Title: Pretty Please
Fandom: Sylum Clan Universe: Due South, Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Characters/Pairings: Jeremiah Parks/Ray Kowalski, Benton Fraser/Ray Vecchio, Original Characters
Word Count: 1,801
Summary: Ray has been in the doldrums, but Jeremy knows just the thing to get his Mate back to his usual energetic self. May 20 ~ National Rescue Dog Day
Sitting on the private patio they’d built on the back side of the old firehouse he’d turned into two nightclubs Jeremy’s mind wasn’t on the success of his nightclubs. Tonight he was winding down from a busy night by enjoying the cool spring evening with a glass of his favorite wine. He was also thinking about his Mate. Ray had spent the evening moping through the clubs like some brooding bad element drawing the attention of men and women alike, who wanted to ‘help’ ease his mood. Making sure everyone knew that the black-clad blond belonged to him, Jeremy sent him to the teen club in the basement. The kids loved when the ex-cop spent time with them sharing memories of being the gangly son of a butcher with thick black rimmed glasses, going to school with the rich kids that lived on Chicago’s Gold Coast. By closing, Ray was back to his usual brusque, dancing self, and Jeremy breathed a sigh of relief.
Looking out across their large yard that kept the two Vampires from feeling hemmed in by city living, he felt his muscles relax from the vibrations of the thumping music that filled both clubs at peak hours. Other than his years in New York, he’d lived in Chicago since the city was young, Jeremy missed the days when houses set on large lots with kitchen gardens and stables. Ray Kowalski was a true child of the city but was always relieved when they could escape into their private oasis. Buying the large lots adjoining the firehouse gave them plenty of parking for the clubs and a half-acre of grass that guaranteed when Clan members had to travel on short notice, they felt comfortable letting Lost Children of the Blood be a home away home for their dogs.
Benton Fraser and his Mate, Ray Vecchio had returned yesterday from a week’s long law enforcement seminar in Toronto, and when the Rivera had pulled in the parking lot, both Diefenbaker and Ray had pouted about the end of their time together.
Diefenbaker had been spending a lot of time at the firehouse lately, leading Vecchio to tease Benton about joint custody with the half wolf. Not wanting to take the look of expectation off Kowalski’s face at the idea, he rubbed his thumbnail over his eyebrow, a sure tell he was uncomfortable.
“We’ll discuss it later. For now, I need to check in at the Consulate before we go home.” Fraser urged Ray and Diefenbaker out the gate. He’d stopped to tun his fingers across the laser cut pattern on the gate, impressed with how secure they’d made the building with its green coated security fence backed by the decorative patterned stainless panels. Not even Diefenbaker’s best escape attempts had gotten him through the double fence.
Drawn out of his thoughts by a kiss on top his head and his glass being refilled, Jeremy remembered something he’d seen in this morning’s paper. It would be the perfect solution for Ray’s case of the blues. It was good they already planned to have the next couple days off.
~ • ~ • ~
Ray wasn’t quite up to his usual levels of Smarties flavored caffeine when Jeremy shoved him in the front seat of their Yukon with a tall travel mug of coffee.
“Why are we taking the SUV? It’s a beautiful day. We should take the GTO.”
“By the end of the day, I think you’ll be glad we have SUV.” Jeremy’s goofy smile got Ray’s attention.
“What’s up? You’ve got that sappy look on your face you get when you’re planning something.”
“You’ll have to wait and see.” Jeremy hit the control to open the gate on the parking lot.
Keeping to the side streets, they stopped at one of their favorite neighborhood diners for breakfast. A more alert Ray was watching the streets trying to guess where Jeremy was taking him. They were almost to the north side when Jeremy pulled into a strip mall. After parking the SUV, Ray finally noticed the PETCO and PAWS adoption center.
“Every time we pet sit for someone you mope around for a week afterward, so I thought it would be nice to have one of our own. They’re having an adoption faire this weekend in honor of National Rescue Dog Day.”
Jeremy was starting to get nervous when Ray froze in his seat. Green eyes blinked slowly like he was trying to cipher Jeremy’s words. Bracelets jingled as Ray flipped up the console and grabbed the collar of his shirt and pulled him across the front seat into a searing kiss. When the kiss broke, Ray bounced out of the vehicle and was around to the driver’s door before Jeremy could gather his wits.
“I only request you choice be smaller than Diefenbaker.”
Jeremy shook his finger at Ray, who promptly grabbed the offending digit with his teeth before running his tongue over the sensitive tip then pulling off with an obscene pop. A pink tinge colored his cheeks as he followed his Mate across the street.
They had looked at, picked up, cuddled, and scritched nearly every animal at the adoption faire, without Ray finding ‘the one’. Running his hands through his hair, causing it to go in more directions than usual.
“I’m just not feeling it, Babe.” He sadly looked back down the row of animals.
Before Jeremy could answer, they heard on the volunteers yell. “WHISKEY! Get back here young man!”
The young man in question was all black with a startling white bib and toes. He ran straight at Ray and jumped … Expecting the man to catch him. His jailbreak started several of the other dogs barking, including one who’s strident bark, sounded like it didn’t want to be left behind.
“I’m so sorry.” The young woman reached to take the pup, but Ray stepped out of her reach. “Whiskey’s a terrible escape artist.”
Whiskey had cuddled into Ray’s chest like there was nowhere he’d rather be. Seeing his Mate’s immediate infatuation with the spunky little dog, Jeremy drew the volunteers’ attention.
“That’s not going to be cute when he weighs fifty … sixty pounds.” He reached over to scratch the pup’s ears. “What kind of dog is your little Houdini?”
“The people that brought him in said he’s a Mountain Cur. They moved here from Georgia for her job … Didn’t know their dog was pregnant. The condo they’re renting only allowed one dog, so they had to get rid of the puppies when they were weaned. They couldn’t find a home for Whiskey. He’s very picky about who he lets handle him.”
“What can you tell us about Mountain Curs?” Watching Ray and Whiskey, Jeremy figured the pup had found a home.
“They figured out the father … Her brother’s dog when he was dog sitting, and they’re both around forty pounds, probably twenty-four to thirty inches at the shoulder. His mother’s build was slender, the father a little stockier.”
“We’ll take him.” Ray informed the volunteer.
“Oh. Okay. There’s a little problem with that.” She kept looking back at the pen with several other pups. All had gone back to playing except one. A small blue merle pup with striking china eyes stared intently.
“He’s promised to someone?” Jeremy was confused.
“Oh no, he’s available for adoption, but he’s part of a bonded pair.”
The two Vampires shared a look of shock. “Bonded pair?”
“It happens sometimes. Two animals just click when they’re dropped off. If we separate them, they refuse to eat, get depressed … They just don’t flourish as they should.”
Greens eyes pleaded with his Mate. “Pretty please.”
Jeremy rolled his eyes before surrendering gracefully. “Tell us about Whiskey’s Bonded.”
“Oh.” Eyes wide at the thought of finding both dogs a home, she was more than happy to introduce them. Handing the other pup to Jeremy, she began to tell them about the pup. “This is Fand, after a Celtic sea goddess. Her mother was a Rat Terrier and her father was a long-haired traveling salesman. You know the type.” She chuckled at her little joke. She’ll likely be smaller than Whiskey … Maybe twenty, twenty-five pounds at the most. She really is a sweet girl she just doesn’t like being separated from Whiskey.”
Fand planted her white feet on Jeremy’s chest and looked him in the eye. After a minute or so of looking, she tried to crawl inside his vest. “Uh,” he looked at Ray for help, but his Mate only laughed at him. This would be his first time actually owning a dog. His parents were always so involved in their work even a child was a distraction, never mind a pet, and Jeremy hadn’t wanted the responsibility of a pet in New York City. “Looks like we’ll be taking them both home.” He gave the volunteer a weak smile.
“This is so cool. If you’ll follow me, we’ll get the papers signed and since they’re still too young to neuter, we’ll set up with you an appointment for that, and get you on your way.” She practically danced as she led them inside to handle the paperwork.
An hour’s worth of paperwork, two hours across the street at PETCO, and they were finally on their way home with the new members of their family. Back at the firehouse, they unloaded the Yukon. One set of dog beds, harnesses, leashes, bowls, and food went in their apartment upstairs while a second set was set up in the great room/kitchen combination they’d had built when they remodeled the club. It made a nice place for the Clan and visitors to escape the noise of club after grabbing a quick snack from the patrons that thought being bitten by a Vampire was part of the club’s ambiance. With the patio and the large yard, and excellent soundproofing, Benton, Ray, and Diefenbaker often stopped by after work to escape their Clan duties for a few hours.
Now, they were sitting on the patio with several cartons of food from their favorite Chinese restaurant enjoying the antics of the two pups as they investigated their new home.
Ray laid down his chopsticks and grabbed Jeremy’s hand and kissed his knuckles. “Thank you, Miłość.”
“Getting me a gift I’ve been wanting for a long time.”
“Just don’t think we’re going to do this every year on National Rescue Dog Day.” Ray laughed as he danced across the yard and scooped up both pups. “Oh and Ray …” Jeremy took Fand and started up the stairs. “If they need to pee at five in the morning, you’ll be the one getting up.”
“That’s not buddies, Jere.” He growled as he chased after his Mate.
~ finis ~