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Space Hopper

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“Zunar!!!”

The space cat’s ears perked up at the sound of his old name. Standing at the open doorway of Frank’s apartment was an unfamiliar person with a short, brunette haircut with little streaks of hazel, donning an oversized sand-colored sweater. “Who are you?” Frank asked aloud, standing in confusion with Liz and Link as this mysterious stranger recognized their cat.

“I’ve been looking all over you! I saw you being carried into here and wondered if it was really you, and it is!” They explained, sitting by the cat on the couch and ignoring Frank. “I was sent by the mothership. I am so glad you’re okay, ever since we lost contact with you-“ “It’s alright, I’m alright.” The cat telepathically said, in an attempt to calm the frantic person down. “First things first, I go by Jake now.” The cat said. “Second, I’ve decided to live here on Earth. These are my friends, Frank, Liz, and Link.” Each person waved to them upon hearing their own name. “Oh, good to meet you all!” The human said to them.

“I never had a name, but you can all call me Rabbit if you’d like.” They added. “And why’s that?” Liz wondered. Rabbit chuckled, settling onto the couch before the choker-like collar around their neck glowed, and they morphed from a human form into a rabbit. “That’s why.” They replied.

Frank sighed. “I can’t take care of another space pet.” He looked to Liz for an answer. Liz shook her head no. “I’ve got my own dear cat Lucybelle to take care of.” The two people then looked at Link. His eyes widened. “I… guess I don’t have much of a choice here, do I?” Link uttered. After a pause, he then exhaled. “Alright, alright. I’ll take care of the alien rabbit while they’re on Earth.” He submitted, walking over to pick up the tan bunny. “Ah, good! I’ve been meaning to learn more about this place ever since Jake got here.” Rabbit said. “Bye, Jake!” They telepathically said, as Dr. Norman Link carried them out the door and on their way to his own place.

Link opened the door to his own apartment and set the rabbit on the kitchen counter. He opened his fridge and looked back at them. “Anything you like to snack on?” He asked. “Do you have any veggies?” The rabbit wondered. “Hm.. yeah, I’ve got some parsley if you want that.” “Yes! I’d love that!!” Hearing that, Link took a handful of parsley and washed it off in the kitchen sink before giving it to them on a little plate. Before eating, Rabbit looked at Link and asked, “Do you mind if I change back into my human form?” “Not at all! I think I’d prefer that, actually. Make this whole thing feel less odd, y’know. Wait, before you do that, let me..” Link walked over and picked them up, and set them on the carpet. “There you go; that way you’re not gonna stand on my kitchen counter.”

Link took a step back as Rabbit transformed back into a human. They pulled one of the chairs back and sat at the kitchen counter, grabbing the parsley and eating it. “You.. you forgot the uh…” Link started, gesturing above his head. “Oh, my ears! I like keeping these, actually. I know they don’t make me look human, but I like having them. It doesn’t bother you, does it?” Rabbit asked. Everything else about them looked completely human, aside from the two rabbit ears that protruded vertically from their head. “No, no it doesn’t! I just thought you forgot or something.” He chuckled nervously.

As Rabbit chewed contentedly on the parsley, Link took this time to observe their features as a human. Without those big bunny ears, he would’ve been entirely convinced they were just another person. Their eyes were the darkest brown, matching the color of their hair. Small parts of their hair had tan streaks, mostly on the top and the sides. They had to roll up their sleeves to grab onto the parsley, as their beige sweater was much too big for them. They had a collar around their neck that looked just like a choker when they donned it in their human form; the same collar that Jake has. This is how Link knew they were from the same planet, if not of the same species.

“Dang, you’re going to town on that parsley.” Link verbalized his observation, watching the rabbit person chow down on the greens, enjoying them a bit more than a regular person would. “Hey wait, I think we should give you a proper name, I don’t know how I feel about calling you Rabbit all the time. You think parsley would be a nice name?” Link wondered their opinion. They took a moment to think about this, afterwards nodding their head in confirmation. “Yeah, it would be! Thank you!” “Oh no need to thank me, I’m just trying to make this all feel a little more normal as abnormal as it is.”

“You done with that?” Link asked, after most of the parsley leaves were gone. Parsley nodded their head yes, and Link took the plate and washed it off before putting it away. Then Link looked at them, resting his arms on the kitchen counter, standing across from them. “So, Parsley.. why the human form? Ol’ Jake there prefers to stay as a cat.” He asked. “Humans have so many cool features that rabbits don’t! I like having these kinds of long paws, with these grabbers on them.” They looked at their own hands and wiggled their fingers around.

“It is pretty cold without any fur, though, so I gave myself one of these uh…” Parsley looked down at their sweater, letting their sleeves engulf their hands again before holding one up. “What do you call this garment?” “Oh, that’s a sweater.” Link answered. “A sweater! I saw someone wearing this and it looked so comfortable, and it is!” “Where did you uh, where did you get it?” Link asked, hoping they hadn’t stolen it from anyone or anywhere. “I can make my form be whatever I want it to be, which includes what kinds of things I wear! The only thing I can’t change is my collar, because that’s the source of my power, but I’m sure you learned that part from having Jake around.” Link only nodded at all of their words, still trying to process it all. He was just glad that taking care of them wasn’t like a regular rabbit, because one of those couldn’t talk to him or vocalize their needs.

“Oh, I forgot to introduce myself.” Link remembered. “I’m Dr. Norman Link, but since you’re probably gonna be here for a while you can just call me Link.” Parsley nodded. “Got it!” They said, yawning afterwards.
“...by the way, do you know where I’m going to sleep?” Parsley asked.
“Right here, on the couch, if that’s comfortable.”
“Is this where humans normally sleep?”
“Well, sometimes... not normally, but-”
“I want to sleep where humans normally do.”

Link blinked, his eyes slightly widened in surprise.
“Sorry if I’m a little stubborn, I just want to accurately know what it’s like living as a human.” Parsley apologized.
“No, no, it’s alright, it’s just… if that’s what you want, you’ll have to sleep in the same bed as me.” Link informed them.
“I don’t mind!”
“Y-you don’t?”
“No, not at all! Why do you ask? Is it weird to humans?”
“...no, no.” Link shook his head. A pale blush dusted his cheeks. “I’ll show you where it is. I need to get ready for bed anyways, it’s getting a little late.”

Link got up and walked over and opened the door to his bedroom, Parsley trailing behind them. He opened the door and gestured to his bed. “This is where people sleep, for the most part. Just cozy yourself up under the blanket, I’m gonna get into some night clothes.” He said, before opening a clothes drawer and carrying some pajamas with him into his bathroom. Parsley bounded into his bed, squishing into the soft mattress. They kicked off their cozy shoes and lifted the blanket, nuzzling themselves into the left side of the bed (which could thankfully fit two) and resting their head on the plush pillow.

Link exited the bathroom, now with his PJs on. He put his regular clothes away and turned out the lights before approaching his bed. His mouth opened to tell Parsley something, but then he noticed that they were fast asleep. He got under the covers and used a hand to gently pet their head, before getting cozy and falling asleep beside them.