A Rare Opportunity by AquilaTempestas

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Story notes:

This was the first Ice Age story I wrote way back in 2012 in lead up to the hype of Shira!

Chapter notes:

 

Two opossums and a sloth sat behind the bush, their forelimbs parting the vegetation so they could spy in private. The target? Two sabres sitting together in a forest clearing. It was an amusing sight to behold – Diego sat next to Shira licking the side of her face with an affectionate look on his face. Shira looked content. The opossums were doing their best to control their laughter.


A low rumbling noise which sounded a bit like purring came from Shira as Diego nuzzled her neck with his nose. She licked him in response, earning a grunt of pleasure from the male cat. This continued for a few more minutes – nuzzling, licking and soft growling until Shira stood up and walked around Diego, a lofty grin on her face.


“Come on, I wanna see some tiger lovin’,” Crash said.


Sid walked up behind them and forced himself in between the two brothers. “Are you old enough to be watching this?”


The two opossums glared at Sid. “We’re not missing this for the world,” said Eddie.


His brother nodded. “How often does this opportunity come around?” 


“Good point.” Diego wasn’t the one to show affection – he kept his walls up and never let anyone break them down, but Shira had managed to do what no one else could; bring out the real Diego. The real Diego was truly a softie deep down. Never had the opossums seen such an affectionate sabre before. It was almost hard to believe he was a predator. He rolled onto his belly paws held up in the air and allowed Shira to tickle him. For anyone else this would be a suicide move, but Diego purred at her touch. 


“This feels so naughty, yet I can’t pull my eyes away!” Crash whispered.


Eddie’s eyes shone with amusement. “Just wait until we tell Diego what we saw!” He could imagine the look on Diego’s face when they dropped subtle hints about his fun session later in the day. It would be an expression of horror, then anger, then embarrassment. His tail twitched just thinking about it.


“Look!”


Shira rubbed her head against Diego several times before standing. She nudged him again under his neck trying to encourage him to stand. Diego looked at her with a frown, unsure of what she wanted. She tried again. Diego still frowned. Shira nudged him so hard that he stumbled back. He regained his composure and looked at her in a way prey would be running at high speeds in the opposite direction.


“Diego looks a bit confused,” Crash said. 


“He’s never been with a female before,” Sid added. When he met Diego’s pack, there were no females, only males. He felt sorry for the sabre at having no female experience... he knew Diego should’ve taken advice from him. That is if only he bothered to ask. Shira was becoming quite frustrated now because of Diego’s confusion. His inexperience was really beginning to show. 


“Diego,” she snapped.


Diego lifted his head from the ground and looked at her. “Did I do something wrong?”


“You’re very clueless, aren’t you?”


He frowned at the comment. “What?”


She sighed. “I brought you here for a reason Diego; it’s the perfect place for some privacy. Not to play games.” She walked over to him again and placed a paw under his belly. “Up.” Resorting to having to tell Diego what she wanted was embarrassing. No wonder Diego always tried to avoid the topic – he was clueless! But there would be no running away anymore. 


It took a few seconds for Diego to realize what she meant by the word privacy. “Oh!” For a brief second, Sid thought he saw a flicker of self-doubt and fear in the proud sabre’s eyes. It was quite laughable really, but he didn’t want to ruin the moment and give their position away. Diego stood up and walked closer to Shira. She smiled and rubbed her side against his. 


Feeling pleased Diego now understood, Shira dropped onto her back and rolled over. “Well come on, show me what you’re made of,” she teased, continuing to roll around on the ground like a young over enthusiastic cub. “You can’t be scared - you are a remorseless assassin... right?” That did it. 


Diego stood still for a moment with a thoughtful expression on his face. Sid knew what was going through his mind; what do I do next? “Come on Diego, you can do this,” Sid whispered. Even the two opossums cheered for Diego. The male sabre moved towards Shira as she rolled back onto her stomach. She crouched down. 


“Oh gosh,” Eddie said, covering his eyes with his forelimbs.


Diego stood behind her then with caution, placed himself above her. He opened his jaws then lowered them to her neck, holding her in place with an unrelenting grip. She stiffened, much like a cub would when grabbed by its mother. Then it occurred. The growling and grunting made the three herbivores fear for their lives, but luckily they were hidden. 


After approximately twenty-five seconds, the two sabres pulled apart. Shira roared, glanced over her shoulder and tried to bite Diego who jumped back. “Sorry,” she mumbled, “but that hurt.” Diego fell on the floor and yawned, while Shira rolled on the ground stretching her legs in random directions. 


Sid couldn’t help but feel a little disappointment. “That was it?” He expected more! How was he going to blackmail Diego later after that short episode? 


Shira stopped stretching, then stood up and strolled over to Diego. She dropped next him, licking his face with her tongue. “Are you tired?” she said. Diego grunted in response. “Well, don’t fall asleep on me because we’re doing it again in half an hour,” she added, pushing him lightly on his belly. Diego was about to respond when his ears perked. 


“Did you hear that?”


She sniffed the air. “Can you smell that?”


Diego stood up and brought his nose to the ground. “Smells like... sloth.” Both turned their heads towards the nearby bush. 


Sid and the opossums froze. Oh no. “Sid, this is your fault!” shrieked Eddie, waving his naked tail at the sloth.


“Yeah, you’re such a screw up Sid. Why do you have to smell so much?” said Crash, pinching his nostrils together. 


The sloth didn’t bother coming up with defence. Now wasn’t the time to argue and debate; it was time to flee and hide behind Manny and beg him for protection. “I think now would be a good time to run.” Crash and Eddie knew he was right. They’d save the insults for later if they survived. 


“Hey, can you hear that? It sounds like Sid,” Diego said. He sniffed the air to be sure. “It’s definitely Sid.”


“And the two opossums... you don’t think...”


Diego finished her sentence. “...They were spying on us?” 


Silence fell between the two. They heard the leaves rustle and a shout of ‘RUN!’ confirming their suspicions. In a burst of speed, the two sabres leapt over the bush and chased after the pesky brats roaring insults and death threats. They weren’t really aiming to kill; they were a herd after all, but Diego wanted to ensure they would never speak of such things to anyone, especially not the mammoths. He’d die of embarrassment over two things; one, not having detected Sid in the first place and two, being caught in the act. Both were damaging to his reputation as a tough sabre. 


As the two sabres sprinted, Sid and the opossums screamed. They were running on open ground which left them vulnerable to angry sabres. “We need to find a place to hide!” Crash insisted, breathing heavily.


“But where?” his brother yelled.


Sid looked around as he tried to keep up with the opossums. His eyes rested on a small opening in a tree trunk. Perfect! “In that tree hole!” he said, pointing a long claw at the tree. The opossums changed direction and hurried towards the hole, throwing their little bodies inside. Sid rushed towards it as fast as his legs would carry him. But he had miscalculated... the hole wasn’t big enough for him, but he tried... and became stuck.


“Come on Sid, get inside!”


“I’m trying!” Sid complained, wriggling his body hoping to free himself. “I’m stuck!”


It didn’t take long for the sabres to find them and what a sight it was to behold! A fat sloth’s behind sticking out a tree! Shira fell to the floor overcome by a giggling fit. Even Diego smirked. Karma was a bitch, but it sure felt satisfying. “Poor Sid, do you think we should leave him in there?” he said his mate.


Shira cocked her head to the right. “I don’t know... he should be punished for spying on us and so should the opossums. I think we should leave them in there for an hour at least.”


“A good idea.”


Sid didn’t like that idea and neither did the opossums. They started to complain. “It was Sid’s idea!”


“What?”


“Yeah, Sid came up with it!”


“No, I didn’t! We all did!”


“Oh yeah.”


“We’re stupid!”


Diego and Shira watched with lopsided grins on their faces. It was a funny sight after all. “I feel sorry Sid,” Shira said afterwards. 


“What? Why? He always gets himself into these sorts of situations,” Diego said.


“We can make a deal with them; they keep quiet and we won’t tell anyone else about Sid getting stuck in the tree,” she said, placing a paw over his. “We’re a herd remember? We’ve got each other’s backs. What would you do if one of our cubs was stuck in a tree with two opossums?” 


Diego sighed, realizing she had a point. “All right... we’ll bring him out.” He led the way towards Sid and stood behind him, glancing down at one of the sloth’s legs. “I’ll grab this leg. You take the other.” Well, at least he’d get to inflict some sort of pain on Sid. He clamped down. Sid screamed. Ignoring his bloodcurdling screams, the sabres pulled while the opossums pushed Sid’s face until the sloth was out.


Once he was out of the tree, Sid rubbed his belly and sighed. “I think I’ve put on some weight.” All the mammals laughed, even Sid did. 


And just like that, all was forgiven.



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