After months of writer's block, I... have no idea where this came from. I guess it's sort of post-season three with some speculation for season four, but mostly it's just drabble.
From a fish's point of view.
He is a fish.
This would hold some significance to him, if his brain was bigger than a pea. It's not, however, so he doesn't really think about it.
He just swims around his bowl.
He doesn't have a name, but on the occasion that his owner addresses him, it's by 'Fishy'. He's not particularly fond of that one, so he chooses to call himself Herman. There's no real meaning behind that, he just likes the thought. And, besides, his owner once slipped up, a year ago, and called him "Heronlyman". And that was just a mouthful. It wasn't a crime to cut it a little short.
Plus, he's not entirely sure he holds that title, anymore.
He likes the new digs. Stashed behind the curly-haired boy's Mac, he's got a decent view of the Tron poster and a nicely obstructed view of the bed. And his pea-sized brain thinks that this is probably the best.
Nobody really sees him behind the Mac, though. He thinks he's been forgotten, sometimes, but his owner never forgets to pour him a little bit of food with a promise of more the following day.
He holds to that promise. It means she's not going anywhere.
The curly-haired boy seems to interpret the same reassurance.
One day, the curly-haired boy pulls him out from behind the Mac. "You need a view of the world," he assures, and he's whistling a little bit as he brings Herman to the window. Later, though, he can hear the curly-haired one telling the bearded one about this very specific placement, and how nobody would want Herman (well, the fish) knocked over. He says something about Sarah's wrath, too, but Herman is already half asleep at that point.
When he wakes up, he realizes that he does have a view of the world. A much better view than the hotel room, he decides, and watches with satisfaction as his owner stretches across her half of the bed, rest an arm across the curly-haired boy's stomach, and sigh.
He's proud of the fact that she takes up three quarters of the bed. The curly-haired one is left clinging to the edge.
Months later, he's still swimming around his little bowl. Swim, swim, swim. He'd be bored of all the swimming, if he didn't like it so much. And if he didn't know what the air tasted like - bad, was the correct answer. Also, kind of like sweat. If the one time he'd been left gasping for water was any indication.
He hated the redhead for that reason alone. But he also wanted her to come back, because he'd mostly already forgotten what air tasted like and he was curious to know.
His owner walks in. The other owner - the curly-haired guy - walks in, too, and they're both battered and bruised and the curly-haired one has a little bit of blood left on his face and everything is swollen. And his owner looks at him for a second, and he can see concern, there.
He blows bubbles and keeps swimming.
They sleep differently, after that, he notices. The curly-haired one had been having nightmares, and now they're gone. His owner wakes up anyway, looks at him, and falls back asleep. Every hour, on the dot. He admires her precision, mostly because he scarcely knows what the word means at all.
The curly-haired one keeps a secret from Herman's owner. He sleeps on the couch that night, and Herman senses a loneliness in the room he'd never felt before.
It reminds him of the hotel room, in a way. But there's hope mixed in there, too, which the hotel room never had, and there's regret missing from this room.
The loneliness, though. That's present. His owner stays very firmly on her side of the bed, and when she wakes up every hour, she looks as though she might cry.
She doesn't. There's a part of her that won't allow it, but Herman, personally, thinks she deserves a good cry, every now and again.
He doesn't know what their job is, but based on the way they look when they return, he thinks they must be ninjas of some sort.
The curly-haired one stopped being a ninja for a while. After that awful night, he starts again. They both look happier.
"Chuck, I may have a lead on your mother." Herman's owner says this cautiously, like she's holding something back. Herman never met his mother, and he's pretty sure it's been a while since either of his owners met theirs. He feels closer to them, for a moment.
Then he falls asleep again.
He supposes the mother must have been found, eventually, because she comes to stay with them for a while and his two owners sleep out in the living room instead of in the bed, and Herman is forced to listen to the woman's snoring for a few nights.
The mother acts different around Herman's owner. He'd say that she's almost judgmental, but he thinks that she might be jealous.
Herman's been jealous before. He can't quite remember when, but he thinks it has something to do with the curly-haired boy and Herman's owner.
The mother leaves, and promises to return (but Herman privately hopes she doesn't; she was awfully boring to watch), and both owners look sad. The mother hugs Herman's owner fiercely and whispers something that sounds awfully like, "Make bears with him, okay?"
It's only when Herman's watching them sleep and watching Sarah's arm pull possessively on his chest that he realizes that he probably interpreted it wrong. He doesn't let the thought bother him.
Herman is dying. There is something there that just screams it, and when the couple walk in hours after this realization, he clues in to the ring on her finger and the slight crinkle in his eyes.
He thinks about living in the bowl for five years. He thinks about watching their relationship, step by step. Mostly, he thinks about food.
He swims slowly, gradually, and he thinks.
When he closes his eyes (metaphorically, of course) and floats to the surface, he thinks about how he'll be replaced.
It had better be by a puppy, he decides, and the thought satisfies him.
The dog's name is Flynn. He's a chocolate labrador, a little rocky on his feet, and he knows that his name comes from somewhere but mostly he just doesn't care what he's called, so long as someone is calling him.
He likes his backyard. He likes the inside of the house, too, especially the food area, but mostly he likes the yard and his ninja owners and the movies they watch and- and oh, especially his bowl. He really, really likes his bowl. When there's food in it.
His owners disappear, sometimes. They send someone to fill up the bowl for him, either the brunette sister or the gruff friend or the bearded man. But someone always fills up his bowl.
They're happy. Flynn likes that. He doesn't think that either got a lot of happiness before the other came along. He doesn't think - oh my god, the curly-haired one just threw a ball for him.
Flynn's ears fly through the air and he looks back, tongue wagging, and sees the picket fence and the huge house and the nice Porsche in the driveway and the gun sitting on the porch and mostly, mostly he just sees the tennis ball.