Title: Eyes in the Park
Email address: Tanis@whyte1615.freeserve.co.uk Fandom: X-Files
Warnings: This story contains a m/m sexual relationship. AU Rating: PG13
Archive: Ask first
Disclaimer: The characters of the X-Files belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and the Fox Network. No copyright infringement is intended no money is being made. Summary: Alex receives a present.
Alex sat on the grass at the edge of the park. The white t-shirt and faded jeans he wore gleamed in the sunlight. He had started coming to the park pretty regularly over the last few months, a Sunday afternoon ritual almost.
He looked at the kids playing and laughing as parents watched them with happy smiles. He watched couples young and not so young walk hand in hand under the shade of the trees. He watched a couple sitting on a bench lose themselves in each other.
He listened to the sound of dogs barking and children laughing. He smiled to himself as a frisbee crashed into the middle of a family picnic closely followed by a large golden retriever. He watched as the mother's outraged expression turned to a smile as she looked at the small boy standing sheepishly beside the dog.
That's what parks were for Alex thought. Families, fun, laughter and love. Alex had never had any of those in his life. He'd never belonged in the park.
His melancholy thoughts were interrupted by a snuffling sound to his left. He turned round and saw a small black and white bundle of fluff with its head in a bunch of flowers. Alex's movement had alerted the small dog to his presence and in two seconds later he had a lap full of friendly puppy.
"Hey pup... what are you doing?" Alex laughed as the pup tried to lick the end of his nose. He picked it up and found himself thinking of another puppy...
Alex didn't have a happy childhood, his father beat him and his mother didn't try to stop him. Alex was never sure if she had even noticed. He didn't get beaten all the time, only when his father was drunk. Of course, his father did spend most days drinking.
Alex's mother had never laid a hand on him, but then she'd never hugged him or kissed him either. Alex had learned to be quiet, not draw attention to himself and to get out of the house quickly when his father came home drunk.
He would run all the way up to the local farm and spend hours watching the sheepdogs, he loved the speed and intelligence of the animals. He never ceased to be amazed when they followed all the different command whistles, herding, separating and controlling the farmer's sheep. When the work was finished then Gregor, the shepherd, would let him pet the dogs, that was the part Alex loved more than anything.
Most days Alex's father went into town drinking after work leaving Alex and his mother to eat alone. It was Alex's 8th birthday and they had just finished eating when someone knocked on the front door. Alex opened the door and found the old shepherd with a small bundle in his arms.
"Happy birthday Alex" he heard Gregor say. He was too enthralled by the bundle, which appeared to be moving to answer. He looked closer at the old blanket in Gregor's arms and jumped in surprise when two big brown eyes appeared from beneath the fringe.
"Oh!" Alex exclaimed, "It's a puppy," he said reaching out to touch the soft silky head.
"It's for you Alex. Do you like her?"
Alex's large green eyes widened and his whole face disappeared behind a huge smile. "For me?" squeaked Alex "She's really mine?"
Gregor laughed "Yep. she's really yours. Well if that's all right with your parents of course."
Alex's face crumpled and his smile disappeared. " I.I...I don't think I can keep her." He turned to face his mother, "Do you think father will let me?" He asked, already dreading the answer.
Gregor interrupted "She won't cost you nothing. Alex can get her food up at the farm. I'd have to be feeding her anyway if Alex wasn't looking after her."
Alex felt a surge of hope, his father always complained about money. Maybe if it wouldn't cost him anything he would agree. He looked to his mother, who didn't look at all sure, and waited.
Eventually she spoke "You're the one who is asking your father. I want nothing to do with it." With that she turned and walked back into the house.
Alex turned round to the squirming pup in Gregor's arms and reached out his hands. Alex looked down at the bundle of fluff trying to chew on his fingers and smiled.
"What you going to call her then?"
"I don't know." said Alex stroking her shiny coat "She's so beautiful...wait I'll call her Beauty."
"Beauty it is then," said Gregor "Now I'll leave you both to get to know each other. You just come up to the farm and pick up some food for her if your father says it's okay."
Alex looked up from his new puppy "Th...Thank you Gregor. This is the best present ever."
The old shepherd watched the boy for a moment and then smiled and said "You're welcome, Alex." as he turned and left.
Alex spent the rest of the day waiting for his father to return in joyful agony. He smiled every time he looked at the pup on the ground beside him but couldn't help but worry about this father's reaction.
Sometimes his father didn't come home mean drunk, sometimes he came home laughing and singing. It usually only lasted until some tiny infraction by him or his mother turned him even meaner than usual but it delayed the inevitable for a while at least. Alex played with Beauty until it started getting dark then he heard noises coming from down the road. He watched his father come into view weaving and stumbling....and singing!. Alex had a chance! His heart was beating faster as his father came closer. He held Beauty in his arms and watched as his father tried to focus on the small dog.
"It's for my b..birthday and Gregor said it won't cost us anything to keep her. If you'll let me... Sh...She won't be any trouble...an...and I'll keep her out of your way." His father stared at him. Alex begged with his eyes and every fibre of his body.
"You'd better!!" said his father as he disappeared into the house. Alex realised he was holding his breath, and let out a ragged sigh of relief. He looked at the pup and the pup gazed back at him. "Your mine," he whispered into her silky ear.
Alex spent all his time from then on with the puppy. He trained her just the way that Gregor had taught him. He loved her and he played with her and kept her out of his father's way.
Beauty slept on a blanket at the foot of Alex's bed. She would wake him up first thing in the morning and they would go outside together. Everything was fine until one morning Alex felt Beauty licking his face, but couldn't get up. He was burning up and he felt sick to his stomach, he tried to move and the room spun. He must have fallen asleep because he woke later to the sound of his father roaring.
With a terrifying feeling in his stomach he managed to get out of bed and stumbled to the bedroom door. It was open enough to see into the next room, and he almost screamed at the sight that met him. His father's face was black with anger and Beauty was in his hands. His father raged and ranted and Beauty whined and yelped. Alex tried to make sense of what was happening but his head was still foggy, before he could move he heard a sickening wrench. His father dropped the now silent body of the small puppy and she hit the floor. Alex stared at her lying there, she didn't move and Alex could see her neck was twisted. Alex wondered absently what the dog had done to make his father mad.
Maybe she hadn't done anything, maybe it was just because Alex loved her. That was it, his father had killed her because Alex wanted her and loved her.
Killed her ??..... As Alex realised what had happened he started screaming. He didn't remember how long he had screamed but he could remember how he felt when he stopped. He had felt pain like he had never imagined. He had sworn he would never let himself feel anything again. He had managed for a very long time.
A wet nose brought Alex out of the memory. A wet nose attached to two of the cutest big brown eyes he had ever seen. He smiled and thought of another pair of eyes, hazel eyes. He remembered seeing those eyes for the very first time. If he had known what love was, he would have recognised it there among the flecks of gold. He didn't understand why he was drawn to those eyes time and time again, but each time he looked he saw something different.
Love - That time he recognised it and reached out with his hands, his heart and his soul.
He smiled at this thought and hugged the puppy closer. He heard laughter behind him, laughter he recognised. He turned and watched as his lover walked towards him. He stood with the puppy still in his arms as Fox closed the distance between them.
"Do you like him" Fox asked.
"Yeah! He's yours," said Fox. "Just like me."
They stood a second, hazel eyes staring into green. Alex looked at his lover and then at the puppy and he smiled, a smile that could charm angels. Fox reached out and brushed his finger across Alex's lips. He wished that he could make Alex smile like that more often but he knew that he would be happy to spend the rest of his life trying. Alex set the puppy down at his feet and leaned in to kiss Fox.
"Thank you," he said as he wrapped his arms around his lover's waist. The men turned and followed the puppy as it made it's way down the hill towards the people in the park.
Alex smiled, he belonged in the Park now.
If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Tanis