Author: Kat Lee
Challenge/Prompt: smallfandomflsh #177: Slyboots
Word Count: 1,746
Date Written: 20 June, 2016
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to DreamWorks, not the author, and are used without permission.
Donkey trots in place so fast that he's practically galloping with his inability to control his excitement. He'd be prancing if donkeys could prance, but he learned long ago that donkeys aren't capable of prancing. They're too gangly beasts to be able to do anything so elegant, or so he's always been told from a very early age.
Donkeys aren't beautiful. They aren't elegant. They're beasts fit only for burden. He thought that might change after he helped Shrek save the kingdom so many times, but it never has. It never will just as the looks his best friend still garners in public will never change. Donkeys and Ogres will never be liked by society, and unlike his friend, it's not the fault of his personality that he will never be accepted by society. His personality is a winner, but he's not.
He'll never rise above his species in the eyes of the world. He'll never be anything more than an ugly, smelly, loud donkey no matter how many times he saves them. But a horse . . . The whole world is open to a horse, and they are beautiful, elegant, and liked by almost everybody. And soon, soon, he thinks, his hooves picking up speed though he still doesn't leave the spot where he stands before the package that was just delivered, soon, he'll be a horse again and everybody will love him once more!
He well remembers the time he was a horse before, and Shrek a handsome, dashing Knight. They had mares and women swooning all over them. Everybody liked them at first sight. Fiona had persuaded her husband that he didn't need to be human for her to love him, and it was true enough for Shrek, but Donkey had yet to feel as valued and loved as himself as he had during that short time as a pure white stallion.
They'd said there was no more magic of that kind. They said potions couldn't be brewed to make him into a stallion again, and Shrek, Fiona, and even Puss had told him he didn't need to be a stallion. But Donkey disagrees with them tonight as much as he disagreed with them then. He may not need to be a stallion, but it's the only way he's ever going to be loved again.
Every one thinks Dragon loves him, but Donkey knows the truth. She only needed him, because it was mating season when they rescued Fiona. They each love their children, but the bond they share other than being co-parents is only friendship. She's a great girl with whom to talk, a fantastic friend to have, but having to do again what they did back when he helped Shrek save Fiona on their first adventure together is unthinkable to Donkey. Dragon also isn't exactly turned on by a tiny, insignificant donkey. Even she tells him he stinks and her brimstone smells better.
But that is as a donkey, Donkey knows. Soon, they'll be calling him Stallion instead of Donkey. Soon, no one will complain of the fragrant air that accompanies him, and mares and other stallions will again be flocking to him by the dozens. No one will ever again think lowly of him for this potion isn't going to just turn him into a stallion. Its work is permanent. He won't turn back this time or ever again into a lowly, filthy beast of burden.
"Open it! Open it!" he squeals, his hooves thundering with his excitement.
Puss makes short work of the package, ripping into its plain, brown wrapping with his claws. Bits of the package drift down to the ground in multitudes of the letter "P". Donkey quivers more and more as each piece hits the ground between his hooves. Swiftly, the vial is revealed. He grabs it with his mouth, yanks the cork off, spits it across the yard, grabs the bottle again, and tosses it up with his head.
He eagerly drinks the potion, shaking from head to tail with his enthusiasm, then tosses the emptied vial to the ground. It shatters, but there's no potion left to spill. It's all inside of him! He quivers faster. Soon . . . Soon . . . Soon . . . he continues to think, but nothing happens.
He waits five minutes, ten, thirty, an hour. Still, he feels no changes. He trots over to a puddle left by the rain the day before and gazes hopefully into it, but all that glares back at him is just the long, sorrowful look of an ugly donkey. Puss follows him and pats his knee with his paw. "I told you you did not need this, my friend."
"That's what you think!" Donkey retorts, quivering now not with eagerness but anger instead. He glowers down at his other best friend, and that's when he spots the mischievous gleam in Puss' emerald green eyes. "What," he demands. "Did. You. Do?!"
"I . . . Listen to me please, mi amor. You do not -- "
"Don't start with that mi amora crap! You don't love me, Puss! The only time we're ever together is when you're not chasing after all the girl cats in the village!"
"Please, Donkey, you must understand," Puss replies, lifting his head and running a hand through the orange fur on the top of his handsome head, "I have responsibilities to my adoring public . . . "
"If you don't hurry up and tell me what you did and fix it, that adoring public is going to be looking at you bald!"
Puss backs slowly away from the angry donkey, holding his paws up into the air. "Very well. I . . . I may have an adoring public," he admits, his long, ginger tail swishing, "but there is one above all others with whom I enjoy spending time and . . . more." He waggles his eyebrows suggestively.
"Spit it out, Puss!" Donkey gnashes his big, white teeth together in warning right above the tomcat's head.
Puss jumps, ducks, and leaps backwards. "And purrhaps I did not give this one person enough attention! Purrhaps I did not tell him he was handsome often enough -- "
"Puss, if you're talking about me, we both know you don't think I'm handsome!"
"I never did tell you, did I?" he questions, actually looking earnestly sorrowful. He sweeps his feathered cap off of his head and bows low over it. "That, mi amor, is my mistake, and I beg your pardon for it." Slowly, he raises his head back up, and although Donkey had tried to brace himself for it, when he's faced with Puss' huge, sweet green eyes, he finds himself automatically melting in response. His deep, throaty purr makes him stumble back unconsciously.
"I could not allow you to go through with this, my friend. I am sorry, but I should have told you earlier: I . . . I enjoy our times together, and although purrhaps you may not have the most pleasing face to all who se you, you . . . I . . . I find you rather beautiful indeed, Donkey, and I'm afraid I've quite fallen in love with you. I could not allow you to change yourself just to appease a village full of idiots who will never appreciate the treasure that you are, gray and hairy though you may be."
"You got rid of my potion! But I was right here with you! How'd you do that?!"
Puss winks, unwilling to reveal any more secrets. "They do not call me Slyboots for nothing, mi amor."
Donkey watches him for a long time, cocking his head this way and that, but Puss' earnesty does not change nor does the way in which he's gazing so forlornly and intently at him. "Do you mean it?" he finally asks.
"There is no one, as I have told you many times before, mi amor, beside whom I would rather go into battle, but there is also no one I would choose to love more. You are an animal in the hay, my darling, and I mean that in a wonderful way!" he hurries to add before Donkey can whine. "I love you just the way you are!"
He flips into the air, releasing his sword and hat and letting them both fall to the ground. He lands with claws gently embedded in the fur around Donkey's long neck. Gazing directly and intently into his eyes, Puss tells him again, "I love you just as you are, and I never want you to change." His tail swishes, but his passionate kiss planting on Donkey's long lips affirms the truth of his words.
The passion of his kiss soars into Donkey's being, straight to his heart. He kicks up, throwing Puss to his back, and hee haws with his excitement. Maybe the whole world doesn't love him. Maybe they never will. Maybe most of them don't even like him. But Puss loves him, and that's enough for him!
Hee hawing at the top of his lungs, Donkey dashes through the village, barely giving Puss enough time to reach down from his back and sweep up his hat and sword. He blasts by the palace guards and doesn't stopping running until he reaches their room. He kicks the door shut behind him and looks up as Puss again flips through the air.
Puss lands on the bed they've shared many times, although the importance of which Donkey's only now coming to understand. He strokes the silk sheets beneath him, his purr filling the room, and gazes intently into Donkey's eyes.
"Tell me again," Donkey almost pleads, wriggling once more from head to tail.
"Come herrre, loverrr," Puss purrs, "and I'll do morrre than tell you. I'll show you."
Donkey's hee haw trumpets through the castle. He takes a running leap, but when he jumps onto the bed, it crashes to the floor. Tears start to fill his eyes, but Puss rolls underneath him and reaches up. Donkey's hee haws fill the castle again and again and again until, in the master bedroom down the hall, Shrek rolls over, groans, and pulls his pillow down over his big ears. No one's getting any sleep again tonight in Far, Far Away, and their King finally understands why women used to throw shoes at howling toms. If only he could find something big enough to throw at a hee hawing Donkey!