Pairing: Jon/Spencer, Ryan/Brendon, Pete/Patrick, Frank/Gerard, Mikey/Ray, Gabe/William
Disclaimer: Not true at all. Not even a little bit :[
Summary: “Jon lost his tail,” Pete whispered when he came back from checking on the lambs. “Spencer’s not going to be happy.” Sequel to Three Bags Full.
A/N: Because justranda said there should be more, and I'm leaving soon with no promise of fic for 10 months, so my parting gift to you all is this.
The one thing Spencer learned from hanging around Gerard and the rest of his oddball flock was that he didn’t want to be different. He saw the way Gerard had been teased by Gabe at the shearing, and even though Frank had come to his rescue, Spencer didn’t want that to happen to him.
He, Ryan, Brendon, and Jon spent most of their time with Pete and Patrick. Ryan liked to huddle under Pete’s legs until Brendon lured him away with fresh grass. Jon lingered by Spencer, folding up on his legs and sleeping on top of him half the time.
It wasn’t long after they were born that the farmer had taken them out of the pen, just before they’d been released into the field. He’d put some sort of green elastic bands around their tails. Spencer found it painful at first and had struggled angrily against the tight grip of the farmer’s wife when they put it on.
The pain had dulled after a few moments, though, and Spencer didn’t understand. Ryan, Brendon, and Jon had come out with similar looking bands around their long, white tails, though, and Spencer thought nothing of it.
After the shearing incident, he and the rest of the lambs had escaped back into the far corner of the pasture with Patrick and Pete, the black sheep and posse taking up the rear. To be honest, Gerard was sort of fascinating to Spencer. Brendon was terrified of the black sheep after the Jimsonweed incident, but Spencer found it strangely intriguing.
Jon followed Spencer along the day he edged over to Gerard’s group, grazing along slowly and attempting to be inconspicuous. His tail twitched as they neared, and a sharp pain stole up his spine. He blamed the little green band.
Gerard and Frank were grazing under the maple tree, and Mikey and Ray were nearby, lying on the grass. Bob stood under the maple, gazing around through his intimidating black face.
“What are we doing?” Jon whispered, bumping into Spencer’s flank as they walked. Spencer’s shoulder twitched.
“I just wanna see,” he whispered back, but Jon nudged his shoulder lightly and didn’t respond.
Gerard’s wool was as short as it had been a few days before at the shearing, and he was edged against Frank as they grazed. They didn’t say anything to the lambs edging up.
Spencer just watched, hesitating. He didn’t know what to say. Back near the fence, Brendon was climbing all over Ryan as Pete watched fondly. Patrick kept his sharp eyes on the perimeter instead.
Spencer was so busy watching Frank and Gerard that he didn’t notice Ray sidling up behind him. He looked funny with his wool shorn short, but the curl was already returning as he came up behind Spencer and Jon.
“Docking,” he said knowledgeably, and Spencer jumped, turning around clumsily and knocking into Jon. Jon took it in stride, turning slowly to face Ray.
“What?” Spencer asked defensively, backing up into Jon. He might pretend to be fearless, but Ray was a much older and more powerful sheep, and when he was in full coat, he could be intimidating too. Spencer envied his wool and only hoped his would be like that someday.
Mikey wandered up next to Ray, pushing at his shoulder with his head. He peered a big brown eye at the two lambs.
“Too long,” he murmured vaguely, pushing at Ray again.
“Don’t worry,” Ray said, nudging back. “They’ll come off soon enough.”
“What?” Spencer asked again, but Ray was already wandering off to flop down next to Frank and Gerard, Mikey joining moments later.
Spencer’s confusion only increased a few minutes later when there was a great commotion from over where Brendon and Ryan were.
Ryan was staring at the ground where his white tail now lay. The band was gone, and his tail, short and stubby, twitched slowly. Brendon was jumping all over, tiny hoofs clambering over Ryan’s back.
“It fell off!” he was crying, stumbling around.
Spencer ran over, Jon trotting behind him, and stared. There was Ryan’s tail, on the ground, and the rest of it looked just like the other sheep.
“How—” Spencer tried to ask, but Ryan looked in shock.
Pete was hovering above them, making sure he was okay while Patrick stood guard all alone. Spencer thought sometimes that having Pete as their guard llama was useless when he paid more attention to them and Patrick than wolves.
“Yours’ll come off too,” Pete only said when they all stared at Ryan. “Don’t worry.”
But Spencer could only worry as he watched Ryan blink and smile slowly, pleased.
“Lambs are losing their tails,” Frank said as he returned from fence.
Gerard snorted in response, flopping down on the ground. He still didn’t like lambs, no matter how cute Pete thought they were. They were loud and annoying, always bleating for something or other, waking up in the middle of the night and crying out. Gerard liked his peace and quiet.
He also hated how the lambs always stared at him like he was this strange monstrosity out in the pasture. He was just the black sheep for fuck’s sake.
Frank bumped his shoulder with his nonexistent horns. Glancing down, Gerard sighed and pushed back.
“We could have a lamb,” he offered, and Gerard laughed quietly.
“Sure we could,” he agreed as he sunk to his knees and Frank settled down, his nose pushed against his shoulder. He didn’t mention the fact that they were both rams. He honestly didn’t think that Frank cared.
Spencer was getting paranoid now.
Brendon’s tail had fallen off the next day, much to his excitement. Brendon and Ryan were running around like they’d gone through some huge right of passage, which it was. Spencer didn’t understand why he couldn’t do it too.
He distanced himself from Ryan and Brendon where Brendon was tugging on his ear and tumbling over him amongst the daisies. Spencer didn’t need any daisies to be happy.
Instead, he sat down on a patch of grass and glared at the greener grass over by Ryan and Brendon.
Jon ambled over to him after a while and flopped down next to him, nudging his shoulder.
“Yours’ll come off,” he said quietly, snuggling closer while Spencer glared across the field at Ryan and Brendon.
“They act like no one’s ever done it before,” he grumbled, pawing at the ground. “They won’t stop talking about it.”
Jon didn’t reply, laying his head down on the ground and watching Brendon jump around, white and yellow flower petals flying around them.
After a moment, Spencer sighed and lay his head down too, half on top of Jon’s neck.
“I’ll lose my tail eventually,” he muttered darkly. “It’s just not the right time.”
Jon just scooted in closer.
Pete and Patrick stood guard at night, watching the little lambs sleep and Gerard and his group huddled under the maple tree. Patrick usually stayed by the fence but Pete liked to wander.
“Jon lost his tail,” he whispered when he came back from checking on the lambs. “Spencer’s not going to be happy.”
Patrick didn’t groan, but he knew they’d have to keep a close watch in the morning. Shifting on his tired hooves, he glanced out over the far field. The rest of the sheep slept in a large flock near the barn. They were safer than these few renegade sheep who liked to stay out by the fence.
Technically, they were supposed to guard the whole flock, but Pete and Patrick sort of gravitated to Gerard. Pete said it was because he needed more protection than the others, being the black sheep and all. Patrick thought it was just because Pete thought they could be alone more out here.
Patrick shifted again. He was getting tired. He’d been standing all day, watching the lambs frolic and Gerard shy away, disappearing with Frank behind the maple tree instead. He didn’t understand why Pete wasn’t tired, but then, Pete didn’t really sleep.
“Lie down,” Pete said, pushing his nose against Patrick’s long neck. He was still fluffy with wool, but they would need to be sheared soon too. Patrick hated when they were sheared. He always felt naked.
Patrick sent him a look, but Pete pawed at him with his hoof, and he finally sunk down, bending his knees beneath him and curling up.
“I’ll protect you,” Pete said, biting at his shoulder for a second before curving down to look at Patrick. Patrick was already asleep, neck tucked into his side. Pete looked back over the dark field. “I’ll protect you.”
Spencer was not happy. How could everyone else have lost their tails except him? He was this close to pulling the damn thing out. But Ray had said wisely not to do that, and despite Spencer’s annoyance, he thought he should listen to the older sheep on this one. He didn’t want an infection like Cash, one of the other little lambs, had gotten.
So he grumbled and stalked around the pasture, surly and irritated. He refused to speak to Ryan and Brendon. Brendon bleated for a long while after that while Ryan tried to comfort him, chewing on his ear and lying on top of him all afternoon.
Jon edged up to Spencer when he wasn’t looking and tried to apologize, but Spencer wouldn’t hear it. Instead, he retreated over to where Gerard was grazing with Frank. Frank was trying to show off for the ewes, but they just didn’t care as he trotted by, tossing his head in the air.
“What’s wrong with my horns?” he asked Gerard as he returned, butting his shoulder lightly.
“Absolutely nothing,” Gerard replied, tail twitching as Frank pressed against his shoulder.
Spencer flopped on the ground nearby, pushing himself into the grass and not caring if he got dirty. His stupid tail wasn’t going anywhere, and it pissed him off. He just wanted it to fall off, so he wouldn’t be labeled an undocked sheep. He was sure that Gabe sheep would find some way to make fun of him, and he wouldn’t give him the chance if he could help it. If only he had a friend like Frank to headbutt any enemies.
Instead, he sighed, resting his head down on his front legs and watching Gerard and Frank.
He knew Pete had followed him over, pretending to pull leaves off the maple, but really just watching him. Spencer didn’t need a guard llama. He could take care of himself.
If his tail didn’t come off soon, he was going to do something drastic.
“Tail still on?”
Ray appeared out of nowhere, Mikey trailing along behind looking dazed as he swayed against Ray. Spencer didn’t reply, glaring at his hooves. He heard Ray flop down beside him, kicking his legs out behind him. Mikey grabbed his ear.
“Some are late bloomers. Nothin’ to be ashamed of.”
“Baaaa!” Spencer bleated indignantly. “I’m not a late bloomer! I’ll lose my tail.”
Ray ignored him. “Has the farmer checked you lately?”
“Yesterday,” Spencer grumbled, remembering how the farmer had come out and checked them all. He’d seemed happy with Ryan, Brendon, and Jon. He’d just given Spencer a look and walked off.
Ray paused, pulling at a tuft of grass and chewing thoughtfully. “It’ll happen.”
Spencer just glared.
That night, Spencer lay awake and didn’t protest when Jon slinked over, nuzzling into his neck and creeping in to lie next to him.
“You’ll lose your tail,” Jon murmured confidently, laying down his head.
Spencer wasn’t so sure, but he felt better with Jon’s warm weight pressing against him, so he closed his eyes and tried to sleep through the sound of Pete’s wheezy breathing while Patrick stood guard silently at the edge of the field.
It had been almost two weeks since the band had been put on. Pete came back with the news that all the other lambs had lost their tails, and Spencer felt worse, if that was even possible.
Jon nudged him comfortingly, and Spencer glared at Ryan and Brendon instead as Brendon galloped off to play in the daisies and Ryan followed.
“I hope Ryan eats Jimsonweed,” he muttered to himself, leaving where Pete was still glowing over the newest lambs, all named Alex.
Instead, he circled around the pasture with Jon trotting alongside, not speaking, and pausing to pick at a few greener patches of grass. They wandered a long ways away from their usual spot, and Spencer really didn’t care. His tail, still long, twitched behind him and he scowled whenever he felt it.
“Still got your tail on, huh?” A new voice emerged from behind a bush and Spencer stopped sharply. Jon ran into him, bumping back and nearly falling over.
Eyes sharp, Spencer watched as Gabe, the tall sheep from the shearing, emerged from behind the bush, sticks and leaves stuck to his wool. He only smirked at Spencer and ignored the other ram that came stumbling out behind him, long legs tripping on the uneven ground.
“See you later, Gabe,” the other sheep said, turning to head back to the flock without even a glance at Spencer and Jon.
“Later, Bilvy,” Gabe called after William, focusing his attention back on Spencer as he smirked. “A little slow on the uptake, huh? Stubborn tail? I can help you with that.”
Spencer took a step back cautiously. “No thanks.”
Gabe leered, taking a few steps forward. His hoofs left imprints in the soft grass.
“Hey, no worries. I like a little tail now and again.”
Spencer backed up, and Jon edged into him.
“Spencer’s tail will come off,” he just said, and Gabe snorted, pawing the ground.
“You’ll be like the black sheep, an outcast, with a tail.”
“I will not!” Spencer backed up again as Gabe came closer. Jon went with him, watching Gabe sharply, eyes narrowed.
“I can take care of it for you,” he offered, but Spencer had had enough. Instead of answering, he turned and took off across the pasture, ignoring Gabe's parting call of, “I want my taily-po!”
Spencer ran, hooves clattering on the ground, and Jon went with him, darting around bushes and trees until they came to a stop close to the others. Spencer was panting for breath, collapsing on his elbows and staring at the ground that seemed to be moving in front of him.
Jon came up behind him, stopping behind him.
“Hey, Spence…” he said after a minute, voice wondering, and Spencer glanced back.
Clambering up, Spencer tried to look but it was impossible as he circled around himself. “What?”
“It’s gone!” Jon’s brown eyes lit up as Spencer stared.
“It is?” he asked, hardly able to believe it. Jon nosed his shoulder in response. “Gabe did help!”
“He did not,” Jon argued. “I was about to headbutt him if he didn’t stop.”
Spencer stopped trying to look at his tail and stared at Jon. “Really?”
“Really,” Jon replied, shuffling up to him and hesitating before grabbing his ear and giving a light tug.
Spencer almost didn’t know what to think, as Jon let go of his ear and nudged his shoulder.
“Maybe you should talk to Ryan and Brendon,” he offered, and Spencer knew he was right, but that didn’t mean he had to go right away. Instead, he flopped down on the ground on the greenest patch of grass he could find.
“In a minute,” he said, and Jon waited a second before flopping down too.
Across the field, Spencer could see Ryan and Brendon romping in the grass around Pete while Patrick kept an eye out for coyotes. Gerard and his group were lounged comfortably under the maple tree, and Spencer decided, watching them, that he was glad he’d lost his tail, but being different wasn’t all bad.
Beside him, Jon edged his nose into his shoulder, and Spencer settled down.
Not so bad at all.