Sleigh Ride Together
Gary knew this man. He has seen him before, standing with the other men when he and the other puppies were asked to play nice. Gary liked those times the most. He rarely ever got close to the other pups. They were held in the same kind of crates he was kept, another box right next to another with just a couple of centimetres to spare. Maybe if Gary pushed out his paw he’d be able to touch another pup while in his crate… But the handlers made it quite clear that a limb sticking out wasn’t meant to stay. So Gary stayed in his crate, shifting and turning around himself to keep busy, looking forward to whenever strange men and women came to play with his friends - not so much to the training sessions, even if they meant getting out as well.
Gary had even been taken out twice for an additional training session. And to his surprise, it wasn’t a real training session at all. Instead, he was just asked to sit, to roll down, to play with a toy while one of his handlers talked and - and the man continued to look at him. Sometimes, he would even call him, watching the pup come closer, petting his sides and turning him around to see him all around. Not that Gary minded, yipping happily and kicking his paws playfully.
This time though, this time was different. Instead of just being asked to come closer and then get to run off again, the man looped a finger beneath his collar and kept him close. “Hello, Gary.”, he said calmly, his eyes still… calculating, Gary wasn’t sure what, but he stayed in place and yipped softly anyway, nuzzling his cheek against the hand around his neck. “I’m gonna take you home, pup. You will be good, won’t you?”
And Gary yipped again. Of course he was good!
Well, maybe he wouldn’t have promised if he had known everything involved… Being taken on a leash was nothing new, even if Gary turned his head around in question when the new man lead him out of the usual training area. Gary hasn’t been out here yet… At least not that he could remember, and his little neck twisted and turned to check on the handler, just making sure he wasn’t getting into trouble. “It’s alright.”, the new man reassured. Something with M, he had said, but Eggsy hasn’t listened. Most of the things people said weren’t important for pups, so it easily all just went down and got mixed up.
It didn’t take long after papers were shuffled around and the M-man pulled out another stack of papers out of his jacket to hand over, before Eggsy was wrapped in a blanket and lifted up. He yipped - a bit in surprise, a bit in joy, wiggling in the soft fabric before he was shushed. “Quiet, Gary. None of that.”, he was reprimanded, so the pup stopped his wiggling and instead placed his cheek against the M-man’s chest. M-man? It would still take him a while till he understood - that yes, this was going to be his Master.
“The car is just outside, will be fine.”, Merlin reassured, new pup cradled against his chest. He might have preferred to go with a crate, but it would be pulling far more attention onto him than a little boy nestled against his… uncle.
With the necessary paper work done, the money exchanged and no names given, Merlin was free to carry little Gary outside.
And the little head turned in awe as a bit of a cold swift hit them. And the air was cold enough, half melted little puddles and hills of last night’s snow still laying around. The pup probably hasn’t been outside in a long, long time… For a moment, Merlin tried to direct his face back against his shoulder, covering the most of him, but as the boy’s eyes met the car waiting for them, he was to hide his nose himself fairly quickly. …oh? He wasn’t scared now, was he?
Maybe he was. Gary hasn’t really liked travelling before. Seeing a car usually meant being knocked out fairly quickly. If he was lucky, he would wake up back in his crate. If he was not, he would wake up while everything around him was shifting, other puppies whining and him feeling incredibly sick in the dark.
He wasn’t quite sure what he expected, but being taken inside while staying on M-man’s lap wasn’t quite it. “Better?”, the man asked as he closed the door and watched Eggsy pull his head back to take another glance around, but the word only startled the shy pup and he moved his head back against the man’s shoulder. “Don’t get used to that.”, Merlin murmured softly, a hand moving to the boy’s hair. The first car ride was going to be stressful enough without pushing the boy onto the floor… For both the pup and himself, Merlin thought.
The pup stayed quiet, shifting nervously from time to time, peeking out his head from below Merlin’s arm to glance out of the window again. He wasn’t quite sure what was going on, panting softly from time to time, soft whimpers ruffing through him occasionally, but… That wasn’t so bad. Yes, things still moved around him, and now that he could see how quickly he moved he wasn’t necessarily sick, but a little frightened, but M-man was soft and warm and kept his hands on the puppy as he continued to steal glances outside of the window.
There were definitely worse rides to be had.