Title: Puppy Love
Warnings: Cliche!plot is cliche; mentions of the hibbidy-dibbity
Summary: Dogs, jealousy, and leg humping
Notes: Indulging my inner child. My inner child insists that everyone needs a puppy.
The beady little eyes darting back and forth between his sandwich and his sword were as black as the creature’s soul. If indeed it had a soul; Kurogane wasn’t certain – beasts like this were notoriously hard to read. It could easily be nothing more than an amoral shell, as empty and callous as the oni he had fought on the borders of Nihon, with no compulsion other than to feed, to mindlessly consume all it came in contact with.
The tongue swiping at his face certainly wasn’t improving his assessment of the furry little bastard.
“Get rid of it,” he said simply, after a short stand-off.
“But Kuro-sama,” Fay pleaded, “I didn’t bring him here, he followed me home!”
Kurogane rolled his eyes, all too well aware he was about to be subjected to a full treatment of whining, pleading, and doe eyes, and wondered if it was even worth expending the energy to mount a defense. “It’s probably someone’s pet,” he said after careful consideration, “They’ll be looking for it.”
“All the more reason he should stay!” Fay exclaimed, scratching behind the beast’s ears, “He’s domesticated – you can just put domestic animals out on the street and expect them to survive!”
The little beast barked in agreement.
“He’ll die, Kuro-rin!” a single tear traced a path down the wizard’s cheek, “He’ll starve all out on his own! Please?”
A hungry whimper accompanied Fay’s plea.
Kurogane sighed and clutched his sandwich protectively. “Fine,” he huffed, pinching the bridge of his nose, “It can stay here until you find its owner. But you will find its owner. Start looking now.”
“Hurray! Christus Siegfried von Wanwan can stay!” Fay skipped out of the kitchen, the giant dog galumping out after him.
“Only unt- Oh for fu…don’t call it that!” If he didn’t know better, Kurogane would have sworn the two of them had plotted this together. He huffed and munched at his sandwich, wondering vaguely what a dog that big ate…
Christus Siegfried von Wanwan drooled.
Kurogane glared and snatched his slipper back. This was going to end, right now. “Off the bed,” he growled, pointing emphatically at the floor.
“Off the bed,” he demanded again, more firmly.
Ears flopped as Christus Siegfried von Wanwan cocked its head.
“The bed,” Kurogane snarled, gesticulating wildly, “Get off of it!”
“Kuro-tan, don’t yell at him like that!” Fay scolded, settling at the foot of the bed and rubbing soothingly at the dog’s back. “You have to be gentle with animals, see?” He held out a his hand, palm full of bone-shaped biscuits, which Christus Siegfried von Wanwan wasted no time in devouring. “Good boy, Ziggy,” Fay patted the dog’s head, “Now, off the bed!” He slid to the floor and offered a second handful.
“This is stupid,” Kurogane grumbled, “Dogs need discipline. They like discipline. You’re supposed to be their master, not the-” He broke off suddenly as “Ziggy” leapt from the bed in pursuit of treats. “Whatever,” he huffed, nose wrinkling at the sight of that obnoxiously large tongue danced back and forth over the wizard’s hand, “Did you get those posters made up yet?”
“Syaoran had them printed earlier this afternoon,” Fay assured him, as he obliged the over-enthusiastic dog lolling about on the floor, demanding belly rubs. “I’ll put some up around town tomorrow morning.”
“Good.” Kurogane turned down the bedding and crawled between the sheets, wincing only slightly at the scent of dog that plagued his pillows. He’d have to do the laundry tomorrow too…
“Kuro-pup is so territorial,” Fay chuckled and settled into bed beside him, “You’re not going to start marking things are you?”
“What are yo-uwaGH!” Whatever retort Kurogane might have been formulating was lost, heaved abruptly into the pillows as 180 pounds of dog landed directly atop his abdomen and managed a few good kicks to his solar plexus on its way to usurp the midsection of the bed.
“Good dog,” Fay smiled as he patted its head.
Discipline. Discipline was definitely what this mutt needed.
Fay felt more than saw the sun break through the curtains the next morning, keeping his eyes pressed shut as he yawned and stretched amongst the bedding. “Mmm…” he gurgled quietly, twisting to throw a leg over Kurogane and pull himself into a better position for early morning fondling. He was disappointed when his leg only tangled deeper into sheets and grumbled a bit while groping blindly at the other side of the mattress. Despairing, he cracked an eyelid.
The bed was empty, aside from the rumpled blankets and scattered strands of black fur. Fay smirked; apparently Ziggy had managed to hold his own during the night. Which probably meant that Kuro-puu was going to be in quite a mood this morning…
He sighed and threw his legs over the side of the bed, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. After a bit of fumbling, he managed to locate a bathrobe and traipsed out into the kitchen to start breakfast. And to break apart whatever man-vs.-beast brawls may have started while he slep.
Fay paused just outside the door to the kitchen. The noises coming from within sounded…peaceful, or at the very least tantrum-free. He swung the door open slowly.
Syaoran was occupied flipping a griddle at the stove – a rare, but not at all unwelcome gesture – while Kurogane stared over the rim of a coffee mug at something on the floor. Fay followed his gaze.
“Wh…what are you feeding him?” he finally managed, forcefully peeling his eyes away from the bowl of…something…Ziggy was eagerly slurping down.
“Hn?” Kurogane’s eyes lifted ever-so-slightly to meet the wizard’s. “Dog food,” he answered simply.
“That looks like raw fish.”
“It is raw fish,” Kurogane paused thoughtfully, “And some rice. I couldn’t find any eggs, though…”
“That’s disgusting,” Fay sneered and tip-toed carefully toward the coffee pot.
“It’s less disgusting than that tinned slop from the market,” Kurogane gestured toward an empty tin that had been unceremoniously dumped into the sink. “Smelled like rotting garbage. I wouldn’t eat it.”
“You’re not supposed to eat it, Kuro-sama,” Fay chided, taking a long sip of coffee, “That’s why it’s called dog food.”
“Hmph,” Kurogane grunted, gathering up the dog’s emptied food dish, “What’s the point of keeping a pet if you’re going to torture it by feeding it garbage? This is good for him.”
Fay mumbled his doubts about raw fish being good for anything, but stepped to the side to allow Kurogane access to the sink. He watched the ninja with amusement. “Has Kuro-sama had a change of heart?”
Kurogane finished rinsing out the dish and dried his hands. “No,” he said shortly, “But if it’s going to stay here, it’s going to live by my rules.” He snapped his fingers. “Come here, dog.”
Ziggy trotted happily over to Kurogane, who fastened a bit of rope around its neck.
“What are you doing, Kuro-tan?”
“We’re going for a walk. You,” Kurogane thrust a pile of “Found” posters into the wizard’s arms, “Put these up around town. …And save me some pancakes,” he added, almost as an afterthought, as he headed out the door.
Fay watched as the duo marched off down the road, an amused smirk teasing the corners of his lips.
This was precious. Fay wished those camera-things Tomoyo-chan in Piffle had been so fond of existed in this dimension. He could certainly have created his own video library with footage just from this morning’s little feeding episode, but this…this was almost too good to be true.
Black, tan, spiky, sleek. Growl, grunt, bark. It was a damned good job Kurogane was twice the size of a normal man, or he might have been completely crushed by the exceptionally large mass of black fur rolling over him in the grass. It was also probably a damned good job the dog was the size of a small horse with the way Kurogane had thrown himself into the wrestling match. Fay imagined things could get quite ugly otherwise.
“Okay, that’s enough, dog,” Kurogane decided, wiping the drool away from his face, “Sit.”
Fay watched in awe as Ziggy obeyed.
Maybe there was something to this “discipline” afterall.
Fay’s eyes snapped open in the darkness. The dream hadn’t been bad, as far as nightmares go, but there was no ignoring the cold sweat lining his skin, the subtle ache in his chest, or the taste of fear creeping up his throat. He gulped down a few deep breathes and forced himself to relax; it was only a dream, after all, and he was demonstrably warm and safe in bed, nestled amongst feather pillows and reassured by the soft snores emanating from the other side of the bed.
He sighed and shifted toward Kurogane, knowing the proximity would quell the remnants of the nightmare keeping him awake. He managed less than an inch before colliding with something solid and hairy.
He started, having expected someone rather more smooth and hairless to be lying next to him, but quickly came back to himself as a quiet “wuff” broke the silence.
“Ziggy…” he breathed, patting the dog with relief. “Come on, boy, move down.” He pushed, but was unsuccessful in moving the massive bulk toward the foot of the bed.
“Come on now,” Fay pleaded, shoving with all his might, “It’s my turn to hog Kuro-rin.”
Fay flinched as a massive paw struck his cheek. Good gods this mutt had big feet. And sharp claws… He patted his face to make sure he wasn’t bleeding before renewing his struggle against the bed-usurper. “Knock this off,” he growled lowly, “Don’t make me wake up Kuro-sama…”
“See?” Fay hissed, “Now you’ve done it. You’ll be kicked out of bed for good, now.”
Fay’s grin faded in the darkness as a large, tanned arm folded protectively over the fuzzy, hulking mass with a contented sigh. He slumped back into his pillow, dejected.
He could have sworn that damned dog was smirking at him.
“Kuro-pon, Syaoran and I want to go into town for dinner.”
“Good dog! Now sit.”
“Dinner. Let’s go.”
“Are you listening to me?”
“Of course. Play dead.”
“I was just saying that Syaoran and I were going into town to murder a couple of old ladies, steal their souls, and sell their kidneys on the black market.”
“Yeah, I think I’ll stay here. Beg.”
“I’m not going to beg, Kuro-rin.”
“What? I didn’t mean you. Good dog!”
“Oh for…” Fay stomped back into the house. This was past the point of ridiculous. It was bad enough that he’d been relegated to a small sliver of cold, ninja-free mattress at night; now it appeared he’d been banished to the farthest reaches of Kurogane’s consciousness during the day as well.
What did that dog have that he didn’t? He could roll over and play dead with the best of them – AND his breath didn’t stink of raw fish and neediness (at least, he hoped it didn’t – he huffed quickly into his palm and sniffed, just to be sure). He had tried everything he could think of in the past few days to re-appropriate some of the ninja’s attention and failed miserably at every turn. Apparently licking behind the ninja’s ears wasn’t appropriate behavior for a human. His attempts at fetching some of Kurogane’s favorite, uh, squeak-toys, had been similarly shunned. Even his ever-so-subtle (if hog-tying and forcefully stripping were, in fact, considered “subtle” in this world) suggestion that they engage in behaviors only appropriate between consenting human adults had been met with the caveat that they “do it doggy-style.” Normally, Fay wouldn’t have been opposed to this, and even at that moment – in his desperation – he was willing to let the obvious canine fixation slip by unmentioned in favor of releasing his undeniably pent up sexual frustration…
The second pair of eyes staring at him had proved far too unnerving to continue. It had only further ruined the mood when, on his way to remove said second pair of eyes from the room, Kurogane had gotten distracted and played fetch for a full half an hour before Fay had once again roped and dragged him back to the bedroom, slamming the door before their furry housemate could insist on a front-row seat again.
The dog had to go.
With a final disgruntled glare, Fay gathered an armful of papers and headed out into town.
His pillow stunk. He wasn’t sure at what point the damned beast had decided that it was the best place on the bed to exhale its filthy dog breath, but he imagined that burning, rather than washing, was going to prove the only cure for the stench. He tossed the fouled bag of fluff to the floor and huffed angrily. When staring at the ceiling failed to calm him, he wrestled away the duvet and slumped to his feet.
The smell breakfast wafted from kitchen, and he silently thanked Syaoran that he wouldn’t be forced to cook after enduring what was likely the worst night of sleep he’d ever not-gotten. Paws in his face, a two-part chorus of snoring, and the unmistakable aromatic evidence that raw fish really didn’t agree with canine digestive tracts. He peeked his head in through the door.
Syaoran was nowhere to be found. In his stead, an apronned ninja slouched over stove, scrapping agitatedly at the skillet and cursing under his breath as the gas flame danced just a bit too close to the edge of the pan for comfort. There was a distinct lack of any fur-covered beings scavenging for dropped goodies.
“What are you doing?”
“What does it look like? I’m cooking breakfast,” Kurogane frowned at the skillet, “But mostly failing to cook breakfast...”
Fay chuckled as he took the spatula and adjusted the flame, gently nudging the ninja to one side. “Where’s Syaoran? And your new best friend?”
“Oh,” Kurogane paused, “We found his owner. Syaoran went to go walk him back.”
“Oh?” Fay turned, frowning. Something was off… “Why didn’t you take him back?”
“Oh, you know,” Kurogane ran a hand through his hair and stared at the floor, “It was probably for the best. Don’t want to confuse the poor dog, after all.”
“Ah,” Fay fought back a smile. So that was how it was. “How very noble of you.” Kurogane glared. “Not that I’d expect any less,” Fay continued, removing the skillet from the stove, “You were a good master for him.”
“Yes.” Fay dished the salvaged eggs onto a plate and set them in front of Kurogane. “Are you going to be alright?”
Kurogane stiffened, eyes narrowing to small slits. “Why wouldn’t I be?” he demanded gruffly.
“No reason,” Fay winked and leaned in for a kiss, “Just thought you might be sad and need a distraction.”
“I’m fine,” Kurogane insisted, ignoring the taunt. Was it a taunt? Or was the wizard actually being empathetic (not that he wanted his empathy, of course) for once in his annoyingly aggravating life? “You’re not expecting me to have some emotional scene here where I talk all about how much I'll miss the mutt, are you?”
“No, of course not,” Fay beamed, “That would be completely out of character for Kuro-sama.”
“Good.” Kurogane gulped down his eggs. That little scene wouldn’t be forthcoming. Even if he had enjoyed the pup’s company, it didn’t mean he was going to get all emotional and pretend like it would have been better for the dog to stay. Definitely not. He was going to be fine.
Just as soon as the damned fool wizard stopped humping his leg.