The rain pounded hard against the window, the frigid wind howling through the beating of the raindrops.
A bored Baby Kougra stared out, imaging the scene within cascaded in sunlight, rather than sheets of relentless rain. He sighed disappointedly, foreseeing a long uneventful day ahead.
He heard sounds from outside the door and guessed it was his owner leaving off somewhere. Leave it to his crazy owner to go off in the rain. She yelled a goodbye and left, slamming the door.
The Baby Kougra shifted in the covers of his bed as he continued to stare outside, wishing that the rain would stop and morph into blissful sunshine.
He hated rainy days. He was prohibited from going out in the rain due to the risk of catching a cold or something. And one of his favorite things was to go out and play. He felt free doing it. On rainy days, he was the epitome of a caged petpet, staying in his room all day, bored out of his mind.
He twirled his Kougra plushie in his paws for a moment or two, and heard the front door slam again. Wondering who left, he fell back into his pillow and buried himself into his warm comforter. At least he could find some form of comfort in the cold.
His bedroom door open and he poked his head out, his muzzle the only thing fully shown. A Desert Kougra donned in a leather jacket and jeans walked in, ear twitching. He put on a playful expression and rubbed his chin. "Hmm...I wonder where Nicky is? Gee, I hope he didn't get stuck under the bed again...or what if he turned invisible?"
Failing to gain a laugh from the baby Kougra, he put his hand down and sighed. "Hey, Nicky, what's buggin' ya, lil bro?"
Nicky poked his head fully out and shrugged. "It's nothing, Tiger. Just that the stupid rain ruined my day again."
Tiger rubbed the back of his head. "Ah. Yeah, it's been raining pretty hard these past couple of days."
Nicky escaped the cocoon of blankets and hugged his plushie to his chest. "Where're Prince and Kougra?" he inquired, speaking of his two other brothers.
"Oh. Prince said he was going to a friend's and Kougra said he was going to go get something to eat despite the fact he ate breakfast twenty minutes ago," Tiger explained. He knew all the facts about his brothers being he was the eldest in the group.
Nicky nodded. "Guess I'm just gonna stay in bed today."
"Why don't you play with your toys?" Tiger motioned to the small box of toys Nicky owned.
The Baby Kougra shook his head. "I played with those yesterday... and the day before that! I wanna go outside, but the stupid rain won't let me."
Tiger cringed at his baby brother's crestfallen look, his huge soulful eyes brimming with tears.
"Ya know, we can switch it up a little today then," he piped up, grasping the attention of the Baby Kougra.
"How?" Nicky raised an eyebrow curiously.
"It's only you and me today, bro. Lizzy isn't coming back for a while, and I doubt Prince or Kougra will either." He strolled over to the Baby Kougra's closet and withdrew a long-sleeved shirt and pair of jeans. "C'mon, let's get you dressed and fed. I don't need you staying cooped up in here and eventually eating your plushie."
"Eww, why would I eat a PLUSHIE?!" Nicky wrinkled his nose at his brother's comment. "...why? Does it taste good?"
Tiger rolled his eyes. "Great. You're gonna start a game of Twenty Million Questions, huh?"
Giving a small smile, Nicky leapt off his bed and changed into the clothes that were handed to him. He wasn't sure what his oldest brother was planning. Tiger hardly stuck around long enough to spend "bro time", as he called it, with any of his siblings.
They were soon in the kitchen and Nicky plopped himself in a chair as Tiger slid a bowl of cereal in front of him.
"I didn't know I got a maid today," Nicky quipped and Tiger snorted. "Dream on, lil dude."
Once he had eaten the last spoonful of cereal, Tiger began to speak. "So, Nicky, this day can go to you. What do you want to do?"
The Baby Kougra shrugged as he pushed the bowl away. "I dunno. Go outside, but that's out of the question."
Tiger looked out at the pouring rain, contemplating for a second on what they could do. He smiled and looked back at his younger brother. "How about we make a fort?"
"A fort?" Nicky echoed incredulously.
"Yeah. Like how Kougra and I used to do it. When you were painted baby and Lizzy took care of you, Kougra and I would put chairs together and then drape a blanket over them. Basically a tent, but we'd spiffy it up and call it a fort."
"Why'd you quit doing that?" Nicky questioned, noting that he hadn't seen forts in the living room since then.
Tiger shrugged. "We just... stopped. We moved from making forts to making neighbors crazy." He smiled at the thought. "But we can do it."
"Sure!" Nicky pushed back his chair, nearly tumbling to the linoleum. "I wanna do it!"
The two brothers spent a good half hour trying to arrange chairs in just the perfect way. Tiger had to move aside the sofas and table, and he broke a lamp in the process (Lizzy wasn't going to like that...) but Nicky finally was satisfied by the arrangement and Tiger draped a large dark blue blanket over the chairs.
The two crawled inside, moving into a dark shadowy world that was warm and cozy. But it felt too empty, and they sat there staring at each other for a moment or two.
"...what now?" Nicky groaned, hoping this wasn't all there was to it. Having staring contests wasn't one thing he recalled his brothers doing in the forts.
"Now we make this FUN," Tiger assured and crawled out. He returned with an armful of pillows and dumped them in front of his baby brother. "C'mon, now. It's your fort too."
The two set to work upgrading their plain tent into what was now an army fort. They rushed around the house, gathering items they deemed useful and added it to the fort.
About an hour later, Nicky raced down the hall, a cooking pot on his head. A plastic shield was in one hand and a wooden sword was in the other.
"RANDOM BATTLE CRY!" He cheered and slipped into the tent, which now had a sign in crooked letters that labeled it as the "Battle Fort".
Nicky poked his head out to survey the area before retreating back into the tent. He sat back on a pillow, and turned on the "fire" which was really one of Lizzy's many lamps. He "warmed" his hands over it, his sword and shield at his side.
Just then, he felt a jab in his side. Looking up, he saw a familiar Desert Kougra face peering back at him from a small opening in the tent.
Nicky jumped up, grabbed his weapons, and exited the tent. Tiger rounded the fort, carrying his own set of weapons, a strainer on his head in place of a helmet.
"So, little bro." The Kougra twirled his sword skillfully in his hand. "Ready to get your fort raided?"
"Nuh-uh, cause I'm gonna win!" Nicky spat vehemently, trying to twirl his sword. It flew from his grip and whacked Tiger in the chest.
"OWW...gosh, Nicky, you're beating me without even swinging your sword!" Tiger huffed, childishly pouting, and Nicky giggled. "Yeah, cause I'm just that awesome."
"We'll see about that." The Desert Kougra jumped forward, swinging his sword. Nicky shrieked and ran down the hall, waving his hands like a Pteri trying to take flight. "HEEELP!" He hollered amongst sniggers.
They took a break to eat lunch, which were basically sandwiches containing whatever they found sandwich-wise in the fridge. Then they resumed their game of Nicky running into the fort, boldly attacking Tiger, then running through the house and hiding wherever he could.
At one point, Tiger caught the Baby Kougra. "Gotcha!"
"Now what?!" Nicky squirmed in his older brother's arms, happy to see an unsure look on the Kougra's face.
"Now... uh... you will pay for challenging my skills!" The Desert Kougra began to mercilessly tickle the Baby Kougra in his arms.
"AGH! NO, TIGER!" Nicky tried to push away from the taller Kougra, giggling uncontrollably. "TIIIGER! Stop it! White flag, WHITE FLAG!"
"I get the fort now," Tiger announced triumphantly, lifting his head proudly.
Nicky gave a sly smirk as an idea formed in his mind. "Yeah...and how I attack YOU!"
Tiger let his smile fall and he feigned a look of fear. "Oh, darn it."
Nicky ran after the eldest brother, who jogged down the hall, tail flicking. "Can't catch me! Can't catch--OOF!" He was tackled to the floor only seconds later.
"You're not a very fast runner!" Nicky commented as he tried to tickle his brother, being rather unsuccessful.
"Agh, no, Nicky... I thought we were frieeeends." The Kougra let his head fall back and he stuck his tongue out.
"Tigeerrrr!" Nicky huffed, tugging his brother's jacket. "You're supposed to be TICKLED!"
"Aw, man." The Kougra opened his blazing blue eyes and stared at the small form on his chest. "Fine, you win. White flag!"
Lizzy walked into the house, shivering and wet to the bone. "Man...I think my shoes are filled with water... and my pockets..."
A Snow Kougra entered behind her, pulling his jacket closer to him. "I hate rain," he grumbled as he headed straight to the kitchen. He blinked at the sight of bread, cheese, meat, and other food items strewn throughout the kitchen. "Okay... who ate sandwiches and didn't share with me?!"
"Wow, Kougra, who would--WHOA, what happened here?!" Lizzy stared wide-eyed at the wild mess in the kitchen. Seeing a white form out of the corner of her eye, she entered the living room to see a fort constructed smack in the middle. Feeling slightly nostalgic, she knelt down to peer inside.
Tiger was fast asleep, his head on half of a pillow and a blanket draped over him. In his arms was Nicky, also sleeping soundly, his wooden sword still clenched in his hand, and his head resting on the other half of the pillow.
Kougra poked his head in and whistled softly. "Ha! This'll be some AWESOME blackmail!"
Lizzy snorted. "I'm not letting you do that. Let's go back outside."
"...say what now?"
"Back outside. Now." The teen nodded in the direction of the front door and Kougra's jaw dropped. "You're kidding. But... this is GOLD here, I could--"
"LEZZGO." She grabbed his collar and yanked him out the door as he protested along the way. Tiger and Nicky stayed in their fort, perfectly content and sleeping soundly.
For once, a rainy day was awesome.