Title: The Good Dog
Word Count: 400, (two double drabbles, interconnected)
Disclaimer: The dog, and the doctor are mine
The Good Dog
She had thought she would have to bite him.
Her feet splayed on the wooden floor, her claws left trails of mud. She felt her lips drawing up and back, even as she cupped her tail and shook. He made a series of man-sounds, they boomed in her ears, hurting. But her did not move to strike her. She had pulled free, from that other place,but the rope had stayed, and burned. Her head drooped. His hands found her neck, where the tightness stung and burned and itched.
“Good dog.” He said. She knew what 'Dawg' was, although the other man-sound was new. His hands were on the rope now, and working it loose, lifting it away, from the raw sore underneath.
He made a clucking sound, and heaved the thing away. She could smell the stink of her itching sores, on his hands, now. He held them out, slow, and she dared to lick, apologetically, darting a glance at his face.
He ran a hand down her side, where the ribs bumped under her mud matted coat.. He ran the hand down over her back, she wagged her tail, once low.
“ You're a good dog.” Dr Hornblower said again.
The guard never locked them in anymore. . His name was Juan. Horatio talked with him sometimes; in halting Spanish, and although Archie could not bring himself to do so, he no longer glared.
Today Juan pounded up the stairs, smiling. “You have a letter, Sir.” He said. He looked delighted, as he put the precious thing in Horatio's hand.
Archie stood by the window, he smiled at Horatio, but his shoulders were rigid, under his blue coat, and he turned back to the window.
“From my father,” Horatio said. “Come read it with me, Archie.”He reached out, and drew Archie close.
“I shan't read your mail, Horatio.” Archie said. He was half turned to the window, and his voice could have cut glass.
Horatio stood up, pushing the chair away with a scrape. He wrapped his arms around Archie, and kissed him soft. He pushed the hair from Archie's face, and stroked his smooth eyebrows. He kissed Archie's nose.
Archie's eyes smiled a little, but he did not relent.
“All right,” Horatio said, “I'll read you the good parts.” He read rapidly. “Archie,” he said, “My father has gotten a dog.”