox?"
"Yes." Bob said. "He's my friend."
"Come in." he said. "You have nothing to fear while under my protection." Tony nodded, and walked in.
"What… just… happened?" Tony stammered out.
"What did you see?" Terradene asked. "This morning. What did you see?"
Tony looked surprised, and glanced at Bob. Bob just nodded quickly, and motioned at the form in the circle. "He was sleeping, floating over the bed, in this ball of fire thing, and when I came back in to check he was just sleeping in his costume. What did you do to him?"
Terradene shook his head. "All of this trouble over that?"
"What's going on?" Tony asked.
"Socks? I can't maintain this much longer in this form. You'll need to talk to him. Tell him everything. I will contact you tonight. I have to talk to someone."
"Ok." Socks said. He had transferred into his bipedal form while Tony talked to Terradene. "See you tonight." The circle faded, and the image of the man faded too. The glow faded from the room, leaving only the lights on.
Tony looked at the feline in front of him. "I'm sorry to get you in this mess." Socks said. "I didn't think it would affect you." Tony walked over to Socks, and touched his face. He pulled on one of his ears gently, then a whisker. "Ouch! Dude!" Tony stepped back. Socks shook his head gently. "I shouldn't bitch. I was the same way when I first saw Terradene's form."
"Yep!" Socks said. "Very real. Look, there's a lot of stuff we have to cover. If you want a touchy feely session, I'll wait until it sinks in, but we have a lot to cover." Socks sat on the floor, and Tony followed him. Tony touched Socks face and shoulders curiously. Socks even opened his mouth once to show Tony his teeth were real too. Finally, Tony accepted what was in front of him and sat next to his friend.
Socks then told him the story of the Darkness. Or at least what he knew. His history wasn't complete, but it was complete enough. Tony sat fascinated, listening intently. Socks told the story for at least half an hour. "And so Terradene has been looking for people to serve as a kind of reserve army."
"Why you?" Tony asked
"No clue." Socks said. "Terradene said it was because I have a pure spirit, and I already had an affinity to the spirit of Panther." Socks looked at Tony carefully. "He's never called you by name you know. He always called you the fox."
"I am a fox, so what?" Tony said. Socks opened his paws, pointed at his friend, and opened his eyes wide. "What's going on in that head of yours?" Tony asked.
Socks raised a single finger, excited. "I think I know a way to prevent a lot of problems here. Hey, move over a bit." Tony moved, and Socks reached up to his dresser to throw down the components when a green circle formed on the floor where Tony had been sitting.
"I know what you're thinking young warrior." a voice said. "And that's not your decision to make." Tony watched as the form of a red dragon appeared in the circle before him. But it wasn't real, it was an illusion, Tony felt no fear.
"I wanted to run it past you first." Socks said. "It's your clan."
"It's his life." the dragon snapped. "He chooses." Socks nodded, and the dragon turned around to look at Tony. "Your spirit is not as pure as Socks was. But still it is not corrupted. I wish to offer you something that you may or may not be prepared to accept. If you need time to think about this, I want you to take it.
"Socks is one of my warriors. I pray I never need to ask for his help. You were found by the Darkness, and you will need to either shield your thoughts or learn to defend yourself. The necklace you're wearing will do the former for now, but I would like to offer you the latter. I have talked to Fox, and she is willing to guide you and give you what she can.
"The trade is that you become obligated to help our fight. Did Socks tell you the circumstances?" Tony nodded. "Any time, anywhere, you may be needed and you must come. It's a heavy burden to carry, and I promise you I will not abuse my position of power. In return, I can help you by linking your animal spirit to you, and give you gifts like I gave Socks."
The circle began to fade. "Think about it overnight, young one. This is not something to be taken lightly. And don't remove that necklace, you are vulnerable now. You will need it." The circle faded into nothing, and the dragon was gone.
Tony stood, still in shock. Socks willed his form back into that of a human. "It's up to you." he said, taking off his BDU jacket. Tony hadn't noticed how muscular Bob was until that moment. Bob slipped on a t-shirt. "If it means anything, I'll still buy pizza." Tony laughed, and nodded.
The two of them ordered out for pizza and talked for hours. Bob told Tony everything that happened at the convention with Terradene. How the first transformation occurred, the great sex they shared, and about the lessons. Tony didn't believe Bob until he explained in detail how to fix a hummer with a bad belt. Tony shook his head.
"What do you think will happen to me? If I don't do it I mean." Tony said.
"I don't know." Bob said. "In my memory I can tell you that I can probably make for you a rune of protection, to shield your thoughts from the Darkness. But you'd have to keep it on or near you always. Terradene could probably make it permanent, as a tattoo or something. And you'd have to swear to take that secret to the grave."
"Why? I mean, you have the killer costume for the next con!" Tony said.
Bob sighed. "Yeah, I show up and walk around in my fur. Everyone sees me, the collective broadcast brings more creatures like the one that found you tonight, and they infect or corrupt hundreds of innocent people and kill me outright." Tony opened his mouth, but Bob answered him. "I know I got one tonight, but that was an ambush. I'm not ready for a stand up fight with them."
"What would it have done to me?" Tony asked.
"Poked around in your brain until it found out what it wanted to know." Bob said. "Then force you to show it where we lived, then possibly kill you or try to bend you towards darkness." Bob looked at the ground. "Then try to kill me, or work to bend me. Hard to know. Terradene taught me a lot, but there's still a lot to learn yet."
They sat quietly a moment. "Since it didn't kill you it was probably just a sentry or something. Just finding information. I don't know. It might have tied to hold or bind itself to you while calling in the bigger guns. Bend you to the Darkness."
"It's that powerful?" Tony asked. Bob nodded. "Then I should thank you, huh?"
Bob smiled. "Hey, my side job is to protect people now. It's a duty thing."
Tony sat back into the couch. "I need to think."
"Take your time bro." Bob said. "I'll get in touch with Terradene in the morning and let him know you're still safe. Don't rush yourself into this. It's cool to be able to change, but there's a lot that goes with it. I'll be in my room tho if you wanna talk some more." Tony nodded, and Bob got onto his computer in his room.
Tony sat up most of the night. Early that morning he thought his friend was possessed. Now he knew that his friend saved his life. And his choices were to hide, or fight something he barely understood.
Bob was online when Tony knocked on his open door. Tony walked up to his friend and asked the big question. "If I go through with this, is he going to fuck me? I'm not into that kinda thing." Bob laughed. "Tell him that I'll do it. I don't run away."
Tony called work Monday morning. "I need to take a sick day." he said. "I had one hell of a weekend and I don't feel so hot."
"Too much drinkin?" his boss asked.
"No." Tony said. "Had to make an emergency trip out of town. If you absolutely need me I'll come in, but I'm wiped dude."
"It's Monday." his boss said. "We can do it without you today. Everything ok?"
"Yeah, now. Thanks dude." Tony said hanging up the phone. He looked over to Bob, who was getting dressed for work himself. "Ok, now I know why you took a day off after the con. I'm sorry that I said it was because you were bow-legged."
"It's ok." Bob said. "So what happened? Did you and him…."
"No." Tony said. "We didn't. I'm not that way, I told you that."
"So what happened?" Bob insisted.
"He flew me out there, we did some stuff, he welcomed me into the clan. He also gave me my name, Hiro. It's Japanese for fire or something."
"Hee-row the fox, huh?" Bob asked. Tony nodded. "So you know what's coming up now?"
Tony nodded. "Something about a quest. Did you have to do one?" Bob nodded. "What's it like?"
"I can't tell you." Bob said. "You'll just have to experience it."
"Damn." Tony said. "Look, I need to get some serious sleep, Terradene said he's going to visit tonight and after the weekend I need to rest, really rest."
Bob nodded as he put on his jacket. "Hey, umm, can I ask something?" Tony nodded. "When you met Terradene, how did he link with you?"
"He gave me some kind of drink, tasted kinda thick like a bad milkshake." Tony said.
"Did it tingle?"
"Yeah, it kinda did I guess." Tony said, going into his room. "Why?"
"Oh, no reason." Bob said. "You just said you didn't get mounted, and that's how he did it with me."
"He made you drink the stuff too, right?" Tony said. Bob smiled and nodded. "Good, so it's normal."
"Yeah." Bob said heading out the door. "See you after work."
Bob came home that night and opened the door to his apartment. Something was frying, and the window shades were pulled down. Bob closed the door behind him "Tony?"
"Hang on!" a voice came from the kitchen. Bob draped his jacket over the chair and walked through the living room. He was almost to his room when a figure walked in from the kitchen. It was a fox with brown red fur, black paws, white markings. His tail was full, and bushy. He was also wearing a loose tank top and sweat pants shorts. He was wearing a necklace with a granite charm on it, a single paw print seared into it.
Bob's jaw hit the floor when he saw the anthro fox. "Hiro?"
The fox nodded. "We're clan now. So I wanted to show off to ya. What do you think?"
Bob was speechless as he looked at Hiro. Inside himself he felt an attraction to his friend, but he couldn't make the words come out. He felt himself unintentionally transforming. He quickly kicked off his shoes and pants as his hind paws ripped through his socks, the digigrade legs stretching them. His tail pushed out from his spine, snaking out. His fur pushed out of his legs, then up his belly quickly. He spread his fingers in reflex as his paws formed, pushing two of his fingers together for only three and his thumbs. His muzzle formed and pushed from his skull while his ears shifted to the top of his head.
As his whiskers drew out of his muzzle, Socks could feel his facial fur forming into the bandit mask. He looked down on himself, and his sexual excitement was obvious. He wasn't sure if he should cover himself or not. Hiro looked at his feline roomate. "I take it that means you like it?"
"Sorry bro." Socks said. "I didn't mean… I mean like…"
"No, it's ok." Hiro said. "I kinda feel the same way, but I'm still not that way."
Socks smiled, and looked down to his ripped up socks on his hind paws. "Lemme put something on, ok?" Before Hiro could answer Socks went into his room and put on a pair of loose pants he had already attuned, his tail slid under the elastic band with ease. He also put on his red collar, the one that Terradene helped him make. Socks came out to find Hiro offering him a plate with some steak on it.
"I bought tonight." he said. "I want to talk a while, brother to brother."
Socks took the plate, and rubbed his muzzle against Hiro. "I'd like that."
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