Wolfsbane: Part Three
The next morning you awoke feeling groggy. And warm. And like you were surrounded by softness.
The latter of these two sensations were things you were not familiar with.
"Ngh…what the…?" You blearily blinked opened your (e/c) eyes to see none other than a familiar white shaggy coat right up in your face, heat radiating off of it in glorious waves. You blinked more, utterly confused, until the events of yesterday came crashing back into your mind, and your eyes widened.
That's right…I found this dog on the streets and I took him home…and he's really weird…and something freaky happened yesterday but I can't exactly remember what, and I was cold because of the stupid shower…and I must have passed out…while cuddling Gilbert.
You lifted your head a bit to peer at the sleeping canine, who was curled up against you so that your arms went around his neck, backside pressing against you and showering you with warmth. He was breathing softly, completely dead to the world, pink tongue lolling out of his jaws slightly and leaving a little pool of drool that stained your mattress. You couldn't help but smile at the endearing sight and carefully lean over, kissing the top of his head softly.
"Thank you, Gilbert…" You murmured, smiling against his fur.
Your voice seemed to jolt the dog out of his dreamland, and he jerked once, whining. He lifted his head slowly and blinked his eyes open, red meeting (e/c).
And then his head went right back down, and loud snores issued from his gaping maw.
You laughed a bit, grinning as you kissed his head again and slowly slid out of the bed, stretching. You felt more well rested than you had in a very long time, and you had a feeling it had been because Gilbert had acted as your blanket. And pillow. And, well, just your all around bed. A living, breathing bed that smelled like wet dog and sausage and had the habit of twitching in his sleep.
Shuffling along the floor quietly, you made your way through the darkened home to the kitchen. The clock said it was just a little after seven in the morning, so you were a bit glad for that, being that you wanted to head out job hunting today. The only problem was, where? Being a foreigner, the locals really didn't trust you with anything…and your German still was pretty rusty…and then there was the fact that most of your clothes weren't exactly "interview material" on account that a lot of them had gotten eaten by moths the first day you had put them in the closet…
"Well, I can't let that get to me now, can I? I have Gilbert with me!" You said in a cheerful tone as you rummaged through the mostly bare fridge, taking out a container and opening the lid. The sharp stench of sauerkraut assaulted your nostrils, and you sighed. "Guess this is breakfast then…"
You popped it in the microwave for a couple of minutes and sat down, beginning to eat the…iffy…cuisine. The only reason it was in your house was because one of the neighbors had dropped it off, claiming it hadn't been the concocted the proper way. And of course, you weren't going to complain, because food was food. …even when it smelled like dirty socks dipped in pickle juice and set to dry out on a dead cow. It kind of tasted like that too.
As you ate, you became aware of another presence in the kitchen with you. You looked up, seeing Gilbert sitting at the doorway like a sentry, yawning tiredly and scratching his ear with his hind paw. You grinned, patting the leg of your chair. The dog immediately woofed softly and trotted over, sitting at your side and placing his head in your lap. You scratched his nose, smiling down at him. "Guten tag, Gilbert! Sleep well?"
Gilbert looked up at you with an almost raised eyebrow, if dogs could make such an expression. Almost as if to say, "Your German really sucks. The pronunciation is all wrong."
You flushed for no reason, feeling self conscious. "D-Don't give me that look! I can't help it if I don't know German very well! I'm learning! And besides, you're just a dog. You have no right to criticize my lack of bilingual skills, dammit!"
This set the dog into a series of loud "kesesese" noises, and he slipped his head from your lap, shaking it and itching his face with his paw. The gesture was so human like—as if he was a human so highly amused by your words that he had dissolved into laughter and was covering his mouth—that you faltered a bit, staring.
"…I'm never going to get used to you, are I?" You sighed when he was at last done with his little laugh session, or whatever that had just been. Gilbert gave you a toothy grin and barked, tail wagging, a clear expression of childish arrogance shining on his face. You tried your best to hide just how weird that made you feel and stood up, placing the container of sauerkraut down in front of him. "Here. I'm done with it. I need to get dressed and stuff. That's all there is for breakfast, so make it last, okay?"
Gilbert stared at it warily, sniffing the stuff. He immediately sneezed and backed away a bit, giving you a look of contempt. You could almost hear a voice going in your head, "I'm too awesome to eat this shit! Whoever made it is a disgrace to the German culture!"
…but that was just your imagination, right?
"All right, suit yourself. Go hungry." You rolled your eyes and turned around, heading back to your room. "Stay here this time while I go change, got it? I don't want your pervy dog eyes glued to my chest again. That's just weird and makes me feel awkward."
There was a diminutive bark from behind you, like Gilbert was appalled by the idea, and you just laughed as you entered the bedroom. "You're lying and we both know it! Now stay, you pervy dog!"
Making sure the door was securely shut behind you, you went over to the closet and tugged out some clothes. Most of the items that had survived consisted of just t-shirts and jeans…not necessarily fancy enough for an interview—or to make a good impression. You sighed, shoulders slumping, but bit your lip determinedly and grabbed the nicest shirt—a black t-shirt with a silver wolf paw in the middle that you had gotten from the airport as soon as you had arrived in Germany—and a pair of jeans that didn't have any hole or frayed edges in them. Hurriedly, you pulled them on as well as some socks, and tugged on your good boots, which were black and made for trekking out in harsh environments. Going to the bathroom now, you brushed your teeth, washed your face, and put a bit of cover up on—you didn't really think wearing makeup was going to be too much of a deal here. You brushed through your (h/c) hair and put it in a nice, tight braid, and then looked at yourself in the mirror.
"…I look like I'm going to go work at the wolf exhibit at the zoo or something."
A wry smile crossed your face at the thought. "Maybe that's what I can do. Find some dog shelter and work there. I DO like dogs…especially Gilbert. …I'm bringing him with me on this little excursion. I don't want him messing the house up any more than it already is, and I am sensing the little weirdo has abandonment issues."
That in mind, you opened the door back up and walked into the kitchen. "All right, Gilbert, here's the deal. We're going to—what are you doing?!"
For the white beast was standing on his hind legs and trying to pull the cabinet doors open with his mouth.
You gaped in shock, and Gilbert turned his head to look at you. If a dog with white fur could go paler than he already was, you were sure that's what he would have done. Gilbert quickly backed away and got back on all fours, looking up at you with an innocent "I did not just try to be human and open the cabinet despite having no opposable thumbs~"
You stared some more, eye twitching. "…I really, really, REALLY think I am not going to get used to you any time soon. You're so…human-like! It's kind of creeping me out! What were you even trying to do, look for more food in there or something?! Because I've already said, I really don't have any!"
Gilbert whined, ears drooping and tail going between his legs. He avoided your eyes and stared at the floor meekly, almost as if to say, "I'm sorry. You can punish me now if you want."
You sighed and shook your head, scratching his ears softly. "Don't be like that, you big baby. It's just a bit disconcerting when you act so…human. I'm a bit perturbed, you know. It's almost like…you're a human stuck inside a dog's body. But that's impossible, because things like that only happen in books and movies, right?" You gave a laugh, but Gilbert seemed to stiffen. He shook your hand off of your head and pressed his nose against your thigh, breathing deeply and sighing. You sighed as well, rubbing his head as he nuzzled against you and whined again, squirming a bit.
"Weird dog…but you're my weird dog, huh?" You gave him a soft smile, before remembering what you were going to say before you had caught Gilbert trying to be human. "Oh yeah! I'm going job hunting today. Hence why I'm dressed so nicely. Yes, Gilbert, this is nice in my eyes, because most of my clothes have become a four course dinner for the bugs. Shut up." The reason you said this was because Gilbert had given you that "raised eyebrow" look again. "Anyway," you continued, leading him to the door, "I want you to come with me. Because, well, I feel…safer with you." You blushed a bit at the admittance. "And plus I don't want you destroying the house. But…think you can help me find a job? It means more food for you, and you won't have to try to ninja your way into the cupboards. And if you could, please, make it something that involves more of your fellow canines."
Gilbert barked happily, rear end wriggling in joy. He jumped up and attacked your face with licks, causing you to yelp but dissolve into a fit of giggles, pushing him down and laughing. "Okay, okay, I get it! Let's go get me a job so you can have food! Also, since you're the residential German here, I'm relying on you to help me maneuver through the streets safely. Ja?"
He gave a single bark, almost like he was saying "Ja!" right back at you. You grinned and nodded, patting his head and heading out of the door, making sure to lock it behind you.
"All right then…let's go!"
You were utterly certain by now that Gilbert either had a human mind inside of him, or he was just uncannily a very smart and intelligent dog. The two of you (Gilbert leading, you following, of course) had made your way through the little suburb until you had reached the edge of the community, where there was a large and somewhat imposing expanse of trees right behind a compound-looking building. You could hear the barks of many different dogs from around the building as you and your furry companion approached it.
"…well. You really know where you're going, don't you?" You commented a bit blandly, looking down at Gilbert with shocked eyes. "This is a dog center or something, isn't it?"
Gilbert gave you a grin and bobbed his head in an affirmative nod, tail thumping against the ground in excitement. Ever since the two of you had gotten closer and closer to the building, he had been acting even more energetic than usual. You were suspecting it was maybe because you were just approaching more of his kind—maybe some of his buddies were in there! …if dogs even had friends…
You were jolted out of your thoughts when Gilbert suddenly stiffened, and then sprinted right up to the door, whining and pawing at it. You winced and raced up behind him, snapping in an embarrassed tone, "S-Stop, Gilbert! Don't annoy whoever lives here! What if they aren't home—"
The door suddenly opened, and you found yourself staring into wide green eyes. They belonged to a very beautiful woman, with long brown hair that cascaded over a voluptuous chest. She wore a simple green dress with a white apron covering the front, and she gave you a confused look. And, for some odd reason, she carried what looked like to be a skillet in her hands—you hoped this was just because she had been about to cook and had just grabbed it on the way or something.
"Hello? What may I help you with?"
Her voice had an accent that wasn't quite German, but sounded similar to it. It was good on her, though—it just added to her beauty. You couldn't help but feel just a tad bit jealous.
Oh, wow…she's so pretty…and I probably look like a homeless person with my sloppy clothes…but she manages to make that look so elegant!
"A-Ah, I'm sorry, my name is (name), and my dog just kind of—"
"G-GILBERT?!" The woman suddenly screeched, having looked down at the shaggy white beast at your feet as soon as you had mentioned the word "dog." She gaped in shock, eyes filled with sheer astonishment. Gilbert gave her his signature toothy, conceited doggy grin and suddenly shot past her into the building, "Kesesese"-ing all the way.
"I-I'm sorry! He's not usually like this! W-Well, actually, I've only had him for a day, but still…he's behaved! I'm sorry!" You spazzed, pushing past the woman and shooting after Gilbert, face red with humiliation and rage. "DAMMIT, GILBERT, GET YOUR FURRY ASS BACK HERE AND APOLOGIZE TO THE NICE LADY! SHE HAS A FRYING PAN AND WILL PROBABLY USE IT ON YOU!"
It didn't even occur to you how odd it was that she knew your dog's name. Your mind was a bit more preoccupied on other things at the moment.
Such as wringing Gilbert's neck as soon as you caught up with him.
Which you did. Very quickly.
You raced right through the building and out the back door, following the silver bullet in front of you. Once outside, you had to blink to adjust to the light, and then you were a bit overcome with that fact that you were standing in a giant yard populated with all kinds of dogs. Little ones, big ones, furry ones, shaggy ones, short haired ones…they were everywhere. And they all also stared at you with eyes that seemed just a bit too intelligent for any other dog. You were frozen in their gazes, feeling as if they were sizing you up and judging your appearance.
They're all almost…like Gilbert's eyes…
And speaking of the damned mutt, there he was.
Standing right in front of another, bigger dog, who had a sleek black coat and icy blue eyes. The other dog didn't look nearly as excited as Gilbert was, who was bouncing around and yipping and wagging his tail. In fact, the other dog conveyed a sense of almost being…well, stunned or something. He (for some reason, you were certain the other dog was a male, just as you had been with Gilbert) just stared at Gilbert, and you took the chance to get a little closer to get a closer inspection of the black dog. He was built similar to Gilbert—being kind of wolfish in appearance—but looked like he had more muscle to him.
"Gilbert!" You snapped, grinding your teeth in frustration. "Get over here! Now!"
Gilbert completely ignored you, and let out a few short yips as he faced the black dog. The black dog recoiled a bit, eyes seeming to widen just marginally. His tail swished once, as if in irritation, and then something happened that you were completely not expecting.
Gilbert threw himself onto the other dog, and the two erupted into a cacophony of growls, snarls, and barks. Jaws snapped as the two rolled around on the grass, the black dog quickly going into action and pinning Gilbert down, fangs at his throat. Gilbert, however, snarled and managed to maneuver so that the other's teeth only nipped grass; he had twisted so that his head was now on the other side, and he suddenly kicked up, causing the black dog to falter off of him. Gilbert and the black dog both shook themselves off and got to their feet, jaws curled up to reveal their deadly sharp fangs as they growled deep in their throats, pacing in circles as they watched one another carefully.
Almost as if an alpha wolf and a beta wolf were getting into a scuffle.
You just watched in shock, completely frozen and not able to speak or even flinch. Your mind was filled with a burst of images, of canine bodies rolling around and dueling with snarls and growls, and you stumbled back a bit, losing your balance and falling onto the ground with an "oomph!" More images poured into your senses, ones of a gathering of…for some reason, your mind insisted they were wolves…in a clearing in the middle of a forest, deep into the night with a bright moon high above them. And then there were two wolves in particular standing up on a rock, looking down at the group of others as if they were surveying them.
One wolf was white. The larger one was black.
You shook your head wildly, and the images all seemed to disappear just like that. But you were left with a feeling of slight nausea, and complete, utter bafflement. You turned your gaze back to Gilbert and the other dog, and your eyes widened when they stopped pacing and dug their paws into the dirt, as if they were getting ready to lunge.
You watched with wide, horror-filled eyes as the two canines leapt at one another once again.