Dog Ear

Backdated a bit to September full moon

For the first time since she could hardly remember, she felt a little like herself again.

Not completely. Not altogether, because for ten years herself had meant Pete the Protector, the hyena parent who drove out to the boonies every month and played, unwisely, with her human boy. With Vitto gone she could not shake the feeling that some part of her personality had been amputated; a wholesome part. But she was never one to waste away, or lose time pining. So.

This new entertainment, a hyena friend to occupy her. In her car, she gunned it recklessly up the swaying foothill roads (to amuse Summer following behind, for the most part), thoughts of her boy crowded out by Becky's hungry yodeling. She would feel so much better after a shift.

They were firmly in the middle of nowhere when she pulled off the road, late-afternoon sun slanting through the prairie behind them, turning it fire-orange. She held her own gaze in the rearview mirror for a moment before kicking open the driver's side door and climbing out to do a little soft-shoe on the gravel shoulder.

There was something about Pete driving a crown victoria that just seemed... really appropriate, somehow.

For her own part, Summer was really wondering what her own purpose was going to be here in Mountainside. She'd come for her new job, sure, but the cackle had been what had really drawn her. Now that wasn't an option. Instead she... well, it was a lot like her old home in some ways. Just being a hyena but living her human life on the side.

Difference really was the presence of Pete. For the first time ever, Summer wasn't actually alone.

So yeah, the drive up was wild, but she blasted some music for her own enjoyment and wasn't afraid to try and match pace with the car she was following. Still, towards the end she ended up stuck behind a slow-moving rig that Pete didn't, and so she pulled up to the place where Pete had stopped a solid thirty seconds later.

Popping the door on her hatchback, having pulled up on the passenger side of Pete's car, she extended her long legs out and exited with a sigh, stretching her arms high overhead in a way that lifted her nondescript t-shirt a bit from her belly. Leaning back on the open doorway of her car, she grinned across vehicles at her pal.

"You're quick," she commented.

Pete kept dancing, looking very much like she was about to bust out with a ha-cha-chaaa! She ended the dance with jazz hands and a wink. "Always been fast. You ready to get shifty?"

Not that she didn't like shooting the shit with Summer, but she was impatient to be something other than human. It was all she could do to not already be kicking off her boots.

"Girl, I'm always ready to get shifty."

There were times and places, but honestly? There were wild moments, especially this close the full moon, that she felt like she had been born on four legs. She was ready to tear up mountainside backcountry and give some prairie dogs a very bad night or something. It wasn't that she didn't feel like a person... she did. Her day job did a hell of a job of making sure it stayed that way, too.

But a few years in, and the full moon was less and less of an inconvenience every month. This particular night... well, with her first hyena, this may as well have been a party.

Right answer. Pete grinned wolfishly, wriggling out of her jacket on the side of the road and doing a different kind of dance as she escaped from her boots. To Peter, of course, it was best to strip like feral women right by the road, then scamper naked into the tall grass to shift. If somebody drove by? Fun! If Summer was embarrassed? Well, then Pete would rest comfortably with the crown of Wildest Hyena on her head.

She did love a striptease, but what she wanted far more at this moment was to simply be wild, a hyena still for the moment in human skin. She continued to dance her way out of her clothes, losing pants and socks in a matter of seconds. Jumping out of her shirt and whipping down her arm, onto the ground.

Admittedly, much as Summer wasn't fussed about a lot of things, she did take a glance to make sure there were no cars immediately coming up the road when Pete started stripping right then and there. She didn't have a ton of experience of doing this with others--she'd run a few times with the wolverines when they'd been kind enough to invite her, but mostly she was a solo flyer. Discreet was easy when you had no one to emulate or impress.

Pete though, man, she just went for it, and Summer wasn't sure if it was for her benefit or Pete's or if this was just how Pete was.

Either way, it was only a moment of hesitation, of human consideration that was quickly burned up when she noticed Pete was halfway done and Summer wasn't keen to be left behind. Shoes off, socks peeled. She leaned on the hood of her car with her butt and yanked her shirt off first. Spurred both by Pete's gung-ho attitude and the fact that they were out in broad view to the road, every stitch was abandoned and she laughed in spite of herself as she swept the whole lot into a pile with her foot then leaned down to gather it up and toss it all on her driver's seat.

Time to abandon humanity.

Because Pete could only be Pete, she had swept herself up in the rush of stripping down from human to animal, and there was no possibility of her doing anything other than leave her clothes strewn out on the gravel. She hopped from one knuckly foot to the other, waiting for Summer to be done.

As soon as the door slammed, Pete let out a long, yodeling yip, high kicking the air and prancing out into the grass. She could feel it starting already, Becky gurgling up and out of her face — she liked to start at the face.

Summer had been shifting for years now, but there was nothing that took a girl's breath away quite like that first snap of yielding bone. Today, it was her hands, and she matched Pete's yip with a yelp of her own as knuckles popped and tendons twisted. Growing, reshaping into something with dull claws rather than flat nails, the faint sheen of nail polish flaking away as fur sprouted along the backs of fingers, and then toes. Put her into a configuration where she'd be walking up on the tips of her feet rather than flat for the duration of the evening.

Hobbling further away from the cars, to push to get out of sight as long tan fur erupted from the back of her neck, Summer panted and growled through the pain that was familiar but still enough to wind her. Screaming would be cathartic as soon as he could manage it, but for the moment her jaw had locked up as her tongue flattened.

Across her back, a brushy mane began to sprout, even as the naked skin around it grew mottled with dark spots. She leaped into the brush before her legs had a chance to betray her, an indistinct grunt escaping from a mouth about as wide as a hubcap. Shifting was painful, unpredictable, but always exhilarating; she looked down awkwardly around her mutating cheeks to see boobies stretching down to her abdomen and then bursting with hair. Yuck!

With another half-human groan, she rolled onto her back and held hands and feet into the air, watching them twist into paws.

By time she hit good cover, Summer couldn't really walk anymore. Arms and legs were twisting around, and she flattened to her side on forest debris, her chest heaving. And with her teeth growing out and her mouth more a muzzle, she screamed the release some of the pain, and it was so far from human it simply sounded like a monster dying.

Not that she heard much of herself, as her ears realigned, closing off for a moment before they would open back up on the top of her head. It mostly was a vibration inside of her own skull as her eyes bugged and her proportions changed. Thankfully, the fur was coming in heavy and early tonight, blanketing her as she became a mess of a human, then a mess of something not human or animal.

Sometimes she heard rumor that shifting time got faster the longer you were around for it. She actually really would love to clock in under a minute someday, but what were the chances of that?

Take a seat, Pete. Hello, Becky.

When all was said and done, a 200-pound sin against god and nature was left idling on its back, blinking up at the black sky with eyes as dark as beetle shells. Black lips pulled away from beautiful, enormous white teeth and let out a contemplative, swooping growl.

Hungry. And also, hyena. She could smell the warm funk of what had been Summer, hear her rustling in the grass.

Becky let out an unearthly chortle as she rolled to her feet, block head popping up among the grass stalks. Where was friend.

By time all the joints had popped into place where they belonged, by time she had all her whiskers, she was feeling much better. A few deep huffing breaths, and with a chortle of her own, she lifted her head from the brush she'd twisted around in and groaned to her feet. Shaking out her heavy ruff, the brown hyena sniffed hard and--yes, not alone.

Green eyes shone almost mischievously as she put eyes on her new best friend. Her jaw dropped wide in apparent greeting and she huffed a rocky growl.

Undeniable attraction was had in that moment. The first time her hyena eyes had taken in the sight of a true one of her own kind. A moment that energized in a life that had been so very alone. But she stood her ground, pointed ears canted forwards as she waited to see how she was received in turn.

She located the other Were in a few calculated movements, honing in on the odd brown head, the hilarious toupee coat. Except Becky didn't find it hilarious, only alluring and wonderful, a walking fresh cowpat. Her head ratcheted up as she rambled toward her, bristlebrush tail standing erect.

She had shifted for a while with the guy that turned her, although they had gotten sick of each other and had left town in opposite directions before she so much as managed to remember anything from her shifts. She had liked letting their hyenas play at first, holding hands, reaching out a bare foot to plant on his head, but all that had turned to sort of wanting to kill him in the space of three months.

This felt different, she thought: Becky humming with electricity at having a plaything that moved and screamed like her, but Pete here too, with a friend she had not yet tired of. Someone to revolve around and bash against in the absence of anything better. A hopeful sensation, flickering briefly amid the more pressing matter of rearing onto hind legs and aggressively mounting her new friend, because who didn't like that??

Well, luck didn't, first of all, because she tripped on a root before she even got close, and thrashed sideways into a bush instead, legs kicking.


There was a lot excited whining already. The desire, foremost, to touch and to snip and to run and to exist together. Hunger growled at the back of her mind, but there was always food to be had for mighty predators like them. This was the first time there was something else, something novel, and she watched with a twisted fascination as the spotted hyena came for her.

But they were ungainly, stocky creatures, and as Becky tumbled into the brush, the brown hyena yowled and twisted. Rearing back herself, hers was instead for a front-pawed pounce near the other hyena's head, her wide jaws coming down in a snap. A would-be affection nibble that would have hurt--if she'd not snapped her teeth closed on nothing but air before she wheeled away with a gargle.



Being magical beasts, the progression of lunge, topple, lunge, miss took only a moment, and Becky stayed frozen in the brush for a moment more, her face frozen in an ecstatic grimace. She had. Someone to wrestle. The realization steadily inflated her as she remembered a hundred solo shifts, a hundred mad spins for meatballs as Vitto stood on the roof of the car, and of course that one night with the little wolf who refused to be any fun at all. She stayed frozen for that moment in an agony of desire, and then in one explosive thrash that had dry autumn grass blooming up into the air like confetti, she was on her feet again and charging full-pelt for Summer.

It took only a moment, but Becky was soon right on her magically fast heels. Summer ran for several long seconds, absolutely thundering on paws too big for comfort, dodging trees and setting an owl to hooting in alarm well overhead as pine cones scattered as she went through and over a pile of them. Then, just as quick as she'd run, she twisted back and abruptly stood her ground.

Head lowered, feet squared--brace for impact.


A little zoom-zoom was good, but yes, the absolute best thing would be to bite and to wrestle. Becky had time to squeal as she let momentum carry her into the shaggy hyena's chest, a box-shaped wrecking ball with teeth. The collision was painful and deeply satisfying, a two-man game of hyena rugby in which Becky, notably, had the advantage of size.

Smashing into Summer, she decided to worry less about whether she remained upright and more on getting a grip of the other hyena's neck; big brazil nut teeth snerped around looking for a hold at her nape.

It was the kind of hit that jarred your entire face, made your teeth feel jolted even when the hit had been about a foot lower and your teeth were just fine. Summer went down with a scream, powerless against the huge momentum of a larger beast, and the spotted hyena came down with her, feeling her teeth grabbing, her breath hot near her ear. Thankfully, skin and fur were thick, but the pinch of teeth was painful regardless, and the hold twisted her neck at an odd angle.

Breathing hard through her nose, she maximized on her low ground position all but on her back and coiled her legs up. Then, with no small amount of force, she launched two of her paws straight up into the gut of her pal.



It was inherently satisfying to get a good grip of something in her jaws; she went quite relaxed aside from her iron bite, drooping after Summer as she rolled.

The kick in the guts took her completely off-guard, and she coughed and wheezed in painful surprise, losing her hold and find herself knocked off kilter. That had actually really hurt, and now Becky had something to prove with more vigorous wrestling. She dove back at Summer, aiming to latch onto her hindquarters, if she had managed to get up in time.



Summer bolted up to her feet the moment the grip loosened and she had managed to roll Becky off. Ungainly, huge paws had good traction, and when she saw teeth coming for her again she tucked her butt up towards her neck and evaded the hit, only to ball up slightly in her own momentum and roll back down onto her shoulder, her hind legs up to her belly to protect that out of instinct.

She moved to bite again, snapping towards face or whatever came nearest next, but her teeth closed on nothing but air and she warbled an uncomfortably gleeful noise as she sought to roll over further and get back up again.




Becky snarled and whooped in kind, delighting at the hyena in front of her who tucked and rolled. She came after her almost at a prance, leaping to the side to evade snapping jaws and latching her own around Summer's beautiful brown head. She kept the pressure light, her tongue sponging through the coarse fur along her scalp, and thrashed a forepaw clumsily over the brown hyena's shoulder.

Oh dear, that was her head.

Summer wasn't incredibly worried, the teeth soft around her skull. But she knew the bite strength of her friend could crush her in a heartbeat and she felt a delectable chill run through her as her body twisted, aiming to get her paws under her even as the larger hyena overwhelmed her personal space. Summer wasn't submissive in the least, neither as human or a hyena, but there was something undeniably powerful about Becky and her presence that she was willing to... compromise with.

So she twisted and writhed, making it hard to keep the hold, but otherwise didn't strike out.

Wrestle, wrestle, wrestle.

Becky sneezed happily into Summer's face, lightly keeping her grip and managing a balancing act as the smaller animal contorted, one paw losing contact with the ground, then another. This night was...good.

She dug in slightly, an elbow jabbing into Summer's neck, and let her weight sack out over the top of her as she released her bite. "I'm hungry."

Summer went limp as the bite released, happy to be squashed as she panted heavily beneath the weight of the spotted beast. Deep, happy breaths, the little whines just chortles of pleasure. Being all squashed up with her kin was all she had never dreamed of. Didn't matter that her ruff was all askew with hyena spit.

"Me too," was a simple agreement in their usual warped were voices. She pawed at the ground with one free paw, as if reaching further into the forest.

Let's go eat some shit, but not literally.

She stayed sprawled on top of the hyena, panting, similarly enjoying the pleasure of contact, the miasma of hyena breath. Summer's paws moved as she agreed, and Pete waited a long moment, one hind leg pushing into the earth to lever her weight further into Summer's chest — push harder, feel more.

Then she jumped back, likely punching her friend in several places, and let an ascending shriek out into the night. Trusting that she would follow, the spotted hyena turned and set off, ready to murder all night and sleep like an angel after.

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