Deadliest Warrior by ff_b

"Catch me if you can!," cried Julien to his tormentors. Everyone wanted to catch a fox, but Julien knew he was better on his worst day than the humans were on their best day. The chase could almost be exhilarating...but something about this chase was different, something was terribly wrong...

The plodding Bozo after him seemed to be bearing a gladiatorial short sword and wearing a helmet; what was this, Roman Holiday week at the fraternity? Foxes are nothing if not adaptable, however, and Julien led his pursuer through a thickening thicket of brush over uneven terrain before inducing him to cross a rotted log bridge, which collapsed under his weight and sent the would-be Spartacus tumbling to unconsciousness many feet below.

Julien couldn't reflect upon his victory, however, as an arrow impacted with a tree scant inches away from his head. The fox turned to regard an Apache brave a few dozen yards away, who uttered a war whoop and fitted another arrow to a bow. The shaft whizzed through the air in Julien's direction as he bolted through the underbrush, hearing the 'thwack!' of the arrow as it embedded itself in another tree trunk while the fox made good his escape.

Julien scaled a tree several hundred yards away, watching the Apache approach from a safe elevation. 'Hail to thee, oh mighty hunter!,' thought Julien as he dropped a large rock on the Apache's head. Meditating on the significance of his strange pursuers, Julien descended the tree, barely reaching the ground before a musket ball splintered a branch nearby. The fox wheeled about to behold a pirate raising an antique single-shot pistol in his direction.

'This is getting old fast!, thought Julien as he again bolted into the woods, pausing only to snatch a large pointed stick from the forest floor. Easily outdistancing the pirate, Julien put some space between the man and himself, observing his adversary undetected from a hollow log. Smelling the pirate's foul stench before he could see him, Julien thrust upward with his makeshift spear at just the right instant to catch him in the chest, and ensure that his booty didn't become the pirate's.

The faint thud of hoofbeats alerted Julien to the approach of a mounted knight in full armor. "Wait a minute!," shouted Julien in a moment of epiphany, "I get this now!" Julien stood directly in front of the now-galloping knight as the armored menace spurred his mount into a charge. With a lance targeting his chest, Julien stood his ground and resolutely shouted at his attacker, "You're...not...REAL!"

With the lance mere feet away from his chest, the knight dissolved to glowing sparks, behind which giggled Morpheus, the magical kitsune! "You old trickster!," shouted Julien at his friend. "You've been watching entirely too much of 'The Deadliest Warrior' on 'Spike TV!"

"Guilty as charged!," grinned Morpheus, his multiple tails wagging playfully in different directions. "Only a fox can outfox another fox, and once again your mind beats my magic!-What do 'ya say we grab a burger and fries?"

"Sounds unhealthy to me," agreed Julien. The duo padded off, the kitsune's paw prints leaving rainbow colors on the ground as he passed...