Artwork by predaderp
Gentle warm gusts of wind continue to either smooth out or ruffle the cheetah's fur as she awkwardly waddles through the encampment with her enormously distended and sloshy belly clearing the hard sandy soil she walks on by mere millimeters. Her companions, the bipedal hyenas, are still waking up while she keeps pausing to poke her head curiously into the large canvas tents… her whiskers curling from excitement when she eventually sees a lithe male who's already doing his morning stretch on the tent's carpeted floor.
”Good morning! I was told by the others to look for people who haven't showered in a while and you look like one – would you like to shower?”, she chirps in greeting and cocks her head quizzically while he stops to stand up and face her.
”Oh, hi! You water tanks sure are helpful, been a week since last one yeah so could have one~”, he replies with a shrug and scratches his back as he follows her out of the tent, his eyes idly glossing over the arid treeless landscape which stretches on towards distant mountains as far as he can see, while the monotony of it is only broken up by thorny bushes and patches of drying shrubs. It doesn't take him much effort to follow the slowly walking cheetah so he stretches out in a relaxed manenr and yawns, soon staring at her hypnotically swaying girth.
It's not a long walk past the tents and the single permanent brick building which functions both as a landmark and a storage every time someone sets camp beside it – hence soon the duo arrives at the tall wooden structure which has been erected a little way away from everything. Built out of stout aged wooden beams and lightly rusty cast iron, every part of it is worn and polished as if it has seen perhaps decades of use in many different places.
”Care to help me out here? Dealing with this belly is kind of difficult...”, the cheetah asks as she stops right in front of a steep ramp that leads to the top of the structure, whereas the hyena pauses to scratch the back of his head briefly before nodding. Moments later she's already dragging her enormous belly up along the ramp, panting from the exertion, while he has his hands pressed into her rump to keep shoving her along as he also helps her maintain balance on the ramp. Once they close in on the top she begins to look around contemplatively and slows down further, pondering where to place down her paws due to how the top is a thick split wooden panel with a large hole in the middle, the two parts unlatched and separated to make it even more difficult for her to settle down safely. Swiftly looking over her shoulder at the hyena, she affords him a cheery chirp as she warily stumbles into place. ”You'll need to close up the top cover around my belly, please, and strap me down – after that I'm ready!”
”Sure thing.” is the hyena's laconic reply as he kneels on the ramp to wiggle the top cover before rather casually mandhandling the cheetah's swollen belly into the correct position between the halves to squeeze it through, his hand soon pressing on her back hard to force her all the way down while he ignores her whimpering. Finally the hyena uses his knees and other arm to close the cover all the way so that the water tank cheetah's belly outright bulges out below as her sagging stomach is pinched from the top, closing the latches and pulling a leather strap tight over her back to secure her as she squirms. ”Should be all done.”, he says after a quick look-around and jumps down onto the dry ground, sending a cloud of dust into the air.
Reflexively struggling against the uncomfortable pinching of her midsection and the strap, the cheetah soon collects herself and calms down with a chirps, looking down at him from the top. ”So-sorry! I'm new to this and doing shower duty for the first time… I'll try not to struggle next time. Didn't realize it'd be so… rough.”, she replies hastily with her tail swishing and whiskers curled back, forepaws hanging idly in front of her as she cranes her neck to try and see how her belly looks like right below her. In the meantime the hyena merely shrugs and grabs some soap from a large pail left nearby.
”First-timer huh? Well get used to it as nobody really wants shower duty so you'll be it for the rest of this cattle drive I guess...”, he chuckles deeply before stripping off his few clothes to toss them onto a bench. ”Now point that muzzle down and don't spray water everywhere.”, he adds when he steps almost right under her head, waiting for her to do as ordered before firmly pulling on a pull chain attached to a long lever in the structure.
Effect of the pull chain on her is almost immediate thanks to the leather-padded plates compressing her her stomach hard – her body instantly tenses and her hackles rise as discomfort spikes in her aching innards, but she quickly focuses on doing what she's supposed to do and relaxes the upper sphincter of her stomach to relieve pressure – causing water to rapidly shoot up her gullet and spurt out of her maw somewhat uncontrollably even if she attempts to aim at the hyena beneath her. Seconds later water splashes all over the ground and the structure as she accidentally inhales some of it and coughs violently, her head swinging while she's barely able to stop the flow.
Nevertheless the hyena finds himself soaked enough and starts to wash himself while glancing up as the cheetah still coughs water out of her airways. ”Well that was silly, but I guess you'll get the hang of it~”
The dismissive comment makes her ears droop even while she's still dealing with the nasty feeling in her throat, and her tail lashes as she swiftly peeks down with a chirp. ”I – I didn't mean to do that, sorry! I'll do it correctly this time!”, she whines while he prepares to rinse himself with another steady yank on the chain… this time the squeeze comes as less of a surprise to her and thus she's able to concentrate better on letting water spurt through her teeth onto him only, her forepaws clasping the wooden structure from the sensation of the padded mechanism pressing into her belly.
With his fur now dripping and the ground soaked with soapy water around the wooden grille which he stands on, the hyena nods briefly and shakes himself vigorously before reaching out to probe the cheetah's belly with his hand – eliciting a few quizzical chirps from her. ”You probs have water for few more showers, you wait here and I'll tell people, ok?”, he states before walking away to leave her at her own devices.
”No wonder it was so easy to sign up for shower duty… mewww...”, she mumbles after he has left as she licks her chops and shakes her paws to get rid of water droplets he sprinkled her with, her ears still splayed as she shifts to a slightly more comfortable position. Although with her water-laden stomach uncomfortable squashed and pinched in place, a strap holding her in place, and her mind filled with the knowledge that she'll get to do this perhaps dozens of times during the rtip, comfort is rather relative. ”But I'll have to deal, at least there's no way to fill me up again immediately~”, she concludes before raising her head to look over the camp and wait to see who'll come to shower next -