(art by selfmadesuperhero, now accepting commissions here: give me your money!!! Seriously great work, super-quick and super-cheap.)
So I'm posting a fic as I write it again for the first time in forever. I've been posting on Tumblr, but thought I'd put it here since a lot of people still might read it even if it's not your current fandom.
I can't believe I'm writing another homeless!epic, but I got attacked by a killer plot-bunny and it wouldn't let me go.
Sink These Roots Deep
Hockey RPS--Tyler Seguin/Jamie Benn
Rated Mature/explicit/adults only
Warnings for: Homeless teens and all the troubles/peril associated. Tyler is 17 in this, which is above the age of consent in Dallas, where it is set. Puppy in distress, but I promise I don't kill the dog.
The puppy is half-dead when Tyler finds it crawling along a back-alley in Oak Lawn. Ribs and spine and hip-bones visible through its fur, half its face covered with the dried crust of some kind of goop that’s leaking out of its eyes.
He’s got no business messing with the thing. It’s just that he skipped out on the guy he’d spent the night with, well before dawn, wasn’t willing to hang out there for just the hope of a free meal. It’ll be another hour before the library opens, and he already got some breakfast from 7-11. He’s bored, and the puppy is the only friendly thing moving at this time of day. He has a vague thought, a memory of that time his dad took him and the girls out to Polson Pier, back when dad was trying to show off what a good parent he could be. Tyler remembers a couple of teenage boys with a cardboard box and a half-dozen cute puppies inside. The sign had said two hundred bucks a pop, and Tyler thinks if he can get this one looking healthy, looking cute like those, maybe he could get forty for it.
He shifts his backpack to the other shoulder, looks both ways for potential trouble in the early-morning quiet and sits himself on the curb. Nobody should be coming by until the garbage men. He makes kissy-noises until the puppy turns his way, whining and tentatively wagging its tail. “Hey there, hey,” he calls, and the dog isn’t real steady on it’s feet, that baby-puppy waddle compounded by weakness and hunger. Its dry little nose butts into his hand and he touches its head. The cocoa-colored fur is softer than he expected, and he grins as it tries to crawl into his lap.
“Hey now,” he warns, lifts the dog and sees that it is actually a girl-dog. Little feet paddle uselessly at the air. She feels like a cloud in his hands, no weight to her at all. She’s desperate to get to him now that she’s recognized him as friendly, whining and lunging to get closer
“Hey girl, you gotta play it cooler than that.” The dog latches onto one of Tyler’s hands, sharp little baby teeth chewing on the heel of his thumb.
“Ow, shit, I know you’re hungry.” He turns the pup around where she can’t gnaw on him anymore. It’s not like he has money for dog-food just laying around. He spends most of his days making sure he has food and shelter enough that he keeps looking like the kind of boy people want to give more food and shelter to. He’s careful to keep clean, keep neat. He keeps his options open, a boy strangers can take out to dinner and let crash on their couch. Sweet enough for the lesbians to want to mother and hot enough that the old queens like to watch him rake their leaves or sweep their pools. He’s got no business messing with dogs on the side of the road.
He spends four bucks on a bottle of milk and a Big Bite, the puppy stuffed in his backpack and worryingly quiet. He sits and feeds her at one of the cafe tables on Hunky’s side patio, pieces of hotdog bun dipped in the milk for her to gulp down.
“The fuck am I supposed to do with you?” he asks, and the puppy doesn’t answer.