Ben has no idea what the hell he is doing. Stopping a prisoner from getting harassed, sure, okay. Offering his own home as a place to stay? What.
“What am I doing?” Ben exhales, hands tightening their grip around the steering wheel. It’s six in the morning, the sun peaking over the horizon, and the roads are beginning to fill with other cars–early commuters, or morning deliveries and the like.
Carlos, who got a few hours of sleep in the holding cell, is nonetheless dozing in the passenger seat, head lolled back against the window. With his hair drying out into fluffy tufts, he doesn’t look like a threat to Ben who, even running on fumes, is a highly trained Knight.
Then again, it wasn’t Cruella de Vil’s physical prowess which made her so fearsome.
It’s very possible that Ben might die today.
“Fuck it, I’m too tired.”
Ben pulls in to his assigned parking spot, thankfully not stolen by anyone–though, really, who would that early in the morning. He hesitates for a few moments, unsure exactly how to wake up his passenger, before reminding himself that he is in fact a fully trained Knight and probably has several inches and several pounds worth of muscle on Carlos. There’s nothing to be worried about.
As it is, when Ben gently nudges his shoulder, Carlos’ reflexive flailing does manage to smack Ben in the eye. He ends up banging his own head into the window, though, so the two of them spend the next couple of minutes moaning in pain.
“Ow, okay, well. We’re here,” Ben says, inanely, rubbing gently at his eye. Oh god, he’s so tired.
Carlos says nothing in response, but follows Ben to his apartment easily enough, yawning all the way.
Ben’s apartment is on the third floor which, normally, means an invigorating walk up the stairs but at the moment is a gruesome climb that has both he and Carlos dragging their feet, nearly misstepping, and tripping on multiple occasions.
“Welcome to my apartment,” Ben says around a yawn, scrounging for the dregs of manners buried deep beneath the heavy weariness. Carlos, too, looks just as ready to go back to sleep.
Until Ben opens the door, that is; at which point Carlos screams and throws himself backwards until he hits the wall of the hallway with a loud bang.
Alert now, Ben scans his apartments for threats, sees nothing, looks again for anything even remotely scary, and only sees his apartment. Kind of messy, but not too bad.
Oh, and Dude who, being so small kind of just… walked below Ben’s line of sight to leave the apartment and sniff in interest at Carlos. Carlos who appears to be scrabbling at the walls in an attempt to climb out of reach.
Confused, but strangely, a little charmed, Ben reaches out to lift Dude up and away. “It’s just Dude. He won’t hurt you. He’s my dog,” It might be more accurate to say, he was a stray dog that wandered the campus of Ben’s high school until Ben decided to just take him home after graduation.
Carlos does not look at all reassured.
“Have you… not seen a dog before?”
“There aren’t any on the Isle. Mom says–” Carlos starts, only to cut himself off with a shuttered expression. Probably deciding it’s for the best not to bring up his mother, cop killer, around someone who works in law enforcement.
“Well, I don’t know what you’ve been told. But this particular dog is friendly. He’s just curious. Here, do you want to pet him? He likes it when you scratch behind his ears.” Ben says, carefully stepping closer so Carlos can reach easily.
It seems to work, Dude licks playfully at Carlos arm and the boy smiles back. Ben can feel the brief rush of alertness fade away, back to the persistent sleepiness.
“Okay, let’s get you settled inside, so all three of us can hopefully get some rest,” he says, about to lower Dude to the ground but deciding instead to hold him out to Carlos. Tentatively, Carlos reaches out, and Dude transfers easily between them.
Dude stays in Carlos arms the entirety of the quick tour–guest bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room–and when Ben retreats to his room, no more self-appointed obligations in sight, he sees Carlos set Dude gently into his doggy bed in the living room, only for the dog to hop back out and follow Carlos to the guest bedroom.
Well, they do say dogs are a good judge of character.
A/N: ARGH, okay, okay. I don’t know why this series is so frustrating to me. BUT I’M GOING TO DO THIS… BELIEVE IT.
I have maybe been reading too many Naruto fanfic. But is there really such a thing as too many?