|raisedbymoogles (raisedbymoogles) wrote,|
@ 2011-05-10 22:42:00
|Entry tags:||fic, transformers, wtf|
'Boots and Dragovian? I hope you're happy.
They kept me in the hospital overnight. In the morning, I staggered out in my street clothes, clutching everything I owned in a paper bag, and was unsurprised to find that the spotted dog was waiting for me.
"Hey," I greeted him in a croak, and the dog's tail wagged once. He approached me in a sort of cautious sidestep, ears drooping, and my heart panged. I must smell too much like the hospital. He doesn't know me anymore. I held still, just as I had when we'd first met, and prepared myself to watch quietly as the dog trotted out of my life and into his next great adventure, whatever that might be.
Whining low in his throat, the dog stepped closer and gently nudged his head up under my hand. I scratched without thinking, pathetically grateful for the contact, but when I looked down at him, the dog ducked his head down and peeked up carefully at me with another wag of his tail, for all the world like he thought he'd done something wrong. "It's okay," I told him. "It's okay. It's not your fault."
That tail wagged again, thumpathump, and I had to laugh. "Geez, do you think you could've taken on those giant killer robots all by yourself to protect me? I almost think you'd try." I knelt, stroking down his head and back, and the dog greeted me with eager, almost solicitous kisses and nosed me all over - the bruises, the bandages, the place where they'd stitched me up. I could practically hear him saying is this okay? And this? And this? Are all your parts in the right place? Are you still whole?
Ignoring everything I'd ever known about how to act with stray dogs, I put an arm over his back and pressed my cheek to his. "I don't feel like going home right now," I confessed to him, curling my fingers gently in his fur. "Can we go for a walk?"
Judging by the explosion of wriggling and tail-wagging and the excited barks, I'd just said the magic words.
I let the dog lead, and he let me keep up. I was breathing hard after only a few blocks, my injuries and my general weakness dragging me down, but there was a new intentness to the dog's manner that transmitted itself to me, and I was unwilling to stop and rest. If I stopped, I might not start up again, and then maybe the dog really would leave me.
I found that I would endure much more than a long trek to keep that from happening.
We stuck to the back roads, the dog and I, him chasing off occasionally to harrass the odd bird or squirrel with an energy that I could only envy. Despite my turtle's pace, we made progress, buildings and shops giving way to stretches of forest and field. Deer country, I thought. "I hope you're caught up on your shots," I scolded the dog out loud. "There's a whole raft of things you could catch out here." The dog turned to me, tongue lolling in a silent canine laugh, before darting off after a squirrel I hadn't seen. He didn't catch it, of course, but he didn't seem bothered by his lack of success.
Deer country - the back roads - always had its share of derelict houses. I always wondered if they were homes to squatters, either human or animal, but had never had the courage to find out for myself. As we passed one of those, its faded green paint peeling to reveal faded gray wood around papered-over windows, the dog abruptly changed course and mounted the porch steps in two graceful leaps. "Hey, dog," I called. "Come away from there. Those boards could be rotten."
The dog paid me no mind. He barked at the door - not threatening, just announcing himself, and I paused at the oddity. It made sense when another dog nosed the door open.
They stood nose-to-nose for a moment, and I was struck by the scene. The spotted dog who'd followed me around looked even more disreputable next to the new dog: a border collie, quality in every line. They did not circle and sniff, or challenge each other, although my spotted mutt was noticably taller and broader. They simply stood there for a moment, then my dog licked the new dog's cheek - making it blink and sit down, as if highly flustered - before returning to me with a flounce and a doggy grin.
"Friend of yours?" I asked him.
As if to say yes - come meet him, the dog took my sleeve in his teeth and tugged. "Hey," I protested. "Nuh-uh." But his exuberance was impossible to deny, and step by step, my feet took me where he led - to the derilict house, his friend the border collie, and the next adventure.
And for reference (and in case you missed who was who up there), a Field Guide to American Autodogs:
Optimus - Newfoundland mix (tricolor)
Prowl - border collie
Jazz - spotted everything-mix
Minibots - terriers
Wheeljack - lab (pun intended)
Ironhide - Rhodesian ridgeback
Twins - huskies
Mirage - greyhound
Bluestreak - setter/retriever?
Ratchet - pit bull
Hot Rod - shepherd-mix puppy