Of course, he always has Maximilian.
Gustav has had the dog since he was a puppy, a tiny, shivery little thing. His eyes were wide, black, and melancholy. A small girl and her mother were on a street corner trying to be rid of the last puppy, which was rolling around like adorable puppies do in a cardboard box. He never meant to take Max; it was definitely one of Gustav's odd moments where he experienced a lapse in judgement, giving in to the cuteness. Honestly, how could anyone with a heart say no to that?
"How much?" Gustav asked as he held the puppy that playfully licked at his nose.
"Just take him," the woman said, waving her hand. "He's a troublemaker."
"Thank you's," and, "Good days," were exchanged. The lady was quite nice, actually. Her hair was long and blonde, her eyes a clear blue. She did not smile. At least, the smile was insincere. It did not reach her eyes. She reminded him of someone in his past, someone almost completely forgotten by this point. Gustav wanted to talk a little longer, for he had been so lonely for so long. Even just a small chat on the subject of something as trivial as the weather would suffice. Anything, anything would be fine with him. Alas, it was clear the woman was in no mood for socialness.
He only wanted companionship. He wanted one friend.
Maximilian was a very sweet puppy; big of heart, yet dim of wit. The moment Gustav brought him home, the silly thing began running into walls. He was so excited he couldn't control himself, it seemed. All this energy, contained inside of this little body. It made the veteran smile with sincerity; he would get this fuzzy feeling in the pit of his stomach.
Before Gustav had named him, he simply referred to Maximilian as either Puppy or, the odd time, Dog Child. That is what he was, after all. "Maximilian, come here," he would say, and after a ridiculous amount of practice, Max would listen. Gustav was unsure of where he discovered the name Maximilian, but all he knew was that he liked it. And if his puppy liked it as well, than Maximilian it would be.
To Gustav, the wonder of creation quite suddenly appeared rather fascinating. It was a joy watching little Max grow up. It made him laugh when the dog barked at the sound of the kettle boiling each afternoon when Gustav drank his daily tea; it made him think incredibly hard when Max snuggled with him as to why animals are in some ways, kinder than humans. It made him frown when Maximilian ripped up pillows and chewed on his shoes that he had just shined, thank you very much.
Despite everything, perhaps Max's most prominent quality was the way he loved to chase things.
It reminded Gustav of a cat, almost. Strings, mice, shoelaces, strollers. Anything that moved was not immune to Max's pursuit. This is the precise reason Gustav knew he had found the perfect companion that he could have ever wished for. He and Maximilian were an unstoppable force; Gare Montparnass would never quite be the same after they arrived.
No orphan would ever cause trouble within this station again!
She was not overly fond of Maximilian, Gustav thought. There really was no proof to back this statement up, besides that she would flinch if he ever approached her with Max trailing behind. Gustav had quickly learned if he were to ever speak with her, to leave Maximilian behind for the moment. Indeed, it made him fell a little guilty as Max would whimper pathetically as he walked away, squeaky knee brace and all. But what had to be done had to be done. If anyone knew this, it was Gustav Dasté.
Despite their inevitable problems, Maximilian and Gustav were inseparable. And though Gustav grew tired of Maximilian's constant obsessive compulsive disorder involving moving objects, and Maximilian grew tired of being momentarily ditched for a lady who sold flowers, the two would not have it any other way.