To anyone who's been around long enough to know why I'm apologizing for one particular part of this (you'll know it when you see it) -- I apologize for one particular part of this. But really, it couldn't be helped. Really!
Many, many thanks to Ninjababe for creating this universe and letting me play in her sandbox, and for the initial idea for this particular story. While it isn't necessary to read the earlier stories, this story does refer back to them in places so it'll make a bit more sense if you do. Besides, they're worth reading! You can find them at

written September 16, 1999


Walkin' on the Wild Side

by Arduinna


Sentinelman stopped suddenly and cocked his head to one side, cupping a hand behind his ear. "Do you hear that, Anthro Boy?" he demanded.

Anthro Boy tugged discreetly at the seat of his jeans for the tenth time in the past hour, wishing that his latest "blend in with the culture" disguise had called for baggier pants. "Since I'm not a sentinel, Sentinelman, no, I didn't hear it."

"There's no need to be sarcastic," Sentinelman reproved, shaking his head as he looked back at his sidekick. "It makes you sound like you're wearing shorts that are too tight."

Anthro Boy glared. It would have been more effective if Sentinelman had noticed, but it was a hell of a good glare. Wedgies always added a certain level of intensity. He glanced at the spandex-covered rump in front of him, griping silently about the unfairness of life. Sentinelman *never* got wedgies. No, that spandex just hugged every line of him perfectly, moving with every flex of those muscled buttocks, every clench of the powerful thighs...

"You're not supposed to be talking about my shorts," he announced, frustrated and annoyed at the same time. "Chapter Seven, paragraph 8, clause 4, subsection c. 'No discussion of personal items such as undergarments, especially undergarments that come in contact with you-know-what.'"

"Well what about socks? Socks are undergarments. Can we discuss socks?"

"You want to discuss socks??"

"No, I'm just saying. Socks are undergarments. Are they on the proscribed list?"

"I don't know, and I don't have the book with me right now."

Sentinelman gaped. "You're supposed to have it with you at all times!"

"*I'm* not, *you* are! It's called 'So You've Got Yourself a Sidekick', remember? It's *your* book."

"But *you're* the sidekick, and you're supposed to carry that stuff. I'm sure that's in there somewhere."

It was in Chapter One, paragraph 1, clause 1, to be exact: 'The Sidekick shall be responsible for the carrying of any and all paraphernalia, including but not limited to phones, business cards, bandages, rappelling gear, umbrellas, spelunking gear, emergency toothbrushes, and this Handbook, unless other arrangements have been previously made.' It was one of the biggest selling points about Sidekicks for Heroes, that they wouldn't have to schlep their own stuff around anymore. But Anthro Boy had no intention of admitting that. "It wouldn't fit in my pocket. A *matchbook* wouldn't fit in these pockets!"

Sentinelman blinked and moved until he could get a good look at Anthro Boy from behind. "Oh, ah, err... right." His breathing seemed to have speeded up a bit. "Those are just a tad snug, aren't they?"

"Just a tad, yes." Deciding that he'd be damned if he was going to be the only frustrated party here, Anthro Boy shifted his weight. The other man's breathing got louder, and Anthro Boy allowed himself one smug, if petty, internal smile.

"There it is again!" Sentinelman cried, leaping guiltily a few feet forward and visibly listening intently once more.

"There what is again?"

"Screams. The screams of dozens of people, terrified beyond coherent speech. Come, Anthro Boy -- we're needed!"

"You expect me to *run* in these jeans?!" Anthro Boy wailed after the rapidly disappearing figure of his Hero. There was no way. There was just no way. If he ran in these he'd rub his you-know-what raw. He hadn't dared mention it to Sentinelman, of course, but the shorts hadn't fit under the jeans, either. Wincing, he carefully burrowed two fingers into a front pocket and dug out a tattered twenty-dollar bill, hoping that it'd be enough. He flagged down a passing taxi and headed after his partner.

He arrived at the entrance to Acme Explosives in time to see Sentinelman trying to wade through a mob of shrieking people. Blessing his inborn agility he began wriggling through the crowd toward his partner, ignoring the many hopeful gropes of his person on the way. Not that gropes were in and of themselves a *bad* thing, of course, but rules were rules, and it was clearly stated in the rules that nothing was allowed to go *sproing* while he was with his partner. Letting himself pay attention to gropes, then going to stand next to his tall, buff, gorgeous-in-a-manly-man's-way partner was a pretty good way of having things go *sproing*.

Finally he reached Sentinelman's side and took the precaution of putting a hand firmly in the middle of his partner's broad back.

"Ah, Anthro Boy, good, you're here. Stay close to me now -- we don't know what happened to these good people."

The crowd thinned briefly near the door, then built up again once they got inside. Everyone seemed to be focused on the reception desk, horrified fascination writ in every face. Anthro Boy scowled; he couldn't see a damn thing past all these people.

"Oh. My. God."

"Sentinelman? What is it?!"

"No, don't look, Anthro Boy!" Sentinelman said, reaching back to pull Anthro Boy in tight to his back. "It's too horrible!"



Anthro Boy struggled free and glared again at the oblivious back -- how was he supposed to keep from going *sproing* if Sentinelman kept crushing him to his firm, muscled, flexing buttocks?! Grimly, he took one step to the side and three steps forward, pushing past a large-hatted woman to get a better view. His mind blanked with horror as he beheld the apparition in front of him, and he moaned softly.

"Steady, Anthro Boy, steady," Sentinelman said into his ear. "We can handle this."

"But... but... he's wearing... he..." Anthro Boy trailed off into another heartfelt moan.

"I know," Sentinelman agreed. "We have to find out what caused this... this... *this*."

Anthro Boy nodded faintly, turning his eyes away from the sight of Joel Taggart, CEO of Acme Explosives, shimmying and swaying on top of the reception desk dressed in nothing but a gold lamé thong.

Resolutely, Sentinelman turned aside and tapped an apparently stunned bystander on the shoulder. "Excuse me, ma'am," he said politely. "Do you know what caused this, err... this?"

The woman shuddered once and lifted her eyes to his. "I'm not really sure," she said, swallowing hard. "I'm Mr. Taggart's secretary's secretary --" Sentinelman blinked at that "-- and all I know is a very strange man had an appointment with Mr. Taggart this morning, and that after he left, Mr. Taggart, he... he...."

"What sort of man?" Sentinelman asked encouragingly. Blair nodded to himself; a classic attempt to keep the witness focused on the stuff that doesn't threaten to push her into hysterics.

"Well, he -- he looked like a soldier, but like no soldier I'd ever seen. He was wearing a black uniform with all kinds of leather on it -- some of it in places I really can't repeat -- and knee-high leather boots, and carrying one of those stick-thingies..." she trailed off helplessly and started weeping delicately.

Sentinelman patted her on the shoulder and twisted his neck enough to mutter over his shoulder, "Stick-thingies??"

Anthro Boy stepped a bit closer and murmured back, "Sounds like a swagger stick."

"Leather in unrepeatable places?"

Stumped, Anthro Boy started to shake his head, then blinked in sudden inspiration. "Leather codpiece, maybe?"

"What's a codpiece?" Sentinelman hissed, keeping one wary eye on the still weeping woman and continuing to pat comfortingly.

"Ummm... one of those things we can't discuss."

"Oh. Oh! Oh, right. Okay." Sentinelman cleared his throat and turned his full attention back to the woman, who still hadn't stopped crying. "Ah, excuse me again, miss, but what happened after the man walked out of Mr. Taggart's office?"

"*That*!" she cried, flinging a hand out in the general direction of the gyrating CEO. "Mr. Taggart came out of his office, taking off his clothes as he walked, until he was dressed in that *thing*, and started dancing down the hallways. People were screaming, and running, and he just kept dancing. And humming."

"Humming?" Anthro Boy broke in. Sentinelman winced. Frowning, Anthro Boy poked him. "You knew this and didn't say anything?" he whispered.

"I didn't want to add to the trauma," Sentinelman whispered back.

A warm glow started up in Anthro Boy's heart at the thought that his Hero was trying to protect him, fighting for space with the irritation that always flared when his Hero tried to protect him. The irritation gave up and fled without a whimper when Anthro Boy heard the secretary say, "Yes, humming. He's been humming, and sometimes singing, 'I Will Survive' ever since that dreadful soldier man was here." He shuddered. Before he could say anything, Sentinelman's head lifted and turned toward the left.

"There, Anthro Boy! Do you see him?"

Anthro Boy sighed. "See who, Sentinelman?"

"That man! He's dressed in black leather and carrying a swagger stick. I think we should follow him." Suiting word to deed, Sentinelman started ploughing through the crowd, Anthro Boy close behind.

They'd made it almost all the way to the emergency exit on the opposite side of the building when Sentinelman suddenly turned and shouted, "Down!" and flung himself on top of Anthro Boy so they both collapsed to the floor.

Anthro Boy copped a quick grope while they were tangled up, asking, "What was that all about?"

"He was firing some sort of weapon," Sentinelman explained.

"I didn't hear anything."

"I heard something go by overhead, but it didn't sound like bullets. This is very odd." Frowning, Sentinelman peered back over his shoulder to make sure the coast was clear, then stood and hauled Anthro Boy to his feet. The emergency door was just swinging shut. "Come! We haven't lost him yet. We must get to the bottom of this."

Anthro Boy agreed, but turned briefly at a noise behind him. He shot out a hand to grab Sentinelman, who frowned at him. "Look! What are they *doing*?" Anthro Boy asked. He couldn't take his eyes off the couple a few feet away. *She* was standing in front of a low table, fully dressed. *He* was draped over the table, pants around his ankles and ass in the air, chanting "Thank you, Mistress" with every blow she struck with the belt in her hands. Looked to be his belt, too.

Sentinelman coughed. "Well, looks like they need a bit of privacy, Anthro Boy," he said with admirable aplomb. "They seem to be, uh, enjoying themselves. We should just, err, leave them to it. Besides, we have a villain to catch!" The relief in his voice at the last comment was palpable.

The man on the table raised his head and stared pleadingly at them. "No, please, stay," he begged. "Thank you, Mistress! It's so much better if you're watching. Thank you, Mistress! Please? Just for a few more minutes? Thank you, Mistress!"

"Err, aahh... no, we really must go. Thank you for the, uh, invitation, very kind of you I'm sure, but there are villains to catch, crimes being committed, I'm sure you understand..." Sentinelman grabbed Anthro Boy's wrist and started moving determinedly toward the door, babbling the while.

They made their escape and stopped for a second, breath whooshing out of each of them in relief.

"Come, Anthro Boy," Sentinelman croaked after a moment. "There's no time to waste. We must find that villain!"

Anthro Boy pulled himself together, nodding. "Right. Where --?"

"There!" With another graceful leap forward a few feet, Sentinelman pointed after the escaping villain. The heroic pair set out in pursuit.

"Oh, this is terrible," Anthro Boy gasped a few minutes, and several streets, later. They hadn't dared get too close, because the villain was shooting anyone who got near with some sort of dart from his weapon. Anyone who got shot promptly started behaving very... oddly. Knowing he was bright red and silently cursing the fact -- he looked good in red *shirts*, not red *skin* -- Anthro Boy averted his eyes from the latest victim. He really, really, really didn't want to know what the man was planning on doing with that umbrella.

"Courage, Anthro Boy," Sentinelman said bracingly, smiling at him in brave reassurance. It would have been more reassuring if he'd been less, well -- *grey*.

At least between them they made one normally-tinted Caucasian.

"I'm sure all of this is only temporary," Sentinelman went on, waving vaguely at the goings-on around them. "But meanwhile... well, I hate to say it, but... I mean, you *are* supposed to --"

"No. No *way* am I changing my disguise to fit in with these people, Sentinelman. You're just going to have to settle for tight jeans." Anthro Boy glowered.

"Look, Anthro Boy, I'm sorry, but really, it's part of your contract! You're supposed to blend in. And tight jeans just don't seem to be doing it for this one."

Anthro Boy hung his head, then drew in a deep breath and raised it again. "Right. Hang on." A contract was a contract, after all. He dashed off, changed, and dashed back.

"A loincloth?" Sentinelman asked, confused.

"It's leather," Anthro Boy said, hoping. What the hell, he'd always kinda liked the Tarzan outfit, and didn't get much opportunity to wear it. And besides, it was *really* a relief getting out of those jeans, now that he thought about it. He could, err, breathe.

Sentinelman cocked his head, considering. "I was thinking more of *black* leather, and straps, and, err, stuff," he said, reddening as Anthro Boy's eyebrows climbed, "but I guess this'll do. Come, he's getting away!"

"Hey, look, he's got friends," Anthro Boy chirped, catching sight of three similarly clad men meeting up with the villain they were following.

"Yes," Sentinelman agreed darkly. "Undoubtedly they're planning some dastardly deed designed to decimate the denizens of this fair, ummm, errr..."

"Demesne," Anthro Boy suggested absently. "*Must* you fall back on alliteration at times like this?"

"Sorry. Habit."

"They're moving again."

"And so are we. Onward!"

They stalked their oblivious prey, moving gingerly around the piles of writhing human flesh that dotted the sidewalk, until the villains finally entered an establishment.

"What's the sign say?" Anthro Boy asked.

"Kink Aids."

"Excuse me, did you just say...?"

"Kink Aids. Yes."


"Yes, indeed. Ah."

Slowly they drew closer to the storefront -- for such it soon proved to be -- and Anthro Boy read the store's slogan, wide-eyed. "Kink Aids: Forget the Feather -- We're the Whole Chicken!" It might not have been so disturbing if it wasn't for the feather that had been X-ed out with crossed riding crops, and the startled-yet-happy chicken wearing the motorcycle boots and a leather cap, brandishing a whip in one wing and trailing handcuffs from the other.

"You don't think they *really* have chickens in there, do you?" he asked, his voice quavering just a *teeny* bit.

"Of course not!" Sentinelman said heartily. "And besides, I'm sure chickens can't really use whips. I'm sure you need opposable thumbs for that..."

"There's a relief," Anthro Boy muttered. "I suppose we have to go in there?"

"That *is* where the evildoers went," Sentinelman said reprovingly.

"I know, I know. But really -- *are* they? Evildoers, I mean? We haven't seen too many unhappy victims, after all. Everyone seems to be having a grand old time."

"Remember the thong, Anthro Boy."

"Oh, god. I'd forgotten the thong."

"Now, brace yourself. We don't know what sort of mindless depravity we may find in there."

Appropriately braced, they entered. Very, very quietly.

"What do you hear?" Anthro Boy asked, blinking at the empty room in front of them. Empty of people, anyway. There were... things... everywhere. And the walls were covered in posters that looked like acupressure charts and probably weren't.

"Shhh!" Sentinelman hissed. Anthro Boy grimaced at his oblivious back, and waited. Sure enough, two seconds later: "They're in the back. They're talking. Good God! They're planning on bringing the entire city under their nefarious control!"

"Doesn't seem to be much 'control' to it," Anthro Boy muttered.

"The leader is called 'Colonel Kink Aid' -- what an odd name -- his men seem respectful but wary... wait, one of them is questioning the order to -- dear God! -- to attack the Sisters of Our Lady of Blooming Gardens... no, wait, one of his fellow soldiers just muttered something about 'the spatula' and now the first soldier has withdrawn his objection... oh, this is terrible. The fiends! The bounders! The *cads*! To attack *nuns*, Anthro Boy!"

Anthro Boy rubbed his hand in soothing, small, Handbook-approved circles on Sentinelman's back.

"We must attack and put an end to this dastardly plot!"

"If we rush them," Anthro Boy felt bound to point out, "they'll shoot us with those darts, and we'll be too busy doing... err, we'll be too busy to stop them."

Sentinelman took a deep breath and stood up straight. "Quite right. Much though it pains me, we'll have to take them from ambush. They're getting ready to leave. You go over there," he said, pointing at a spot near the door to what was presumably the office, "and I'll go over there" -- pointing to the spot opposite Anthro Boy's appointed place -- "and we'll rush them when they leave that room. If we jump them from behind, we should be able to get their weapons away from them."

"Right," Anthro Boy agreed, firmly squashing any ideas of what it might have been like to have gotten down and kinky with Sentinelman in a shop designed to cater to any whim imaginable.

They snuck across the floor, pausing only once to stare amazed at one of the... things, exchanging a puzzled glance before moving on. As soon as they'd arranged themselves properly, Sentinelman cocked his head to listen again, frowning at whatever he heard. "Tsk," he whispered. "That man ought to have his mouth washed out with soap!"

"He'd probably like it," Anthro Boy muttered.

Sentinelman blinked at him. Before he could say anything, he lifted one finger in the age-old signal for "wait for it, they're about to come through that door and we'll be able to ambush them from behind when they're least expecting it, thus saving the city from becoming a kinkdom".

Sure enough, the villains exited into the room where their fate awaited them, walking straight past the apparent statues of a man clad in spandex from head to toe and a man clad in nothing but a loincloth.

As soon as the last man had passed, Sentinelman let loose a chilling yell and dived forward with arms outstretched, taking all four men to the ground. "Quick, Anthro Boy, their weapons!"

Anthro Boy darted in, carefully, and disarmed them, then stepped back.

"We need to find some way to restrain them," Sentinelman puffed, grabbing the one that was trying to escape him.

"Are you serious?" Anthro Boy asked, looking around. "I don't really think it's going to be a problem."

"Oh, quite right. Well?"

Anthro Boy found four sets of police-issue handcuffs in about ten seconds flat, and cuffed their prisoners where they lay. He stood back and looked at them thoughtfully, then glanced over at the rail that ran the length of one wall. Walking over, he grabbed the first saddle that was balanced on the rail, and tossed it casually aside. He nodded, and looked over at Sentinelman. "We can attach them to this," he announced, clearing off the next saddle, ignoring the self-greasing pommel with as much aplomb as he could manage.

Sentinelman, looking cheerful for the first time since this whole thing had begun, carried the first two villains over and held their arms up while Anthro Boy used a new set of handcuffs to attach their cuffs to the rail. The second pair was dealt with as handily, and Sentinelman and Anthro Boy stepped back to survey their work.

"That should hold them until the police arrive," Sentinelman said, satisfied. Anthro Boy nodded, and wandered off to check out an intriguing little fur number in the corner. "Now, then. Hear me, villains! I am Sentinelman, and I am here with my trusty sidekick, Anthro Boy, to stop your dastardly plan, you miscreant evildoers!" He struck a proud pose. And held it. And held it. "Anthro Boy!" he hissed frantically. "Your spiel! Your spiel!"

"Oh, yeah, right," Anthro Boy agreed, bouncing back to stand at his side, fur chest harness molding itself to him comfortably. "I am Anthro Boy --"

"Did that bit already," Sentinelman whispered.

Aggrieved, Anthro Boy glared at him. "Did you do the bit where we're going to stop them?"




"So what exactly is left of my spiel for me to do?"

"Right wrongs."

"Fine." Anthro Boy turned his attention back to the still-startled evildoers. Apparently they weren't used to heroes and sidekicks having "what's my line" arguments in front of them. "We're here to right wrongs! And boy, have you guys done wrong."

"Hah!" said the leader of the evildoers. He was dressed in the same sort of outfit as the others, but his had a leather codpiece, which he was carefully posing to present clearly. Anthro Boy and Sentinelman exchanged a meaningful glance. "Hah! I said!"

"We heard you," Sentinelman said patiently. "But we had a hero-type Meaningful Glance to attend to first."

"Well, are you done?"

"For the moment."

"Good. Hah! I am Colonel KinkAid, and you will never defeat me! My minions are even now spreading throughout the city, shooting people with these special kink-inducing darts, freeing everyone's wildest, kinkiest impulses! No one shall escape! Whip me, beat me, chain my every limb -- you do nothing but further my plan!"

"Oh dear," said Sentinelman, wide-eyed.

<fade to black>


Has Sentinelman helped the evil Colonel Kink Aid promote kinky behavior in Cascade?

Has Anthro Boy succumbed to his kinky, fur-loving side?

Has Joel terrorized anyone else with the unspeakable... thing?

Or will it all come right in the end, because Our Heroes can never be defeated by their baser instincts?

Tune in next week, same Sentinelman time, same Sentinelman channel, to find out!

~ fin ~

Feedback of any sort, from one line to detailed crit, is always welcome, at arduinna at trickster dot org.


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