High School of Clichés: Coming Out
By: Domus Vocis
“Ahhhhhhhhh! Ohhhhhhhhh! Ah, fuck. Easy on the teeth there. Take it slow…yes, that’s it. Keep…Keep going. Mmmmph, yeah. Is there something—Ahhhhh! Fffff, oh God. Oh, fuck I’m so….so…Y-Yeah. H-Holden…oh fuck. I-I’m gonna…Mmph, fuck, fuck, fuck…Oh God yeah~! Oh, Holden~!
Hunter woke up, blushing red at his member as he woke up in his sweat-soaked bed. “Cockblocker…” he growled, failing to hide his morning wood. Now, now; I’m only trying to…raise
your spirits for today. “Ha.”
Monday morning started off mundane as ever, save for the newest texts and MuzzleScroll messages on Hunter’s phone. As he dressed in a Greenville Goliaths t-shirt and a pair of blue denim jeans still fresh from yesterday, the German shepherd read each one.
“Hunter are you seriously gay???”
“OMG are u a queer, Hunter?? My friend heard you like kissing guys! ”
“Ur very brave Hunter. For coming out.”
“Goddammit…” he grumbled with a curling tail. “Like I had a choice in the matter.” From nobodies to names he recognized since kindergarten, there was no doubt that word had gotten around. “Oh, you think
? You’re the one who made it happen.” Point taken. “Now all of the town knows.”
He’d been getting them since Saturday afternoon, and more so on Sunday morning after church. Hunter’s parents were both working class, yet not too religious, but that didn’t stop their neighbors (especially Mrs. Burgess of the local neighborhood watch) from pressuring them over the years. And after word went out how teenagers in Rukisburg egged their school, Mrs. Burgess’ relentless phone calls about coming this Sunday eventually made Hunter’s parents cave in.
Dad drove, Mom struggled staying awake, and the shepherd teen couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. She’d been taking extra shifts as a restaurant cook, and they always needed more kitchen staff nowadays.
And during the Sunday service, Hunter knew something was off. It wasn’t the continuous messages that made his phone vibrate every several minutes, nor the daily scowls from Mrs. Burgess and the other crazed windbags who came religiously (hehe, get it?), nor seeing an absent Angela or Jason, nor the fact George Johnson and his stuck-up family were here complete with grimaces from the arrogant wolf.
No, it were the stares or scowls he’d catch, especially from elders and Greenville’s social media users. For two hours, Hunter didn’t know if it was his imagination or if everyone knew, but the grimace he earned from a silent George Johnson proved his suspicions. He could even hear indistinct whispering as Pastor Levi preached about love and compassion.
“Did you hear…is a…”
“…don’t say? Would’ve never thought…is…”
“…new to town?”
“…tells me…was born here, then…before moving back.”
“Really? I know…Does she know about…”
Boy, their rumor mill would put the Internet to shame. Not a surprise
, Hunter thought grimly, I mean, a small town without a gossip mill’s like anime without fan service for boob lovers.
Good one. Thanks, now can you…I dunno…retcon this or something?
Hunter’s parents were as flustered to get out once service was over, mainly from how stuffy church always was. As everyone flocked outside for their cars, fresh air or the latest gossip, they narrowly avoided nosy Mrs. Burgess and the local power moms.
Though not before Pastor Levi—an aging but handsome river otter—found him leaning around the corner of the church. “Pardon me, young shepherd, but are you feeling well?” he asked, looking concerned.
“Uh…yeah,” Hunter stammered. “I’m…I’m fine.”
The pastor smiled softly. “It isn’t wise to spread falsehoods in the House of the Lord, Hunter.”
“Tell that to the town gossip hens next Sunday,” the shepherd teenager replied, smirking with Pastor Levi. In the significant several times he’d gone to church, Pastor Levi had always been nice to talk to. Unlike Greenville’s elders, the otter didn’t patronize. “Plus, I’m more outside
the House of the Lord.”
“True, true,” Pastor Levi chuckled, swishing his mustelid tail against the autumn leave-covered grass. “Though, would that mean the rumors about you and this…fox, be lies then?” Hunter immediately widened his eyes, but the otter held a paw up. “No need to tell me anything now, young shepherd. I am not to judge.” He followed the shepherd’s nervous eyes to the congregation, still gabbling about unimportant banter, around the corner. “Do not listen to them, but listen to yourself.”
Hunter’s ears remained folded by the time he grabbed his backpack and a quick breakfast downstairs. Thankfully, Mom and Dad were both getting dressed upstairs, and Jason picked him up for school.
“So I was at Diane’s place to help her with uhh…‘homework’, and then we suddenly hear her mother’s car go into the garage, so I’m like ‘I’m out’, and ran into the living room,” Jason recounted his tale to Hunter, his feline eyes still on the road as they drove to school, “As everyone knows, Mr. and Mrs. Hawke are very strict, told her she ain’t supposed to date until she’s eighteen, and they don’t know I’d been dating their daughter these past few months. So when Mrs. Hawke finds me trying to crawl over the sofa out the window with my goddamn junk trapped…yeah.”
“And you’re telling me this because…?”
“I’m trying to be a best friend here and make you feel better.”
After a short moment of watching Main Street’s autumn tress pass by, Hunter smirked. “So how’d she take it?” he wryly asked the tiger, then shortly laughed. “I guess her folks didn’t kill you then?
Otherwise, I’d be scared shitless right now.”
“Nah,” Jason sighed, curling his tail beside the car’s clutch. “Worse. I climbed back inside, laughing nervous, and asked if there was anything I could do to make up for this, and she said,
‘Just go’. So I left.”
Turning his muzzle in disbelief, the shepherd couldn’t help but snicker. As far as he could remember, Jason had always been a John Belushi of all trades. In kindergarten, he tried kissing girls on the bus, dated three girls at once in the third grade without the others knowing, lost his virginity to a sexually-repressed Rukisburg cheerleader back in sophomore year, and much
However, this one took the cake. “How’d I never hear of this?” Hunter guffawed, shaking his brown-furred muzzle, “All that happened before our freshman year?”
“End of eighth grade in June, when you were at the Mall of America with your parents, actually,” Jason chuckled, eyes concentrated on the still-sleeping street. “As for Diane, now they never let her out of the house save for school, and I haven’t talked to her since.” Flicking his striped tail, the tiger awkwardly shifted in his seat. “So…you nervous for today, buddy?”
Blinking, yawning and stretching his arms out in the cramped Outlook, Hunter shrugged. “I’ll admit,” he joked “your sob story is starting to make me feel better. I mean, being in a love triangle’s one thing; it’s another to get caught dating a non-datable girl by her parents, and
have it be the PTA president’s daughter.”
Rolling his eyes at the shepherd, Jason turned into the school’s parking lot. “No need to rub it in," he replied, turning to his best friend as the sight of Greenville High made Hunter freeze in his seat. “Hey. Whatever happens, me and the guys’ll be here for you.” He paused, and turned the car off. “By the way, how’re you and Holden doing?”
Perking his ears, Hunter smiled. “We’re pretty good,” the shepherd replied. “His arm’s still aching a little bit, but otherwise, he’s proud of me.”
“‘Aching’?” Jason laughed. “I didn’t know he was that sore.”
Hunter didn’t resist rolling his eyes at the tiger, still glad his best friend acted like his normal self. Unlike others. “We also texted last night about…well, this,” he replied, showing the tiger the endless messages. “He told me that I shouldn’t be fazed, and let the messages blow over.”
Jason whistled. “They certainly know their vocab skills,” he chuckled before opening his car door. “Listen, we should get going though. Still need that ride after practice?”
For the past week, Hunter’s precious car had been out of commission. After some formal begging, he managed to convince Mom and Dad would pay for repairs in exchange for this year’s birthday present. Unfortunately, Mike’s Auto Repair was being fumigated, so the Ion was left in the driveway until it was brought in yesterday. This meant he’d had to either walk or have Jason drive since October 25th.
“Or rather, you kept it out for plot convenience in the last few stories,” Hunter muttered, then smiled as he climbed out of the car. “Yes, thanks buddy.”
“You sure? Walking’s good for you, Hunter. And with today, you may need to be running a bit.”
“Shaddup,” he laughed, grabbing his backpack before they went inside. “I mean, it’s not like the school’s gonna be chasing me with pitchforks.” Suddenly, the teenagers groaned as the school’s warning bell began. “Alright, bring it on!”
After morning announcements, in which Principal Lennart mentioned the gym and its urinals being repaired, class began without a hitch. Already, there was a pro to today: Angela Preacher, the Queen Bee of Greenville High, was ‘sick’ today according to her regular posse.
Hunter sat down to work on Chemistry homework he’d forgotten about, yet the German shepherd felt them. His silent classmate’s eyes glancing at his desk like hawks. Even Mr. Hadcliff was looking at him with vague suspicion, mainly because of the whispering and noticeable stares across the classroom.
Not since the time he’d won his first football game had Hunter felt flustered. His tail curled against the desk’s legs, his paws fisting onto his pencil, and he forgot about being a football jock—supposedly the highest clique in Greenville High. He, along with Jason, Duke, Spud, George Johnson (unfortunately), the other jocks and the cheerleaders were considered the top tier. Good God, will they just mock me already?
The German shepherd raised his muzzle to see a round badger and a slim ferret his age, both fidgeting by his desk. Wearing a plain orange shirt, jeans and clutching a deluxe Overwatch pen, the badger’s name was Sammy Bates. His compatriot was Dexter Davis, a rather handsome ferret with round glasses and a slender frame, who also ran the Mathematics Club with Sammy as his co-president.
“Are y-you having trouble?” Sammy asked the shepherd teenager, quickly adding, “W-With your h-homework?”
Hunter glimpsed down at his chemistry paper. “Um, no,” he replied with a folded ear. “I just have something on my mind.”
“Oh,” Sammy nodded. “O-Okay.”
“Are you sure, Hunter?” Dexter asked again, “I’m in Chemistry too, and know how a jock isn’t always great with—”
“Get to the point, Dexter,” Hunter interrupted. “What is it you really need to ask?”
The ferret’s eyes widened and his posture grew stiff. “Oh uh…”
That’s when Sammy bluntly asked, albeit too loudly, “Are you gay and going out with Holden Brewin?”
“That red fox who’s been wearing those weird vests?” Dexter hastily added.
The shepherd jock blinked, and twitched his ears at hearing his fellow classmates behind him.
Sighing, Hunter knew he’d be asked sooner or later. Hell, if news like this already went so far down as the nerds, then everyone knew. And if he didn’t give answers by the end of school, he’d be strangled by the rumor mill. I ought to strangle
, Hunter twitched his eye. Oh, just tell them before this day gets worse, Michael Sam. How can it get—never mind!
The German shepherd, digging his claws into his paw’s palms, sighed. “Yes, we are.”
Like out of Episode 3 of Evangelion, everyone scrambled to bombard him with questions, gawking stares or texts to other classmates.
“Holy shit!” Aiden Pierce gasped. “I didn’t know you were gay, Hunter!”
“Bi, but yes,” Hunter muttered, doing his best to seem calm and smiling.
“So that red fox is your boyfriend then?” David Andrews gawked. “Wow, I’d never known we’d had two gays in this school! We should wear rainbows when June comes!”
Hunter raised an eyebrow. “Uh…thanks?”
“Oh em gee, this is soooo cute!” Marta Fuller squealed. “I know a gay guy!”
“Are you sure you’re gay?” her nearby friend, a mouse named Heather Landers, asked. “You don’t look gay. Not as gay as Brewin.”
“Yes,” Hunter fumed under his breath, “I’m absolutely sure I’m bisexual.”
“They say sexuality’s confusing—”
“Oh shut up, Heather,” Marta pouted, “Hunter’s gay, so what?”
“Holden’s gay, I’m actually—”
“Everyone back to your desks!” Mr. Hadcliff barked. Like that, everyone groaned back to their seats, and left Hunter with a twitching eye.
Walking hurriedly into English 11, Hunter happily spotted a certain red fox sitting in a desk two rows to his right. Shining bright with auburn fur on most of his small frame, his foxy tail wagged when his ocean eyes met Hunter’s.
“Holden,” he greeted, forgetting about his troubles for a moment. Looking him over, Hunter noted Holden’s new attire. Today, the lithe fox wore a red-and-blue t-shirt with a compass drawn in front, with a soft-looking scarp around his furry neck. “No dorky vests today?”
“Eh,” he shrugged. “I don’t have as many vests as I used to and got bored.” Holden, beaming without a care in the world, looked up to the taller canine. “I take it you’ve noticed them too?”
Hunter glanced up to said classmates looking at them, who immediately went back to either being on their phones or talking to their respective groups. “Nope.”
“Liar,” the fox chuckled shortly. “And ya see? No one’s chasing us with pitchforks yet.”
In response, Hunter’s ears fell. “‘Yet’?”
Mrs. Phillips had everyone read the first two chapters of Pride and Prejudice in silence. They all either sat discussing the book, texting covertly under their desks, or staring off into space in agonizing boredom. And as Hunter finished the first chapter, his ears perked up when he heard giggling a few rows behind his desk.
Trying to ignore them, the German shepherd glimpsed to see Holden scratching his forearm. He felt a pang in his chest, and secretly texted to him, “How’s ur arm?”
The fox yanked his phone out when Mrs. Phillips wasn’t looking, and smile softly with a swishing tail. “A little aching, but not as stiff as ur cucumber-emoji two nights ago?” he replied, making Hunter struggle to keep himself composed. It especially didn’t help when Holden shifted his cute tush in his seat. You’re not helping!
Like I haven’t done this before.
By the time Mrs. Phillips placed everyone in several groups to discuss the chapters, Hunter conveniently got Holden, and two female classmates named Fiona and Becky.
“So,” Holden cheerfully began, “what do you think of Mrs. Bennet, and her gossiping of wedding one of her daughters to Mr. Bingley? Fiona?”
“Oh uh…I thought it was…interesting,” Fiona, a tigress with reddish locks, stuttered and blushed under her white cheeks. “B-Becky, how about you?”
To Hunter’s surprise, Becky didn’t try being subtle. “Are you two really queer?”
Without a beat, Holden grinned. “He’s bi, I’m gay,” he casually replied, “and we’ve been going out for a bit.”
Fiona timidly asked Hunter how long they’d been going out. “Oh, uh…” the German shepherd replied. “Since…September or so.”
That’s when the girls pulled their phones out and presumably began texting their friends. “We have to take you two shopping sometime!”
Hearing this made his foxy boyfriend broadly grin across his vulpine muzzle. “The more the merrier,” he replied. “I’ve been wanting to dress Hunter up in something other than dorky Goliaths t-shirts for a bit.” Hunter perked his ears and frowned. “I’m kidding, sweetie! You dress fine for a jock.”
That made the girls giggle, and Hunter moan. Somebody shoot me…
In class, the students worked on sewing pillows together, with Hunter teamed up with a vixen underclassman named Janice Hartman while Hunter paired with a bobcat nicknamed ‘Krueger’, for his long claws.
And of course…
“Fucking faggots,” George Johnson muttered to Erik Miller, his partner and another wolf on the football team. “Probably eye-fucking each other as we speak.”
Actually… “Can it,” Hunter growled, both to the author and George, who simply scoffed and went across the room with his lab partner. “Where were we, Janice?”
“Can you help me with this seam?” she asked, presenting a thread and needle to the German shepherd. “I’ve been going at this since last week, and I cannot get these two fabrics to stay together.”
He nodded and tried seaming them to a close, but to no avail. “But Thurman,” a classmate asked him nearby, “I thought all gay guys knew how to sew?”
Hunter blinked at him. “Seriously?”
The younger teenager, a sophomore husky named Fred, held his paws up. “N-Not that there’s anything wrong with it!” he corrected, his eyes lingering toward Janice before peering nervously back to the towering shepherd. “Listen, I’m sorry. I just wanted to say it’s cool you’re gay—”
“—and wanna congratulate you for coming out,” the husky finished, smiling broadly. Fred turned his tail and sighed before rejoining with his project. “This small town’s fulla enough narrow-minded jerks as it is.”
Hunter’s thoughts turned to Angela being absent today and George across the room. “You don’t say?” the shepherd grumbled, but perked a smile when he saw Holden eagerly helping his partner.
“So,” Janice spoke up, a tad nervous and awkward after hearing the exchange, “you’re gay now, huh?”
Before he could correct her, the teacher reminded everyone to get back to work until class ended.
Thought not before Hunter and Holden received more questions.
“So which one of you is the girl?” Holden raised his hand and laughed.
“What do you think of the gay guy in Beauty & the Beast?” Holden shrugged.
“Did you always know you were a homo—no offense!”
“None taken,” the fox smirked and replied, “I have, but he hasn’t until recently.”
“Do you like to suck cock?” That one really made Hunter blush, much to Holden’s snarky amusement.
“Are what you two doing a liberal statement?” one deer asked.
“Are you making a conservative statement by being straight?” Holden asked back.
“Can you recommend any musicals for my girlfriend?”
or Sweeney Todd
,” the fox replied eagerly, “Both have murder,
revenge, blood and dark humor for all ages.”
It got worse near the end of class. “Mr. Thurman, Mr. Brewin,” the teacher asked, “while we’re on the subject of the sexual revolution of the 1970’s and the Stonewall Riots, can you tell the class about the ‘gay experience’?”
This made even Holden sweat-drop. “Well…”
“I’m bisexual, actually!” Hunter mentioned.
“Sure you are,” the teacher nodded, to the shepherd’s chagrin. “Now, who can tell me how the
Vietnam War was connected to the following?”
When it came to the football team’s table during Period 6 lunch, it usually consisted of the German shepherd, Jason, Duke, a bobcat named Cody Bishop that served as wide receiver and safety, a Labrador linebacker named Harry Schmidt, and Dustin Jones, the quarterback.
Rambling towards his lunch table, Hunter couldn’t help but sigh at the sloppy joes. And the occasional stare or glare he caught around the cafeteria, especially from the freshman and sophomore girls who blushed or giggle when he passed by.
So when Hunter sat down and the story Harry was telling slowed down as everyone stared, Jason saved face. “Hey, buddy!” he scooted beside the German shepherd, “So how’s your day been?”
“Horrible,” he moaned, turning to the tiger before grabbing his fork. “Well? What’d I miss?”
Harry, distracted at first, resumed his tale. “I fucking sneaked into a strip club!” he perked, high-fiving Duke. “Anyway, after I got in, there was this deer chick who had the biggest rack on her, and boy did she…” The golden retriever paused, then turned to Hunter with a nervous gaze. “W-Well, there were also some guys with…big racks too.”
“Woah! No homo, bro,” Duke joked, making everyone freeze in place.
“Five, four, three, two—”
“Not that there’s…ya know, anything wrong with that,” Duke spoke slowly, then gave a nervous smile.
“Seriously though,” Harry interjected. “Never would’ve guessed you played for both teams, Hunter! I mean…You’re fit as hell, and you have the Queen Bee Bitch trying to get in your pants!” Hunter choked on his food and laughed. “Lucky bastard, the more I think about it.”
Hunter couldn’t help but stay silent, then looked to the Labrador. “Does it matter as long as I play for this team?” he asked deadpan.
“We’re cool about it, Hunter,” Jason suddenly spoke up. “They’re just processing.”
Duke shifted anxiously in his seat. “I mean… I have a gay aunt in San Francisco. Married her girlfriend a few years back, actually.”
“Huh,” the shepherd grunted.
“Did you know Vince Lombardi had a gay brother growing up?” Cody asked the table.
“Really?” Jason widened his eyes.
“You don’t say?” Duke raised an eyebrow.
“That cannot be true,” Harry looked disbelieving, “Vince Lombardi, one of the great coaches of
football, did not have a gay brother.”
“Google it,” Cody replied. The more you know.
“By the way, Hunter,” Harry interjected, “there’s this one she-wolf I’ve been trying to nab for a while. Patty Dunst, and do you think you could be my wingman? Chicks love a gay guy to talk to.”
Before Hunter could say anything, the quarterback interrupted him. Thank God. “Thurman,” Dustin, clearing his thrat and curling his yellow tail, looked towards the German shepherd, “Spud and Jason here told us whatcha said to Angela, and…that was brave.”
Hunter blinked and struggled to find a reply. “Uh…wow. Thanks. I mean…it’s hard to be yourself in this town.”
“No, no, I meant telling it to Angela,” the senior cheetah corrected for him, “She’s fucking scary! You being into guys and girls…that’s cool.”
“Anyway, good thing Angela’s not here,” Jason cringed. “I told ya guys what she looked like when we dropped her off, and…goddamn.”
“Oh please, she’s probably sobbing that her ‘Hunty’ plays for the other team,” Harry sniggered, much to our protagonist’s irritation. “Sorry, I couldn’t resist!”
“Fuck off, Schmidt,” Hunter chuckled.
“Seriously though,” Duke asked, “how do you…you know…” he did a motion of his paws, “…you know
Hunter frowned. “You’ve seen pornos, probably more than you have been with girls. You figure it out.”
“Yeah, but do you really like sticking your dick in some guy’s asshole. Doesn’t it hurt down there? Or…wait, does he
stick his dick in—”
“Okay guys!” Dustin interjected for the shepherd jock. “Enough with pushing Hunter for details! He likes chicks and dudes, and is dating a dude. So what?”
Curling his tail, Hunter solemnly glanced to Holden on the far end of the room and down to the half-cooked sloppy joes on his plate. “You took the words out of my maw,” he replied with reddening ears.
Jason giggled. “Literally?”
Inside Greenville High’s repaired gymnasium (nothing more than new paint and several gallons of air freshener), Hunter and Holden faced their first case of anti-gay violence. To celebrate, students chose to play dodgeball, and the teams were divided evenly with the nerdy fox and athletic shepherd together.
During one round, a lumbering weasel on the opposing team did everything to win, specifically by hitting Holden with a ball every chance he got.
Hunter would’ve called him out on it, but didn’t yet. They were already handling enough as it is, from the stares, the awkward questions to even one instance of the hippie teacher Ms. Stephanie (a thirty-something squirrel who clearly wanted to be an elementary school teacher) tried proposing they make a statement out of this ‘miraculous news’.
Plus, Holden didn’t make any fuss about it, so neither did Hunter. That is, until the weasel hit Holden in the snout and sent him falling onto his tail.
“Love handling balls, Brewin?” he sneered across the room. When a couple classmates next to him cheered and high-fived, and the weasel cackled. So to retaliate, Hunter threw a dodgeball across the room and smacked it against the weasel’s cheek.
“Dammit!” he glared, “What the hell, dude?”
Hunter didn’t reply and instead ran over to help Holden to his footpaws.
“The little fox fag deserved it!” the weasel barked.
Coach Sampson blew his whistle. “No cussin’, Griff! And watch your throws next time!” he ordered, much to the weasel student’s chagrin. And to add salt to the wound he deducted a point to the weasel’s team for the fall.
Meanwhile, Hunter held onto the lithe fox’s slender shoulders. “You alright?” he asked, concerned. “That was a nasty fall.”
Rubbing his tail, Holden looked up to Hunter with a soft smile. “Yeah, but can somebody please tell Jay Naylor over there he’s put himself in the wrong project?”
The German shepherd couldn’t help but chuckle, and patted the smaller canine’s shoulder. “I’m sorry about that,” he apologized.
Holden shrugged and winced as his tail swished behind his ankles. “What’s there to be sorry for?”
Hunter smiled down to the red fox before they rejoined the game.
Though not before a couple of girls commented on how cute a couple they were.
Needless to say, Trigonometry was the least obnoxious class that day, and went by in a blur before Hunter and Jason went to football practice.
During and after warmups, Hunter observed some students sitting in the stands. Because of the sweat, blood, musk and the fact he concentrated all his pent-up anger out on tackling, he didn’t know who they were. Sometimes they’d be members of the school paper, other times loners looking to entertain themselves, and Greenville Goliaths fanatics that’d make Packer fans blush.
However, the buff shepherd knew two things—no, three things. One, George Johnson did not hold back on his tackles and offense. Two, he saw and heard plenty of female students staring down at the fields pointing at him. And three, he smelled a certain red fox in one of the seats.
“Good work out there, boys!” Coach Sampson shouted as they all tumbled into the gym. “Harry, work on your speed. Dustin, don’t push yourself with that arm. And good work out there, Thurman!” Hunter would’ve thanked the coach, but everyone felt sore all over, and so did he. “And Freddie, are you The Emoji Movie? Because your defense stinks! Work on it!”
“Hey Coach,” a Dalmatian safety named Marty quipped, “notice those chicks in the stands earlier?”
“Notice them?” Duke chuckled, “their faces were pressed to the fence like the walking dead. Boobs too!” Half the team tiredly whistled.
“Hmf,” the bear scoffed. “Is that why you were so distracted today? Maybe I should double the laps for next practice.” Everyone groaned. “Quit your whining and get cleaned up now.”
Hunter didn’t pause to strip from his football uniform and get showered. His muscles ached all over, his footpaws throbbed sorely and each wag of his tail made a whispering crackle in his bones.
And honestly, the cool water running down his muscles and legs helped soothe it away, but not wash away the feeling of accomplishment in the German shepherd. Grabbing his shampoo and some soap, Hunter foamed his fur up and sighed at the day’s stress washed away.
To his teammates’ credit, nobody brought up him being in the showers. Duke and Harry, though hesitant, acted like their normal selves, as did Jason. The tiger even patted Hunter’s shoulder after he finished rinsing and walked out.
“I’m gonna be waiting out in the car,” he told the shepherd, his drying, striped tail swishing behind him. “Good work out there, Hunter.”
The shepherd, while taken aback, still nodded. “Thanks,” he smiled. “You too.”
“Ooooh, is there something ya wanna tell us, Jason?” Marty joked, earning a middle finger from the tiger as a reply. “
Hunter smiled and nodded, wagging his wet tail behind him. The rinsed himself down and walked from the showers, squaring his shoulders and holding onto his towel as he went to his locker.
“Finally,” the wolf sneered impatiently, grabbing his towel before scurrying past him, “it took you long enough.”
Hunter felt too relaxed to give a crap. “Awww, were you afraid I’d ogle your ass? Sorry, but I’m not that into other guys.”
The wolf turned his scowling muzzle at the shepherd. “Fuck off, Thurman.”
“Look,” he lowered his voice, “I know me being out is…weird—just ask about my day, but isn’t waiting for me to finish showering is pointless?”
“Don’t patronize me, Hunter,” George growled, flinching away from the German shepherd. “Be lucky the coach scares the shit outta us. Otherwise I would’ve told the entire school earlier about you and your f…fox.”
The wolf hurried into the showers, and Hunter’s ears fell as he opened his locker. “Sure,” he muttered, “that’s what you were gonna say.”
It wasn’t always like this for Hunter and George. The wolf used to be in baseball, then joined the team during Hunter’s junior year and his sophomore year. While the German shepherd usually hanged out with Jason or the others outside of practice, he and George Johnson did had mutual respect for the other. They kidded here and there, had fun when practice didn’t suck, discussed sports or recent movies, and that was it.
At some point, he even found the wolf handsome. What?
Hunter gaped. Since when did I find that asshole attractive?
Before the fox you used to bully found you attractive. Touché.
Plus, you have to admit he has a cute ass. How can I? You’ve never described it in the narrative yet.
Buckling up his pants, the German shepherd grabbed his phone from his backpack and sighed with relief. It looked like the anti-gay/overzealous congratulation messages had slowed down.
Yet two new texts caught his eye.
Angela: “We need to talk”
Holden: “Ur amazing out there~! <3 And have sweet pants
Hunter grinned as his teammates exited to their lockers. Harry suggested to Spud, Duke and a coyote wide receiver named Freddie for a pizza night. “My pop’s gotten some new cable, and forgot to set up a password for the pay-per-view channels,” he mentioned, earning a couple whistles.
Of course, Spud happily agreed, as did Freddie, Marty and a few others. Unfortunately, Duke was still grounded for his Halloween stunt on Mrs. Burgess’ mailbox. Heh, it’s still a little funny
, Hunter shook his muzzle amusedly, and continued to dress and read his phone.
“Hey, Hunter, how about you?”
The German shepherd perked his ears up. “Oh uh,” he replied with a distant shrug. “Not tonight. I’ve got some homework in chemistry.” Besides him needed to grab his car with Jason (and hopefully Holden), Hunter also simply wanted to relax after today’s hectic events. Not gawk at straight pornos he’d find half-arousing. “Shut it.” Curling his tail and pulling a shirt over his muscular chest, he looked back to his teammate. “Besides, I have Holden. I don’t know if he’d approve.”
“Understandable,” the pit bull replied to the unison of agreeing grunts from everyone. Save for a quiet George.
“Besides,” Hunter added, “I bet practice’ll be much harder tomorrow. Wouldn’t wanna overeat too much.”
“Oh!” Spud perked his ears. “Speaking of bets.”
“What?” he asked, then looked to each of his teammates before widening his eyes. “No. You cannot be serious.”
“Yeah…” the hyena scratched the back of his neck. “I am.”
“You cannot be serious,” Hunter repeated. “You can’t.”
They were. According to Spud, all the players made a betting pool over when Hunter would spill about his sexuality to Angela. Everyone pitched in and Jason was designated to keep tally. And the money. Spud predicted he’d be out by Christmas while Duke thought it’d be leaked out after homecoming. Freddie bet on Thanksgiving, Dustin chose Spring Break, Harry picked April 1st, Cody picked Valentine’s Day, and Marty chose May. As for George, he thought it’d be when they all graduated their senior year.
Everyone else, from Andrew Zacob to Zachary Apple, were all over the place.
“We…” one of the newest players, a freshman deer Hunter couldn’t remember, stammered, “never expected it to be over this quickly.”
The German shepherd should’ve expected this. After all, this wasn’t the first time his idiot teammates—no offense. “None taken,” some muttered.
—made a betting pool. Hunter even participated a couple times. “Since when?” he asked deadpan.
“After the game,” Duke explained somewhat proudly, “a couple of the guys were thinking when you’d tell Angela about it, and when she’d have her freak out. Might as well try and make a quick buck off this, even if it took forever, am I right?”
It also explained why everyone was eager to keep it secret. “Wait just a goddamn minute,” Hunter angrily interjected with an annoyed growl, “is this
why you fuckers waited until now
to ask me all those bullshit questions? ‘How do you stick a dick in another guy?’ ‘Did ya know Vince Lombardi’s brother liked guys?’ ‘Dude, can you be my gay wingman for this she-wolf I wanna bone?’”
you be my wingman?” Harry asked again.
“No!” Hunter slammed his locker shut and texted Holden, “I’m coming out (again XP). Meet me by parking lot, ok?” before grabbing his backpack. “You jackasses have a good night.”
“You too, Hunter!” Duke called, “And have Jason text us the results, okay?” To which the German shepherd flipped him off and left.
To be continued in HSoC: Coming Out Part 2