Hearts Blazing: Fur glows red under Friday’s night-lights (Timby x Buster)


Nicole Curtis, Matthew Dimaandal, Yejin Heo

WORLD’S ON PAW-SE WITH YOU AROUND: A blushing bulldog stares longingly at Timby’s beckoning fur, electrified by these new feelings but frightened at their implications for the schools’ rivalry.

SCENE I. Irvine High School. The First Sight. Timby’s POV. 

“Hoo-Hah! You wish you were a T-Wolf!” The clamor of the crowd and thud of players hitting the turf were distantly audible from the storage room, where Timby paced anxiously. 

“LET’S HEAR IT FOR TIMBYYY,” the athletics commissioner roared. 

Timby trudged onto the field, bracing himself for the overwhelming energy of the Northwood student section. It seemed like any other game: He was greeted with cheers and grimy hands tugging on his fur. But that day, something, or someone caught his eye. As the student section tossed blue powder into the air, a purple shadow cut a stark figure through the fog. 

He diverted his attention and continued performing for the crowd. Even as he weakly raised his paw, his mind was filled with the thought of the mysterious purple figure silhouetted by the bright stadium lights, looking like a bad decision waiting to be made.


SCENE II. Irvine High School. Buster’s POV. 

Since the first quarter, Buster had felt a burning gaze intensifying on his fur, and he couldn’t shake the feeling that it belonged to someone important. He needed to know.


While everyone was busy cheering on the team, Buster sprinted to the opposing field, making sure to not let anyone from ASB see him. His eyes met briefly with Northwood’s mascot, and the world around him grinded to a majestic halt.

The wolf’s silver pelt gleamed mesmerizingly under the Friday night lights. Staring. Just the two of them. Buster had heard people describe moments that seemed to be governed by fate, and as he studied those striking blue eyes, he knew this was one of them.

“Hey,” Buster remarked smoothly. “How is it over here? You seem to be wolf-ing down that pizza.”

Timby nodded apprehensively. “I guess you’re dog-gone right about that?” And it was these terrible puns that started off a long night of conversation, both finding fascination in learning about the differences in their everyday lives, from game schedules to rally performances. It had been a long time since Buster had found someone that connected with him as well. 

The game came to an end, and it was time for the canines to split ways. “I guess we’ll see each other soon,” Buster added, a hint of hesitancy in his voice. 

As Buster snuck back onto their side of the field, he was met with an angry sea of purple glaring at him. The president elbowed him, eyebrows raised. “I assume you were in the bathroom?” 

“Duh,” Buster chuckled nonchalantly, suddenly realizing the consequences of meeting with the rival school’s mascot. For the first time, his head was not in the game, the roars of the audience flying past him. All he knew was that it was going to be difficult to continue his half-time talks with Timby the Timberwolf. 


Scene III. The CIF Game. Timby’s POV.

Timby was experiencing a similar development as the season drew to a close. After hearing they were playing Portola, there was a new pep in his step, and as he bounced onto the field, everyone wondered where his gaze was aimed.

His eyes lit up when they finally settled on a familiar Bulldog in the distance. But to his dismay, Buster shifted his attention to the stands right as they locked eyes. Timby hadn’t realized how much it would hurt to see him look away.

The game continued, but with a palpable tension in the air. It was the CIF Championship, after all; a lot was at stake. The score reached 18-15 at halftime, with Northwood inching forward to eternal glory in Division 12 football. But this halftime was different. Both student sections began to provoke each other with chants like “BUSTER THE BABY” and “TIMBY THE TICK.” The tension rose like a firecracker, ready to pop at any second. And “pop” it did. The two schools rushed to the center of the field and began to brawl. Meanwhile, Portola’s ASB had other plans. 

 In the midst of the chaos, all of them had begun creeping towards the NHS side. They slid a massive cage behind them, careful not to let any administrators know their plan. However, Buster had overheard everything.


But he pretended he hadn’t. I’m not going to go. Timby can take care of himself, he’s just the stupid mascot from my rival school. 

He began to exit the stadium, when all of a sudden, he heard a faint howl of confusion and loud thuds from beneath Northwood’s stands. 

It’s probably just the students getting hyped for the game,” he thought, cautiously trudging away from the Northwood side, until he heard a familiar voice. He wasn’t prepared for it.

“What are you guys doi-”

 Whether he liked to admit it or not, Buster could recognize the voice from a mile away. 

 His legs moved before his mind could react. He arrived at the scene to discover a distraught Timby, trapped in a cage with multiple Portola ASB kids holding it up like a coffin. The president scowled at the sight of Buster. 

“Why are you here? Get back to hyping the crowd up! You know how tight the game is right now!”

“What about you? What happened to Bulldog PRIDE (Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Drive, Empathy)?” 

“The game’s more important,” the president said, unwilling to meet the angry gaze of the accusing bulldog. 

Buster looked at the cage once more. It was the confused and pleading look on Timby’s face that finally broke his resolve. With a heated lunge, he barreled into the ASB members, who dropped and broke Timby’s cage in surprise.

Buster grabbed Timby’s paw and began sprinting to the parking lot. Their hearts pounded against their chests, gasping as the wind battered their fur. When they finally slowed, Timby bent over to catch his breath. 

“Thank you for saving me back there,” he panted. 

“I’d do it a thousand times over.”

And they stood there, bulldog and wolf, purple and navy blue, two star-crossed lovers under a twinkling night sky.