(Open to all who ventured beyond the walls. January 4th.)
In his head was a song and in his step was a spring as Ru tried to make the best out of his time in the town. He was on the search for drapes, fabric, clothes, anything he could use to make the city look flashy and fancy. Misten may have had a vision but Ru was going to make sure it was FABULOUS.
The male hit the jackpot; a clothing store. He grinned, pushing through the door and wagging his tail. "So...many...colors..." It was like a brilliant colorful wonderland in a sea of drab. The male grinned widely and bounced towards a few clothing wheels. He batted at them and giggled.
"Where shall I begin?" He looked behind his shoulder. "I'm sure Misten won't mind if I play dress up. Might mask my scent from the zombies..."
Ru wasn't the only one who had decided to enter the clothing store. Typhon, Argos, and Baskerville had entered some time before, trying to find a place to take a quick nap where they wouldn't be disturbed. So far, they had managed to avoid being clearly seen by the inhabitants of Maplehill. And, three heads did mean one of them could always keep an eye out for any disturbances. One of them was always awake.
The three-headed dog was currently curled up beneath a pile of clothes, towards the back of the store, and, unfortunately for the intruder, Typhon was on lookout.
"Just what in the hell do you think you're doing in here?" the red-eyed head snarled, rising into view, ears sticking straight up as he glared at the unwanted 'guest'.
Between Typhon snarling, and Ru shouting, Argos and Baskerville roused themselves, raising their heads and staring at the intruder. So much for taking an undisturbed nap.
"Making a new friend, eh Typhon?" Baskerville asked, smirking as his yellow eyes looked the intruder over. In response, Typhon just snarled. Argos merely rolled his blue eyes, and stood up, ignoring the bickering siblings growing from what he tended to consider to be his shoulders.
"Go ahead. Get a good, long look at Maplehill's resident freak show," he said bitterly. There was no hiding it, now. "Or did you want to continue with whatever it was you were saying?"
"If you're smart, you'll turn right around, and walk right back out that door," Typhon snarled, baring his teeth.
"Yeah, or Typhon will snarl you to death," Baskerville chuckled, a sardonic grin forming on his face. Without Argos' approval, the best Typhon would be able to manage was a single step.
Ru's ears dropped. Finally he'd found a clothing store, his one true passion, and this dog...these dogs...were trying to make him leave. He frowned, eyes wide with sadness as he casually played with the clothes near him, batting them with a paw.
"I just wanted to play dress up some," he whimpered, "There are no clothing stores in Maple Hill. And I just wanted to play with some of the clothes. Back home I'd play with Anita's clothes all the time so I thought...maybe..."
Argos' maw twisted into a derisive grimace. He really didn't give two bones what the pup wanted to do, as long as it wasn't staring at him and his brothers. And he really despised self pity.
"Stop your sniveling! You're pissing me off," he snarled, lying back down. Forelegs crossed in front of his chest as he settled back into a comfortable position. "You thought what? That you'd walk in here and try on clothes? Then go ahead!"
Typhon snorted in disgust, and rolled his eyes before pointedly glaring at the wall, teeth still bared in a snarl, a hate-filled glare piercing the pup out of the corner of his eye.
Baskerville ignored both of his brothers, and laid his head down, closing his eyes as he sought to get a bit more sleep.
"You guys are MEAN," Ru scoffed, stomping his paw on the ground, "I didn't care you were weird looking before. Now I see you're ugly on the inside too!" He shook his hair and stomped forward. Brave pup was showing a bit of his father's stupid streak by approaching the males.
"And that collar! GHASTLY! Yuck! How stereotypical," he mused, "It shouts creepy and badass really well. NOT. You wanna be toxic? I'll give you a makeover! Maybe it'll make you less of a cranky boots."
"Mean?" Argos chuckled darkly, a twisted smirk crossing his face. This pup had no idea what he and his brothers were like. Not by a long shot. "Ugly? Hah! Such an ignorant pup!"
Baskerville's yellow eyes opened, gazing coldly at the pup as Argos climbed to their feet. "Do you think we asked to be made this way? Do you think Argos wants an ugly, spiked collar around his neck? Oh, yes, quite a statement," he sneered, pressing his own neck against the spikes as he spoke, ignoring the stabbing pain as he made his point. None of them liked the collar, but they couldn't get it off. Between being unable to reach it, and Typhon trying to kill anyone who got too close to them, it was as much a part of their life as being a part of each other.
"Hmph. Typical. And here I was trying to be nice. Ah, what the hell is the point? You, with your soft upbringing, and your clothes, you wouldn't understand," Argos growled, shaking his head. The short length of chain hanging from his collar swung back and forth with the movement.
Typhon had been glaring at the pup with murderous intent. Now, after Argos fell silent, he spoke. "You're just like all the rest. Yes, we're ugly inside. But it's because of people like you! We were made to be ugly. To be killers. Only it worked too well. We were supposed to die. To have our body tossed into a furnace, and our existence erased."
His eyes widened a bit as the pup stepped closer, and he felt the blood rushing through his ears. "Step any closer, and I'll tear you apart!" he snarled, snapping at the smaller dog, jaws closing close to the pup's face.
"Typhon!" Argos snapped, taking a step backwards, moving his red-eyed brother out of range. He shot an irritated look at the pup. "Don't get close to Typhon. He'd kill you without a second thought."
His ears floated downwards. Suddenly he felt very guilty. "I'm sorry," he apologized. "Do you think we asked to be made this way?" Suddenly his eyes started to water. It reminded him of Lucky. Something he'd said to him so long ago.
"I didn't ASK for a pansy of a son!" "Don't ask me to change pa...cause I can't."
"No! I'm sorry! I didn't mean it like that!" He frowned. "I get sassy when I get threatened. It's not so bad, y'know? Being different?" His tail wagged. "I'm super different back home. My Dad is ashamed of it but...I can't change so...why should I?"
"I can help! I promise! Lemmie try and get that thing off..."
Argos regarded the pup with sudden suspicion. Why would he want to help them? His eyes widened when the small dog offered to get the collar off. While he would love to be rid of the thing, there was no way the pup would be able to get past Typhon. The red-eyed murderer would indeed make good on his threat. He had too much of his fathers in him, together with a burning hatred for the life he was forced to live.
"If you value your life, you'll stay out of Typhon's reach. We...appreciate the offer. But he meant what he said. If he can reach you, he'll try to kill you," he said, lying back down. Even though Typhon knew perfectly well having the collar removed would be a vast improvement, he was completely unable to control his violent urges.
Baskerville's yellow eyes gazed at the pup in open curiosity. Different? The pup certainly didn't look different. "Different? You look perfectly normal to me. Or is dressing up in clothes something dogs don't normally do?"
"No physically different maybe," the fluffy dalmatian cross snorted, "But mentally? My father thinks I'm insane. Insane, weak, girly." His ears folded as he sighed. "Let's just say if I didn't like myself I'd be praying to be tough and strong like you." Lucky's words always stung him when he caught him remarking to the others about what a wuss he was. He was left open for attacks from the tougher Judas and chastising from Lucky when he want to play around in the yard sale boxes or Nanny's closet.
"My Dad thinks I'm weak and a wuss, but I'm not. I just like girl's stuff, y'know? Like clothes and playing pretend? But my Dad thinks that's stupid." He stayed where he was, not doubting the three headed canine would rip his head clean off. But he wanted to help.
"What about a hat? Or a nice silk scarf?" he asked.
Argos and Typhon both let out snorted in disgust, and Baskerville rolled his eyes. The three brothers had faced their share of intolerance from others. Most people considered them to be a freak.
"Sounds like you're better off here, then. Or, at least away from him," Baskerville stated. While Maplehill might not be the best place to live, being away from somebody who didn't care for you was certainly an improvement.
"Well, I'm glad to hear you aren't wasting your time wanting to be something you're not. It doesn't help," Argos said.
"What about a hat? Or a nice silk scarf?"
"No," Typhon growled. In a way, that was as close as he could get to trying to be nice. This pup was one of the only people who had actually decided to talk to them, and he didn't want him to wander too close. He was fully aware of his tendency to snap at anything living that got too close.
"But you could tell us your name," Baskerville added, a small grin crossing his face. Limited though it was, the three brothers could sense some of each other's thoughts and emotions.
"You can say that again," Ru grumbled. Being away from Lucky and proving himself was all he wanted to do. But at the moment he had a new project; the boys in front of him. When one asked his name he placed a paw on his chest. "My name's Ru," he said, "I apologize for being so schizophrenic before. I'm defensive."
When Typhon denied the hat or the scarf the male rolled his blue-brown eyes. "Oh come ON," he pleaded, "Don't you wanna look different for a change? Something flashy! Or perhaps something broody and badass."
He dipped his head in a nod. "Do you all have names or are you called one thing?"
Argos simply shrugged dismissively when Ru apologized. Sure, the pup had been rather sharp-tongued, but Typhon was far worse. His red-eyed brother would run down anything that moved if he got the chance.
"Well, you weren't too far off with what you said," he said. "My name is Argos."
"Typhon," growled the red-eyed head.
"Baskerville. And just in case you were going to ask, we're all different. Three dogs stuck in one body," Baskerville stated.
"If you can figure out a way to get close enough to us without Typhon ripping you apart, then you can get rid of this collar, and maybe even replace it with something else," Argos said, a small grin tugging at the corners of his mouth.
Ru's tail wagged. Though he was still a little nervous, he was ready to help. His eyes had finally picked up the sharp spikes on the collar. "Whoever put that on you guys sucked," he scoffed, "Hmmm. I think I have an idea."
Typhon was there in the middle so he said nothing. The male pressed his body low to the ground and started to creep towards the dog. With a burst of agility, something Lucky never saw from his feminine son, the slender pup bounced up atop a shoebox and rolled behind the canines.
He said nothing but landed himself atop Argos' noggin, turned to face the back of the collar. "How do I get it off?!" He said quickly, "Quick! Before he turns around and rips my face off!"