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Scrapple Part One - Vying
Where canon gets violated more often than Keith
killerhippie466
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killerhippie466
Scrapple Part One
This fic was written after reading a book about animals and the afterlife. It's pre-slash, but hints at a future Keith/Lance pairing.

 

Scrapple

 

By: UsagiRyu

 

Inspired by the book “Animals and the Afterlife” by Kim Sheridan

 

/********/

 

The Kogane house was known in its tiny neighborhood for being the animal house. Not because it hosted wild parties, but because if a lost or injured animal needed a home, the Koganes would help the animal.  Some stayed on as companions to the family.  Others went off to other forever homes.  One special animal, a rat named Scrapple, stayed in then eight year old Keith Kogane’s room.  You see, Scrapple was born there.  Keith’s parents rescued a pregnant female rat from the cold winter after she was abandoned by her cruel owners. 

 

“Mama-san, Tou-chan,” Keith asked respectfully.  “May Winter stay in my room?” He asked.  Since the female rat had been found in winter and was pure white, she had been named Winter.

 

“Of course, Keith-chan,” Akane Kogane smiled at her son.  “It will be a good learning experience for you.”

 

Keith cuddled the rat and took her up into his room.  There, he set up her large cage and bedding for her.  And put in plenty of food and fresh water.  Winter chattered her thanks to young Keith and settled into her new home.  Keith continued to stroke her soft white fur.

 

Two days later, Winter gave birth to three babies, an unusually small litter for a rat.  Two girls and a boy.    The boy, whose skin was a dappled brown even before his fur grew in, was named Scrapple and the girls, who were white like their mother, were named Snowflake and Blizzard. 

 

From the moment Scrapple was born, he bonded to Keith.  Once Scrapple was old enough to leave his mother’s side and his fur grew in, he moved from the cage to Keith’s bed to sleep during the nights and had free run of Keith’s room during the day.  When Keith came home from school, Scrapple would sit on Keith’s shoulder while he did his home work before the two could play in the yard under his parents’ watchful eyes.  Blizzard, Snowflake and Winter went to a friend of the Kogane family who loved rats and had just lost her beloved rat companion to old age.

 

This quiet life seemed to go on forever until the day now twelve year old Keith’s parents ran to the store for bananas and a few other things that Keith and Scrapple both loved to eat together.  Keith waited at home, playing fetch with Scrapple when the police came to the door.

 

“Yes?” Keith opened the door to find two police officers and a social worker.

 

“Keith Kogane?” The first officer, his name tag said his name was Miller, asked.

 

“That’s me.  And this is Scrapple, my best friend,” Keith answered.

 

“Keith, may we come in?” Miller asked.

 

“Yes, please take off your shoes,” Keith indicated the shoes that the officers and social worker wore.

 

The adults took off their shoes and put them on a rack just inside the door and walked into the house.  They all sat down and Keith and Scrapple looked at them.  “Keith, I’m very sorry, but your parents were killed in a car crash an hour ago.”

 

Keith paled and shook his head.  “No! They just went to the organic market to get some food!”  He cried. 

 

The social worker put her arms around Keith.  “Keith, is there anyone I can call for you?”

 

“My aunt and uncle.  Akiko and Meiji Kogane. My father’s brother and his wife.”

 

“Give me their number and I’ll call them and arrange for them to take custody of you,” The social worker, Jade Greene, said.

 

“What about the animals?” Keith asked.  “We have animal companions that can’t fend for themselves.”

 

Officer Miller, petting a shaggy white terrier, named Carpet, said “Well, if your aunt and uncle can’t take all the animals, I’ll take this guy.  He’s great! My kids would love him!”

 

“His best friend is a cat, can you take him too? His name is Boo-boo Bear.  Bear for short,” Keith wiped his eyes.

 

“Sure,” Officer Miller said.

 

Tears fell down Keith’s face. Scrapple groomed Keith’s hair and chattered in his ear, as if telling him that things would be OK in time.  Ms. Green and the two officers looked on in amazement.  Ms. Green pulled out her com link and called Keith’s aunt and uncle.  Meiji and Akiko agreed to take Keith in and most of the animals. Carpet and Bear went to live out the rest of their lives with Officer Miller and his family. 

 

/****/

 

After the funeral, Keith and Scrapple moved the last of their things into their new room in Meiji and Akiko’s house.  “Keith-chan, do you need anything?” Akiko asked her nephew.

 

“No, thank you,” Keith said quietly.  As usual, Scrapple sat on his shoulder.  “May I go for a walk?”  Keith asked suddenly.

 

“Of course, kiddo, just be home in time for dinner.”

 

“Arigatoo,” Keith bowed to his aunt and left.  Keith and Scrapple strolled through the new neighborhood.  Three houses down, they found a skinny, auburn haired boy the same age as Keith, sitting on the top step, smoking a cigarette.  “Hi,” Keith said shyly.

 

“Hey,” The boy said.  “I’m Lance McClain. Do you know you have a rat on your shoulder?”

 

“I’m Keith Kogane, and yes I do. This is my best friend, Scrapple.” Keith held out his hand and Scrapple scampered down Keith’s arm to his hand to better see Lance through the haze of his cigarette smoke. 

 

“Cool.  Want a smoke?” Lance offered.

 

“No, thank you,” Keith said.

 

“You just move in here?” Lance asked.

 

“Yeah, I live with my aunt and uncle,” Keith answered.

 

“What, your parents kick you out too?” Lance asked.

 

“No, they died.”

 

Lance winced. “I’m sorry,” He blushed.

 

“That’s OK, there’s no way you could have known.  So who do you live with?”

 

“My grandma.  She’s pretty cool,” Lance said.  “Doesn’t like me smoking though.”

 

“Well, smoking does pollute the body,” Keith said.

 

Lance rolled his eyes.  “Do you like ice cream?  Grandma makes the best stuff.  It’s chocolate chip.”

 

“Sure, I love ice cream, so does Scrapple.”

 

“Can I hold him?” Lance asked.

 

“Put your cigarette out first. I don’t want him brushing up against the ember by mistake,” Keith smiled at Lance.

 

“Okay,” Lance put out the cigarette and held out his hand. Scrapple jumped into his hand and started chattering at him.  “What’s he doing?”

 

“He’s chattering.  His way of saying he likes you,” Keith smiled.

 

“Lance, what are you doing out here?” A quivering voice asked.  An elderly lady walked out onto the porch. “Oh, hello, you must be the new boy I heard about. Kevin right?”

 

“Keith, Ma’am,” Keith stood up and bowed.

 

“So polite.  What are you holding, Lance?”

 

“A rat, Granny.  His name is Scrapple. He’s Keith’s pet.”

 

Scrapple gave Lance a dirty look.  Keith chuckled.  “He’s not a pet. He’s my animal companion and best friend.”

 

“Oh, well, come in. I just made some cookies.  They’re snickerdoodles.  Have you ever had them, Keith?”  Granny McClain asked.

 

“No, Ma’am, I haven’t.”

 

“Well, come in, then, your rat too.  I’m sure I can find something for him to eat. What does he eat?”

 

“Organic vegetables and fruit mainly.  Same as I eat.  He has his own little dish at our table,” Keith explained.  “All of our animals do, well the cats and dog eat under the table, but they have their own dish and we make their food for them.”

 

“Well, I’m sure I can find something he’ll like to eat,” Granny McClain smiled at the boys and the rat.  Scrapple chattered at her.  “May I pet him?” She asked.

 

“Of course,” Keith said.  Granny McClain gently scratched Scrapple’s ears and petted the silky smooth rat. 

 

“Thank you, Keith, I never thought I’d see the day that I’d pet a rat,” She laughed and lead the boys inside for ice cream and cookies.

 

/****/

 

A year passed as it always does.  Keith and Lance’s friendship grew.  But Scrapple remained Keith’s first best friend.  One day, Lance looked over at the rat napping on Keith’s bed while the two boys did their home and asked “How old is Scrapple?”

 

“I…I’m not sure,” Keith said.  “He was born in my room when I was eight and I’m thirteen now.  I guess five years old.”

 

“Wow that’s old for a rat, isn’t it?” Lance commented.

 

“Yeah, it is. They normally live for two to three years,” Keith said.

 

“Man, then Scrapple’s gotta be ancient for a rat!” Lance exclaimed.

 

Keith nodded.  “I think so, but he’s healthy.”

 

“Yeah but still that’s like being 100, man,” Lance said, worried.

 

“I know,” Keith frowned.

 

“I…” Lance looked down then up. “I want to be here when… it’s time for Scrapple to go.  I like him.  He’s my friend too.”

 

“Thanks, man.”

 

/****/

 

Another year passed and Keith turned fourteen.  The day after his birthday, he noticed Scrapple looking haggard.  “Scrapple, you okay, old man?”  Keith petted the ancient rat’s head.  Scrapple looked up at Keith, his eyes sunken in and tired.  “It is time, Scrapple?”  Keith asked, his heart going up into his throat.  “Aunt Akiko! Uncle Meiji!” Keith yelled.

 

“What is it, child?” Akiko asked, running into Keith’s room with her husband.

 

“I think Scrapple’s dying!” Keith exclaimed, tears running down his face.  “I gotta call Lance!” Keith picked up his com with one hand and Scrapple with the other.  “Lance!”

 

“Keith, what’s up?” Lance asked.

 

“You gotta come over here!”

 

Lance heard the panic in Keith’s voice.  “OK, I’ll be right over!” Lance hung up his com and ran down the street to Keith’s house. 

 

Lance ran into Keith’s room and found Keith cradling Scrapple, whispering softly to the rat.  Keith told Scrapple that it was OK to go into the light and that he’d be reborn into a new and healthy body.  And that he was always welcome in Keith’s life.  Akiko leaned into Meiji while Lance sat next to Keith and put a hand on his shoulder.  Scrapple let out a soft sigh and closed his eyes, his heart still.  Keith kissed the still body and hugged it close.  Lance had tears pouring down his face. 

 

“Good bye, Scrapple,” Keith whispered. “I hope we meet again.”

 

“Keith,” Meiji spoke quietly.  “Would you like Scrapple cremated?  We can bury him under the flowers in our garden.”

 

Keith sniffled.  “OK, Uncle Meiji,” Keith said.

 

“Let’s go to the crematorium,” Meiji said.  “The one where your cousin Kennichi works.  They’ll do right by Scrapple.”

 

“Thank you, Uncle Meiji.”

 

 

After the trip to the crematorium, the Kogane family, Lance with them, returned home with a tiny urn filled with Scrapple’s ashes.  Keith buried Scrapple’s ashes under the daisies he loved to sniff at so much and nap under when he was alive.

 

Inside the house, Akiko served up a light meal while they talked about their memories of Scrapple and what a good rat he had been. What a good friend he had been.

 

“Auntie, do you think Scrapple is in Nirvana? He was the best rat in the whole universe,” Keith asked quietly.

 

“It’s possible he is, Keith,” Akiko said.  “Would you like to light the sage stick, Keith?”

 

“Yes, Auntie.”  Keith lit the sage stick and burned it. 


“What’s the sage do?” Lance asked Meiji.

 

“It helps to banish our sadness and any negative energy,” Meiji explained. 

 

“Oh, OK,” Lance nodded his head. He looked at the clock on the wall.  “I’d better get going home.”

“Do you want me to walk you home?” Keith offered.

 

“Sure,” Lance said.

 

The two boys walked to Lance’s grandmother’s house.  Outside, Keith looked at his shoes.  “Thank you, Lance, for being there,” He said.

 

“You’re welcome, Keith,” Lance said.

 

Keith leaned forward, amazed at his own boldness and kissed Lance on the lips.  Lance deepened the kiss.  The two boys broke apart after a few minutes of lip lock.  “That was…wow,” Keith was dazed.

 

“Yeah, it was. Your first one?” Lance asked.

 

“Yeah. Yours?”

 

“First boy.  I’ve kissed a few girls before, but it didn’t feel anything like that.”

 

Granny McClain came out of the house.  “Are you all right, Keithie boy?  Your uncle called me and told me about poor little Scrapple.”

 

“I will be, Mrs. McClain,” Keith smiled at her.  “I will be.”

 

THE END.


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Comments
mikanis_hatter From: mikanis_hatter Date: November 4th, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aww, I own a couple rats and you described them very well. Such a sweet story!
killerhippie466 From: killerhippie466 Date: November 4th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you very mucH! :D I love rats, even if I don't have any as pets. :)
2 cheesy lines delivered or cheese away!