Little Fellow

A/N: So much for posting Friday, huh? Sorry!

Jack whined softly as he was rummaging through some garbage of a nearby restaurant. There was little. Too little. A few slices of meat. Gone in a second. And he was still hungry.

It seemed like he’d been hungry forever. The Jack Russell Terrier could hardly remember a time when he hadn’t been starving. He knew there had been a time, a long time ago. Back when he’d been Camillas pet, and she’d fed him whatever food she’d been able to sneak off the table without her father noticing. One day, however, he had noticed, and he’d been furious. He’d screamed at Camilla, and had kicked Jack, before stomping on his paw. Jack still wasn’t able to lean on it, months after, and had to limp everywhere. Which was far from ideal when there was little food and harsh competition.

Jack knew he wouldn’t last forever. He was too small, too weak to survive on his own, and every day had been an uphill battle. When the Great Cold came he would die.

He thought back on Camilla. She’d been a sweet girl, and he desperately hoped she was all right. She would have protected him, he knew, if only she had been able. He wished he could see her one last time. She’d known just the perfect place to scratch him under his ear. He whined longingly at the thought.

Perhaps it’d be better if he just stopped eating all together. There was nothing for him to look forward to except starvation, pain and coldness.

He whimpered again, but stopped suddenly when he realised he wasn’t the only one. Jacks ears stood up, alert. Where had it come from? There! He limped himself over as fast as he could. The sight awaiting him there made him freeze in shock.

A little dog, the most beautiful dog he’d ever seen, who had fur the same colour as the toilet paper Camilla had used to line the inside of his box. It’d been so soft, and for half a second he wondered if this dog’s fur would be just as soft.

Then he felt fury well up inside of him. The little white one was surrounded by two large, vicious-looking dogs, and for a moment Jack hesitated. He was small, defenseless, wounded. He wouldn‘t stand a chance.

Then he straightened up as well as he could in resolution. He knew he would die soon, but the little white dog was wearing a collar, which meant that she was protected by a two-legged. A human. She had her entire life ahead of her, while Jack only had a couple of months top. It would be more than a fair trade.

So he attacked. He knew there was no way he could beat the other dogs, but hopefully the distraction would serve enough to get the little, white one in safety.

Then the pain hit him, and he whined as sharp teeth sunk into his flesh. He felt himself being thrown around, and even though he struggled to get loose, to inflict pain on the little, white one’s attackers, he might as well had tried to bring down the moon. He only had two consolations. That the little, white one successfully escaped, and that everything would soon be over.

But even that was taken from him. The two dogs quickly got bored and left him in a growing pool of his own blood, barely alive, but still breathing.

In and out.

Jack wondered how long it would be before Death came and took him. He hoped it didn’t take too long. His entire body felt like it was on fire, and he whined pathetically; wishing himself back in little Camillas arms.

In and out.

Perhaps there would be a dog heaven, and his paw would be healed along the rest of him, and he’d be able to run again. He hoped so. He missed running.

In and out.

Then, suddenly, a hand appeared under him, and Jack felt himself being lifted up.

“Poor little fellow,” a voice said. A human.

Jack wanted to tell him to go away. There wasn’t anything to be done, and being moved hurt. But all that escaped him was a little whine.

“There, there,” the voice murmured. “Everything will get better soon.”

The human might have said something more, but Jack couldn’t hear anything. All he heard was a weird buzzing. Then everything became black and Jack surrendered to Death.

When he woke up everything was unpleasantly bright even with his eyes closed, but he was in a lot less pain, and he quickly came to the decision that heaven wasn’t so bad.

“Looks like the little fellow is waking up,” a voice then said, and Jack realised he was still very much alive. Opening his eyes he found himself in a surreal situation.

He was clean for once. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been clean. He’d also forgotten how much he liked the feeling. His wounds were treated as well, and he was all but entirely covered in bandages; making him almost as white as the little, white one.

Then, just as he thought it couldn’t possibly get any better, the human man reached out and scratched him the exact right spot under his ear. Jack closed his eyes in pleasure. He wondered if the human was going to keep him at least until his injuries were healed. He hoped so.

His human was speaking with a woman, who was telling him how to treat Jack. She talked about pills, and keeping him off his feet and a dozens other things Jack didn’t pay attention to, because he smelled food. He wondered if the human would get mad at him for asking for more after everything he’d already done for him. He decided to give it a shot.

He whined pathetically until the human looked down at him. Then he gave him the puppy eyes, lifting one bandaged paw pleadingly. The human could apparently, to his great credit, understand him, for soon hereafter Jack had both food and clean water. He threw himself over both of them with a ferocious appetite. You never knew when you had the chance to eat again.

The human, however, didn’t seem to mind and even went as far as to give Jack a bone after he was done, before taking him with him as they left the place, which was too bright. If Jack hadn’t already loved him, he surely did now.

The human was talking to Jack now, though Jack suspected he was mostly just thinking out loud. He still paid attention though. To be polite.

“You think she’ll like you?” the human asked. “I gave her a bracelet a couple of months ago, but she wouldn’t even accept it.” He sighed, before brightening up. “She loves dogs though. And I must admit that you are one adorable fellow.”

So it was about a girl then. That was okay. Hopefully she would be as nice as this human. Perhaps she would scratch him under the ear too.

“She’s been kind of down,” the human continued. “I think she’s missing her family, so perhaps you could keep her company, hmm?”

Jack could definitely do that. He knew what it felt like to be lonely. He’d be the best pet ever. He would have to do his best to charm her so she would want him.

But apparently he didn’t even get to meet her that day. His new human took him home with him, where he spent the night being petted, while the human was reading, before being fed again and taken to bed. Jack was full, clean and warm. He hoped this girl would like his human too. His human deserved it.

The next day his human took him to a pet shop and bought him a collar and a leash. Jack would have waggled his tail if he could without it hurting.

And then, suddenly, he was being presented to a human girl and he knew this was the girl his new human had talked about. Jack liked her curls. He wondered if she‘d get mad if he tried to taste one.

Gentle hands accepted him, and ghosted over his injuries, before, Gods beyond Gods, she scratched him just the right spot under his ear. Jack waggled his tail just a little bit even though it hurt.

“What’s his name?” she asked. Her voice was as soft as her hands, but his human had been correct. She sounded sad.

“Eh, I don’t know. I found him yesterday. It appeared he’d been bitten, though the veterinarian said he’d broken one of his paws months ago, and it had healed incorrectly. She said there was a risk he would always be limping.”

Oh. Jack didn’t like that. But perhaps there was limits to what one could get in life.

“Do you like him?” Jacks human sounded both hesitant and hopeful.

A pause. Please do, Jack begged in his mind.

“I do,” she said then, before reaching up to give the other human a kiss on the cheek. “Thank you.”

Jack was pretty sure his human considered it more than enough of a price. If he’d been a dog his tail would be going crazy right about now.

“But this little fellow still needs a name,” she said softly. She was smiling now. Jack liked that.

“That was actually what I called him too. Little fellow.”

“Really? Well, it seems right somehow, doesn’t it? What do you say little fellow. Is your name Fellow?”

It is now, Jack decided and gave an affirmative bark. He’d been right all along. Jack had died that day in the alley.

Now he was Fellow, and he had a family.

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