Wherein Tiger receives a smackdown.

This is set in the "Tales from the Blind Pig" universe.

Also note that this story happens largely within the timeframe specified in "The Chibi".

While we had Alex home schooled, we also taught him a number of things that were not strictly school material. Oh sure, we had the standard courses of history, english, math, and all that other good crap, but we had an interesting Gym program. It consisted of self defense training, and time at the local gym, which tended to be better equipped then us.

It was a month after Alex had his breakdown when I learned just how well he had taken into his self defense training. He was watching TV, Kerry was at work, and I was at home with him. I snuck up behind him in full morph intending to give him a friendly scare. I placed a paw on his shoulder, and was almost instantly greeted with his foot connecting with my head. This had the net effect of knocking me stupid for a few seconds, slamming me on the floor a couple feet away, and breaking a few teeth as well. By the time I returned from LaLa land, He was staring at me in horror at what he had done. I shook my head to finish clearing the cobwebs (which also dislodged the rest of the two teeth that had already started to re-grow - what a mess!) and stared at him. He was shaking by this point. "Ohmygod, I'm sorry!" I shook my head again, and pulled up my throat. "No, Alex. *I* am sorry. I should have remembered not to startle you. I think I deserved that for sneaking up on you." I looked at the floor where the chunks of blood covered tooth lay on the ground. Alex looked at me curiously. "I don't get it. Why are you not mad at me? I decked you pretty hard!" I shrugged. "That you did. Consider this a practical test of your self defense skills. If it was a human that did that, he'd be out cold, with a broken jaw as well." I thought for a second, and decided to get it over with.

"I want to tell you about appropriate and inappropriate touching. I take it you learned a bit on this subject from Dr. Hatfield?" Alex nodded once. I knew I was on dangerous ground here, but I had to do it. "Good. No one, not even me or Kerry, has any right to touch you. in the Real world, the mere act of touching someone without permission is assault. If someone you do not know touches you and you do not feel comfortable with it, tell them to let go of you. If they keep it up, do whatever you feel you need to do to make them let go of you. This includes hitting, biting, kicking, and spraying them. You may skip the verbal step if someone is touching you in an inappropriate place. This applies to *anyone*, even me and Kerry. Know this: We will *always* ask permission before doing anything, and we will tell you *why* before we touch you. I want to make that clear. Any questions?" Alex thought for a minute, and asked me if He could hug me. I replied with an automatic yes, and he gave me another 'death-grip' hug for a bit, then we walked out to the kitchen to grab some cleaning stuff to clean up the mess we made.

"Did you really mean it with the spraying?" he asked as we walked. "Absolutely. You have built-in mace. I know I'd rather not get hit with that stuff, frankly." He laughed at this, which made me feel a lot better. "Also, I'd use it as a last resort. Technically it's indecent exposure which can get you in trouble with the law, and there are other repercussions which may also come with it." At the pantry I shifted up to morphic to get the cleaning supplies out, which brought a snicker from Alex. I looked down at him. "What?" Alex giggled, and then I realized that I had inadvertantly shifted into the wrong morphic form. My ears turned beet red as I shifted sideways into the correct form. "Whoopise." This had the effect on Alex that he cracked up completely, and I sat down until he had settled. "That's another thing that I want you to be aware of here. Sometimes I forget that you are here AND you are below the legal age, and I revert to an old habit of not wearing clothing, or a form that's 'kid safe'." Alex looked at me. "But you go naked all the time in full morph." I nodded. "Yes, I do. But I keep my, uh, equipment internalized. It's one of my talents, you see. I've done that so long that it's second nature in that form. However, in this form it's not, but I have a specialized form that is, if you follow me." He nodded. "Sometimes I just... forget."

Alex looked somewhat depressed. I looked at him. "What's wrong?" Alex hugged me again. "Sometimes I wonder why I'm stuck like this. You have it good, you can shift your form around." I chucked at this. "It's not all fun and games. There are days I wish I was still morphlocked in full morph, frankly. Although being stuck in my 'taur' form would be nice too sometimes, at least until I come up to a stairway." I looked semi-seriously at him. "Did you know I still have problems using stairs in that form? It's a pain!" This got a laugh out of him. After we got the mess cleaned up, we both sat down in the great room, and I got serious again. "There is also a particular form of inappropriate touching among animorphs. Can you guess what it is?" Alex though again for a bit, and asked if he could demonstrate it on me. I told him yes, and was rewarded with head scritchies. He stopped shortly after I started purring, and sat back down. "Verrrrrry goooooddrrrr" I rumbled. I took a few seconds to stop purring, and continued. "Norms don't mean anything by it, but scritchies are generally inappropriate amongst animorphs, and most norms will get a funny horrified look when you tell them. You can imagine why." I smiled a humorless smile. "Although animorphs see the sensual side of it, it's generally degrading coming from a norm." Alex nodded. "Can you give me scritchies?" He asked. I was about to answer when Sam announced the Kerry had come past the gate and was almost home. "Let's ask Kerry in a bit."

Kerry not only agreed to the scritchies, but gave both of us scritchies, even after I explained what had transpired. The post-dinner conversation was spent in the living room with Kerry explaining further about appropriate and inappropriate touching, and the various and sundry laws that surrounded it. I was pretty certain that Alex would not remember all of it, but he at least had a grasp on everything. He really was quite smart.