Wow. What's this? I'm posting something?
Okay, so it's been a while since I last posted/updated. A few months, actually. I've had NO inspiration at all - I've hardly written anything lately. And that's not just anything Joe...I've hardly written anything AT ALL. It's not cool.
Aaaanyway, I was going through my stuff, rereading a few fics to get inspired (and yes, it worked...there'll hopefully be a new chapter for Here There Be Monsters soon...) and I found this. It's far from the best writing I've done, but I liked the idea, and I figured it might be okay to just post and try and get back into writing :)
So, hope you enjoy this little bit. Also, thanks to theonewhowrotetatertots for giving me the photo that inspired the idea. Ages ago. :D See, I got around to it eventually :p
Sniff. Find the scent. Find the scent, find the -
Now, follow. Follow the trail, follow the trail, find the Alpha. The Alpha was who Master wanted him to find, so he had to find him.
"Find 'im, Junkyard! Good boy!"
It was hard to hear Master with all the loud noises - the shouting, the big bangs, the smaller, more frequent popping noises. And all the other smells made it hard to find the trail of the Alpha - so many other smells! Blood, the sharp scent that always came with the popping sounds, sweat. And yummy things to roll in.
But there was no time for rolling. Master wanted the Alpha. And because Master wanted him, Junkyard wanted him, too.
He lowered his head, snorted as a puff of dust tickled his nostrils, then sniffed again. There it was - the same scent that Master had just held under his nose.
This way! Junkyard strained at the leash until Master followed. Come on, hurry up! He's this way!
"That's it, Junk! Keep going!" Master yelled over another of the big bangs. This one made the ground shake. "Scarlett! Junk's found Hawk's trail!"
Come on! The sooner Master stopped barking at the Silent One's Female, the sooner they could get to the Alpha.
The trail led back and forth through the street. Sometimes the scent was more concentrated behind one of the cars that had been left in the middle of the road, sometimes by the corner of a building. The further Junk followed it, the stronger the scent got, until it was almost like he could see the trail the Alpha had left behind.
Here! In here. Junkyard pawed at the battered door of a shop.
Master kicked the door open. Junkyard bounded inside, snarling fiercely, just in case there was anyone inside. They'd have to get past his teeth first if they wanted to get Master.
There was nobody inside, but the Alpha's scent was strong. Junkyard sniffed the air once more, then trotted across the room.
"Hey, boy." Alpha reached up and gave Junk a scratch behind the ears, right where he liked it.
"Hawk? You okay?" Master stepped past Junk. Junk tilted his head up, puffing his chest out a little. "Attaboy, Junk!"
Master? Master, am I a good boy?
"Good boy! Who's a good boy?"
Junkyard chuffed happily and leaned against Master's leg as the man heartily slapped his flank. Treat? C'mon, I'm a good boy!
Master knelt by Alpha, reaching into his pocket and dropping a handful of treats on the floor. Junk wolfed them up happily, savouring the taste of beef. Not as good as the canned stuff, but he'd take it.
Alpha groaned. "Yeah, I'm okay, Mutt. Just a little battered and bruised."
"Right. Well, I say we get the hell outta here and -"
Master didn't get to finish what he was barking. Junkyard yelped as there was a flash of brightness and another one of those big, loud bangs. He skittered on his paws as the world rocked, and then everything went dark.
When Junkyard opened his eyes again, the dust was still settling. His front right paw hurt. There was something heavy lying across his back.
Junk lifted his head when he heard the groan. Alpha wasn't far away; he was just starting to sit up, shaking his head and looking a little dazed. Bits of rubble tumbled to the floor as he moved - normally, Junkyard would've been able to hear it, but now his ears didn't seem to be working properly. It was like he had water in his ears - everything was muffled.
Master? Junk tried to stand up, but the weight across his back was too much. Panicking, he began to struggle, throwing his weight around. Master!
"Easy, Junkyard," Alpha said quietly. "Easy, boy."
The weight lifted. Junk immediately scrambled to his paws and lurched sideways, almost falling over before turning around.
Alpha now was sitting on the floor beside Master, leaning over him. Junkyard moved closer, lowering his head. He sniffed, but all he could smell was dust. He crept closer.
Master? Junkyard nuzzled Master's hand, burying his still stinging nose under it and flipping it over. It's not safe yet. Get up.
The man didn't move. Junkyard licked his face. Master's eyes stayed closed; he didn't try to push Junk away like he usually did.
Was he playing? This was no time to play!
Junkyard gave a low whine. Come on! He stared intently at Master, barely even noticing Alpha's attempts to move him away.
Something gave way behind them, and suddenly the room was light again. "Hawk? Mutt?"
"Over here, Scarlett. Mutt's hurt. Beachhead, can you take him?"
"Yeah." Something nudged gently at Junk's hindquarters. "Outta the way, dawg, quick."
Junk growled and almost snapped at the other man before recognising the voice and the scent. Of course, with a scent like that, it could only be one person. Junkyard had always liked this one's smell.
"Yeah, ya wouldn't wanna…" the Growler warned. Junk automatically hunched in submission; this one was not to be questioned.
Growler grabbed Master's arms and heaved him up over his shoulder. "C'mon, Junk."
Junk trotted after Growler, Alpha, and the Silent One's Female, his eyes fixed firmly on Master's slack face. Blood trickled down Master's forehead.
"Junk, come on. Quick!" Silent One's Female called over her shoulder.
Junk quickened his pace.
Master? Wake up. Please? It's been a long time.
A warm hand reached down and scratched Junkyard behind the ear. He didn't need to look up to see who it was, he could smell her - it was the Sad One. Just for her, he lifted his head and licked her fingers, although it was a feeble effort. Junk thought it'd make her feel better - it usually did. This time, though, all he sensed was more sadness wafting off her.
"Sorry, Nomad, but there's been no change."
The Sad One sighed. "I know, Lifeline. I came to get Junk, actually. It's been four days since…well, you know. And he hasn't moved."
The Sad One knelt beside him and took his head in her hands. "How about it, Junk? Wanna do some training? Huh?"
Junk pulled away and lowered his head again. He wasn't going anywhere until Master woke up.
"Mutt raised him from when he was a puppy, you know."
Junkyard ignored the quiet voices. They weren't talking to him, anyway. He only pricked his ears occasionally, when he heard his name…or Master's.
Apart from the whispers, the room was surprisingly quiet, for being full of humans. Alpha had stood at the front of the room for a while, talking. Junk hadn't paid any attention.
The people were leaving now. Junk didn't move - not even when Order and his master called to him. They'd given up, eventually; even though Order didn't understand, he'd pulled against his collar, hinting to his master that it was time to go.
Junkyard trotted forward, looking up to where he knew Master was lying. He couldn't see him, but he knew Master was there.
Junkyard slid down onto the cold floor, resting his head on his paws. He wasn't leaving Master's side - not until he had to.
Hawk was the last to leave.
Well…second last. "Junkyard," he called firmly, even though the Rottweiler had refused to come to anybody since Mutt was injured when the mortar hit. Even then, Mutt had looked out for that dog - he'd thrown himself over Junk as a part of the store's roof had collapsed, taking the brunt of the impact.
The dog looked up briefly, then lowered his head to the floor again.
Hawk walked over and knelt beside the dog, resting a hand on his head. "I know, boy," he murmured, his throat tight. His eyes got hot.
Damn dog had done what a hundred battles could not.
He'd almost brought Hawk to tears.
With one final scratch of Junk's ears, Hawk left.
The flag draped across the casket rippled slightly in the breeze that came through the door Hawk had left open.
And the only one left in the room was Junkyard, keeping watch over his Master even at the very end.