Written by Billy Plats (2009)
DISCLAIMER: All characters and situations appearing in this work are fictitious, and are intended for mature audiences only. If you are not a legal adult, or it is illegal for you to read about adult situations, then you may not read futher. All characters belong to their respective owners. This story is not to be reproduced, copied, or otherwise published anywhere, in any way shape or form, without the express permission of the author.
The Plats family were all waiting at the airport at terminal seven, waiting for a special guest to get off the plane. Billy stands there, looking around nervously and anxiously while his parents stand there, checking their watches every few moments as they all wait. The youngest platypus of the family twitches a few times before the anxiety and excitement overcome him.
“When is this ‘mystery guest’ getting here?!?” Billy frantically blurts out.
Mary looks at her frantic son and smiles. “Soon.”
“Who is it?!?”
“You’ll find out when the plane lands, son,” Stephen tells Billy, using a stern yet soft tone to try and calm the young man’s nerves.
“I can’t wait!!!!”
“You no longer have to,” a familiar voice says to Billy.
Billy turns around to see a young platypus standing in front of him.
“Is that you, Barbara?!? It’s been so long!!!”
“I know! It has!”
“What brings you here?” Billy asks his ex-girlfriend.
“We thought that a visit from young Miss Walsh here would be a nice birthday gift for you,” Stephen informs his son.
“Oh definitely! We have so much to catch up on!”
“As soon as we get home,” Mary tells the young platypus.
Billy nods and the four platypi leave the airport and climb into the Plats’ family car. The ride home was filled with conversation between Billy and his girlfriend of old, including how Billy’s life is in Pouncefield, how the community has been while he’s been gone, and their new relationships. Barbara, since Billy’s departure from Australia, has started seeing a new boy, one who takes an interest in playing rugby. Billy tells Barbara of Sonia and the rough time he’s having with Jen and Geoff. The chatter stops when the car arrives at the Plats household. Billy and Barbara climb out of the car as Mary and Stephen head inside. Billy starts walking away from the house and beckons for Barbara to follow.
“Come on, I wanna introduce you to my friends.”
“You’re not going to sleep?” Barbara asks Billy.
“Sleep? Why? We got the whole day ahead of us!”
“That’s it exactly! It’s daytime out!”
“What, are you a vampire or something? Scared of the sun?” Billy jokingly asks the confused platypus.
“No. I’m just not used to being out with the sun up.”
“If it don’t feel right, go with your internal clock. Still some night left back home.”
“That’s true. It may be light out, but I don’t feel tired.”
“Well then, quit stalling and let’s go!” Billy tells his friend from back home.
Barbara nods her head and follows her excited pal down the street.
“Where are we going anyway?”
“Well, school’s getting ready to let out… take a guess.”
“Is the school here nice? You really haven’t mentioned it.”
“It’s a good school. Just a little different.”
“I can imagine. Can’t be easy going to a school where everybody looks so different.”
“That’s not what I mean. Everybody here is nice. A few have some rough edges that need smoothed out, but they’re all nice.”
“Then what do you mean?” a confused Barbara asks.
“Let’s just say that the cubs in this school are really… friendly… with each other. And before you ask, I really don’t want to go into any more detail than that.”
“Uh… ok…” Barbara says, still confused about Billy’s meaning. “So how much longer before your ribs heal? You mentioned them getting hurt and you couldn’t swim…”
“Actually, they haven’t been hurt more than a week. I still got a few months before they heal and I can go back into the water.”
“Oh you poor thing… I bet that’s driving you nuts.”
“Like you wouldn’t believe,” Billy informs his friend. “The water is my home away from home. I feel like a bird that cannot fly or a cheetah that cannot run!’
“Yeah, I still know you,” Barbara says with a giggle. “Sorry though. Hope you heal up fast.”
“Me too. Anyway, we’re here at school. We’re not gonna be here long. All my friends have a list of various after-school activities, and I wanna show you around town. Ok?”
“That sounds like a plan, Stan,” Barbara replies with a giggle.
Billy chuckles lightly himself before walking up to the front door of the school, his out of town friend following closely behind. Billy opens the door for her and allows her to enter first, following quickly after. Barbara starts to walk off, but Billy quickly puts his paw on her shoulder and stops her.
“They’ll come this way. No need to walk off.”
Barbara nods and stands next to Billy, waiting for his friends to arrive. One by one they make their way toward the doors and stop by Billy. A male lion shows up first, accompanied by a rabbit girl. Then a pair of orange foxes, one boy and one girl, with the guy fox holding hands with a cute squirrel. An adorable kitten shows up not long after, and the parade is ended by another squirrel and a white fox.
“What’s this? Another platypus? We’re gonna be overrun soon!” the lion says with a hearty laugh.
“Nah, I’m just here visiting Billy for his birthday,” Barbara informs the lion.
“Oh, is that so? How do you like the town?”
“It’s not bad. I think I might have to move here when I get older. It’s nice looking at somebody who doesn’t look a little like you.”
“I can guarantee you won’t have that around here. Billy is the only platypus in this school. And man, you should’ve seen his introduction! First week, he puts the school bully down for a week!”
“You fight?!?” Barbara hysterically asks Billy as she turns to face him. “You used to be such a sweet guy. I can’t believe you’re going around picking on people!”
“I…” Billy says, trying to defend himself.
“He didn’t want to fight the guy,” the male fox says, quickly defending Billy. “The guy found him, didn’t like him, which isn’t saying much because he doesn’t like anybody. Anyway, the guy found Billy, didn’t like him, so he started to attack him. Billy tried escaping, but when he couldn’t, he used his barbs.”
“That actually hurt him?” the calmed platypus questions the fox as she turns to him.
“Well, Billy didn’t know at the time, but his poisons had developed.”
“You’re poisonous now!?!?” Barbara quickly asks Billy as she turns to him.
“I didn’t think that was gonna happen to you for at least a few more years!”
“Yeah, me either,” Billy adds.
“Wait, you knew he was gonna be poisonous?” the lion asks Barbara.
“Yeah, all male platypi develop the poisons. We all learn that in health 101 when we get to age 10 back home. They don’t teach you that kind of stuff here?”
“They should, but they don’t. Billy is actually the first one to be in this school,” the fox tells the female platypus. “Anyway, let’s get off that. We haven’t been blessed by your name.”
“Name’s Barbara Walsh. What are all your names?”
One by one, Billy’s friends introduce themselves. Pokeinfo introduces Cynthia, Edward introduces Laura, and Billy introduces Jenny.
“Please don’t mind Jenny, Barbara. She’s shy. Hell, it took her a few weeks to gain the courage to say just a couple of words to me, let alone actually talk to me on a daily basis.”
“I don’t mind,” Barbara says with a smile.
“Hey, sorry to chat and run, but Cyn and I got soccer practice,” Pokeinfo informs Barbara.
“You know, I don’t get why you call it soccer instead of football, and why you named your version of football football.”
“I… uh… um… you know… I really don’t know…”
“Big surprise there, Poke…” Edna says with a giggle.
“And just what does THAT mean?!?”
“Nothing,” Edna cutely replies, putting on an innocent smile.”
“Right… anyway, we need to get going,” Pokeinfo informs Barbara again.
“And Edna, Laura, and I need to go as well. They’ve asked me to tutor them for a big test coming up in History,” Edward adds.
“Hope you all pass,” Barbara says with a smile.
“Don’t worry, I’ll make sure they do. Well, it was nice to meet you.”
The gang of friends all smile and wave good-bye to Barbara before exiting out through the school doors. Barbara turns around to Billy, nods, and the two of them leave the school and begin to walk around town.
“So, I thought you said that you and a bully became friends? There’s more than one in this school?” Barbara asks.
“Nah, there’s just the one. But he didn’t like me at first. He doesn’t really like anybody. Something to do with the way he grew up and the way he was raised. He doesn’t want anybody to know that he and I are actually getting along. He cares about his reputation. Why in heaven’s name he cares about being the mean, tough guy that nobody likes is beyond me, but that’s how he’s happy, I guess.”
“It takes all kinds of furs to turn the world, Billy. We platipy, of all furs, should know this,” Barbara informs the young platypus.
“I know. Speaking of all kinds, I want to introduce you to my new girlfriend. But I can’t. She and her family are out of town today doing something. Her family kinda scares me. Well, her parents do. Her brother, Alex, is kinda like the brother I never had.”
“Oh really? Getting in good with the family huh? Planning to elope in a few years?” Barbara playfully asks with a giggle.
“Nah. That kind of stuff is a far way away,” Billy answers while chuckling himself. “But they are nice folks. Hell, they didn’t even take a second glance at me when she brought me home to meet them and they saw their girl’s boyfriend was a platypus.”
“From what I saw, the furs here are really informed and really understanding.”
“That they are. Some are more understanding than others though. My first day here, I got into that fight that was mention, and the rest of the week I was known as The Poisonous Alien Freak’. Annoyed me at first, but now I find it funny.”
“Even your friends thought this?”
“Nah, the ones I introduced you to accepted me right away with no questions asked.”
“Well, they seem like a great bunch of cubs.”
“That they are,” Billy says with a smile.
Their conversation ends and they walk around the city, Billy showing his friend the many sights of town, from the park to the movie theater, the mall, and finally the soccer field.
“Wow, I didn’t realize football… I mean soccer, sorry… was so popular here.”
“Hey, who can’t love a good game of soccer? You know?”
“True. So very true.”
Billy looks up to the sky to see the setting sun. He looks back to Barbara and smiles.
“It’s getting late. We should get back to my place.”
“Yeah. I’m getting a little hungry.”
The two platypi walk away from the field and head back to the Plats household, smiling and enjoying each other’s company for the first time in a few months.
“You know, I’ve missed you,” Barbara mentions to Billy.
“I missed you too. It’s really great to see you again.”
“Well, maybe next year I can visit again? I dunno. It’s all up to our parents. I mean, your dad paid for most of this.”
“I figured as much. And it was great of him to do this for me. And it was great of you to come all this way to visit,” Billy says with a smile.
The two cubs finish their brief conversation and finish their journey to Billy’s home. Billy shows her inside, and the smells of a home-cooked dinner quickly hit the pair of hungry platypi. The two of them enter the house and immediately head for the kitchen, where Mary and Stephen smile and greet the two.
“Just in time for dinner. Sit down and eat, kids,” Stephen says to the cubs.
Billy and Barbara nod and quickly sit down to the table and begin to eat the delicious dinner that Mary has presented them. The meal doesn’t take long to eat, but the chatter at the table lasts for hours, telling tales of all the adventures that each one of them have had since the Plats family left Australia. The night is ended when Stephen asks the cubs to go to bed at nine o’clock. They all have to be up early to see Barbara off on her way back to Australia the next day. Billy nods and shows Barbara to the guest room in the house.
“Um… can I sleep in your room, Billy?”
“I know the guest room doesn’t look like much… but…”
“It’s not the room. I want to be with you.”
“Oh, sure. I’ll get my sleeping bag. I’ll let you have the bed.”
“No… WITH you…”
“Huh? Oh…” Billy says as he realizes Barbara’s meaning and blushes. “Oh… I’m sorry… I can’t. We’re in relationships now, remember?”
“I know, but I flew all this way for you. I’d at least like to know what it’s like to spend the night with you. I’ve wanted to for oh so many months now, but you never seemed to want to, so I kept it to myself.”
“Wait, even when I was still in Australia you wanted to…?”
“Uh-huh. I just didn’t know how to ask you.”
“Oh… well, I do appreciate that you flew all this way to see me, and I did, and still kinda do, love you, but I’m with Sonia now. I can’t betray her for one night of fun, no matter how long over-do it is.”
“I… understand…” Barbara says defeatedly. “Can I at least sleep in the bed with you?”
“As long as nothing more than just sleep happens, sure.”
“Alright. Thank you Billy.”
The two platypi climb into Billy’s bed and let their tired body’s drift off to sleep. The next morning, they are awaken by a pounding on Billy’s door.
“Come on, it’s 8.30. We gotta get Barbara to the airport.”
Billy groans before sitting up in bed and eventually finding his way to his feet. The tired cubs make their way to the door, where they are greeted by Stephen.
“Good morning. Sleep well?”
“Uh-huh,” Billy and Barbara both answer the adult.
“That’s good. Sorry, but we need to get Barbara to the airport.”
The four platypi get themselves ready to go and quickly climb into the family car. The trip to the airport is spent in silence, nobody able to think of anything to say so early in the morning. When the platypi arrive at the airport, they park and enter the main terminal, going through the hassles and checks that they must before escorting Barbara to her gate. Over the intercom system, an announcement is made.
“Flight 205 to Melbourne, Australia now boarding. Flight 205 to Melbourne, Australia now boarding.”
The four platypi stop when they reach the gate for Barbara’s flight. Barbara turns to Billy and gives him a hug.
“I had a great time. I hope to be able to see you soon.”
“Yeah, me too,” Billy replies as he wraps his arms around her and smiles.
“Try not to get too hurt while I’m back home, ok?”
“I won’t. And try not to break too many hearts, ok?”
“I’ll try not to.”
Barbara and Billy release their grips on one another. Barbara smiles at Billy before turning to the gate and walking down the tunnel to board the plane.
“Take care Barbara. Hope to see you again some day,” Billy says as she walks away.
Billy watches as the plane takes off. He smiles as he watches his friend leave his sight. Knowing what he does now, and knowing the choices he made, he can’t help but feel happy, even as his girlfriend of old leaves. As Barbara sits on the plane, she drifts back off to sleep. Her last thought is of Billy and how happy she was to see him again.