title: Good boys
fandom: Free!
characters/pairings: Makoto/Haru, Makoto/Haru/Rin, Ran & Ren, Gou, Nagisa, Miho
rating: G
warnings: fluffiness, bittersweet ending, angst
summary: How Makoto and Haru met
notes: inspired by this wonderful and amazing gif of a doggie patting a kitty and the amazing and wonderful person who made it. ^_~ also dedicated to natsui because she tagged the post that got the whole gif and therefore inspiration started. ♥ part of the Iwatobi Animal Shelter series

Miho found herself in the uncomfortable position of having to comfort the young man. "They're such cute dogs... I-I'm sure I'll be able to find good homes for them quickly."

The young man sniffled. "The two younger ones... they're litter mates, and they're terribly attached to one another. It might not be obvious... because the girl, that's Ran, she keeps chewing on her brother, Ren."

"They have cute names," Miho tried.

"Granny named them. She was a dog breeder... oh, of course you knew her... After she... she... after she died," another sniffle, "I really wanted to find homes for all her dogs to do her honor. But I thought... I thought I'd be able to keep these ones, their parents were such lovely animals, Granny's favorites, really. Then I got this promotion and I'm moving to the city..." His shoulders shook as he sobbed some more.

Miho tried not to sigh. "Don't worry. I wouldn't want your Granny haunting me. I'll definitely take good care of all of them."

The older dog had his head on the young man's knee, and he was looking up at the man sympathetically, as if he understood. "And... and... this is absolutely a no-kill shelter, right? I mean... no matter what, no matter how long they stay with you and even if they get sick or need a special diet or something?"

Her stomach roiled a bit. She'd only been at this work for a few years now. She was dedicated to the cause, but so far she hadn't had any animals that needed expensive, long-term care. She looked into the green eyes of the older dog, and smiled shyly. He started to pant and look at her happily. "Of course. I would never put an animal down, not unless the animal was, you know, fatally ill and in pain."

"Of course, right, right," he scratched behind the older dog's ear while the two younger dogs started to wrestle.

Three big dogs. That was going to be a lot of chow.

"This one is Makoto. Granny insisted on naming him that, even when she knew he was a boy... I honestly don't even know why. But she had a lot of dogs to name, so..." he shrugged.

"You don't have anything to fear," Miho boasted. "I'm going to do my best by these dogs. Right, Makoto?"

Makoto woofed at the sound of his name, and the two younger dogs stopped their roughhousing, looking guilty.

Oh, dear. They were all ridiculously cute...

They were in a new place again. Things kept changing. Makoto wasn't going to get depressed about it because he had to look after Ran and Ren. Mama said so. But Mama and Papa were gone and the old lady was gone and now granny's boy was gone and they were in a new place with a lady and it smelled like lots of dogs and that was a bit stressful. They'd been put in a room without any other dogs, but Makoto could smell something else, and he needed to find it while Ran and Ren were playing so he knew if they were safe.

Things kept changing.

He went investigating behind the big wooden box thingy in the corner. There was definitely the smell of something back here...

Makoto wasn't sure what it was when he first saw it. It was like a ball of black silky fur. Makoto bumped his nose into the black silky fur, and the fur moved and growled, and then a head came up out of the fur and blue eyes glared at Makoto.

So pretty!

"Hi! My name is Makoto and my little sister and brother are Ran and Ren and I take care of them and you're really pretty!" Makoto greeted the ball of fur.

"Of course I am, dog," the ball of fur returned scathingly. "Leave me alone." The ball of fur rolled up again.

Makoto bumped the ball of fur with his nose again. And again. The ball of fur was so soft and smelled nice, too!

"Dog, stop that!" the ball of fur hissed.

"Are you a kitty?" Makoto asked, cocking his head to the side. Makoto heard the old lady talk about kitties, and he was curious about them.

"Of course I am! Now leave me alone!"

"What's your name?" Makoto panted happily, his tail wagging.

"Do you not understand what I'm saying? I said leave me alone!" the kitty hissed.

"Your fur is really pretty and soft," Makoto continued.

"Ok, dinner time..." the lady came in sounding exhausted. She had two big bowls of kibble. Ran and Ren immediately went to one, trying to out-eat each other furiously.

Makoto's tail was going crazy. He wanted the kibble... but he didn't want to leave the kitty, either...

"Makoto, what have you got back there?" The lady came over and kneeled down to look. The kitty growled. "Haru! Is that where you've been hiding? I've been looking for you! Good job finding him, Makoto!" She rubbed Makoto's head.

Makoto woofed happily. He was praised!

Haru snarled.

"Haru, don't be so fussy!" the lady sighed. She reached in and grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, pulling him out. "Now, come on. I've got to clip your claws."

Makoto woofed again, pleased to see the kitty out from the hiding place and now the kitty had a name! Haru! It was a nice name!

"Stupid dog," Haru hissed. The lady rubbed his head and Haru pulled away from her and bared his fangs.

"No, you can't do that to the people, they're in charge," Makoto shrank down, lowering his tail.

"No one is in charge of me!" He squirmed and growled, but the lady had a good grip on him. She sat down in a chair and pulled something out of a drawer.

The lady looked at Makoto and smiled. "Eat your dinner, Makoto."

Makoto woofed and went over to do as he was told. Ran was stealing from his bowl, but Makoto just had to nudge her once and she went back to her own bowl.

The lady got them a really, really nice blankie to sleep on, and Ran and Ren slept nicely with Makoto right next to them. They got to run around in the yard, and the lady took them for a walk all together, so it was easy for Makoto to watch over Ran and Ren, like his Mama had told him.

And Makoto had Haru.

Haru was always hiding, but Makoto found Haru every time. When the lady wanted Haru, Makoto would go to get Haru. He picked Haru up by the scruff of the neck, just like the lady did. Haru hissed and snarled and bared fangs, but Haru never bit Makoto, so Makoto was pretty sure they were best friends.

The first thing Makoto did when he woke up was look for Haru, and then he went out to the yard because he had to, and then he would come back in and find Haru again, and then he'd have breakfast with Ran and Ren, and then he'd find Haru again. Haru had a lot of hiding places! Some places, Makoto couldn't get to, so he'd just sit himself as close as he could get until Haru came out.

Haru's tail was long, and he would swish it around, but that didn't mean he was happy like with a dog tail, and his fur was super soft and he cleaned it with his tongue which seemed really weird! Makoto tried cleaning himself with his tongue and he didn't like it at all. Haru liked to eat fish, and wouldn't eat unless his food was fishy. Makoto tried one of his kibbles and it wasn't good at all, but that was because it was for kitties. Haru's paws were small and cute but his claws were really sharp, except right after the lady snipped them, and Haru hated that. Makoto liked to put his nose into Haru's belly and Haru had stopped hissing quite so forcefully about it.

Haru especially liked to sleep in corners and under things. Anytime Makoto tried to get him out, he complained about drafts and being cold, so finally Makoto got Haru at bedtime and put him next to Ran and Ren and and then curled up next to him. He couldn't be cold when he was wrapped up in doggies! Haru complained about the doggie smell, but he fell asleep fast enough anyway.

It was like Haru had become part of their family!

Ran and Ren were both chewing on opposite ends of a rope toy. Haru was grooming himself, and he looked so cute that sometimes Makoto bopped him with his nose, and then Haru would lick the place Makoto bopped him because it was dirty from Makoto bopping.

It was a good time.

The lady came in and shook her head at the puppies. She patted Makoto on the head and he smiled at her. "Look at you, Haru! Playing with the dogs. Aren't you glad that Makoto came to live with us?"

She went back out, and Makoto's tail was wagging furiously.

"Does your tail have to do that?" Haru sighed.

"You're happy I came here!" Makoto glowed. They were best friends, after all!

"Don't believe everything the humans say," Haru warned.

"Of course I believe them! They're humans, they're tall and they bring food," Makoto reasoned.

"So what?" Haru scoffed, looking away.

Makoto bopped him with his nose, and Haru furrowed his brow and started to clean that spot. "Well, I really miss Mama and the old lady and even the old lady's boy, but I'm glad to be with you. Maybe someday we'll have a litter of our own pups! I hope they'll have your silky black coat!"

Haru gave Makoto a weird look. "We can't have a litter, Makoto."

"Why not?" Makoto cocked his head to the side. The old lady had a special room for doggies and after being in that room, doggies had litters of pups. That's how Ran and Ren were born. "Is it because you're a kitty?"

"There's that. You also need a girl to make a littler," Haru informed him.

"Oh, that's too bad. Our pups would have been cute," Makoto lowered his head and ears and his tail slowed down. He was looking forward to silky black pups.

"You're an idiot," Haru sighed, but he didn't sound nearly as annoyed as he used to when saying that.

"Sorry," Makoto sighed.

Haru sniffed disdainfully and he began to clean his paws.

Ran growled and Ren snarled and the rope toy flew up between them and then it went behind the big cabinet under the window. They both ran after it, going to either side of the big cabinet, but they couldn't fit behind the cabinet. Ran and Ren were both whining and scratching to get to the toy.

Makoto got up and cleared his throat. Ran and Ren pulled back, but they were still whimpering. Makoto sniffed, but he couldn't get back there, either. Ran and Ren were giving him sad eyes. It was making Makoto sad.

"Dogs are so weak," Haru complained. He jumped up on the cabinet like it was nothing! Haru was so graceful! Then he dropped behind the cabinet! So nimble! He came out, dragging the toy. He dropped it as soon as he got it out, and then shook his head, wiping his mouth with his paw. "Dogs," he complained.

Ran and Ren cheered, and Makoto asked them, "What do you say?"

"Thank you, Haru-niichan!" the said in unison, and they went back to chewing on their toy.

Makoto beamed at them, and then he beamed at Haru. He lifted one paw, and patted Haru's head.

"Wh-what are you doing!?" Haru ducked, not quite able to get away from Makoto's paw.

"It's what humans do! It means you're a good boy!" Makoto explained.

"I'm not a good boy! Stop that! I didn't do it for you or anything! I just felt like doing it!" Haru complained, shaking his head.

Makoto panted with glee. "Haru is a good boy!"

"Shut up," Haru grumbled, looking away, his ears flat.


It was getting dark. Makoto stared at the door, his tail still. Haru jumped down from the window sill.

"Makoto. I'm tired."

Makoto looked at Haru. He had to be Haru's pillow, or else Haru would get cold. But.

"Why aren't Ran and Ren back yet?"

Rin looked up from grooming Gou for bed. Haru looked at Rin and Rin looked down at Gou. Nagisa jumped from branch to branch. "Two down, one to go! Two down, one to go!"

"Shut up, bird," Haru snarled.

Gou got up and rubbed against Makoto's front leg. "Makoto... Ran and Ren were adopted. They went to give live with those people with the kids. They're going to sleep there and live with those people."

Makoto knew that, but... "Mama said I should... I should look after them. So. How can I do that...?" his head drooped. He wouldn't be able to do what his Mama told him anymore, then? But then...

That wasn't good...

Rin came up next to Gou, and came around to look into Makoto's eyes. Makoto's head was so low, Rin was actually looking down on him. "Eh, you know, they're together... and they seemed to like those little humans..."

"The lady said they'd have a nice big field to play in," Gou added.

"Makoto," Haru came up and rubbed his head against Makoto's head. He was marking Makoto, Rin told him before. That felt nice. "You still have to take care of me."

"That's true... and Ran and Ren are going to be ok?" Makoto pouted.

Rin climbed up on his shoulders and started to knead. Gou explained that it was a good thing, it meant Rin was treating Makoto like a Mama, but it still kinda hurt a bit. "They'll be fine, probably. And our room will smell less like dog and more like cat."

"Rin!" Gou chastized.

"What? It's true!" Rin huffed, settling in on Makoto's back.

"More like cat! Less like dog!" Nagisa chirped.

"I wish they hadn't left, though," Makoto sighed, putting his head down on his front paws.

"Those people will take care of Ran and Ren. They're the people's dogs now. And you're my dog. It's just the way it is," Haru told him, cuddling up close.

"He's all our dog. We're all sharing him, that was the agreement!" Rin complained.

"Rin," Gou snickered. She pressed herself against Makoto. "Try not to worry, Makoto. The lady wouldn't let bad people take away your siblings."

"That's true," Makoto sighed. He trusted the lady perfectly. She was the most wonderful person ever. "And I've still got to look after you guys, right?"

"Yeah," Haru yawned. "Now go to sleep, Makoto. We're with you.

"You're a good boy, Makoto. You'll take good care of us." And carefully, Haru lifted one paw, and touched Makoto's forehead.

Makoto's tail swished. He was praised! "Night, Haru. Night, Rin. Night, Gou. Night, Nagisa."

"Two down, one to go!" Nagisa crowed.

"I'm going to eat that bird," Rin snarled.

"We'll both do it," Haru grimly agreed.

"Aw, don't eat the bird, guys," Makoto yawned.

He wished Ran and Ren were there. But, at least he had his kitties.