Lil' oneshot for ya, 'cause it popped into my head when I wanted something to write but couldn't be bothered with my other story :) And blame UltraaNeeon for the title ;)
And just in case you didn't know, a fox cub is actually called a kit :)
"Howard? Howard!" Vince pelted through the shop and ran up the stairs, stumbling on every alternate step. His friend looked up from a magazine he was reading (Jazz weekly) and raised his eyebrows,
"There you are Vince. Well? Are you going to tell me why you said you'd only be a few hours, but you've now only just got in?" He got up and stretched, hoping he looked rather scathing and bored of it.
Vince hopped from one foot to the other, impatiently and looking like he was about to cry. He was wearing some simple black skinny jeans with a red Charles of London tee-shirt, and some silver Chelsea boots, but seemed rather flustered, not caring that the top was wrinkled or that his boots were scuffed.
"Go on then, I'm waiting for you to regale me with the story of how your shoes wouldn't let you come out of Topshop, or maybe you met a friendly badger and tea with it?" Howard sighed as Vince interrupted,
"Howard, look…" He jumped as he heard a huge intake of breath as Howard rushed over to him, only just then realising that the younger man wasn't laden down with bags of shopping, but his top was stained in something dark, and his hands were looking rather red as well…
"Are you ok? What happened? Can I… I mean, sit down…" Howard started panicking, babbling slightly. He was about to drag Vince to sit down, and was just trying to remember where the first aid kit was, when he felt something furry and warm and...alive. Yelping, he took his hands away and stared down at what Vince had in his hands. How the bloody hell had he not noticed this when Vince had first come through the door?
"Howard, please don't be mad!" Vince begged, his face flushed and his voice panicky, "But I found him on the side of the road, and he said he was hit by a car, and then he passed out, and there's so much blood, I... I carried him here..." He started stuttering, anxious about the life of the fox kit in his arms that he had just tried to save. Howard looked at him, astounded that Vince should pick a bleeding animal up, without caring about the mess it would make of his tee-shirt and carry it all the way here.
"I promised I'd help him!" Vince sobbed, "I told him that you or Naboo would help!" Howard seemed to be completely numb, but suddenly jumped into action as both the fox and Vince gave out pained whines,
"Ok Vince, calm down, look, sit down, and I'll get the first aid kit" He soothed, but he had no idea what that would help with. He wasn't a vet goddamnit! It was only to put Vince's mind at ease that he went back, with some anti-septic wipes and a warm towel.
The younger man was sat in the chair, holding the fox kit like a baby, crooning to it, softly stroking the fur on the top of it's head.
"C'mon Vince, put the fox in here and let me...sort it out" He was amazed at the trust Vince had in him, actually believing him that he would heal the fox. He settled it into the blanket and jumped when Vince gave a high-pitched squeal and said,
"Naboo!! You've gotta come here!" He leapt up and dragged the shaman into the room and said hurriedly,
"I found this fox by the roadside, and he's bleeding... and, you..." He was running out of breath, so Howard stepped in,
"Can you help him?" He asked Naboo, looking him in the eyes and trying to send him some signals that he needed to help this kit, because if he didn't, Vince would probably be heartbroken, and blame himself.
Naboo blinked, "Yeah alright" he answered, and took the fox out of Howard's arms, walking away to his bedroom.
Oh the magic of mind power and eye contact.
---2 days later---
Vince was sat cross legged on the floor, throwing a small bouncy ball around idly, while the fox took it back to him, it's eyes shining. Howard remained sat at the table, holding a cup of warm tea in his hands and sighing at the sight.
Vince had gotten very close to this fox, and Howard didn't think he knew the fox would soon have to be put back in the wild. He had told Vince all about his life. Apparently his name was Jekyll, and he had two sisters, Pandora and Tamsin. Their parents died only a few days ago, so they were going further North, to find a new home, and Jekyll hadn't properly looked when checking for traffic.
Vince had welled up at all of this, and had even shed a few tears when Jekyll said how much he missed his mum and dad. Howard had been there through all of it though, handing Vince tissues and pretending to tut at how emotional he was getting, when he was tearing up inside. He still put his arm around the younger man when Naboo was working on the fox, which took about one day, even with all of his shaman magic.
The ball bounced onto Howard's foot, he smiled gently at the fox and kicked it back softly towards Vince. Suddenly, Naboo threw his door open, making everyone in the room jump,
"Ok, Jekyll, I've found your sisters, they're not far from where you got hit, so if Vince throws some shoes on, we can go now" The fox jumped up on all paws, looking ecstatic, while Vince bit his lip and said quietly, his voice wavering,
"So... we're not going to... going to let him stay here?" His blue eyes filled with tears and, at seeing Naboo's emotionless face, he turned to Howard for comfort. The older man honestly couldn't stand seeing how upset Vince was, but said, in the most soothing voice he could muster,
"Well you didn't think we were going to keep him here forever did you? He has family Vince, a family looking for him, you wouldn't want that if you were him would you?" Vince looked down and shook his head silently, hair falling over his face like a layered waterfall, hiding the confusion and hurt in his eyes. Jekyll, oblivious to this, started capering around, running in circles and doing happy little fox dances (I.e, jumping up and down).
"Vince, come on, we should go now," Howard slowly leant down and put his hand on Vince's shoulder, making the younger man look him in his little brown eyes, "You wouldn't want it, would you?" He asked again, knowing this had an effect on his friend. Vince sniffed hard and shook his head again, now standing up and picking the small fox kit up gently, whispering to it. Whispering what, Howard had no idea, but he gave Vince a small pat on the back as they walked out the door, proud of him.
The van pulled up outside a kerb, making Vince shudder as the doors was squeakily pulled open. He looked over his shoulder for any last minute reassurance or a sudden change of mind, but he just got a blank, possibly stoned stare and a look from Howard's eyes that he knew simply said, 'I'm so sorry, but you know you have too'
Taking a deep breath he hopped off the van and wandered a few steps away from it, crouching down in the grass,
"So..erm, d'you want me to wait with you until your sisters come?" He asked hesitantly, not wanting to intrude, but wanting more time with him. The kit shook its' snout and said,
"No, I can smell them, they won't be long. You should go back to your pack" Vince grinned half-heartedly and sniffed, not being able to stop a tear falling down his nose. It fell on the fox's head, which shook it again, amused,
"Please don't be sad," He begged, "You saved my life, you've got a nice mate, you should be happy" Vince didn't know whether Jekyll was referring to Howard as his friend or lover, but said nothing and nodded hard, croaking, just as he heard some foxes barking in the distance,
"You be... be careful, now ok? And, I'm sorry, for, y'know, not really wanting you to go" The fox snorted and said,
"I could've got out another way if you hadn't," He grinned a cheeky fox grin and was about to run off, before turning back and saying, "Be good to your mate. He's good for you. I can tell. Sense of smell and all that" With that, he smiled once more and ran off.
Vince slowly stood up, after hearing yelps of happiness from further away, and jumped half a mile in the air to find someone resting their hand on his shoulder. It was whipped away as though it was hot when Vince turned, breathing heavily, but he relaxed as soon as he saw it was Howard.
"Hey, I just..." He couldn't stop the croak in his voice or the tears running down his face. Thankfully, Howard couldn't see any of this, as it was too dark, but as soon as they got closer to the road, he saw it all.
Vince's trouser knees were stained with mud, and his mascara had ran so much he looked like the bride of Frankenstine. Not as attractively, his nose had ran and he was sniffing at regular intervals, like a small child sniffing rejectedly. He wiped his nose on the back of his hand,
"Yuck," Howard said, pulling a small face, making Vince titter slightly, "He'll be fine Vince, you know you wouldn't have want..." He was cut off by Vince throwing his arms around him and saying into his shoulder,
"I'd have hated to not be able to come back to you," He withdrew his face for a moment and smiled softly at Howard, blue eyes twinkling as he did so, "You're my pack" He giggled, and squeezed Howard some more, glad to feel the other man hugging back just as hard.
As they rode back, Vince stopped crying and started smiling as they wound the windows down and could hear more barks. And these didn't even mean anything. They were just simple, honest barks that escaped as the foxes played together.
He cast his eyes over the others in the van and said,
"You know I love you guys right?" None of them answered, but Vince knew they heard, and suddenly that made all the difference.
Ok, I know how crap the ending was, belive me, but I couldn't think :( Please review!! I'll give you orange juice....