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Rise Up With Fleas

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Rise up with Fleas


He opened the door himself. 

Joe was surprised by this, considering the size of the place, he assumed he had a maid, some beautiful young girl to wait on him hand and foot. 

 They looked at each other. Yuri’s icy eyes dissecting him to the core. Joe knew he couldn't let him stare him down. He experienced it on the streets, and thought a lot about it before coming here. It goes a long way back. 

Joe couldn't help a condescending smile twitching the corners of his lips

In the slums, if you wanted to survive, masquerading is necessary for survival.

You had to keep a balance. Out in the streets it is important to look tougher than you are, and talk dumber than you are. If you talked too smart, then people got it into their heads the you were all head and weak everywhere else.  But with him, he didn’t want him to think he was dumb.  

His eyes were violet and he had really long white eyelashes. 

A  beautiful Siberia Husky sat behind him, eyeing the Joe with weary eyes, tail swaying with curiosity. Joe glanced at the stunning canine with a childlike wonder. The dogs Joe usually encountered were unfriendly and unkept, mutts with dirt-caked fur, barking and snarling at anyone who got too close.  When he was kid, he tried befriending one, and ended up with bloody arm. The stray was overwhelmed by his attention, not use to gentle caresses and kind words. 

It bit him. 

Joe still had the scar. 

“You came,” Yuri said.  

Joe’s eyes met his. “You invited me.” He shot stubbornly back.  Yuri’s white eyebrow rose a little, and he said, “Interesting.”

During the next couple of month, Joe would hear him say that comment countless of times, his peculiar way of complimenting him. He said it when they fought in Megalonia.  Joe struck Yuri’s chin with quick jab. He felt his flesh tear and blood gushed out. Joe struck him again and again until he went down heavily, on his knees, profusely bleeding. 

He got up before the count reached five, violent eyes shining with delight.  His lips were frothy with blood, but he was smiling. 

He said it then quickly, softly, but Joe manage to pick it up over the roar of the crowd.

Yuri nodded and stepped back, bowing slightly and making a welcoming gesture. Joe went in.  He looked around at the trendy penthouse with a blank expression, wanting him to know right away that he wasn't impressed. Yuri soundlessly shut the door and turned to look at Joe as if was the most fascinating creature in the world. 

“Sit down.” 

He did. He sat down on the gigantic leather couch that took up one whole wall of the room. He shivered. The crisp, air-conditioned air in the penthouse clashed with the muggy thickness of the summer evening outside. His boat home didn't even have air conditioning.  His body stiffed. He hoped Yuri didn't notice how uncomfortable he felt. He had, of course, Joe saw the amusement in his eyes. 

Joe’s jeans were dirty and smelled of the streets. He took pleasure knowing that he might be soiling the fancy upholstery. He squirmed on the couch, moving his butt around, just to make sure. 

Yuri walked over hovering a little too close. Joe felt his blood boil.  He hated it when people towered over him like that. Too many times at juvie and in foster homes and on the streets, some person stood over him like that and they had ended up fucking him over. But he wasn’t about to let him know he was making him nervous. 

You didn't dare let them know. 

He yawned, hoping his breath smelled as bad as it tasted, and put his filthy running shoes up on the arm of the elegant sofa. 

“So,” Joe demanded, looking at him as him as insolently as he could. “What do I got to do?” 

Yuri sat down in the armchair that faced the couch. The husky curled beside the chair, it's hair bristling from the ears to tail. It growled at Joe, a low rumble of warning.  

“What do I got to do,” Joe repeated, spitting out in frustration. “ -to get you to fight me!” 

There was long silence. Joe noticed that he couldn't hear anything from the street or from the rest of building, only his breathing. His boat house was always so noisy. He could hear the sea.

“My owner wont allow it.”  Yuri said simply. 

“Owner?”  Joe chuckled. He couldn't help but laugh. “I did it. I got in your ring. I made it to the top of your owner’s joke of a competition.  Weren’t you going to show me! What real Megalo boxing is.” He scoffed. “You fucking coward. How could you just forfeit the match!”  

“She told me to.”  Yuri said simply. 

Joe was caught off guard by his quick reply, his nonchalance. Everything he did, everything he lived for, was for that moment. The moment in the rain. That moment when time stood still. It was the first time in his life that he started to feel something. Resentment. Excitement. The first time he started to bump people back. He ached with a need and was full of anguish.  

 “The world Megalo champion gave up his title because of a command. You really are on a tight leash. Just what does that woman mean to you?”  He asked just to see what his reaction would be. 

Yuri's eyebrow raised, his voice low. “Jealous?” 

Joe smirked.  “Please.  If I wanted a bitch hopelessly following me around and obeying my every beck and call, I’d get a dog.”

Yuri’s face sharped like a blade, and in one swift sharp motion he had stood up and sprang on him. He seized him by the collar of teeshirt and pulled him forward. Joe’s hot breath in his face as he struggled. 

“ It wouldn't be fair fight, Joe. Not while you’re gearless. I’d admit it. You're good. The real deal. But you’re no match for her technology. I’d murder you, and you would let me. You're that stupid. You're that stubborn.”  

Joe gripped his arms painfully then spit in his eye.

Yuri just smiled sadly at him, gently loosening his grip. He walked to kitchen bar counter wiped his face with clean handkerchief. The husky trotted behind him, snarling furiously during the entire incident, just waiting for the command. He patted the dog’s head softly and ordered him outside. The dog whined sadly as he closed the glass door. 

Joe remained standing by the couch feeling disgusted and ashamed and furious. 

“What  is your name?”  Yuri asked suddenly, breaking the heavy silence. 


“Your real name.” 

“That is my real name.”  Joe said annoyed, his temper flaring. 

“What did they call you before you got that fake ID?” 

“It doesn't matter. That’s my name now.”  

“They called you Junkdog before, right?” 

“Why the fuck did you even ask if you already knew?”   He said, leaning forward, raising his voice. 

"That’s a nickname too though, isn't it?” Yuri said thoughtfully. “What is your real name?” He asked again softly, studying him. 

Joe gritted his teeth.

“ You don't know, do you?” 

Joe didn’t. But even if he did, he wouldn’t have told him. 

“You lost a lot of matches in the unground boxing ring. Too many to count. You threw the fights.” 

Joe shrugged. “Beats sleeping on heat grate, y’know?” 

Yuri’s violent eyes softened. “Your coach told you which fights to throw?”

Joe’s eyes narrowed dangerously when he caught on to what he was implying. 

“That’s different!” 

“Is it?”

“You are wasting my time!”  Joe turned to the door. 

“I told you over and over. I don't fight stray dogs.” 

Joe turned to face him, his mouth dry, his eyes burning. “Why invite me over then?” 

“You want a match? Put on the gear, Joe. Her gear. These are the conditions. Her conditions and mine.”  His voice deep and dangerous. 

Joe eyes widened in bewilderment as calmly walked over to him. Yuri gently reached out to him and caressed his face.  It took all of Joe’s willpower not to lash out. It took all of strength to restrain his violence. He snarled like a cornered wild animal, wanting nothing more but to bare his fangs. 

Yuri felt something, pure adrenaline and excitement, as he looked into those defiant eyes. He smiled and this smile was genuine. 

 “I won’t fight a stray, so if you want a match, become mine.”


I don't know what I am doing with my life. I should be updating my other stories, but I couldn't help myself. I absolutely love Megalo Box. I love the plot. Who doesn't love boxing? Two hot guys beating the shit out of each other. I love the old school animation. I love that Joe looks like a love child between Spike and Mugen. You know he does!  I ship Joe and Yuri because everything they say to each other is so ridiculously gay. Feedback fuels my soul.