Of All The Wires

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please listen to this song, for an understanding of where the inspiration for this came from. Colin Stetson - Fear of the Unknown and the Blazing Sun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Crh8K_kuLQY

I felt a little weird writing this 'cause I've tried to stay away from cub stuff, but I tried to right that in my mind because I lost all kinds of my virginities when I was 12-14, sssooo

I hope you guys enjoy, or something. Here's a story of a young wolf pup and an African wild dog soldier.

...it was the wires

that were the wires for empathy

that we loved



the rest.

Once war embraces a place, the effects of that embrace never truly leave or fully recede. The memories of that war remain firmly lodged in the minds of older generations, while younger generations live under the watchful gaze of that war's influence. The children don't know it, but they grow up in the fear that that war left behind, and the fear that it may one day return. And, usually, that fear was well-placed: like a leech, like a parasite it latches onto areas that may feed it.

Between the dust of dried-out land and the dust of worry and fear, it can be hard for a child to breathe.

It was a Tuesday like any other at the school between the road and the river when someone went door-to-door spreading the news, because there was no working PA system. At first the students were sent home because it was figured that more safety waits for them at home than in school, but they weren't told this; anything to protect the children. Then, as the nights seemed to grow longer because of the dust that was thrown again and again into the air, the children were asked to stay at school - it's a sturdier building, it has better foundations, there are buildings designed to resist blasts from bombs.

Some of the students went home at the end of the day and never came back. Some of them went to bed and never woke up; some of them left from an intact, standing house and returned to a pile of rubble; some of them said 'goodbye' to their parents in the mornings and then never could again.

Kiro was a wolf in the seventh grade at the school between the road and the river. He liked birds, his mother's sandwiches, those fruit snacks in the shape of little smiley faces, and the way the dust changed the color of the sunset, though his sister told him that was bad and that he shouldn't be outside. Once at school he heard one of the teachers say to one of the military guards that had been posted for the students' safety "There's hardly a government anymore; why are these kids still here? We have nothing to teach them..." and Kiro wanted to ask his parents about this, but he couldn't.

That teacher was right, though. In his class of maybe seven kids, originally ten, they spent all day doing pretty much nothing. Kiro had read more books just this month since the bombs started falling than he had all his life previous; in class they usually just watched movies, and sometimes they weren't even in the native language of the place. His teacher stopped coming to school one day, but soon a guard took her place: an African wild dog by looks, a tallish slim male with brown-and-green camo over his natural camouflage, brownish-amber eyes the color of the sun through a wall of dust, a rifle on his back and a pistol on his hip. At first Kiro didn't like him, because he was kind of mean and he never said anything, and he moved like a robot, and he was a little scary too. He just stood there, watching, never showing any interest in anything even when the young wolf asked if he wanted to play Monopoly with him, since most of the other kids had gone home.

"Where are your parents?" the soldier asked him, only after everyone else had left and only Kiro remained. When he didn't reply, he sighed, rolled his eyes, and knelt down close to the wolf, then asked: "Who brings you to school, kid?"

"My sister." Most of the desks had been taken out of the room to be used as barricades and supports in other parts of the building. Because of this, Kiro sat in the middle of the large round mat in the center of the room, his assortment of books in front of him; right now he was on the fourth Harry Potter, translated into the language he'd first learned. Back when school was stricter and class was led by a teacher rather than a soldier, he wasn't allowed to read books in that language, because "it's embarrassing for a nation in our day to be able to speak only its own language and none of the ones used everywhere else on the planet". He still felt a little bad because he knew he wasn't supposed to be reading it, but nobody stopped him.

"Where is she?"

"I dunno." He wondered if this African wild dog soldier could tell that he didn't like him too much. Maybe that would make him treat me a little better, Kiro thought. "Maybe she went where my parents went."

"And where did they go?"

He looked up at the soldier, at his splotchy cream-and-cinnamon-and-pepper face. "Away. My sister wouldn't tell me where, but... I'm twelve years old. She could just tell me they're dead. She likes to think I'm still a baby, though - still a puppy. Her pup 'went away', too, though, so... I that's why."

The soldier's brow furrowed and his ears lowered slightly. He was young - not as young as this little wolf, by far, no; however, he could still remember a time before all this, or rather a time between the last time something like this had happened and now. In that time, deaths were a big deal, not something for a twelve-year-old to say 'I know they're dead' to and especially not about his parents. The soldier remembered when this school between the road and the river was a full, standing building, not collapsed in one wing and with shaky foundations all around; he remembered when the only time the air shook was from claps of thunder from the rare storm, not the shockwaves of bombs; he remembered when rain fell in spring, and leaves in autumn, and every now and then snow in winter - before the time when all that ever fell from above was ash and dust. That was a time where smiles had been easy to come across.

After another moment, he held a gloved paw out. The young wolf looked at it.

"Here," said the soldier. "I'll walk you home."

Hesitantly, Kiro gathered up his books, stood up, and took the offered paw. It was warm, even through the cloth glove that the soldier wore... Kiro had been reluctant to take it at first because he'd always thought of soldiers as... brusque, rough, strict. He'd only heard them yell, especially when bombs fell from the sky like rain and buildings tumbled and collapsed. This dog, though... his ears perked back up when Kiro smiled, and then he smiled, too.

There hadn't been an air raid or ground attack in a few days, but even so, the soldier felt wary about using the town's main streets to get the boy home. He asked him where he lived, figured out how far that was from the school, and brought him there through shadowed alleys and small dips in the earth. People didn't go outside anymore unless they absolutely had to, another thing that had changed since the past... back then the village thrummed and buzzed with life rather than nervous fear. But, there was nothing he could currently do to fix that, so he just gently held Kiro's paw until the pup pointed and said, "There's home!" and then let go and ran forward towards the door.

The soldier straightened up, a slight flutter of... of something in his heart. "...Wait. Kid."

The wolf looked back at him.

"If you're sister's not back by tomorrow morning... well. I'll be out here before school starts, and I'll walk you in, okay? I'm assigned to your class indefinitely, so... I'll always be there. Okay?"

"Okay." Then, just as he'd turned to leave: "Mister!"


The wolf looked at him with blue eyes the same color as the sky that the soldier knew. "What's your name?"

Private Carlson, fifth division, three hundred and forty-second- "Elijah." A name not from around here.

"Elijah..." The young wolf licked his lips, as if tasting the same, seeing how it fit. Then, his tail wagged behind him. "I'm Kiro."

Elijah smiled again. All of this happening, and the pup could still wag his tail. "It's good to meet you, Kiro. I'll see you tomorrow, alright?"


He opened the door, stepped inside, gave the dog another smile from within the house, and then closed the door behind himself. Elijah waited nearby for a moment longer and then turned away.

~ ~ ~

The sound of that much life

streaming in-

ghosts made of smoke,

and paper trees...

~ ~ ~

The soft click-kathunk of a lock being undone roused Elijah from his dull doze. It was early morning, still before the sun had fully risen above the horizon and turned the sky greyish-pink with its rays, or orange depending on how much dust hovered in the air. He stood up, checked the weapon on his back and the one on his side, and waited some more; then, Kiro stepped out from his house, ears hanging low and eyes averted. He didn't even smile when Elijah said 'good morning', and took the offered mango without thanks or even a wag of the tail. He ate it silently on the way to school.

Fewer kids showed up to school today than even the previous day, which Elijah didn't know to think of as a good thing or bad. More and more families successfully escaped the country every day, but... just as that held true, the raids focused in more and more on centers of population. Either way, fewer students in class meant fewer heads for him to keep a constant count of, and in the end, that made things easier. Of course, he wasn't the only guard posted at this school: five more patrolled the halls and one kept watch at each entrance of the building, because being the only school in several miles' radius, it had to be a little larger than it would otherwise. Elijah almost wished that he could better remember coming here when he was a pup so that he wouldn't get lost so often in the halls now.

He also wished that he was allowed by order to do more than stand at the door, back straight, arms rigid at his sides. Honestly, when Kiro had asked him to play Monopoly the previous day, he would have done anything to be able to say 'yes' without any risk of consequence, but... 'children are the future', after all, 'and it would be a shame to lose the future because you looked away for one second'.

So, after bringing the little wolf in through the classroom door, he knelt down in front of him, looked into those blue eyes of his, tried to say something but had nothing to say; then he smiled, finally got a smile back, ruffled the kid's fur, and stood up and went to his post by the door. He sighed.

Kiro hardly noticed, though. Once he'd gotten to his books, he didn't pay much attention to whatever the rest of the class was doing; he sat in the back corner of the room in one of the big beanbag chairs that seemed to consume him, the red one, because red was his favorite color, and it felt the best to sit on anyway. School sucked these days because there was no chance for him to prove that he was learning, no opportunity to show that he'd grown up a little more since last time - the most grown-up thing to do, his teacher had told him, is to accept bad news and punishment with dignity. That's what made him stop scrawling all over the papers he got back with grades on them in attempts to hide that grade, and now instead he set them all in a box under his bed at home to show to his parents if they ever asked.

Now he knew that they wouldn't, but... well. His sister had seemed glad to use them as kindling for the nightly fire since the electricity and air conditioning went out, though now he would have to be the one to do that. He'd always wanted to be more grown up, after all.

After finished Chapter 29: The Dream, though, he marked his place in the book, got up, walked over to Elijah by the door, who gave him a quick glance and a little tail-wag, and then said to the dog:

"I gotta piss."

Elijah's ears splayed out but then quickly returned to their upright positions. He turned his amber-brown eyes down at the little wolf, a little over half his height. "You shouldn't say that word, Kiro. And - can't you hold it? I'm not exactly supposed to leave this spot, but there's no way I'm gonna let you go alone, either..."

"Well, I..." Kiro stuffed his paws into his pockets. It was the same pair of pants that he'd worn yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that, too... "...I guess I can. I mean, it's not the hardest thing I'll have done..."

Elijah sighed, looked out over the classroom, and shrugged. "Alright, fine. Here, I'll get... I'll get Malia to watch your friends." He moved to leave the room, but looked back when he didn't hear Kiro following; somewhat to his surprise, the little wolf remained where he stood with one paw outstretched. Elijah came back and took it. It seemed none of the other students had even noticed that he'd turned to leave.

"Hey Malia," he called down at hall after leaving the room. At the other end, a slim she-cheetah with a sniper slung over her back perked her ears and turned to him, her bright eyes momentarily flicking down to the wolf he had with him. "Kid's gotta piss. Can you watch the rest of them?"

"Carlson, you're - not supposed to leave that spot-"

"I know, I know. But, hey - I gotta go too." He gave her a sheepish grin; she rolled her eyes. "I mean, when a man's gotta go, he's gotta go... right, Kiro?"

"Mhmm." The wolf nodded. "I gotta go, ma'am. I guess there is a window in that room, though, if neither of us are supposed to leave..."

"Jesus... those windows are supposed to be locked, and Carlson there is supposed to be keeping you away from the windows."

"It's probably not hard to break a window with a hardcover book..."

"Oh my God. Fine." Again she rolled her eyes, and then started towards the two. "You boys go. I'll watch the class. But - don't let this happen again, Carlson."

He saluted. "Yes ma'am. Be back in five minutes, tops."

Kiro looked up at the dog once they'd turned the corner. He waked a little bit ahead of Elijah since the school was more familiar to him - almost as if the dog was letting him lead him to the bathroom. "Is she your girlfriend?"

"What? Girlfriend?" His ears, one black base to tip and the other mostly black with a splotch of white halfway up, like a spill of paint, folded back for a moment. "Ha. No. I'm... what makes you say that?"

"You two talk just like my parents do." Kiro cleared his throat. "Did. Used to."

"Oh. No, no, we're not..." Elijah trailed off. He adjusted his grip on Kiro's paw, and then let go of it. "...I'm actually... oh - is this the bathroom?"


Inside it was cold, still, and oddly clean, given the possible weeks since the last time the janitors came through here. The lights were off; Kiro fumbled along the wall further in while Elijah worked at the strange slot-switch on the wall, getting the room illuminated in a couple of seconds. One of the mirrors above the sinks had half-fallen; one of the stall doors hung open on one hinge; the far left of the three urinals appeared to have started to grow mold in the bowl. Kiro, unabashed, stepped up to the one nearest the broken stall and fiddled with his belt; Elijah stepped up a moment later, feeling a little bit odd that he was about to share a bathroom with a pup around half his age - and half his height, too. Were the two to stand directly in front of each other, the top of Kiro's head would stop a few inches above the African wild dog's belly button.

"...So," said the wolf after a moment, finally undoing his belt and then unbuttoning and unzipping his pants. A second later, the sound of his stream began; meanwhile, Elijah had just started with his own belt, a little tighter than comfortable as per military uniform restrictions. He stepped up to the other open urinal, directly beside Kiro. "Did you like school at all?"

Look at us, thought the dog as he loosened his belt. Making small talk in front of the urinals... "I didn't mind too much. Once you finish school, you realize - it wasn't school itself that was bad, but rather the teachers and the other students. You know?"

"Yeah." Seventh grade, middle school. This was the time when everyone - everyone at a normal school in a country that didn't have as many bullets flying through the air as birds - seemed to feel extremely insecure about their own sexuality, and as such made fun of others for that. Kiro had gotten that a few times, especially when Julian saw the wolf and Steven coming back from the rear side of the gym alone. Sure, Steven did have pretty eyes, but... "I kinda figured. Why don't you just... shoot the teachers you don't like?"

Elijah had unzipped his pants but lost his focus. He glanced over at Kiro, who in turn glanced right back up at him. "K... Kiro! You can't - say things like that, you-"

"I know, I know. I was making a joke." The wolf shrugged. "Though... that seems to be the path that most people are taking, isn't it? I mean... I didn't do anything to deserve being shot at. They just don't like us, so they shoot us. Right? Isn't that how it goes?..."

Kiro looked over again when he got no response, and then couldn't help seeing... well, the most noticeable thing about the dog that he hadn't seen before. Even though Elijah had a flap of his open pants held forward in what might be an attempt to shield the young wolf's eyes from it, Kiro could still see - black flesh, probably as wide around as his wrist, uncut. Kiro had finished, and yet Elijah hadn't even started.

"Do you even have to piss - excuse me - pee?"

The dog's ears flicked back. He shook his shaft with one paw, which Kiro got an eyeful of. Hopefully he was a grower rather than a shower - the wolf, young as he was, had a little experience with both by now. One of them was another wolf, though a few years ahead of him, in high school; the other may or may not have been Steven, with the pretty eyes, behind the gym that one day. "I... thought I did. I mean, half of when I said I did was just to get Malia off my back, but..."

Quietly, Kiro zipped his pants back up, at the same time trying to hide the little wave of excitement that seeing his much-older dog sent through him. Being an African wild dog, Elijah's lower belly and legs had the same black, chalk, and ochre coloration as the rest of his body, though his shaft was black all over, even when he tugged his foreskin back and looked down, still thinking that Kiro wasn't looking. However, the more he looked... well, the more he wanted to look. He began to wonder... maybe...

"Hey Elijah?"

"Mm?" Then, under his breath: "God... damn, why isn't... ah, this is getting embarrassing..."

"When was the last time you... uh, got to relax?"

"Relax?" For a moment, he looked over at the wolf. "Oh. Well, I... I don't know. That should tell you something, though - I mean, I can't remember."

"Do me a favor?"

"Oh, of course."

"Face me."

Of course, the dog zipped up his pants before turning to the wolf. Kiro's heart was beating in his ears - he hated being the one to get things started, but something told him that he'd have to. As soon as Elijah had turned to him, Kiro swallowed down his nervousness, reached forward, and fumbled with the dog's zipper before managing to pull it down-

"Whoa! Whoa-" Elijah jerked backwards, out of the range of the young wolf's paws. "What the hell are you doing, Ki-"

It was just the two of them, and given how that cheetah lady sounded, nobody else would be coming to the bathroom anytime soon. Kiro just stepped forward and shifted the dog's pants down his legs a little, sucking in a breath when he was met with dark green underwear that bulged out a bit prominently in front. He felt himself twitch, and hooked his fingers around the waistband.

"Kiro, you - really- shouldn't..." Elijah placed one paw on the wolf's shoulder and the other on his head, pushing him back. However, his resistance was weak, uninspired - especially since he was a soldier, and yet Kiro, a twelve-year-old seventh grader, could still hold his ground, tug that underwear down, and then - without another thought - wrap his lips around the revealed end, and then-

-and then all of the resistance in Elijah's arms disappeared, and his whole body tensed and then relaxed. He breathed out a low sigh. "Oh..." Kiro wiggled his tongue underneath the dog's foreskin, making him shiver. "That's... God, that's something I haven't felt in... a long time..."

Kiro closed his eyes as he slowly slid down along the dog's shaft, feeling it grow harder between his lips. The same thing held true for him: this was something he hadn't done in quite a while. It was hard to find other students to... 'play' with, especially with his interests. With one paw he rubbed at the base of Elijah's cock, urging him to continue stiffening up.

"-But-" That paw again tightened on the wolf's head, though this time it just gripped softly. "-someone your age sh... shouldn't even be having sex, Kiro, what are-"

He moved back and shifted his stroking to the full length of the cock in front of his muzzle. Scent in his nose, taste on his tongue - God... "I want to." He leaned down, kissed the end, gave it another lick. "You've been nice to me - you've been a good friend - and I want to pay you back."

"This isn't how you-" Elijah humped forward into the smallish paw wrapped around his cock. "-pay a friend back!..."

"It's rude to reject a gift..." and Kiro dove back down, moving as far as he could along the thick black length - which wasn't as far as he'd like to be able to, but it was still something. Not only that, but Elijah seemed to enjoy it, for he gently moved his hips forward again. Kiro moved back up, swirled his tongue around the end, dove down again...

A thousand thoughts swam through Elijah's head, slowing his ability to speak and react. He hadn't been this nervous or surprised since his first bombing: he walks a kid home, walks him to school, takes him to the bathroom, and then... less than two minutes later, his pants are halfway down his thighs and his cock is halfway down that same kid's throat, not altogether by Elijah's own will. He was at least twice Kiro's age; if anyone found out about this, they could both get in a lot of trouble... he'd be kicked out of the military, he'd be thrown in prison, he'd be beaten and threatened, and - and his family...

...but it's been so long...

He licked his lips and moderated the movements of the wolf's head with his paw, gently pushing him down as Elijah lifted his hips forward. A warm, moist, tight little mouth - this kid had to have done this before, or else he'd be feeling a lot more teeth than he currently did. Elijah had lost his own oral virginity when he was thirteen, in a bathroom much like this one - and to a tall wolf with a knot about the same size as his fist - so... was this really so bad?

Kiro had gotten into it. Eyes closed, lips tight, tongue pressed firmly against the underside of the dog's cock; he bobbed up and down against the little movements of Elijah's hips; he felt the salty pre drool out onto the back of his tongue, and he moved back every now and then to swallow it down; he felt the dog's twitches and throbs in his lips, felt the smooth forward-and-back movement of his foreskin against his tongue and the roof of his mouth; he could feel the nervous, reluctant enjoyment in the shaky fingers that held his head and scritched behind his ear.

It took maybe... four, five minutes before the dog's paw tightened behind Kiro's head, first faintly, and then more and more fiercely, until his breathing and heart rate peaked as well - and then there was a burst of hot, thick seed against the back of the wolf's throat, more than he anticipated. He moved back, spluttering, and got three more thick ropes of it across his lips and muzzle. It had a cool, smooth, heady taste, one pleasant enough that he licked off what he could from his lips instead of wiping it off; then, panting, he looked up at Elijah, who had his other paw gripping the top of the urinal and his mouth hanging half-open. His chest rose and fell with heavy breaths, his eyes flicked back and forth between the young wolf, the cum on his face, and his own dripping shaft, his ears wouldn't remain in the same position for longer than a half-second, and he looked thoroughly unsure of what to do or say.

Did I really just...?

"D..." He found that he had trouble speaking. His heart had never stopped pounding throughout all of that, and now that it was finished - I let a twelve year old suck me off - each heartbeat sent a wave of guilt through his system, which brought with it a faint, dulled stinging sensation... "Is... that all you w-want, Kiro?..."

"Well..." Just as unabashed as when he'd first come in here to piss, the wolf unzipped his pants, showing his own hard length. He was young, but... well, Elijah finished growing when he was fifteen. This kid looked like he was already almost there. "...I still need to get off..."

"Do... you want me to give you a hand, or...?" Elijah wiped the sweat off of his forehead. The air between the two had started to smell of musk, cum, and arousal.

Kiro bit his lip, as if unsure or embarrassed. "I... want to... well..." He looked up at Elijah's face, then down at his still-revealed length, and then away.

The dog blinked. "...You want to-"

"It's just the two of us... we can stop if something happens. Right?" He'd had Steven under his tail, and that had taken practice, too; Elijah, however, would likely be quite a bit more practice. That was okay, though. He watched the dog's eyes, like citrine gemstones - and then felt his heart drop when Elijah turned and went to the door. "Wait-"

-but, instead of what he'd expected, the soldier turned the lock, stood there a moment, and then started to unbutton the shirt of his uniform. It fell open to show a white sleeveless shirt that did little to hide the splotchy coloring of his chest and belly, sleekly muscular. He pointed back behind Kiro. "We could... use the stall. Have something to sit on."

"Yeah." Kiro dropped his pants the rest of the way and kicked them off as Elijah passed him and disappeared into the larger stall. The wolf followed after a moment, entering to see the soldier leaning back on the closed toilet, pants around one leg, cock in front of him drooling out the last of his load. He stroked it slowly, idly, keeping his eyes on the wolf as if unsure what he planned to do.

"C... can..." Kiro, nervous all over again, came up beside him. "...Can you... go at it again already?"

"It's been a long time, Kiro. Just now, you made me feel something I haven't in I don't know how long, and I don't know how long it'll be until I'll get the time to feel that again. If you're willing..."

He trailed off, then, as the wolf got over him, keeping his paws on the dog's firm shoulders for balance. His toes just barely touched the floor as he stood up, trying to angle himself so that Elijah's cock nestled under the base of his tail... the dog, never taking his eyes from his face, spat into a paw and reached it down - and then Kiro felt a slick finger pressing against his tailhole. He shivered.

"First, do you wanna-"

"No..." Kiro swallowed, licked his lips, slowly pressed down onto the thick dog, still as hard as he was when he shot his load into his muzzle. This may be tougher than he'd anticipated. "I can handle it..."

"Kiro - are you sure? You're..."


"I don't want to hurt you... go as slow as you need to, okay? Go your own pace. If you need me to... if it needs more saliva, just... let me know..."

And it did take quite a while: it felt like ten, fifteen minutes of Kiro biting his lip, pressing down, breathing shuddering breaths, gasping, and then stopping or coming back up a little before he settled down and slowed to a stop about five inches down along Elijah's shaft, leaving maybe three outside of him. Elijah could already tell that he'd have trouble sleeping tonight because of the freshly-dug wounds in his shoulders from the pup's clenching paws - and Kiro had also pressed his forehead to the dog's while he sank slowly, slowly down, breathing a quiet "ah-" or "oh, God..." or, three times, "lube-"... by the time he'd handled it, Kiro had gone soft, but each little movement from the big soldier dog beneath him seemed to send an electric shock through his body, making every part of him tense up a little. With his paws on Elijah's shoulders and toes and balls of his feet on the tile floor, he slowly, gently moved up and down, up and down, keeping his movements small and steady and stopping if he did too much.

Elijah felt only half-here, though. Half of him worried about the pup and his damn eagerness, while the other half of him worried about himself: I can't tell anyone that I've done this. I mean... I was already waist-deep in the act when I didn't push him off of me - and that act leaves a stain that will never wash out... no harm plunging in the rest of the way than what's already been done... Really, he could only stay hard purely from the sensation of this tight, tight wolf around him, pulsing, enclosing more than half of his length in sweet, wonderful heat - that, and he also did want to give the wolf what he wanted, especially after so long in this town with its current conditions... the kid needed a break. He needed something to take his mind off things, and that thing just so happened to be Elijah, African wild dog, soldier, guard of the seventh grade class at the school between the road and the river.

He could hardly say that he was doing his job: protect the students, keep them safe, don't let them do anything they shouldn't. A seventh grader sure as hell shouldn't suck off a soldier and then ride him, but he seemed to enjoy it - and, though he almost wished he didn't, Elijah enjoyed it, too. The feeling of Kiro starting to move faster and deeper strangled the dog's unpleasant thoughts and worries and replaced them with the familiar bliss of sexual enjoyment, enough so that he dropped his paws to the wolf's hips and kept them there as he lifted himself up, shivered, pushed back down onto the dog's length, again and again. Pre dribbled down onto Elijah's thumb; he moved his paw a little, took Kiro's length in it, stroked gently. This brought a shuddering moan out of the wolf's mouth as well as a jump in his fervor, bouncing up and down, lurching forward and back and steadily tensing up more and more.

A few more seconds and a second orgasm would have been squeezed out of the dog; however, Kiro reached his own shuddering climax and spurted out over Elijah's shirt just before and then slowed down, and Elijah didn't feel like finishing up himself - partially for fear of hurting the wolf and partially because his nerves prevented him from it. Kiro leaned forward and rested his head against the dog's shoulder, heavy breathing causing his whole body to move; after a while he straightened up and pulled himself off of Elijah - which caused both of them to let out a gentle yip - and then shakily stepped over to the door.

"I j..." The wolf slumped down against the wall, eyes closed. "I need a moment. God, Elijah..."

~ ~ ~

and dogs travel back and forth between rocks

between fear of the unknown


the blazing sun

~ ~ ~

The soldier got both of them cleaned up as best he could before walking the wolf back to class, though he could tell that Kiro was still a little shaky - however, his tail wagged slowly and he had a quiet smile on his face, so he didn't worry too much. Malia, however, gave them both a sharp look when they walked back into the room.

"What happened to 'it'll take five minutes, tops'?" she growled; the dog's ears inadvertently flattened, and his heartbeat picked back up. "Complications?"

"Y... yeah, w-"

"I went by to see if things were okay, but the first two bathrooms I went by were locked, and... well, I got lost, like you always complain about, Carlson. Anyway, get back in there; I'm done watching your tail. You owe me, alright?"

"Yeah. Yeah, okay. Thanks for watching them."

She squinted. "...Is everything alright, Carlson? Just what the hell did you see in that bathroom?..."

"Huh? Oh - nothing, I'm fine." He forced a smile. "Kids can just... they're really tiring sometimes, y'know?"

"Oh, tell me about it..." and she went back into the hallway.

Elijah just stood by the door, folded his paws, and tried to put his mind off the matter. In the back corner of the room, Kiro went back to reading his books. He tried to look up and catch the African wild dog's eye, but he seemed to avoid looking at him...

...and, then, Kiro had to walk home alone that day, because Elijah left as soon as everyone else did. When the wolf left his house the next morning, there was no African wild dog waiting outside with a mango for him; when he got to school, that sour-faced cheetah woman stood by the door. He wanted to ask where Elijah had gone, but didn't; then, later in the day, he wanted to ask to go to the bathroom, but also didn't.

He just curled up in the back corner of the classroom with his books, in the red beanbag chair because red was his favorite color, and because it felt the best to sit on anyway.

~ ~ ~

Though there is stillness, I can feel your heart beat...

...though I can't see you, I can hear a sound...

~ ~ ~

Days passed, and then weeks, and then maybe a month or two. The dust eventually settled; the occurrence of bombings slowed and then stopped; one by one, the guards disappeared from the school; one by one, people stepped back out into the streets to talk to one another. Kiro never again saw Elijah - though, once he thought he saw the charcoal, fog, and dried wood colors of an African wild dog's splotches near the next building, but when he called out and turned the corner, nobody was there.

The land turned green again; the trees grew new leaves, which then dropped in autumn; in winter, it snowed once. Construction on the school to rebuild it completed halfway through Kiro's eighth grade year; the rest of the village finished just before he graduated tenth grade; he wrote a poem about what he remembered of the war for a country-wide competition when he was in eleventh grade, and won. He thought he should leave out the part about the 'soldier wearing two kinds of camouflage and smelled of cinnamon and sand', though, and he did.

~ ~ ~

so tell your secrets to your parents,

(through the veil I feel your hand near me)

to your lost father, and to his father, and to his father

(reaching through to the other side)

in this conversation itself,

just the substitute for w-

(reaching through to the other side...)

~ ~ ~

Elijah - that was his name, wasn't it? - had been exceedingly nice to him, even in the short time that Kiro had really known him. He had nobody else, and yet here was this soldier offering a paw to walk him home when he didn't have to, waiting outside his house as six AM to make sure he got to school safely, giving him a warm smile when that was what he needed more than anything else. Perhaps what happened in the bathroom that one day was a little over the line, though; now, out of school and with a job in the city, Kiro tried to mark that off as 'it just happened'. He was a horny young pup, and Elijah'd had a hell of a load to take off after so long alone in the military.

He'd never felt closer to the dog until then, though, and now that he couldn't feel that closeness anymore, well...

Eventually, Kiro located the right person to call about the one thing that nagged at his curiosity since the war ended. He got home from his job one day, set his things down, tapped the number into his phone, waited, waited...

"Office of records, how may I help you?"

It was an international call back to his home, so he'd have to make this quick. Besides, it felt strange to be hearing and speaking his native tongue again... "Ah, hello, yes - I'd like to, um... inquire about someone. A soldier who was posted at my school when I was in seventh grade."

"Okay. What's the name of the school?"

"It..." He paused. "...didn't really have a name. Everyone just called it 'the school between the road and the river'. It was the largest one for quite a distance, though..."

The person on the other end of the line, a female, was quiet for a moment. Kiro could hear a keyboard tapping. "...Alright, I think I found it. What's the soldier's name?"

It was... it was... "...Elijah. Elijah... Carlson. African wild dog, yellow eyes. I... I've just been figuring all of years that he's dead, since one day he just... didn't show up."

"Um... Elijah Carlson... let's see..." Some more keys tapping. Then, silence. "...Sir?"


"I'm sorry, but... you'd be correct."

The blunt strike of a heavy hammer, pounding into his heart. He swallowed. "How?"

"Suicide. Ah... by gunshot. He... left a note, but I don't have clearance to access its contents. It's addressed to one person, and by law, nobody but that one person is allowed to see it after the investigation closed."

"A note?"


The phone felt slippery in his paw. He held it tighter. "Addressed to whom?"

"Just a first name, so it's hard to say, though I'm told there's more identification - a physical description - inside. It's addressed to a... K-I-R-O. Kiro."

"That's my name."

"Sir, if you're able to provide identification, I can see about having a copy of the note sent to you. Would you like that?"

Kiro breathed in, breathed out, wiped the back of his paw across his forehead. This phone call was reaching on for longer than he had hoped. He would appreciate it, he'd like to hear from the dog one last time even if it wasn't directly, but... "No," he said after a while. "That's alright. Thank you, though. Have a nice day."

After hanging up and placing his phone beside him, he reached up, touched the side of his muzzle, gently chewed on his finger. On a whim, he reached back out to pick up the phone and redial the number, but stopped.

The most grown-up thing to do is to accept bad news and punishment with dignity. All his life he had been trying to be more grown-up than he really was, though now that he was an adult, he wished he'd enjoyed what little childhood he had a little more. He realized that he had done something wrong, and Elijah had been the one to shoulder the guilt and blame for it. Kiro felt like he had to pay his part, too.

Asking for a paw to hold tight... that wasn't childish. Hell, that was all he wanted right now.

~ ~ ~

-words, rattle

(reaching through to the other side...)

...and puffs

of air...

Impatient Theatergoers

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Camping Adventure

I've never really been the outdoorsy type, especially where I currently live where there's more pavement, concrete, and short yellow grass than actual wilderness. Back when I was growing up in a totally different place than where I now live, my family...

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Fast Friends [Commission]

When Lukas was on his way home from a friend's house one night, the sky just suddenly decided to open up into a downpour. Sure, the occasional storm was nice, but... this was something else; he already could hardly see due to the dark of night, and...

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