Author's Note: Well what do you know. I never thought in a million years that I'd ever write something like this. Okay, this is a gift for my best friend Sphynx 'cause a long time ago she wrote something for my fandom . . . now I'm returning the favor. I shouldn't have anyone too out of character - she's exposed me to it enough that I know a decent amount about them all. xD However this is a one-shot, no, nothing is going to be explained at a later date, and I most likely will never write anything in this fandom again.(However I used to say I'd never write anything in this fandom, period. You see how far thatwent. ;) ) And I know the ending's kinda cut off but since this is dedicated to Sphynx and she wanted it to end there, I did.Anyway, I hope you enjoy this.

Disclaimer: Y'know, I really get tired of making these things. Does it look like I own anything here? Nah, I didn't think so.


Lessons in Humility

by Redbud-Tree

"Easy there; the couch is just behind you."

Why, of all people, was the mutt the one helping him? Not that he needed the help – he was perfectly capable of handling himself, and he intended to prove it.

"Let go of me! I don't need your help and certainly not to just sit down."

The loud thump and curse gave the lie to his statement, unfortunately. He sat ungratefully and glared at the general area of the mutt, daring him to laugh. To give the blonde his credit, he didn't. Instead, the dog just helped him up and onto the couch.

"There. You all right now? Do you need anything?"

If he didn't know better, he would almost think the dog was serious . . .

A slight shake of the head, "Why are you helping me? You wouldn't have before."

"You needed help."

An eyebrow rose, and he replied, "That can't be all. It's never that simple."

"Why wouldn't it be simple? You need help; why shouldn't I give it to you?"

"I don't know, but I can think of at least two different reasons why you should just want to leave me in the dirt."

"Well . . . yeah. But no one else would have helped you."

Idiot. Did he think he wanted anyone to help him?

"Either you are the most oblivious person in the entire world or you lie to yourself most effectively."

"Uh . . ."

Sometimes he seriously wondered just how thick the mutt's skull was. It would probably take a jackhammer to penetrate it.

"Never mind. That clearly went completely over your head or, as is more likely, just right through it."

"All I did was keep you from ramming that pretty boy nose of yours into a wall and you snap at me for it?"

"I didn't need your help! It was unwanted and unwelcome, and next time, I'd appreciate it if you'd mind your own business."

"If that's what you want, then!"

"Go then! You know the way out. I've kicked you out enough."

"What's that supposed to mean!"

"Should I speak in simpler sentences? Get. Out. And. Leave. Me. Alone. Now."

"Fine then! I'm leaving already. Don't burst a blood vessel."

"LEAVE."

'Before I call security and have you arrested.'

"All right already! I'm going."

He waited a few minutes, but never heard the footsteps of his unwanted 'guest' leaving.

"Why haven't you left yet?"

"Because?"

"Don't try to start that. You should know by now that childish arguments don't work on me."

"Fine! Jump all over me for worrying. That's the last time I waste my pity on someone like you!"

He never wanted anyone's pity in the first place - let alone the pity of a dog.

"Good. Maybe some sense is finally working its way into that thick head of yours. Then again, I'm most likely overestimating you."

"That's it! You want to know why I helped you - because your brother asked me to. See you later!"

Footsteps sounded in the darkness and faded out; followed by a door slamming. He stared with sightless eyes at nothing, scornfully daring the world to mock him.

"See you later, indeed. . ."

Well, at least the mutt was finally gone.


Two days later, he was sitting on the same couch, growling at the world. He had been impossible to deal with; independent to a fault, he had bruised shins, scraped palms, and a mortally wounded ego. The only person he let near him was his brother, and even he was almost fed up.

So here he was: alone again contemplating his fate. Obviously he couldn't continue his career – blind men don't usually make very good CEOs. Or at least that's what his employees thought. He'd show them, of course – he'd just have to think of a way to do it . . .

Now if only this blindness was temporary . . . but it wasn't. He had consulted the best doctors in the world and they had all told him the same thing. There was nothing that could be done to restore his sight. It was too bad none of them were in his employ – he'd have fired them all on the spot.

It might not have been so bad if it hadn't been his own fault – not that you would ever catch him admitting that to anyone.

It didn't help that everyone was treating him like an invalid. He was sick of sitting around all day; he was bored and didn't like it. He needed to do something – relaxation was not something he enjoyed, and he had been doing entirely too much of that lately. He pushed himself up, off the couch, and started toward the door. He wasn't going to sit around and do nothing all day, even if that's what everyone expected him to do. At the very least, maybe he could rig up his computer with a voice response system. He'd always wanted to do that but had never had a reason to before.

He took a step; still good. Two steps; making progress . . .Three, four, five steps . . . this was too easy! He really should have done this sooner. Six, seven . . . 'Who placed a footstool there? Whoever it was, they're out of a job.' All right then . . . changing course: around the footstool . . . and straight into the end of a table. He prepared himself for an ungraceful landing on the floor; something that had happened all too often lately. However, as long as no one saw it, he'd be on his feet again and on his way to his office relatively quickly. Providing he could locate the elevator, of course.

Of course, his luck wouldn't be that good. Instead of hitting the floor, he crashed into another person, knocked them to the floor with him, and rolled three feet across the room.

"Oof!"

Oh no. Not him – please, let it be anyone but the mutt. He attempted to get to his feet and salvage the last few threads of his shredded pride. However, it was not to be. The aforementioned "mutt" chose that exact moment to also try and get up. Their heads banged with a loud 'clunk' and the last of his pride floated out the window. He refused to touch his now aching head and settled with a glare and a scowl.

"Why are you here? You know you're not wanted."

"If you have to know, your brother asked me. He said you've been sulking and thought if anyone could snap you out of it, it'd be me."

"Sulking? I don't sulk."

"Okay, maybe those weren't his exact words, but that's what he meant."

"You're asking me to put faith in the understanding of someone with as low an I.Q as you have? Don't make me laugh."

"Laugh? I didn't know you could."

During this exchange, he attempted to stand up again, determined to leave this room even if it killed him. Which, he realized as the mutt attempted to help him, got slapped off and sent him crashing to the floor again, just might. Completely humiliated but not about to show it, he managed to get fully to his feet and started walking again. Too bad the dog grabbed him by the arm and stepped in front of him, blocking his way.

He gave one of his patented, copyrighted, don't-anyone-else-use-or-I'll-sue-you-for-everything-you-own glares at where he thought the blonde's head was. The blonde let go of his arm but didn't move.

"I'm not going to stand here and waste my time talking to a mutt. Get out of my way."

"You can't even cross the room without falling on your face. How do you expect to find your way around the whole thing?"

Admittedly he hadn't actually thought about that, but it didn't really matter. It wasn't that hard . . . however he might need to have his brother buy some shin guards the next time he went out. He was really getting tired of bruised shins. Of course, the dog didn't need to know about that.

"I'll manage."

"How? You're liable to break your neck and even though I wouldn't count it as much of a loss, your brother would get upset."

"I said I'd manage. Now move. You're in the way."

"No! You're not leaving."

"Think you're a prison guard now? Move."

"I don't think so.

"Move."

"I'm not letting you get yourself killed, so I don't think so!"

"Why not? You've got nothing to lose."

"Maybe 'cause I'm not a self-centered jerk like you! Maybe I don't want to see someone I know kill themselves because of their pride! . . .Aren't you going to insult me now?"

If the dog wanted a reaction, he wasn't going to get one.

"No."

"Why not? You always insult me!"

Huh, the mutt was begging to be insulted. That was . . . different.

"It's not worth my time."

"You can't even bother insulting me?"

Hadn't they already gone through this? Oh well. 'Some mutts never learn.'

"No. Now let me by."

"Forget it. I promised your brother."

"You really are a mutt, you know that?"

"I give up. I may have promised your brother I'd keep you from getting yourself killed but I don't plan on being your punching bag all day. Eh . . . maybe I'll just tie you to a chair and leave it."

Oh, back to the defensive. But if that dog thought he could get him into a chair, let alone tied to it, he was mistaken. No-one could force him to sit somewhere when he didn't want to – even if he couldn't see to fight back.

"Just try it."


This . . . was infinitely more humiliating than anything that had happened earlier.

"There. Now you won't go out and get killed and I don't have to put up with you anymore!"

"You're pleased with yourself? Honestly, I'm surprised you got this far."

". . .You're awfully calm for someone who's tied to a chair."

That showed just how much the dog knew. He was this close to losing it and murdering the dog. Of course his brother wouldn't like that, and it was kind of hard to injure someone when you couldn't move, but at the moment he wasn't thinking too rationally. Not that anything like that showed.

"Is that intended as a compliment? If so, I suggest you practice a little more."

"Maybe I should gag you too."

If the mutt did that, he was dead. Forget that he couldn't see and –at the moment- couldn't really move.

"Now that would be counterproductive, wouldn't it?"

"Why would it be?"

"Because my brother will be coming in here soon, and I highly doubt he'll be too happy with you."

"Hey, you were being annoying; if I have to be stuck babysitting you all day –"

'Where can I hide the body . . .?' CEOs were not babysat.

"I never wanted you here in the first place."

"I know. Your brother did."

Hadn't the dog said that before? He must have short-term memory loss.

"You didn't have to agree to come, you know."

". . . He's really worried about you."

"Do you think I don't know that?"

"I know you know that, but I don't think you know that."

"Just great, I'm blind, tied to a chair, and stuck in a room with a rabid dog who can't even form a coherent sentence."

-End-