Sharp Ears, Fluffy Tails

BY : timecap_cell
Category: Original - Misc > -Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 9240
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized dupl

Scene One – Unusual Petshop

It was his love for animals that got him into this mess.

The flier he had found trampled on the ground said something about needing teachers to raise cute animals.  Nikko didn't get the connection, assumed it was some kind of advertising gimmick, because since when was being a teacher a requirement for owning a pet?  But the fact that he was a teacher and had just moved into an apartment building that allowed animals had his fingers tapping the address on the flier into his tablet's map application.

The office he was led to was clean, professional, and he was greeted by an attractive man in a sharp suit whose slicked-back hair was far too white for his young face and his eyes red enough to make Nikko take a step back before the word 'albino' popped into his head.  The man introduced himself as Jack, and asked Nikko if he was there about the teaching position.

"Well, I really like animals, so..."  It was all Nikko could think of to say.  People he didn't know made him nervous anyway, and he was still a little confused.

Jack's smile showed slightly buck teeth and helped quite a bit to relieve nerves.  "That's perfect.  We'll get the process started, and if all goes well, we should be able to match you with a student today.  Please follow me."

He was shown to a small interview room in shades of white and blue.  Professional, though slightly clinical.  A single potted plant was in a corner near the door, a plain desk and chairs across the way.  Jack handed him an application, a pen, and a thick manual with the words 'Caring For Your Student' written across the front, then left the room for a moment.

Nikko put the manual aside.  He'd had pets as a kid, and all of them had lived long, happy lives.  He knew how to care for animals already, so he focused instead on the application.  The paper in front of him seemed as much an application for a job as it was for a pet adoption.  It asked about his teaching experience and any credentials, as well as references and a space to write why he was interested in the position.  Nikko wrote again that he loved animals and wanted a companion, that he was willing to participate in any necessary training programs, and looked forward to raising a pet with care.

When Jack returned, he had a clipboard and more papers, and Nikko was surprised at just how many applications were needed to adopt a dog or cat.

"Oh, you're an actual teacher," Jack commented as he looked over the paperwork.

"Yeah, I teach fifth grade over at Shochu Elementary."

"That's perfect."  Jack's polite smile turned up.  "You must have a lot of patience, dealing with children every day."

Nikko returned with a soft chuckle.  "Yes.  It's both a challenging and rewarding career."

"What's your living situation like?"

"I'm currently single and live alone.  I guess... that's part of the reason why I'm here."  He could feel his cheeks warm at the admission.  "It would be nice to have someone to come home to."

Jack nodded, glancing at the application.  "Your address is an apartment building.  Do you have enough room for your student to have his or her own space?"

It took a brief moment for Nikko to connect 'student' with the animal he would get.  Their gimmick – as if pet adoption needed it.  "Yeah, there should be enough space."  It wasn't like he was getting an elephant.

"How many rooms are there?"

"Two," came the slow answer.


There were many more questions – a full-on interview that included whether or not he had a criminal history and if he was willing to submit to a background check – and by the time Jack declared that everything checked out and looked good, Nikko was exhausted.

"Then the last thing is to match you with a student," Jack explained as he attached yet another paper to his clipboard.  "We have students in the building right now, so depending on your preferences, you could take someone home today."

Nikko perked, sitting up straighter, energy returning with excitement.  "Sounds great."

"We have several species available.  Did you have anything particular in mind?"

"Nothing too big," Nikko answered.  "What are my options?"

"There are some cats and rabbits around if you want someone small, or a dog or fox if you're willing to go a little bit larger."  Then Jack's red eyes darted over Nikko's body.  "A wolf might be a bit difficult..."

Nikko's eyes shot open wide, too shocked to even note the jab at his stature.  "Wolf!?  People can have wolves!?"

"Wolves are one of the species approved for this program.  They take well to the teaching."

"Sounds dangerous..."

The polite smile didn't falter.  "So, what would you prefer?"

"I...  I like foxes," Nikko answered eventually, still dazed and questioning exactly what he was getting himself into.

"Brilliant."  Jack checked a few things off on his form.  "Male or female?"

"Anything is okay."


After a moment of thought, Nikko answered with "Gentle, I guess.  Someone I can relax with."

Smile still in place, Jack replied "I understand" as he wrote a few comments on his clipboard.  Then he fell silent for a while, reading over the papers before him, before finally nodding once and looking back up at Nikko.  "I have someone in mind, someone I think you'll like.  He's a fennec, though a bit taller than most.  And he's very sweet.  Would you like to meet him?"

"Yeah," Nikko said, excitement surging through him.  He adored fennecs, his favorite of foxes; their oversized ears and tiny noses had always charmed him.  "That would be great."

"I'm glad."  Jack's smile brightened, turning two notches more sincere, and he stood up.  "Please wait here.  I'll bring him to you."

Left alone again, Nikko's leg began to bounce in anticipation.  Long ago he had dreamed of owning a fennec fox, but it just never seemed to be the right time.  Strange gimmick or not, he was glad he let instinct bring him to this place.  He would have to buy supplies, some cute food bowls, perhaps a cage.  He wondered if foxes were okay with leashes; it would be fun taking the little guy for walks around the neighborhood, show him off, maybe catch the attention of that cute veterinarian who lived in the building across the street.

He had just begun to wonder about how long it was taking when the door opened again and Jack returned, this time accompanied by another man.  And though this new man had a rather convincing cosplay going on, with long ears on top of his head and a furry tail trailing behind him, there was no real fox in sight.  A lump of dread began to form in the pit of Nikko's stomach.

"Sorry for the delay," Jack said as he closed the door behind them.  "He was a little nervous, but we got things straightened out."

"I see," Nikko replied carefully.  "So...  Where is he?"

Jack paused for a moment, taken aback it seemed, losing his air of professional confidence for a second before his smile slid back into place.  "He is right here," he answered as he gestured to the man beside him.  "This is your student, if you'll have him."

Nikko looked the strange man over.  He was tall and slim and quite handsome.  His hair was brown, perfectly matching the fox ears on top, and hung in multiple lengths about his face.  His eyes were a striking and unusual yellow color, gentle and timid, but even those were only half as strange as the pair of horns that sprouted from his head, just in front of the ears, black and curling in a wave backwards.

"That's not a fox," Nikko finally said.

Jack looked to the man, whose eyes cast to the floor, looking as though his whole world had just been crushed.  "I know he's bigger than expected and there is a reason for that, but I assure you he is a fox."

"N-No..."  Nikko stood slowly, wanting out.  Wanting away from these people.  "That's-  This is-  Is this-?"  He backed away several steps, then his voice dropped to a whisper.  "Is this a sex thing?"

Jack's brows furrowed.  "Heavens, no!  In fact, sexual relations with the students are expressly forbidden.  Didn't you read the rules listed in the guide?"  He gestured an elegant hand toward the care manual on the desk – the one Nikko had pushed aside and ignored.

"I-  Err...  I hadn't gotten to that yet."

Understanding dawned, and Jack huffed a sigh as if this had happened far too many times.  "You don't know what we do here, do you?"

"I thought it was regular pet adoption, but now I think I was wrong."

"You were wrong," Jack replied, his smile this time indulgent.

"So is it some kind of human trafficking?  Slave trade?"

"Far from it," Jack answered.  "We are a research company.  Our scientists have been working with animal DNA for decades, attempting to mix traits of various animals with marginal success.  Though it was only when they mixed animals with humans that things got... interesting."

Nikko glanced at the man- fox- man- thing again.  His lip was trembling and there were tears in the corners of his eyes.  It was almost heartbreaking how sad and pathetic he looked.

"It's extremely painful for them," Jack continued, subdued.  "And once they gain language, many of them ask to be destroyed."  He looked as though it hurt him to say it, and he paused for a moment.  When he spoke again, though, his voice was stronger.  "But some of them ask to live.  They are the strong ones; the resilient.  They complete the process until they have almost completely human bodies, as you can see.  And then..."

"And then?"

"Well, that's where you come in."


"Yes."  Then Jack put his hand on the other man's head, scratching behind his ears.  The poor guy seemed to relax – just a bit – at the touch, his tail twitching as the long ears flattened.  It really wasn't a costume after all.  "They have these bodies, but they're not human.  They don't know how to live or act in human society.  They can't survive on their own, until someone shows them how.  So we recruit teachers to give them the proper guidance.  It's all there in the care guide."

"What happens when they've learned how to be human?"

"They integrate into society."  The smile Jack held tilted up, buck teeth appearing from behind his pink lips.  "You may have even seen some in your daily life.  They get very good at assimilating."

"I fail to see how an animal could..."  He trailed off, dumbstruck, when Jack's slicked-back hair began to move, to lift.  He watched in awe as what he had taken for soft, white hair stood tall, revealing instead a pair of long rabbit ears.  "You're one of them too," Nikko finally said after blinking away his stupor.

"I'm a rabbit," Jack answered with a nod.  "I was one of the first.  My teacher was very kind and patient with me, and now I can exist in society as a human.  I was hoping you were kind as well."

"I am," Nikko insisted softly.

Then Jack seemed to make his move, pushing the fox-man a step forward.  "This one is a bit of a special case.  You see, sometimes our researchers try to mix more than one animal with human DNA.  It usually doesn't work, but sometimes it does, and we end up with special batches.  He is eighty-seven percent fennec fox and ten percent red fox, but also three percent ram, hence his height and the horns.  Because of that, however, it's been difficult to match him with a teacher.  Everyone wants cute pure-breeds, not a mutt."

The fox looked down again, looking pained, looking broken.  His yellow eyes were wells of tears.

"I was hoping," Jack continued.  "As an elementary school teacher, you would have an understanding heart."

For a long time, Nikko just stared.  He had come here for a pet – a little puppy or kitten he could feed and teach tricks.  He came for something that would curl up at his feet at night and lick his face in the morning.  How could he care for a grown man with the mind of an animal?

"If you don't want me..."

Nikko's head shot up when the fox spoke at last.

"I understand..."  He bit his lip, lowered his head, swallowed a sob.

Nikko's heart shattered, and he heard himself say "I'll do it."

The fox's face lit up as he looked back up at Nikko.  His ears perked, standing straight, and his tail began to wag.  "Really!?"


A bright smile turned to Jack.  "I'm going to have a home!"

And Jack smiled softly back.  "Yes."

The fox turned back to Nikko, so shining and happy he knew he had made the right choice.  "Than-  Yiff."  He put a hand to his mouth, blush covering his cheeks, and he was so cute Nikko thought he might die.  But with tears in his eyes, the fox managed to say "Thank you."

"It's...  It's my pleasure."  So this was happening.  "What do I have to do?"

"Just sign the contract and you'll be on your way," Jack answered, going to the pile of papers on the desk and setting the contract before him.  Then, as Nikko took up the pen and began skimming the document for small details, Jack asked "Have you thought about a name?"

"Name?"  Nikko glanced up with a raised brow.  "He doesn't already have one?"

"While some students do choose their own names, he has decided to let his teacher pick for him."

"What have you been calling him?"


He had lost count how many times he had been struck dumb since walking into this office.  Yes, a real name would have to come.  "I'll think about it."

"Please let us know when you do so we can update our records."

Everything seemed straightforward, so without further ado, Nikko signed the contract, binding the fox-man to him.  He felt like he had just adopted a kid.  It didn't take long after that for Jack to provide him with a copy of the contract, his business card in case there were any questions, and the thick care manual, with strict instructions to actually read it.

Then, before he knew it, Nikko found himself standing on the street with a bright-eyed and literally bushy-tailed fox-man smiling at him like he were his last hope in the world.

"I... guess a leash is out of the question," Nikko said, mostly to himself.

"I'll wear a leash if you want me to."

"That's... alright.  Let's just go home."


And people stared, and people whispered, and people didn't understand why a man with fox ears and horns was walking down the street with a face full of sunshine, but when Nikko saw his student smiling at him like that, for once he couldn't bring himself to care.

It was his love for animals that got him this joy.


Author's Note:

Thank you so much for reading!  ^^

I wrote this just for fun, while taking a break from the other thing I've been working forever on, and it's the first thing I've written that is in no way connected to the other things I've written (and is basically the product of me playing way too much Animal Boyfriend... heh..).  Though I do have a few 'scenes' written so far and they're continuous, it won't be a full-on story with a plot and climax and all that.  It's just for fun, but I hope you keep reading anyway!

Thanks again!

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