What’s wrong with a little toughness? …Oh yeah…you.
The sunlight dimmed as the night fell across the land. Hundreds of anthros began to fall asleep while others became more active. The land was covered with nocturnal animals that loved to kick the worries of being seen in the broad daylight aside. Bats, wolves, snakes, huge strong felines, and even the occasional elephant would gather in arenas at night, often times to prove to one another who would be the best. In the midst of all of these creatures one had never been beaten in the fighting matches of the arena. That creature was a monster of a horse anthro named Brutus. This horse always had on a small yellow jacket that never fit him right and blue shorts because rumor had it those were the only cloths he had from his past. Living in the rough slums of a major city had very bad things occasionally happen…and unfortunately for Brutus’s family they were hit very hard. In a matter of days Brutus’s father and mother were robbed so badly they couldn’t afford anything on their own. Brutus had to step into the spotlight of local fighting tournaments in order to provide for the family quickly.
Brutus was huge in almost every way, shape, and form. About a foot taller than normal horse anthros, rock hard muscles, a longer nose, bigger nostrils, and large arms that were also able to dish out punishment like no one else could, this guy had everything going right. Providing for his family for the last 5 years with just his bare hands, Brutus had lived up to become a fighting legend. No matter what new hotshot came into the arena they were no match for him…but everything changed because of one other horse anthro…one that never was seen as a threat.
Robby Dunker was about 21-years-old despite his very cute looks. Having red eyes, light brown skin, and a incredibly gentle personality, he had come in the arena to look for something new to do. He was watching the fights, just like any other bystander would, but he blushed as he heard the familiar sounds of snickers behind him. Being so cute looking really wasn’t a blessing in these arenas. He sighed as he tried his best to ignore more and more whispers like ‘hey it’s the adorable kid again.’ ‘He should be invited to a stuffed animals party!’ and ‘he’s such a cutee…bwahahahaha! What a joke.’
As he sat down on the forth row, he eyed the fighters in the ring. Brutus was making his way to fight against a newcomer, another hotshot named Ron the bull. As Ron charged head on to try and take Brutus down, the horse bent his knees and jumped high into the air, making the bull charge underneath his legs. This proved to be in huge favor to Brutus. A horse’s legs were famous for their powerful kicks…and the bull’s head was right under his huge hoofs. Delivering a jabbing kick right on the horns, the bull dropped like a sack of potatoes on the floor, unconscious for what Brutus thought would be a few days. His horns were bent in awkward positions, showing just how powerful Brutus was.
As the horse used his normal glaring look, he lifted his arms into the air, knowing victory was his yet again. While he was gloating, a beautiful silvery coated horse anthro caught his eye. She was sitting in the 2nd row, looking shyly on the ground while her companions, drunk by the look of them, hollered and neighed wildly. What was a woman like that doing in an arena? The mare looked up, seeing that Brutus was looking right at her, then made her head stare at whatever fascinating object was at the ground. Brutus’s sharp eyes detected a pink blush on her silver face and he smiled, just a little bit, for the first time in a very long time.
He frowned again as she got up and started to make her way out of the arena. Making a mental note as to where she was exiting from, he thought of a way to ditch the paparazzi after he finished his ‘gloating moment’. Brutus failed to notice that another horse was making his way out of his seat and heading out too. Robby wasn’t watching where he was going and as the mare made her way past his row Robby nearly collided with her face-first. The mare stumbled down a step, rubbing her long nose as he had barely smacked her with his own nose. Unfortunately for Robby, this mare must’ve been wearing some kind of perfume. His nostrils were flaring in and out in patterns, growing frantic and irregular sized as he took inhales, and squirming as he exhaled through them.
“I…I’m so…ha…soaahh…I’m *sniffle* sor…haaaah…” every second more he spent trying to apologize the more his nostrils flared up. The perfume was really messing with his keen sense of smell too…he couldn’t smell anything but her sweet aroma of peachy perfume. She stepped sideways and tilted her head back, not wanting this male horse to see how embarrassed she was. As she went by Robby’s nose scrunched up and shook with incredible force, the perfume scent seeped into each nostril in an overflowing wave. “Haaah…aaaahhh…HAA…”
The mare continued walking up those stairs until she reached the exit row. Looking back at what the horse was doing, she noticed that he was rubbing his shaking long nose and trying desperately to not sneeze…but even from this distance she could see his hitched breaths building up, gathering intensity and strength.
“HAAAH…AAAAAHHH…HAAA’KSSHUU!” The cute horse backpedaled 3 steps as his sneeze seemed to be too powerful for his body. His red eyes opened and he massaged his nostrils carefully, making sure that he wouldn’t cause any further embarrassment to himself. Fortunately for Robby, only those that paid attention to him heard his sneeze. The other people in the arena were still cheering their heads off for Brutus. Brutus, however, glared at the younger horse as he had watched the whole thing. He thought that Robby had nearly collided with this mare on purpose.
The mare disappeared from the arena that night, even when Brutus made his way through the paparazzi to find her. The fighter huffed in contained anger when he realized she was probably nowhere to be found. Robby was sort of dazed from his encounter with the beautiful horse as he got out of the arena but when he got to where Brutus was the fighter saw him.
“Hey you. Yeah, you with the red eyes. Come here for a minute.” Robby was shaking as he came close to the star fighter. He had no idea why he wanted him like this. As he got within a few feet from Brutus a breeze blew in, carrying with it that familiar peachy smell. Again his nostrils began to tremble, shaking as the smell caused the beginning of an allergic reaction.
“I want to know where the mare is.” This question basically flew completely over the head of Robby as he was focused intently on stopping the sneeze that grew more and more demanding in his nose. Flared nostrils began to be more common than his normal breathing and as he tried to speak his hoof froze, a sharp tickle forming in the back of his nose as another breeze carried even more of the peachy smell.
“I haa…have no idea w…waa…what you are talking aahbout s…sir.” He stammered with both fear and the growing burning itch in his nose. His nostrils were flaring so badly now that Brutus began to notice them. Having such a large nose himself, he knew a tickle and a start of a sneeze when he saw one.
“Hey kid, you need to sneeze? No one is going to…”
“HAAT’SSHUU!” Robbie’s head luckily turned slightly so his sneeze avoided Brutus’s massive body but the fighter felt the wind from this smaller horse’s sneeze flow across his left hand. The fighter laughed as Robbie’s helpless pre-sneeze expression was on his face yet again. He put his left hand across his own nose to stop himself from laughing too loud. It was a tainting image to a fighter’s reputation if he or she was seen laughing.
“I used to have that look on my face time after time. You won’t see me sneeze anytime soon though. I keep up my immune system so NOTHING gets the best of me anymore. Let me tell ya kid…wait, how old are you?”
Robbie couldn’t answer right away. He put a hands up in front of his face in a vain attempt to cover up his sneeze. “Haah…ahhh…aaahh…HA…aaaaahhh…HAATCSHOO! Mr. Brutus sir…*sniff* sorry about this. It’s my a…ahh…allehh…heeeh…” His nostrils once again flared up too much for him to talk normally. His breath wavered as the sneeze once again took complete control over him. His eyes teared up slightly just enough so the small tears ran down his long muzzle, tickling his nose further. “Haa…AHH…HAA’KCHOOO! It’s my allergy Mr. Brutus. Some lady ha…had it and it’s still a…around. *sniff* ahh…haaaah…aahh…AAAHCHOO! My name is Robby by the way. I’m 21.”
The look of Brutus’s face would’ve been what was a fighter’s version of shock. Only an eyebrow was raised and he had a puzzled look in his eyes. Crossing his huge arms across his chest Brutus murmered in disbelief. “You can’t be only 4 years younger than me. You don’t look any older than 15 at the very most.”
From a distance the silver mare was watching the cute horse and the handsome strong fighter. “Oh my…I hope I didn’t cause any problems.” She looked at her small friend, a small sparrow flying next to her, and her large eyes filled with worry. “I don’t want Robby to get hurt. He was my friend when we were just foals.”
The little sparrow laughed maniacally. “Oh sure. He was your friend all right…but isn’t he still a foal now? HA hahahaha!”
“Oh don’t be so harsh on Robby. He was nice to you too Quester!”
“Yeah…I just love to constantly tease him about it though. He looks so young still! AHAH…eh…” A glare from the beautiful mare shut him up. “Ok ok. Well I think I know a way to handle this situation. Just leave it to me!”
The mare gasped as Quester zipped through the air in zigzag lines. The small sparrow landed right on Brutus’s long nose, his tail feathers just a few millimeters away from the edge of his nostrils. “Why aren’t you a big boy now? Mighty fine night, isn’t it?” Quester hid a smile as he felt the nostrils move on their own as Brutus snorted. The small bird felt the edge of those nostrils touch his tail feathers a few times as Brutus gave his response.
“Don’t you know who I am? I’m Brutus, king of the ring and you…you are a small pest tha…that needs to be squashed. Now get off of my nose you feathery ball!”
“A BALL?” Questers tail feathers bent downwards, going into the top half of the nostrils that he was standing on top of. “That is reserved for my quail cousins! Humph! I would peck at you if I could…” Quester grinned in his beak as he felt the air suck in his tail feathers just a tad, making them brush along the openings of each nostril. The small bird felt the nostrils rise beneath him and quiver as the feathers did their work.
Brutus had his concentration broken. This hasn’t happened in over 3 years! He never got distracted with anything like this anymore. Was he truly about to do what his nose was begging him to do? NO! A fighter does NOT sneeze…ever. When was the last time anyone has ever sneezed in the middle of a fight? That’s right…NEVER. Brutus, before his time in the ring, had such a sensitive nose that even walking into a dusty home made him sneeze. With such a big body, his lungs were large and could hold in a LOT of air. Like Robby’s sneezes, Brutus had a sneeze that was loud, strong, and was very distracting.
Quester was astonished as the shakes underneath him slowed down as Brutus closed his eyes and took deep breaths through his mouth. This called for drastic action. Taking one of his own tail feathers off, Quester began to walk up and down Brutus’s long nose. The little sharp talons were nowhere near strong enough to hurt Brutus’s nose, even though it was easily the most sensitive part of his muscular body, but it did make small itchy spots on his nose wherever a talon poked at. Brutus’s eyes snapped open and he made a hand reach out and grabbed the troublesome sparrow. Quester’s eyes bulged as the hand squeezed him tighter and tighter.
“S…Strong grip you got there Brutus…” The sparrow had a surprise for Brutus though that the fighter didn’t see coming. The feather that he had pulled off rested on the long nose right inbetween the eyes of Brutus. When Quester was grabbed Brutus had lowered his head so he could get a good look at the bird as he squeezed him. This moved the feather off of its current position into the air, making it fall gently towards what was supposed to be the ground. Instead it was closer to Brutus’s nostrils. Brutus sucked in a deep breath through his nose just as he was about to snort in annoyance when the feather got in the way.
The brownish-white feather traveled up one of Brutus’s nostrils and made the fighter release Quester as Brutus’s eyes lost focus. “Uhh…huuuh…huuh…” Brutus felt the feather travel deeper up his nostril, teasing all the parts of his large inner part of his nostril until it got stuck in a narrow spot. As Brutus had his hitched breaths, the feather shook at that spot, tickling the walls of the nostril as it waved in its stuck position. “Huuuuhh…haa…ahhhh…haaah…Haaaa…” His deep masculine voice carried its normal tone as his breathing became more desperate.
“Huuh…HUUH…HA…HUAAH…HUUUNCSSHOOOO!” The feather blew out of his nostril so fast Robby saw it nearly land on his own nose. Robby just barely managed to exhale at just the right moment to make the feather stop heading in his direction. Unfortunately for Brutus the sparrow had flown right in front of his nostrils and was flapping his wings right along the flared surfaces of those nostrils. Brutus felt his sneezy feeling increase tenfold as that feathery scent and tiny fluffs of the small bird’s feathers traveled around his nostrils. The deeper they went, the more his long nose had wavy lines weave their way along his nose. It got to the point where his chest muscles expanded and contracted visibly at how desperate his breathing got. For the first time in forever tears formed in his dark eyes as the itch in his nose became too much for him to handle.
His nostrils grew and grew until the sparrow felt like he could squeeze inside one of them. That’s how big his nostrils appeared to be for that small bird. (of course…Quester was pretty chubby like Brutus mentioned earlier…he wouldn’t have been able to fit through a nostril twice Brutus’s maxed out flared nostrils XD) The sparrow made a smart move and flew back to the silver mare, not wanting to be blown to a wall with that kind of force. The unnamed mare didn’t want to get herself or the sparrow into any more trouble than they were probably in right now. She started to run away from the arena and back to her own home that truly wasn’t that far away from Robby’s home.
Meanwhile Brutus asked Robby to try and help him. “Li…ha…listen kid I…heh…neehh…need you to he..heeh…haaa…help me with thihh…huuuuh…” Robby lifted up a hand to try and help but Brutus’s nose lifted slightly just as Robby attempted to rub those flared nostrils. This caused them to flare up to their maximum points and Brutus felt his head tilt back further than his last sneeze. This was going to be a big sneeze, even for him. “Huuuuhhh…HUUH…HAAAAAA…HAAAAHH…”
With the sneeze so close to coming Robby decided to duck, and it was a good thing he did. Brutus felt his head jerk downwards and if Robby hadn’t ducked that sneeze would’ve hit Robby in the face almost dead on. Instead Robby felt his hair wave as the powerful sneezes exploded from the strong horse. “HAAAAANSSCHUUU! Huuh…huuuuh…HUUUUUNKSHOOO! HAAATSSHOOOO! *deep sniff* …Looks like that stupid bird put up a better fight than I expected. I won’t lose to him like that again, that I can prove to you.”
Brutus looked pretty mad at having someone so small affect him more than the fights did. He started to head back to the arena to clear his head with another pummeling round but he turned and stopped to look at Robby. “Hey kid. Come on by the arena during the day and I can make a stallion out of you.” Robby’s eyes widened and he smiled, happy to have someone treat him this way. Indeed Brutus had a friendlier look about him since they first saw each other face to face…or maybe that’s because he was still a little bit sneezy. Either way Robby nodded eagerly and headed back home, thinking about how Brutus could help him get stronger.