A DOG AND HIS BOY (LEONARD #3)

PLOT: In the third part of the furry series,  Leonard and Chris have some ‘father-son time’, not in a conventional way however….

A DOG AND HIS BOY
(LEONARD #3)

EQUUS21

The city of Boston was hotter than usual. The sun beat down upon the furry town Chris and Leonard lived at.
If anyone was outside for a lengthy period-they enjoyed the heat. Leonard vowed to spend more time with his son. The last 4 weeks of school was upon students in school. It had been a little while since the lab had actually hunted a killer, which was good. The dog spent most of his time doing boring paper work, maybe texting John Hulbert once and a while. However, with summer rolling around and school nearly coming to an end, that doesn’t mean something hectic is around the corner…for we know Leonard can never get a break.

CHAPTER 1

Our story starts with our hero, once again-Leonard Keaton, taking a brisk morning walk. Chris was still asleep-it was a Sunday.
A slight chill went through the air, a gentle fog hovered over the town. The sounds of birds could be heard, which made Leo’s ears perk up a bit.
The sky, a dark shade of blue, the sun was just getting ready to pop through the clouds. The suburban area looked quiet, discreet and harmless. The lab wore blue Adidas work out pants and a grey tank top-revealing his toned arms and stomach. He laced up his white sneakers once he was about too leave. It was no secret that some of the furs next door watched him, admiring him and they were also always curious about Chris.

He gently closed the front door and headed out onto the small side walk, only about a foot away from his home. He walked right past his house, taking a few deep breaths-but not before glancing at the side wall of the house, apart from the very front of the home, which is covered in pavement, the left and right sides are covered in grass and some flowers.
Right beside the small lawn which covered the back area of his home, a few neighboring homes-which had no lights on at the moment. The backyard completely woods, which gave Chris and Leo some privacy. Leonard walked to the left side of the house, stepping through dew covered grass, once he reached the very side of his home-Leo growled a tad bit. Someone has spray painted the side of his home-the paint still a bit wet.
It would be hard to get off, but what made him growl was the words the individual had written. In bright red paint, on the left side of Leo’s house read… HUMAN RETARD.
The black lab put his hands on his hips and stood still….analyzing the hand writing. Letting the hateful words hauntingly linger in his brain, his son’s reaction would be what he’d worry about. Something like this can not be ignored, if this furry is hateful-which he or she obviously is, then they may go after Chris.
Was this someone that was close to them, or some mere acquaintance from work or school? He took his iPhone out and snapped a photo of the crime.

Leonard then turned around; he walked down the sidewalk, away from his home, planning on continuing his walk. He took some deep breaths, but the image of those words danced harshly in his brain. The dog’s tail drooped, he kicked up his speed more, the more he thought about the words-the more he thought he should turn back. He did. He wanted to call someone; he needed a bit of advice. The dog rarely asked for it-but as far as his son goes, he’s still learning to be a parent. The teen years are so fragile. Leonard didn’t want to upset his kid-especially with a racist comment; Chris had a certain naivety about him, a certain innocence that Leo didn’t want to destroy in one swoop. Sure, he’d tell Chris-but he wanted to know HOW to tell him…

The furry enters his two floor home, he unties his sneakers and places them by the door, where all the shoes went. While Leonard does not have OCD, the home was very clean; partly because of Chris’ poor vision-he bumping into things wouldn’t be safe.
The only thing a real mess in his life was his office desk at times, perhaps his room too if he didn’t have time to clean up due to being busy. The first thing you saw when entering his home, is a couch, a medium sized television, and next to the TV, is a burrow filled with odds and ends. Scissors, a ruler, paper, pencils, glue-everything.
Under the brown colored burrow, a locked cabinet where Leonard kept his badge and his all black ppk walther p99. The floors in his home are all hardwood, easier to clean up messes, it’s not like he’d want to spend time on his paws and knees, scrubbing a rug with awful smelling chemical cleaners, this guy is not one for dusting and scrubbing. Across from the living room, is the dining room table, which really is in the center of the entire downstairs area. Behind the table, a very basic kitchen set up, and the only things upstairs worth noting are Chris’ room and Leo’s room and one of the two bathrooms in the house.

Speaking of Chris’ room, the time was about 8 in the morning; Chris came downstairs, and found his dad standing in the middle of the living room. The human wore only pajamas, he smiled to his dad as he limps across the living room and sits down at the kitchen table.
The human did not seem hungry, other wise he’d ask his dad to make him something, or Leonard would watch his son make something, he did not want Chris 100% dependent on others. The black lab didn’t move from his spot in the middle of the living room, the human glances at his dad, and in a sort of sweet tone, turns and speaks to him.
“You okay dad?” From living alone, thinking nothing of cases and where he would get booze, to having to change his life around and watch a human, is a huge change, an excellent change-but Leonard still did feel over protective of his son and it did add a lot of extra thoughts to his life. On the bright side, Leonard was never bored and Chris was an amazing son. The five foot tall lab walks across the living room and sits next to his son, looking at him, like he’s about to say something important. “Chris, has anyone said anything negative to you? About being a human? At school, coming home from school?”
The human pondered for a bit, and really-if this had happened he would have told his dad or some other trusted furry if he wasn’t around. Chris was not one to keep secrets.
“N-no, school has been good!” Even hearing his son speak made the dog feel more at ease, what was funny is that Christopher felt so much protection around his, as Chris call him ‘his bad ass detective dad’, but Leo felt so much more calm when his son spoke. There was something so genuine and happy in his tone, which is something that Leonard didn’t get to hear while at work-it was nice to see someone so optimistic. The human then looked at his dad curiously; curiosity seemed to be his favorite pastime. “Ummm…dad? Why would you a-ask me if someone was being mean? I w-would tell you…” The dog nods and holds his hand, in a sort of ‘man-to-man talk’ sort of way. His son listened as his dad spoke in that gravely British accent that he loved so much. Leonard took his own course of action, he spoke with his honesty-but not in a ‘these are the facts, deal with them’ kind of way. He had an air of sensitiveness to him. “Son, I have to tell you that-someone wrote something very nasty, spray painted onto the side of our house. I don’t want to repeat it, but I’ll show you the picture I took.” The young man frowns and looks as his dad, once his dad shows him the picture of the side of the house, Chris becomes instantly nervous.
“D-dad? Who would do that? Where are they?” His dad sighs and shrugs. Leonard stood up and dialed John Hulbert’s phone number, mostly to see what could be done about the spray paint, but also to cheer Chris up. He knew if he left Chris alone, he’d be having anxiety about the racist comment all day….

About twenty minutes later, John Hulbert knocked on the door. The white and black Siberian husky dressed in his dark blue police uniform, Leo dressed in a grey dress shirt and brown jeans with sneakers. He did wear sneakers in the house, which some might find kind of strange. The husky gave Leo a light hug and a quick smile, really hoping he’d be coming under different circumstances. “Hey Leo! I-I’m…sorry, about what you and your son are going through, can’t be easy…” He put his paw lovingly on Leo’s shoulder, the lab gently removes John’s paw and nods slowly. Chris came out from going to the bathroom, the husky briskly walks to him and gives him a friendly hug, but unlike Leonard, Chris of course reacted a bit more psyched. “Hiii Officer Hulbert!” The husky ruffles the human’s short blonde hair and chuckles. “What’s up champ?!” Chris’ smile dissipated a bit and he shrugs, the two of them end up sitting on the couch, of course, normally, John wouldn’t be so casual when talking to some furry or human about racism, but with Chris-he felt the more casual, the better. Chris was amazing at reading voice tone, and there’s no reason to get him all worked up really. “Chris, I gotta ask you about-the statement written on the side of the house. You know that, that isn’t true, right?”
The human nods. “Yes, but…I-I guess I’m worried about them coming back…a-and hurting me.” The officer nods and sighs. “I can understand why you’re scared; your dad will keep a good eye on you! He’s…the best protector there is, really. If you want to, call or text me though-you can!”

CHAPTER 2

Night time fell upon our furry town, Leonard and Chris sat at the kitchen table, and both had already eaten. Leonard never got into his night wear until he was in his room and alone. Chris’ tone content enough, but the words on the side of the house lingered with him. The black lab often helped Chris up the stairs during the night, being that Leo always turned off all the lights in the living room. As Leonard led Chris to his room, he places his hand on his son’s shoulder, because as independent as the black lab wanted Chris to be, he also wanted to show him he had his full support.

“Chris, I’ll be getting you up for school tomorrow and going to the office. If any student says anything bad to you, tell a teacher-then tell me straight away.” The young man sincerely nods and pats his dad’s shoulder lightly. “Y-yes dad, I promise.”

In school the next day, the human was not his usual happy self. He seemed on edge, and what was bad about this, is that he had a math test to take. Christopher hates math, so the fact that he’s on edge today-makes nothing easy. He was glad his dad was super honest with him about the bad words sprayed across the house, but he also kind of wished deep down that he didn’t know about it. Racism? This was something Chris had heard about, but to be smack in the middle of a furry town-where either a human or furry could be responsible for the sign-made simply walking around the school hallways, tough. Wait. Could a human have written the note? Sure, why not? The first word of the sign was ‘human’, and Leo’s mind and John’s mind went right to a furry being the perpetrator-but could a human be framing a furry to cover his own butt? Why would a human want to be held responsible for racism, why not blame it on a furry? Certainly makes an easier lie to tell ‘oh, a furry did it!’ So, in school this very day, Chris felt a tad bit concerned for his safety, the math test ended up being a disaster by the way.
He wouldn’t get the grade until later-but as the human looked over the complex number questions; he really just spent time looking at every other furry in the classroom, since furries calmed him. The human just knew he failed miserably.

Meanwhile, Leonard was on his lunch break, while in the police station-he briskly walks to the coffee / break room. His brown construction boots banged across the carpeted floor, a few German shepherds dressed in uniform said ‘hi’ to Leo and wanted to give light hugs, but he walked past them. He was thinking of three things, a case he was working on about a murder victim, Chris dangled in the back of his brain a few times and Leo also had a family issue going on. Which was strange, because he very rarely heard from either of his parents, and Leo knew he’d have to come clean to someone about the ‘personal matter’, so rarely did his parents come up-but on this day, they had.

The toned lab opens the door to the break room; the place itself is quite small.
Grey walls, a circular table sits in the middle of the room.
In front of the table, is a row of cabinets almost reach the low ceiling, below the cabinets is a kitchen sink, to one side of the sink is a coffee maker, a few feet from the black machine is some sugar, cream, cups, utensils, plates and other miscellaneous items. In this room, sitting at the table, is a grey wolf, average height and weight. He wore a cop’s uniform. Even from the tone of his voice, Leo didn’t like him. Okay-well, Leonard maybe wouldn’t be THAT quick to judge, I mean, the first time he met John-he hated how loud and hyper he was, but now he considered him a true friend. The wolf had two feet up, he spoke on his cell phone, he fiddled with the gold badge that was pinned to his uniform.
Leonard flicks the coffee machine on and leans against a nearby wall, listening to the trickling of coffee. Now, who ever was here before Leo-didn’t think to turn the machine on, so now the black lab had to stand and wait-and listen to some obnoxious wolf.

Obviously, he’s new, Leo could tell. His overly confident attitude, the “I’m a cop and better than you” smirk, everything read ‘newbie’. The wolf was young, about mid-twenties. He spoke in a loud and slightly irritated tone. “Yeah, humans-walking around! Eh, guess I don’t really care about them, but gosh-I’d hate to be the one responsible for one of those hairless freaks. I know some furries take them in….but yeah, no thanks!”
Leonard took deep breaths, trying not to listen to this guy ramble, Leo looks at his shoes and places his hands into his black jeans, he taps his shoe against the wall lightly.
Ignore…ignore…ignore…coffee is almost done, go back to my desk and forget this ass exists. As the coffee finishes, the dog walks over to the machine and grabs a cup, the wolf continues his tirade. “One thing I hate being about a cop? Protecting those I don’t fully trust, ya never know with humans. Majority of them should be in mental institutions. Anyway, gotta go! First day on the job! Bye!”
Leo nonchalantly pours his coffee; he places sugar and cream into it and stirs.
The wolf stands to one side of Leonard, now they’re two mere inches apart. The cop turns to Leonard. He seems a bit nervous, as he realizes from Leo’s appearance that he’s not just a cop-but an FBI agent. “I know, I shouldn’t be on my phone-but I really needed to let off steam, detective. Sorry, weakness of mine!”
The lab turns to the wolf, he speaks in a cold tone that sends shivers up the wolf’s spine.
“Just letting you know, my son is a human, and I love him very much. He loves me very much in return. I want to see him succeed, grow and become the best he can be, he’s sweet and kind on top of that.. I’d hate to see this whole ‘I can do and say whatever I want cause I’m a cop thing’ go to your thick skull…good day to you.” With that, the dog takes his coffee, gives a quick nod to the wolf and leaves. The cop’s ears droop-he lets out a soft cough and doesn’t budge from the coffee machine for a long time…he let Leonard’s words truly sink in.

CHAPTER 3

Christopher sat at the cafeteria lunch table, the thought of the test he had just taken still in the back of his head. He would tell his dad what honestly happened and Leo would most likely be okay with everything as far as the test went. The human felt he could be doing a lot worse. He let himself deal with being on edge-his father told him to try and deal with as much as he could on his own. Chris also didn’t want to bother his dad too much, he always felt a ping of guilt when coming to him…but really, Leo’s life is helping others, so maybe Chris shouldn’t worry too much, Leo never got mad at Chris for not doing well on a test in fact. The human was also sure the dog would have other things on his mind, but on the bus ride home-he did feel a little better, being that his dad would be home, he had requested to do work at home until this whole racist thing blew over-well, the bulk of it anyway. Both Leonard and Christopher knew, racism wasn’t going to disappear from the town, even after the culprit was found.

The black lab threw his leather jacket off, the sky pitch black. Leonard is covered in sweat as he runs after a dangerous psychopath, wielding a large butcher knife. His feet ached, his gun out of bullets-now it was just once big chase. The road seemed to form in front of him as he ran; nothing on either side of the lab could be seen-he ran on the cement. The killer laughed manically as he truly was able to out run the detective-as light began to form, he saw his son standing in the middle of the road, tied up and crying. As the psycho lifted his knife up to slice the human’s throat, the dog tripped and yelled, his whole body shook.

Leonard woke up and let out a terrified bark. He sat up in his king sized bed, breathing heavily-getting adjusted to the room around him.
Beside the bed, a lamp, and the alarm clock which read 1:00am. Leonard let out two long sighs as his heart rate slowed down. Leonard stumbled to the closet and grabbed the first pair of pants in reach and headed down stairs. His toned, naked upper body a tad bit chilly as he entered the living room.

The room, dead quiet, apart from the extremely soft sound of the air conditioning running. His pawed feet clicked across the hardwood floor, he stumbled a bit to find the light switch to the kitchen. The kitchen lit up in a blinding glare, Leonard’s movements slow, his tail drooped, his ears drooped as well. He grabs a glass from the cabinet and pours himself a rum and coke, after putting ice into the drink; he sits at the kitchen table. The black lab slowly lifts his index finger and places it into the cold beverage; he twirls the ice cubes around, focusing on just that. He listened to the ice as it rubbed against the cup, making an almost ‘chime-like sound’. The dog didn’t feel right, he knew exactly what was going on, but the feeling took him by surprise. He suddenly got a little chocked up, he took a swift sip of his drink. A few moments later, he suddenly got the feeling that the weight of the world was on his shoulders, all of his responsibilities came flooding back to him, along with some hurtful memories he never truly talked about.

The lab’s ears perk a bit as he hears his son sit right by him tiredly. He wears pajamas, his blonde hair a little frizzy. The human looks at his dad with a tad bit of a smile. “You okay, d-dad? I thought I heard you bark.” Leonard nods, a bit ashamed; he never wanted his son to see him at a point like this. Chris could read his father’s emotion like a book, while he didn’t quite understand the fullness of his sadness, the human felt empathy; he hated seeing his dad filled with such gloom. He wanted to-no, needed to cheer his dad up, that was always Chris’ goal in fact. He knew his dad was monotone and perhaps hard to read, but this was sadness, heavy and uncontrollable sadness.

Without warning, Leonard spoke softly to his son, looking over at him with kind of pathetic looking, almost puppy dog eyes-a look Leonard and just about every Labrador pulled off well. “I’m sorry, Chris…” The human cocked his head to one side; his tone went up a little bit. “What do you m-mean?” Leonard sighs; he felt holding in his emotions was awful. He could say ‘never mind’ or ‘forget it’ if he wanted to be rude, but no. Chris deserved to know about his dad, he’s seventeen and is well aware of Leo’s ups and downs. “I’m sorry for, perhaps endangering your life. I’m sorry about this racism going on, I’m sorry that you got abducted, and that I’ve put you through so much worrying about me and my….cases. You don’t deserve it.” Leo sounded like he could cry, whether he would or not-who knew? “D-dad, you’re being ridiculous. You took me away from m-my biological family, my mom and dad wanted me hurt everyday. You’ve…t-taught me so much, you’re kick ass. You’re protective, you’re s-soft spoken, you speak from your heart…”
The lab finishes his drink in a few sips and looks over to Chris, he felt like he should just get his true question out of the way. “Am I a good father?” Chris now felt almost as sad as Leonard had, the human had no idea Leonard had second thoughts about how good of a father he was. Chris hugs his dad from the side and speaks in a slightly upbeat tone, he knew that would get Leonard too smile a bit. “D-dad, you’re unlike any other furry-and I wouldn’t have you any other way. You are truly amazing. I-I love you so much…”

Hearing this, certainly made Leonard feel better-but the depression still stuck around. The ‘family matter’ had to be dealt with, should he tell Chris? Not directly, but if he asked about what else was wrong, his father would come clean. As if on queue, the human spoke.
“Dad, i-is something else bothering you? Normally, you w-would smile by now.”
Leo sighed. Gosh, he forgot how truly smart and perceptive his son was. “Chris, I don’t want to bother you with my problems….” His son puts his hand on his dad’s shoulder. “D-dad-you c-can talk to me. I care about you.” Leo knew this to be true, Chris was an amazing listener. While he perhaps didn’t always fully understand what his dad talked about-he still listened. “Well son, I got a phone call a little while ago, from my mom, who I had rarely heard from.”

The human now was all ears; he rarely talked about his parents. “I’m telling you this, because I’m sick of dodging the truth with you. You’re my son, and while I can’t tell you everything about my life-stuff about my cases and various things the burrow doesn’t want me to speak of. However, I feel like you have the right to know a bit. You’re seventeen and you’ll be an adult soon, so you deserve to know some truth about me. Keep it between you and I though, okay, our secret?” Chris nods understandingly. “She told me-my father committed suicide.” Chris’ heart sank, he knew what suicide was-but he never quite understood why someone would take there own life. “Dad, I-I’m so sorry. That’s sad…d-do you know why?” Leo nods slowly and takes a swig of his drink. “Well, you know how I get sad, for long periods of time, right? Well, my dad got really sad too-and he couldn’t handle it, so that is why he killed himself.” The human pauses for a long time, he then speaks in a soft and consoling tone. “W-was your dad, nice to you?” Leo nods a bit. “Yes, for the most part. In high school, I did some things I’m not proud of-but my parents stuck by me.” Chris couldn’t think of anything else to do, than to hug his dad lightly. The dog gave his son a quick kiss on the forehead and heads back up to bed with his son. Leonard lied in bed for a long while before going to sleep.

CHAPTER 4

The sound of the black lab’s cell phone ring jolted him awake. It was Monday, the time 8:00am. Leonard, still wrapped in thick blankets answered. “Yes?” The sound of John Hulber’s voice pierced his brain, his over excitement was too much to bare.
“Leonard! Haven’t seen you at work in a bit, I know you’ve been going-but it’s been a while. How’s Chris doing?” Leo rubbed his eyes slowly. “He’s fine-still worried about the whole thing was that racist though, but we’ll both take it easy today.”
The husky was clearly doing other things while on the phone, John never sat still for a moment. “You doing okay? We should get together sometime!” Leonard stands up, still in the same pants as he was when he woke up from his night terror. “Yes, we will, going to get going now John, bye.” The lab then hung up on him, not really feeling too bad that he did, as he threw on a white t-shirt and slipped his brown shoes on, one thought went through his brain. What the hell was the point of that phone call? Chris needed a mental health day, he had told his father this last night before tucking him in -and really, Leonard needed a day to recuperate from his depression. He knew that having Chris home would cheer him up.

Chris stood in the middle of the living room, looking a bit pale and shaken up. Way to start a ‘mental health day.’ Leonard automatically notices one of the living room windows smashed, a brick lay a few feet from it. The human briskly limps over to his dad and hugs him tightly. “S-someone threw it!” Leonard hugged him back quickly, and then slowly sat him on the couch. “How long ago?” “L-like three minutes ago, I was too scared to run…cause I didn’t want them to know I was here!” The black lab sighs deeply and runs to the closet to grab his trademark leather jacket. He pulls his ID out and slips it into the back pocket of his jeans, he then grabs the keys to his vehicle, the 1970’s woody station wagon as opposed to the cop car. He holds Chris’ hand, Leo didn’t bother putting on his jacket-weather was extremely warm. “Chris, don’t touch the brick. I’m going to find out who is doing this, now.” The black lab grabs a plastic bag from a nearby closet, then runs into the bathroom and grabs a pair of blue plastic gloves. He then sticks the brick into the plastic bag. The human stands up quickly, his voice shakes a bit. “D-dad! Don’t leave me! Please!” The lab nods and opens the front door. “We’re going down to the station to get this brick tested for prints, John is there too I think.” Chris doesn’t bother getting out of his pajamas to change into daily clothes, he follows his dad. He hops in the passenger side of the car. “Wh-why are we not taking your police cruiser?” The lab sits in the driver’s side and turns the key. “Because if this guy is still out there, he may be suspicious of a cop car driving from the direction of our house.”

While at the station, John Hulbert sat with Chris in the break room, eating donuts together. John tried cheering the human up by telling corny jokes and smiling a lot, and really-it worked only a tiny bit. What truly helped Chris was being with a police officer he trusted so much, seeing Hulbert in his uniform was reassurance in of it self.
Leonard sat with the two, dead silent. Suddenly, a black panther walks into the room, wearing a lab coat. “Mr. Keaton, lab results are in. May I speak with you privately?”
Leonard nods, his son watches him walk off into the hall way. “We found a slight paw print on the brick-and we matched it.” This was a great moment for Leonard, once he knew who was behind this-a lot of worry would disappear, or so he hoped, his tail almost wagged even. “The print belongs too William Monroe.” The lab’s eyes narrowed, his tone filled with disgust. “Chris’ high school principle-shit.” The panther felt extremely heavy hearted, this wasn’t some student or kid pulling racist crap-this was a trust member of the community. Someone CHRIS TRUSTED, this fox had always been quite nice to him. Leonard walked into the break room. “John, watch Chris please…” The husky nods. “O-of course.” Chris felt a ping of nervousness go through him, John held his hand.

CHAPTER 5

The station wagon pulled up at the school parking lott, the lab walks to the large brick building. He hits the buzzer, which is a few feet from the door. Once the office lady knows its Leonard, she lets him in right away.
The lab swings open the large, maroon colored doors.

Once in the school, he takes a left, the floor is a smooth marble, the cafeteria directly behind him, some students eye Leonard, while most just ignore him.
The office has white walls; a large table sits in the middle of the room, filled with paper work. A few grey chairs align the back end of the room, fluorescent lights light up the area, the office lady, a raccoon in a black skirt looks at the lab. “May I help you, Mr. Keaton?” Leonard nods and approaches the grey colored table, his tone stern. “I need to see Mr. Monroe.” She nods and points to the direction of the office, eyeing his toned muscles as he walks off.

Mr. Monroe’s office is a descent size, much like Leonard’s office as far as size went. Filled with family portraits and trophies of good deeds done for the school. The fox wore a green dress shirt and beige colored slacks with a purple tie. He is about thirty years of age, he ate some brunch, pasta with butter and green beans. As soon as Leonard walked in, the fox looked up and smiled. “Hey, Mr. Keaton!” The detective shut the door, he then places a chair in front of it, making it so that no one could open the door. The fox scoffs a bit and shakes his head. Monroe knew he was in deep trouble, he then remembered that he’s on the force, and telling him off would be a bad idea. He clears his throat and softly speaks, but irritation was boiling inside of him. “Leo, what ever is bothering you-we’ll deal with it, okay?” The lab stood and places his paws on the table, totally invading his personal space. “Don’t ever call me ‘Leo.'” William loosened his tie. “Well…Mr. Keaton, you have no right too barricade my room.” His tone now rising, his irritation showing. The lab quickly pulls out his cell phone and shows the picture he had taken of the side of the house. “What do you make of this, William?” The principle stared at it. “An act of racism-poor Chris, hope h-he’s okay.” Leonard was just about ready to yell and call him on his bull right away. Instead, he kept his tone soft, menacing though to say the least. “Hm, you going to pay for the window damage you caused too?” The fox breaks out into a sweating fit. Leonard spoke, his tone rising now-which rarely happened. “Do you get off on making humans or those you disapprove of feel like complete garbage?”

The fox’s eyes widen, he pushes back on his wheelie chair and drops his brunch, and it splatters onto the dark blue rug. William yells into the lab’s face, spitting on him slightly.
“What the hell are you talking about?!” Leonard pulls out a pair of handcuffs, and before the fox could truly escape-the lab leaps over the large table, banging his knee as he tackles the fox from the front, knocking him over with a loud crash, which broke the chair. The fox makes an attempt to squirm, Leonard smacks him across the face-William yelps and becomes too stunned to move now, his face begins to throb and sting in pain. “You’re under arrest for threatening a human, my son-directly. You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law…” The lab flips the fox on his stomach, crushing his face into the floor and cuffing him. Leonard kicks the chair he had placed at the door out of the way….

Once in the station wagon, Leonard calls for back up, the fox sits in the passenger side. “Leonard….I w-wasn’t going to hurt your kid.” The lab sits and says nothing. “M-Mr. Keaton, I’m sorry…f-for putting you through this. It’s just, I-I had prided my school on being exclusively furry…a-and Chris kinda, off set the balance. I got pissed, it won’t happen again-I PROMISE to accept your son…” He rudely reaches over William, from the glove compartment-he pulls out a cigarette and lights it. He rolls down the non electric window and takes a long puff. “Mr. Keaton, please understand-yo-you’re son is good…I spoke with h-him before I let my anger get the b-best of me, he’s a good kid! Maybe he’s being raised by the WRONG DAD!” Leonard can’t even stand the sound of the fox’s voice anymore, he grabs the fox by his shirt collar and speaks in a low, threatening tone. “Don’t talk about my son, don’t even mention his name, sit and shut up.” The sound of sirens approach….Leonard had secretly called them once Mr. Monroe was in the car.

ONE MONTH LATER….

The convention center filled. Furries of all different types had gathered; the roof high, chandeliers hung from the decorated ceiling. The floor, a golden, smooth marble, if you were here-you’d be in a suit. All the furries were dressed in colorful dresses and suits, high heals, dress shoes hair cut and freshly showered. The room echoed slightly, to the back of this huge room, long tables filled with amazing food, elegantly placed and ready to eat after the speeches were given. To the front of the room, a stage, on this stage sat a podium, with an amazing microphone system-but most furs did push to get front or second row seats. This convention was entitled “Furries For The Equal Rights of Humans“, since it was sort of new-no acronym existed. Of course, amongst the furries-humans, the number of people and furries were 150.

Christopher was there, he had gone with John Hulbert, they were both dressed in black suits, Chris had a red tie on, John had a maroon colored tie. Chris’ hair done perfectly, and John also didn’t look bad.
Believe it or not, Leonard was back stage. He was the guest of honor. See, this whole thing started once the racism story broke out-a bunch of furries who organized these sorts of events, sent an email to Leo-telling him how important it is for humans and furs to get along. The detective was just going to attend, but the organizers also added ‘we need you to speak at this occasion-you’re the reason this is happening, sir.’
Well, Leonard was mostly known for his work at the FBI, but it was no secret that he also had a human son and became a sort of hero in the whole community of ‘human and furry relations’. Something he truly didn’t think about for too long, but it happened.
Really, Leo didn’t hesitate-he knew this whole thing was for the greater good. So, here is was-wearing a black dinner vest, a black suit jacket, black slacks and floral purple tie. He looked at himself in the mirror, knowing that only a few feet away and through a stage door, an audience waited to hear his lecture.

The furs who were here, had probably read about every article Leonard ever wrote about Chris, there was even an entire issue of a magazine dedicated to him, with him posed on the front cover. Some of the younger, ambitious furs brought copies of this magazine for him to sign. John and Chris got reserved seats of course, and the lucky furs got to be in front, which meant Leo would be probably only be about a foot away from them.
Those especially in the front, were pumped, mostly college furries who were researching the relationship between furries and humans-most of them were fans of his already, so getting this opportunity was a treat. The lights dimmed, applause erupted from the audience-not crazy applause, but elegant claps. A grey, tall panther wearing a sparkling red dress approaches the stage. She smiles at the furries and humans. Her tone calm, but excited too. “Thank you all for coming. I don’t need to tell you how huge it is that we have Leonard Keaton in this very place tonight!” She lists sponsors and humans and furries who helped put this whole thing together, taking about five minutes. She paused, everyone knew what was coming. “Now, ladies and gentleman-it is an honor, to welcome to the stage, a furry that-truly changed my life, and made me look at the world in a different way. He has inspired me with his smart and meaningful words; he’s a true hero and advocate for those who may need a little help in life. Leonard Keaton.” The lab steps out promptly and sophisticated, he looks out into the audience, the clapping now a lot louder than before, with cheers thrown in. It was like he was a rock star.
He steps to the podium, some of college kids get goosebumps, hearing his British accent they’ve all heard from video interviews. “Thank you, thank you. Everyone shut it so I can talk.” He gives a tiny smirk. The audience quiets down, chucking…Chris thinks ‘yup, classic dad!’ He has no speech in front of him, a spotlight shines on him, and he takes a deep breath. His entire speech, he spoke in an almost ‘teacher like tone’…he certainly wasn’t monotone like he usually was. He did up his game with trying to sound interesting. A nice news camera also sat in front of him, but he paid no mind to it. His voice in the microphone sounded amazing, since his tone is so quiet-he had to really lean in, his mouth right against the mic. His baritone voice sort of rumbled the room. “When I was in high school, the problems of furries and humans, was a fact. A few humans went to the high school I attended, and were bullied, some even killed. The path of my life, was unknown to me when I was about 18. My father just said ‘do what feels right.’ Vague, but I got it, and it is the advice I give to my own son usually.
When I came across my first dead body, I knew…I needed to try and stop evil. I became a detective, I lived alone-well, I had two previous relationships. One with a male and one female, I’m single however, no time for relationships.”
Leonard sighs a bit and looks into the audience.

“Once I joined the force, I realized I was lonely. I would drink too much, come into work unprepared, and smoke way more than I do now. I remember, my decision to adopt someone, was actually quite astonishing. Me being a dad, probably shouldn’t happen. With my life, the kid would end up screwed up and practically fatherless.
Once I discovered Chris, and read his back story about how he was abused-how his happiness and hopes-were being squashed by his two parents, I couldn’t let it go on. I’d lose sleep thinking about him and humans like him. I got fed up, signed papers-and I can truly say, that I am so proud of Chris. He is such a….kind, empathetic, curious young man. While I’m not much into hugging, I can sincerely say I’m proud of him everyday-watching him grow, ask questions and learn. The facts of his special needs, I didn’t even really think of. While it was a learning curve, we both now get each other-we communicate well and as I’ve said, I wouldn’t have him any other way. Sure, he gets angry, envious of those who can maybe perform more tasks, but this is all part of emotion. Chris is a wonderful human who tries his best every day, and that’s all I can ask of him.
Grades don’t mean much, because I know he reads material and he has an interest in classes. What furs have to realize-is that humans are not too different from us. If we want, our society to grow, if we want less violence, if we want to be more open…we NEED to let humans into our lives. We need to realize our own strengths and weaknesses; we need to over come this petty racism that seems to divide us. Let’s work together, because furries aren’t perfect either. Not accepting humans, is as silly as alienating cats or Avians. Humans are part of our society, whether we like it or not. We can either rot and die a petty race who never opened there minds, or we can grow the hell up and look at ourselves, and be better. Thank you so much for being here.”

He nods, the audience again erupts into a thunderous applause. About twenty minutes later, Leonard steps out, his tie a bit loosened. He had no issue taking picture with furries and humans who had really wanted to meet him. He even signed a few copies of the magazine he was in. Chris, John and Leonard had left the party early, all of them were tired. Leonard actually enjoyed himself at this event, he liked talking to an audience, he enjoyed getting pictures with others-but he would never really admit it, well…maybe to Chris he would. As he left the building and drove home, a smile formed across his face-not a smirk, but a genuine, happy smile-and why did he smile? Why did this whole event happen in the first place? His son…he realized he truly would be nothing, without Chris….

END.

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