Chapter 1: Day Like No Other

            Tobi was still asleep at his desk during his third period class when the bell rang, loud and clear. The sound of the bell sent Tobi shooting up out his chair like a spooked kitten, shouting "I'm AWAKE!!!" before crashing to the floor, face first.

         The whole class looked at him curious and confused as he lay there. After a few moments of embarrassment, he regained his composure and lifted himself off the floor. Tobi didn't say anything, picked up his bag and made his way to the cafeteria. As Tobi rounded a corner in the hall, he was greeted by Kinto.

"Hey Tobi, whats new? You look like the walking dead. hahaha." Kinto teased.

"You were asleep in class again, weren't you?" he continued, already knowing the answer. 

"Yeah, so? It's not like i really care how the world was made. 'CRASH! BAM! BOOM! The world is made. Next Please...!' " Tobi sarcastically replied and grumbling with annoyance. Kinto shot a glare of disappointment at Tobi over his lack of concern for his education.

"You really should pay more attention or i will have to raise my price. Doing your work, plus my own, really isn't easy, you know." Kinto warned. Tobi chuckled in amusement at the the thought of being warned by someone half his size.

"You really think you can convince me to pay you more? HA!" Tobi replied, brushing off the humorous warning.

"Speaking of homework, did you get report done yet? I need it by tomorrow." Tobi added, gesturing with outstretched paw.

"Yeah, yeah, hold your tail. I have it right here." Kinto answered as he reached in his briefcase and removed Tobi's expertly written essay and handed it to him.

            Kinto and Tobi had been friends for many years. Many of the locals speculated that Kinto was nothing more than Tobi's slave, or employee of sorts. Kinto had always been a real brain and a serious bookworm. He made money by doing Tobi's homework, even if it was against his better judgement. On the other hand, there were the physical benefits of his services as Tobi was his protection. They were quite the opposing duo though, with Kinto being the timid, kind hearted, pint-size bookworm while Tobi was a rather shallow-minded jock twice Kinto's size. Insubordination was another thing that was against Kinto's better judgement, but he did have the occasional moment of opportunity, and Tobi enjoyed his tenacity and spunk.

"I really am serious, Tobi, you need to pay more attention in class, else eventually you will have to pay the consequences... on your own." Kinto warned again.

"I'm not sure whether to call you my mother or grandfather. hehehe." Tobi teased.

"Kinto, my friend, you really need to stop worrying so much. Relax, will ya? Lastly, you really shouldn't threaten people." Tobi advised.

"And why do you suppose that would be?" asked Kinto, slightly insulted.

Resting a paw on Kinto's shoulder, Tobi explained, "It doesn't work and it makes you look funny."

       Kinto pulled away and hurled an eraser right at Tobi's temple, , agitated at the mockery. He didn't like others making jokes about his stature. Kinto and Tobi started walking down the hall toward the cafeteria.

As they walked, Tobi reached in his jacket pocket and asked, "You know that Ma'kti Tournament coming to town next week?"

Kinto wasn't the least bit interested, but replied "Yeah, what about it?".

"You won't believe what i have. Hehe." Tobi answered with a smirk.

"Let me guess, a pocket full of dreams and an empty wallet?" Kinto remarked smartly.

"Ha ha, very funny, Kinto. Actually, I have two tickets, front row seats. Can you guess who the other one is for?" Tobi asked.

"Awww, Tobi, you shouldn't have. I didn't even bring you flowers." Kinto kidded. "Not you, dummy! Jasmine." Tobi barked.

Kinto forced himself to stop laughing for a moment while he processed who Tobi was referring to. Then it dawned on him.

"Jasmine?? As in Jasmine LeGuardia? Oh, oh, Tobi..." Kinto inquired, struggling to keep from rolling with laughter.

"What is so funny?!" Tobi asked curiously, quirking an eyebrow.

"Tobi, Tobi, Tobi. You can't be serious. You really think you have any chance with Jasmine?" Kinto asked, not believing what he was hearing.

"Yes, Jasmine LeGuardia. The one and only, soon to be my one and only." Tobi answered, he pride shining brighter than the sun.

"The last time you tried, you ended up in a dumpster across town. You don't have a chance in the world, you persistent mutt. You would have better chances with Reyes Alcott. Hahahaha. " Kinto chided.

"Oh, shut up. I have nothing to worry about. One look at these tickets, and with my amazing good looks, and she will be all over me. Females love this brutal, savage stuff." Tobi stated in sheer confidence.

         Kinto quirked an eye at the almost nauseating degree of conceded, self-glorifying nature dwelling within Tobi. He could have easily continued to talk Tobi out of this, but realized the entertainment value of seeing this play through. A moment later, Kinto looked down the hall to see Jasmine and Reyes making their way down the hall.

"Well 'your holiness', looks like your moment of redemption is at hand." said Kinto, mocking.

"What are you talking about?" Tobi asked. Kinto grabbed Tobi by the muzzle, Tobi's eyes wide with suprise,  and pointed it down the hall toward the females then let go. Tobi rubbed his muzzle then smirked again.

"Watch and learn how a master works his magic." Tobi stated, ego blazing like the sun.

        OY! was the only thought that came to Kinto's mind as he watched his wolfen friend strut down the hall, completely blind to the inevitable outcome. Yet, he couldn't help but to watch as it was sure to be a sight.

         The two females were conversing among themselves as they walked down the hall. "Reyes, why do you insist upon carrying so many books?" Jasmine inquired as she watched her friend struggle with the mountain of books of every subject.

"I have to study. Finals are in less than two weeks and i have to prepare. Unlike some people i know, i don't take my studies lightly." Reyes replied.

"Don't you ever think about anything but studying? There is so much more to life, so many more entertaining things to do than read books and study." stated Jasmine with a smile.

Reyes shot a questioning look at Jasmine, asking, "What would you suggest i think about, my seemingly promiscuous feline friend?"

"Well, males, of course. And I'm not promiscuous, I'm... socially excentric" Jasmine replied in her own defense.

"Males? I have no time for males, let alone imagine one that would be interested in a bookworm of a skunk like me." Reyes responded, slightly annoyed.

"Well you wouldn't have to worry about that if you would show a little more fur once in a while." Jasmine suggested with a smile.

         Reyes couldn't help but laugh at the thought, then replied, "Yeah, like that's ever going to happen. I would rather be mateless then deal with a partner who is after me for my physical attributes." Reyes was starting to lose grip of her books, as well as her balance.

"Would you like me to carry some of those for you?" Jasmine offered, seeing that Reyes was having difficulty, but Reyes shook her head in decline.

         A moment later, she lost her grip and the books fell to the floor, Reyes tumbling close behind and crashing to the floor. Jasmine was helping her pick the books up off the floor when she spotted, much to her dismay, Tobi strutting her way.

          Tobi had been rather attracted to Jasmine since they were yearlings. The sentiment was never returned for clear reason. Some of the locals had their suspicions and rumors floated around, but it never changed anything between them. He was obsessed with her, Jasmine was completely disgusted by his mere presence. That was as clear and solid as she wanted it to be. She was always very direct with Tobi about her disgust toward him, especially his behavior around her. Many of their peers agreed that they would make a good pair, though no one dared say such a thing to them. Neither Jasmine nor Tobi were to be taken lightly.

 "Whats the matter, Reyes, too much information for ya? Ha ha ha." Tobi teased. Jasmine was not amused in the least degree.

"Leave her alone, Tobias!" she said sternly, glaring at him.

        One by one, Reyes continued to pick up her books, trying to ignore the braindead mass that hovered over her. She had no interest in dignifying his stupidity with a response.

"I'm just teasing. No harm done, right?" Tobi said in his own defense. Reyes simply looked up and shot him an ice cold glare.

"What do you want, Tobi? Don't  you have to go meet your jock buddies in the shower or something?" Jasmine asked, already thoroughly irritated by him.

"Hey, now. Whats with the hostility? Are you in your cycle or something?" Tobi asked ignorantly. Jasmine could tolerate a lot, but comments like that just sent her boiling real fast. Some things you just didn't say to a female, especially when you are already in hot water.

"Tobi, you have 3 seconds to disappear." Jasmine warned.

"What? Why?" Tobi asked, completely oblivious to the impending danger.

"TWO... " She counted.

"What did i say?" Tobi asked again.

"I would seriously consider high tailing it out of here Tobi." Reyes advised.

          About that time, Tobi realized the blood rage boiling inside of Jasmine. Tobi's eyes grew wide and he could feel his heart in his throat. He wasn't sure what to do or say.

"Would this be a bad time to ask you out?"   Tobi asked regrettably.

"THREE!!" Jasmine exclaimed.

          It was at that point that Tobi realized that he made a fatal error and NOW would be a good time to run. Jasmine lunged forward, claws extended, and Tobi immediately pulled an about face and bolted down the hall, screaming in fear. Jasmine close behind.

          As the 'blur o fur' whipped passed Kinto, he simply waved shouting "Hi Jasmine! Later Tobi!" Kinto was now grinning in gratification, knowing he had now been rewarded for not intervening.

          He then proceeded to approach where Reyes was still trying to gather her books and things. He helped her gather them and helped her to her feet, then they both headed to the cafeteria. The two of them were sitting at a table, conversing and enjoying their lunch when Jasmine showed up with no sign of Tobi. Jasmine and Reyes rather enjoyed Kinto's company, he was a very respectable male, despite being small. On Fero's, size really was nearly everything. The smaller species rarely got any respect.

"So, welcome back, Jasmine." Kinto greeted with a chuckle.

"Hi, Kinto. Nice to see you again. How have you been?" Jasmine asked politely.

"I've been well. Studying and such as usual." He replied.

"That's good." She commented.

"So, what did you do with him this time?" He asked, amused by the possibilities.

"Who? Oh! You mean Tobi. Nothing really, he helped me take out the trash." Jasmine replied with a mischevious smirk.

"Ah... I see. Excuse me a moment, please." stated Kinto.

"Sure." She answered.

          Kinto leaned back a bit and nudged the a monstrous bear from the football team, saying "Tobi Search. NOW."

         The bear nodded and stood up from the table as Kinto went back to his meal. The bear motioned for 5 other mammoth sized football players to follow him and the 6 of them left the cafeteria in search of Tobi. Meanwhile Kinto, Jasmine, and Reyes just went back to eating and conversing.

         After lunch, the three of them were walking down the hall when they spotted Tobi walking toward them, still peeling garbage from his clothes.

"Learn your lesson, Tobi?" Jasmine asked with a fake smile. Tobi remained quiet for a minute while he thought of a tactful way of responding without insinuating another episode.

"Well, before you chased me down the hall and threw me into the dumpster, I did have a real reason for confronting you." Tobi explained, in an unusual calm nature void of any ego and somewhat polite. It was kind of creepy, even for Kinto.

Jasmine thought for a moment and asked, "What would that reason be?" acknowledging his current demeanor and attempting to return the manner.

"I was wanted to ask you if you would like to accompany me to the Ma'kti Tournament next week? I have two tickets, front row. It would be a great pleasure and truly an honor if you will accept my invitation." Tobi politely asked, followed by a well executed formal bow.The other three were silent in shock. The had never seen this side of him before.

          Jasmine was almost compelled to accept, then answered, "If you think that I have any interest in watching such a barbaric spectacle, especially up close, you are more mentally deflated than I imagined."

         Kinto and Reyes' jaws dropped as they looked at Jasmine in shock. They didn't know what to make of it. Tobi was rather struck by her response as well, but he wasn't going to let it show. Tobi Smirked egotistically, going back to "Mr Cool" to counter the ice cold rejection to a very formal proposal.

"Well, then i guess it's your loss." Tobi replied as he turned and walked away.

"Oh, poor, poor, pitiful me." Jasmine said smugly, relieved that he was finely going away. Jasmine and Reyes returned to walking down the hall to their next class.

           Kinto turned the other way and caught up with Tobi, who was still walking down the hall to his next class.

"Sorry it didn't turn out as planned, Tobi." Kinto said in support. "I don't know what that was back there, but I'm sure it would have been a lot better in the beginning if you hadn't been trying to be the 'Sultan o' Suave'." He added.

"Shut up, Kinto. She just hasn't come around yet. I have all the time in the world, you will see. It's not like she is leaving the planet or something." Tobi explained confidently, strutting now as he walked to class, Kinto close behind.

            Jasmine and Reyes were almost to their next class when an announcement was heard over the intercom:  "Jasmine LeGuardia and Reyes Alcott, Please report immediately to the Headmasters office. Repeat. Jasmine LeGuardia and Reyes Alcott, please report immediately to the Headmasters office. Thank you."

Jasmine and Reyes looked at each other curiously then headed to the Headmasters office to find out what was so important.

The End

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