tagNonHumanA Pain in the Neck

A Pain in the Neck

byDragonCobolt©

Author's Note: This story, like The Best Man, Daddy's Special Girl and The Town Bike, take place in the Furicana universe. Furries and humans alike share this world -- and their beds. Enjoy!

I turned on the light in my bathroom and sighed -- looking down and seeing nothing but a broad expanse of yellow and brown spotted chest fur in the mirror.

Sonoma State University was not a place built with me in mind.

My name is Pat. I'm a giraffe. And stop -- I've heard all the jokes. Hey, did you mean to wear your hair like it, or can you just not reach it? Or the old stand by about the coffee getting cold before it got to my tummy. And the less said about the giraffe walking into the movie theater, the better. In truth, my neck was not that tall. Really. Honest. Yes, I had to bend almost in half to look myself in the eyes and make sure my ossis were still on straight, but it wasn't because my neck was tall.

It was because all of me was tall.

"Hey, Pat!" one of my dormmates called through the door of my main room -- audible even from the bathroom. "Pat! Patty patty patty! Patflat! Flatpat! Pat...lack? Lackpat. Patlick? Lickspit? Spitlick?"

"What, Gordon?"

"Oh, I forgot."

Gordon's feet were already stomping down the corridor that connected our rooms. On paper, SSU had the single greatest set of dorms in all of northern California. There were separate rooms, each room had a bathroom, each set of four rooms connected to a kitchen, the whole works. It would be fantastic, even, if-

I stepped into the shower and smashed my forehead and ossis right into the shower faucet. I clapped my hands to my forehead and felt the dull ache of a headache start to creep from my scalp to my snout. My tail lashed from side to side -- drumming against the glass shower door. I grumbled under my breath and grabbed onto the shower knobs. A blast of far too cold water smashed into my chest.

"Auuu-FUCKI!" I squealed as the cold water went from chest to balls in about fifteen microseconds.

I grabbed knobs.

Twisted.

A moment later, my balls were being scalded.

"I HATE THIS PLACE!"

And to think, I had come here with such high hopes. My parents had dropped me off a mere week before -- after a long, indolent summer spent enjoying the last few days of my innocent high school days, drinking soda and playing Rock Band II and kissing Cindi Kapowski underneath a mistletoe she had hung over her doorway on the night before we headed out, all of it blurring together into a faint memory of simpler times. Then I had seen the dorms -- the same dorms that I had toured with the smiling guide and a gaggle of other students -- up close and personal. The problems hadn't really cropped up until my parents were driving away, as if some kind of evil spirit had concealed them from our eyes until it was beyond hope, and beyond help.

Okay, maybe I was being a bit melodramatic.

I emerged from the shower, using an old hair dryer on my chest fur, sighing as I watched the fur ruffle and shake underneath the hissing, blowing vent-fan. I walked to the window that dominated the left half of my room, making sure to keep my bare ass out of the direct line of sight. Not that it was easy to see in from the outside. Whoever had built these dorms had been that clever at the very least. I looked out through the screen and saw other students heading out to their classes. At the early morning, it seemed to be an even mixture of humans and furs of various types.

I sighed.

"You're being overdramatic, Pat," I said, quietly, setting my dryer down on my desk next to my heavy duty LCD screen and surround sound speakers -- painstakingly packed and carried from my den at home and set up in the much smaller dorm room. "This is just the first day."

Hammering came at the door again.

"I remembered!" Gordon called through the door.

I closed my eyes.

I had only known Gordon for about a single weekend, and he was already shaping up to be quite, ah, unique.

"What is it Gordon?"

"Did you want breakfast?" He asked.

"Nah, I-" I took a step forward. My hoof caught on the taut power cable that stretched from my hair dryer to the bathroom's plug socket. The dryer jerked across the desktop, wrapped around the base of the monitor and arrested its motion. The monitor moved forward half an inch, but didn't budge. What did budge was my whole body -- my entire center of balance swung out crazily and I spun my arms around me, hopping forward on my other hoof. I landed on one of the wires of my surround sound system, got caught, and finally, hit the carpet snout first with a CRASH. The door bounced and Gordon tried it -- the door opening.

"Dude, are-" he stopped, standing over me, my tail flopped up against the small of my back.

I couldn't even imagine what I looked like right then.

All I could think about was the fact that I could already taste blood dripping from my snout.

"...are you okay?" Gordon asked.

I got my hands under my chest, shoved myself up, and glared at him -- feeling the wires wrapped around my body drawing taut.

"NO!" I said. "I'm just FINE!"

Then the monitor fell on my back.

###

Gordon was not the most assuming human being. Though, if he had been transposed to any of the other species that shared this big globe with humanity, I doubted he'd have made any more of an impression. Short and somewhat stumpy, with a face round enough to be babyish, and yet square enough to not quite verge on moon-faced, he had hair-colored hair and neutral eyes that could sometimes seem blue, sometimes gray, sometimes green, and always boring. If he had maybe been able to distinguish himself with his manner of dress, he might have been able to stand out as more than just your average human being.

But Gordon wore slacks and a gray pocket T-shirt, and that was the end of it.

And yet, Gordon stood out. He never just glanced at something. He looked at it. Even knowing him for a weekend had seared the way that he turned his whole head to focus on something into my brain. And nothing could make me forget his way of talking. I wasn't sure if I liked it or loathed it -- but I figured I had a year at the very least to figure out one way or another.

"So, I was thinking," he said.

"What about?" I asked, my voice snuffled behind the two wads of paper jammed into my nostrils.

"Oh, space," he said, nodding. "Did you ever wonder if an alien race might come to Earth and just flip their shit that we have several million sentient species on it? Many of them with wildly different physiological makeups? And yet, the most dominant species in the planet never hunted or competed the others into extinction? And do you think they'd buy the current anthropological research findings?"

"What? The Brussels Hypothesis?" I asked, rubbing my sore back with one arm.

It wasn't that I was some nerd or anything. Well, no more than anyone else who played Rock Band II and loved Marvel movies. But it was hard to not have something that trended on Twitter and Facebook for three days straight seared into your brain at least a little bit.

"More like the Boning Hypothesis," Gordon said. He elbowed my hip -- easy enough for him. I looked down at the top of his head. He craned his head back to wiggle his eyebrows at me. "Get it? Get itttttt?"

"No, explain it to me," I said, dryly. Well, I tried to sound dry at the very least. It was hard to be properly pithy while your voice sounded pinched and nasal.

Gordon just wiggled his eyebrows at me in increasingly suggestive ways until I had to drag him to the side before he walked into a street light pole. By this point, we had come to the large, green center of SSU's campus. The route we took looped past the gymnasium -- which I had steadfastly refused to go, blessed as I was with the athletic phenotype of most furs -- and then went straight towards the baffling modern art masterpiece called the bacon and eggs that was set between the three nexi that the SSU campus rotated around: The library, the science building, and the other building -- the building where the school crammed English, History, the soft sciences, and anything that didn't fit in the science building.

And of course, the bacon and eggs.

It looked a bit like a huge strip of bacon, balanced on one end, reaching upwards into the sky, with two flat half-spheres set to either side of it. They were supposed to represent the duality between good and evil.

"Lunch!" Gordon said.

"If you say so," I said, sticking my tongue out at him -- and when a giraffe sticks their tongue out, they stick it out and out and out and out.

Gordon went cross-eyed trying to keep his eyes on my tongue tip. "That's so cool."

"Thanks?" I asked.

I wonder, sometimes. Do people who have their lives changed know that everything they knew before had been altered in that single moment? Because, well, walking into the shower this morning had told me that the comfortable, easy way that I could live in my own home wasn't the same and it wouldn't be the same for a very long time. That was something that had to sink in. But in the grand scheme of things, that wasn't that big of a chance.

The next change should have taken time to sink in.

But I swear I felt it in my bones from the moment it happened.

Something smashed into my back at high speeds and pitched me forward. I threw up one arm and caught myself on the ground before I smashed my face against the much less forgiving concrete. I rolled and spun onto my back, ready to shout, and saw that the person who had smashed into my back was still in the air. She had rebounded off me and -- suddenly, the sky above me went dark. The sun had been blotted out by something vast and membranous. Then something light and fuzzy bumped into my chest and my ears were filled with the roar of wind and the rustle of detritus flying about and the cries of onlookers.

Then silence -- a deep, abiding silence as I looked deep into the golden eyes of her. She was slender and light, with a body built for flight. Her arms were actually wings -- they spread outwards, with the familiar gangly shape of other species who had their wings and arms fused. I could see the way they could snap the flight membranes together to make arms. I could see the hands, spread and stretched out, among that flesh. Her breasts were small and perky, molded against her simple tank-top, which had spilled forward enough to show the tips of her dark black nipples, peeking out around her brownish fur. Her muzzle was short and broad and fluted - and her ears were swept back and long. Her thighs spread to either side of my belly and I realized she was barely four and a half feet tall. I could have carried her under one arm.

She blinked at me and I felt my heart hammer faster and faster and faster.

"H-Hi," she said.

I blew out the breath I hadn't realized I had been holding. Unfortunately, that was through my nose so both of the wads of paper in my nose shot out of my nose and splashed against my chest fur.

"EW!" The girl squeaked and flapped her wings hard, shooting backwards. She landed on the skateboard she had been riding on, grasping onto it with her hand-like-feet, and then beat her wings once and shot off, the skateboard rattling away at amazing speeds.

"Whoa, Pat, are you okay!?" Gordon knelt beside me.

"N-no!" I said, scrambling to my feet, barely noticing the blood dripping along my lips.

"Should we get you to the nurse's office?" Gordon asked.

I shook my head, scrambling and jamming my blood-soaker-uppers into my nose, coughing. "No, no, we have to get her number!" I started to run. "Wait! Wait, come back!"

The bat-girl was already zooming around the corner. I slowed in my running, panting quietly. "Ah fuck." I reached up and grabbed my ossis and closed my eyes. "Fuck fuck fuck fuck." My neck throbbed with the impact and the jerking around, but I didn't particularly care.

"Hit and run, huh?" Gordon asked, stepping up to stand beside me. I let go of my ossis and shook my head.

"Yeah," I said, bitterly. My heart was slowing down -- and a rational part of my brain said that I was being a moron.

But another part of me said to not be so sure.

###

On Tuesday, I got into the shower thinking about the girl and smashed my head into the faucet.

On Wednesday, I got out of the shower thinking about the girl and smashed my head into the railing that the glass door wound on.

On Thursday, I got my ossis caught on a doorway I was trying to stoop under -- mostly because I was thinking about the girl.

On Friday, Gordon took me aside, sat me down, and said: "Okay. There's going to be a dance. You should go and see if you can find her there. Then, you will stop obsessing, dude."

I frowned, rubbing at my bruised head. "I dunno -- I don't even know if she likes dances. What if she hates dances? I mean, I don't even know her name."

Gordon threw out his hands. "Then you'll meet a new girl and fall head over horns for her!"

"Ossi," I said.

"Huh?"

"They're called ossicones. They're-"

Gordon threw a paper airplane at my face -- it was the flyer that proclaimed that the dance was happening. It bounced off my forehead and shut me up. Which I think was what he was going for. In the end, it took me a few minutes to find clothing that I felt would be right for a dance. I couldn't just go in a T-shirt and in sweat pants. I found some khakis that my Mom had packed for me, then I found a button down T-shirt that looked nice with it. I figured I could skip a belt for now. I pulled out my wallet, then glanced down at the third shelf down on my desk. The secret shelf.

It wasn't actually secret, but it was the hardest to see if you walked into my room and just glanced around.

It was the shelf where I had -- in a fit of freshman exuberance and optimism -- bought a set of condoms that I was pretty sure could fit a giraffe.

I frowned and knelt down, grabbing one of the condoms, then slipped it into my wallet. I closed my wallet up, then slid my wallet into my pocket, grinning brightly. Shield implants were fairly common, and most girls had their shots, but these condoms were flavored and I didn't want to be left out if she was into that kind of thing.

I emerged from my room to find Gordon dressed in a luminous red suit, a bow-tie on his neck, and bright red pants to go with it. His shoes were polished to a mirror shine -- dark black to go with his red leggings. No, wait, on a second glance, he actually had blood red shoes. They were so dark they were almost black. He grinned at me, spreading his arms wide.

"How do I look?" he asked.

"Like Satan," I said.

"Damn straight," he said, nodding.

"No, seriously, you look like Satan -- a Satan that has given up trying to be subtle."

Gordon started wiggling his eyebrows at me.

"Why are you going?" I asked. "You didn't run into a girl. Heck, I don't even know if you like girls."

"Smooth," Gordon said. "And, I'll have you know, my overly stretched herbivore, I came to college with a specific and noble goal in mind."

"And that was?" I asked, crossing my arms over my chest. Gordon stepped over to me, putting his hand on the small of my back, then swung out his arm, spreading his palm dramatically.

"Since the dawn of humanity, there has been one dream. One goal. One vision that has united us, from barbarian to civilized conqueror..." he said, quietly.

"And that is?" I asked, pointedly.

"To fuck a snake-girl."

I tried to not smile. I really did. It didn't seem like it would be a good idea to encourage him. Gordon wiggled those damn eyebrows at me and I couldn't stop myself. I laughed and shook my head and looped my arm around his shoulder. We walked towards the door and headed out -- and for the first time this week, I managed to duck my head underneath the door frame without smashing my head into it. We walked together down and away from the dorm -- and found that a steady stream of moderately well dressed human beings and furries were heading for the same area -- a large building that I was pretty sure could be configured to suit essentially any purpose. And tonight, that purpose was getting down.

The doors smoothly opened before Gordon and I -- and the two of us just stood there for a bit, watching the writhing, dancing mass of students that were dancing, thrashing, and wiggling. The band -- well, the recorded band -- blasted from the speakers. Familiar trumpets, trombones, guitars, and up-beat lyrics that were actually amazingly depressing fileld the air in time with the flashing, strobing lights.

"Is that Reel Big Fish?" I shouted to Gordon over the music.

"I think she's a fish, yes!" he shouted back, looking at a curvacious as hell tuna who was tearing up the center of the dance floor without a care in the world.

"No, the band!" I cupped my hands around my muzzle this time.

"Them too!" Gordon shouted back.

I shook my head and started to do what I did best at dances: Stick to the wall, hunch forward, and try to work up the courage to do something other than stand there petrified. Fortunately, my height meant that I could easily track my red suited friend. He made a beeline for a cobra-girl who had decorated her frilled hood with a great deal of glowing beads and started to grind against her back. Within a few moments, he was wrapped up in her coils, his face mashed between her breasts. I blinked and started to wonder if I should move in to help -- but Gordon flashed me a thumbs up with the arm that stuck out between two of the girl's coils.

I shook my head and turned away -- and froze.

The girl was walking out of the side exit -- tossing a plastic cup into one of the trash cans that been helpfully arrayed around the edges of the party. I started and hurried after her, panting as I shoved open the back door. By the time I emerged from the party, my ears ached, and the girl had unfurled her wings. She looked ready to take to flight and I reached into my pocket. I didn't have anything there, so I just jammed my other hand into my other pocket and tried to look super casual as I coughed and stepped out underneath the street lamp that provided a pale yellow illumination for the area outside of the dance party.

"Hi," I said.

The girl looked back. She furrowed her brow.

"Do I know you?" she asked.

"Uh, no-"

"Then why did you say my name?" she asked, frowning slightly.

I blinked. "Your name is hi?"

"Oh." She looked abashed, her wings fluttering as she crossed her arms over her chest -- she now looked like she was holding a brown cape shut before her chest. It was amazingly adorable. She grinned at me -- her teeth quite sharp. I felt my heart race. "N-No, my name is Aye. It's Burmese."

It sounded like she had heard that question a lot.

"Well, my name's Pat," I said, nodding and holding out my hand to her. She looked at it for a moment, then took it, snapping her wing membrane shut so she could grasp me with her fingers. They were so long and thin and delicate. I gulped and tried to not faint. I wouldn't have been shocked if blood had started to fountain out of my nose all over again -- despite me having not had any nose bleeds all week, despite the blunt force trauma my head kept getting exposed too. I grinned, shyly. "It's from Ireland."

"Are you?"

"Oh, hell no, my Mom's from Pittsburgh," I said, nodding. "And my Dad's from Canada. Eh."

"So they picked Patrick because-"

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