Happy Birthday lukadreaming. I thought you might like some rather topical pup!verse fic for your birthday. Unfortunately the smut bunnies still seem to be mostly awol (and the puppies refused to go to bed!), so I'm afraid our soldier boys don't get up to anything more adventurous than cuddling.
Title: Snow Day
Pairing/characters: Ryan/Becker, Alex, Marcus, Kay
Warnings: Pup!verse, gratuitous fluff.
Spoilers: None (unless you count spoilers for Fifi’s Half-Hitch fic?)
Disclaimer: Not mine. ITV and Impossible Pictures own them.
Word count: approx 1885
Summary: The puppies encounter snow for the first time. Chaos ensues.
AN: Birthday fic for lukadreaming.
AN2: Huge thanks to fififolle for a speedy beta, and for letting me play in pup!verse. Alex, Marcus and Kay belong to Fifi.
Becker was sorting the laundry into the washing machine and Ryan was finishing the washing up when the barking started. They both paused, listening to see if it was the type of barking that needed attention, or if it was just the boys playing.
“Whatever he’s up to, Marcus sounds very excited about it,” Becker commented.
Ryan nodded. He was suddenly slightly afraid for their living room furniture. Again.
Becker stood up and headed for the living room, and Ryan followed, drying his hands as he went. Marcus was up on the chair, his paws on the windowsill, staring out at the back garden. Or rather, at the snow that was steadily falling and beginning to cover the lawn.
“Oi, you know you’re not supposed to climb on the chairs,” Ryan warned.
Marcus took one last look at the snow, and then leapt down and sat still, peering up at them with an expression that somehow managed to look sweet and angelic, in spite of all available evidence.
Alex and Kay chose that moment to appear from upstairs, tumbling over each other in their haste. Marcus couldn’t keep still any more with his siblings running around, and within moments they were all scrambling to reach the window again.
Ryan glanced at Becker, who just shrugged.
“It’s snow, what did you expect?” Becker grinned.
They quickly headed over and Ryan moved the chair out of the way, while Becker gathered the puppies up into his arms and lifted them up to the window. There was a flurry of excited yips, and then three sets of paws and noses pressed up to the window.
“That’s snow,” Becker informed them. “It’s cold and wet, and lots of fun.”
Alex whined, and pawed at the window. Marcus seemed to be practically vibrating with excitement. Kay was just watching it with an expression of wonder.
“When it’s stopped snowing you can go out in it,” Ryan decided. “But not until it’s stopped.”
Alex whined again. Becker nodded, but silently mouthed, “Spoilsport,” at him.
Unfortunately it didn’t stop snowing for several hours. Normally the puppies had quite short attention spans, and could be easily distracted by other games, but apparently snow was too new and exciting, and they became increasingly restless as the afternoon wore on. It actually came as a relief when Becker nudged him and Ryan glanced out of the window and realised the snow had finally stopped falling.
“Right then, kids. Stand still for coats.”
All three of them lined up, although Marcus kept turning to look at the window and the back door. Ryan and Becker put the warm winter coats on the puppies, blue for Alex, white for Marcus, and pink for Kay (although Ryan had a suspicion that she was already becoming something of a tomboy, and might start to rebel against all the pink stuff before too long).
Almost as soon as the coats were on the puppies were off, bounding to the back door and jumping around impatiently.
“Come on then. Don’t say we didn’t warn you it was cold.”
Ryan opened the door, and the puppies piled out onto the paved area, and promptly sank into at least an inch of snow. In a flurry of shocked and disgruntled barking, Kay dived back onto the step and hid between Becker’s feet, while Alex seemed to be trying to lift his paws out of the snow one at a time until he got used to the cold. Marcus jumped around in a circle for a few moments, and then went tearing off across the garden, barking happily and kicking snow in all directions. Not to be outdone, Alex took off after him, only stopping when he reached the opposite end of the garden. There he looked back at the trail of paw prints, and seemed to pause for a moment, working out the cause and effect. Then, with an incredibly delighted bark, Alex set about putting his mark on every inch of flat, pristine snow that he could find.
Becker crouched down and petted Kay.
“Go on, it’s all right. You don’t want to let your brothers have all the fun, do you?”
Kay whined, and then carefully ventured back out, stepping slowly and carefully, and pausing to shake snow off each time she lifted a paw.
Ryan watched her carefully. It wasn’t like Kay to be nervous around new things, and it would be a shame if she missed out while the boys enjoyed themselves. He hoped it was just because she didn’t like the cold. Kay watched the boys for a little while, her keen eyes taking in what they were doing. Then she found a patch that Alex hadn’t got to yet, and began to make paw prints in the snow, but with far more care and attention. Ryan watched, a familiar sense of pride welling within, as lines and circular patterns emerged where his thoughtful daughter left her mark. Eventually she paused and looked back over what she had done, and looked up to Ryan with an accomplished expression.
From out of nowhere, a flurry of pale fur skidded across the middle of Kay’s handiwork, ploughing through the snow and obliterating the patterns, before he crashed into Kay and bowled her over. They both landed in a barking, soggy heap at Ryan’s feet.
“Alex! Be careful.”
Alex picked himself up and peered up at Ryan, his ears drooping at the change in Ryan’s tone. Kay sat up and shook the snow off, whining pitifully.
“Say sorry to your sister.”
Alex whined, and licked Kay’s nose, and nuzzled her gently. She didn’t hesitate to lick him back, and they cuddled together, any annoyance with her brother quickly dissipating.
Ryan didn’t want to be over-protective with his daughter, and he knew that most of the time the boys were very good about not being too rough with her. The lady from the nursery had even told him that Alex and Marcus had jumped to her defence when another puppy had got a little too boisterous one time. Sometimes, though, it was hard to forget how tiny and helpless she had been when they were born, and those first few days when they hadn’t even been sure she would survive.
“Good boy. That’s better.” He smiled at them both. “Now, who wants to build a snow puppy?”
Paw prints in the snow forgotten, the two puppies watched Ryan gather the snow up, and once they had got the idea, they couldn’t wait to help, diving in with enthusiasm to pat the snow into shape. Becker disappeared back into the house briefly, and when he came back he had a hat and scarf, and a small potato that was duly placed on the snow puppy’s nose.
“Where’s Marcus?” Becker suddenly asked.
Ryan looked up, his attention immediately focused on scanning the garden for their second puppy. They both spotted him at the same time as a small wiggling black bum disappeared into a snow drift, snow spraying out behind his frantically digging paws. Ryan jumped up and ran across the garden, Becker a step behind him. Ryan crouched down to see where he had gone, and got a face full of snow as Marcus burrowed deeper.
“Marcus, don’t go too deep,” Becker warned.
Ryan could see he was on the verge of reaching in and dragging Marcus out, and Ryan put a hand out to stop him.
“He’s okay. Sooner or later he’ll hit the fence, so he’s not going to get far.”
“And if the drift collapses on top of him?”
“Then we’re right here.”
Becker didn’t look happy, but Ryan knew it was at least partly his omega instincts making him over-react to any possible danger to the puppies. Not that Ryan wasn’t just as protective, of course, but every time there was an accident, or even a near miss, Becker had a tendency to become extra clingy and refuse to let the puppies out of his sight, rather than using it as a learning experience for the puppies and moving on.
By the time he looked back at his adventurous puppy, Marcus had managed to turn himself around inside the burrow, and was lying there looking out at them, his tongue hanging out and his tail wagging, looking extremely pleased with himself.
“Yes, you’re very clever,” Ryan said. “Now you’ve made a snow hole, what are you going to do with it?”
Marcus tilted his head to one side, looking puzzled for a moment. Then he just snuggled deeper into the hole.
“I wish we had a sledge,” Becker said, making an obvious effort to calm down. “I can just imagine you pulling them round the garden on it.”
“Who says I’d be the one doing the pulling?”
“Oh come on. I know you can’t resist an opportunity to show off those big muscles of yours.”
Marcus barked, sounding annoyed that he was not the centre of attention any more. He tried to stand up inside the burrow, hit his head on the roof, and, as Becker has predicted, the drift collapsed on him.
Four hands dived into the snow, and Marcus was pulled out within five seconds of vanishing. He ended up in Becker’s arms, cuddled close to his chest. Marcus shook himself, showering them both with more snow, and then sneezed. Ryan couldn’t help noticing that the puppy still looked far too pleased with himself, and not in the least bit bothered about almost being buried in snow. It was probably for the best, since Becker was no doubt going to worry enough for all five of them put together.
“Right, I think that’s quite enough snow for you three,” Becker decided.
Ryan thought about arguing, but then he felt a snowflake land on his nose, and glanced up to see snow had started to fall again.
“Daddy’s right, go inside now.”
Alex whined, but he and Kay both trotted back into the house, and waited to be reunited with their brother. As soon as Becker put Marcus down, there was an undignified puppy pile, all tangled limbs and happy barking, and Ryan slipped his arm around Becker’s waist and gave him a quick squeeze as they watched. Becker sighed and leaned against him, and Ryan felt him let go of any remaining tension.
Eventually coats were taken off and the puppies were bathed and blow dried. There were a few hopeful glances at the window and the falling snow, but they seemed content enough snuggled together in a warm fuzzy ball in a nest made of their fleece blankets. Ryan and Becker collapsed onto the sofa together, and Ryan tugged Becker close. The puppies weren’t the only ones who appreciated a little extra warmth right then.
“I think all the excitement might have worn them out,” Becker commented.
“Until tomorrow. I just hope it doesn’t all melt overnight.”
“Me too. And tomorrow we need to buy a sledge.” Becker leaned in and nuzzled Ryan’s throat. He added in a whisper, “I can’t wait to see you showing off those muscles.”
Ryan growled low in his throat and kissed Becker, claiming him. As soon as the puppies were in bed, he intended to remind his omega of a few other uses for all those muscles.