Brindleton Bay, 2028
Alex was texting Henry and Henry wasn't happy.
Alex and Henry took the dogs to a park in Brindleton Bay. Alex dug his fingers into Loki's ribs as he carried him into the park. Loki growled, but not loud enough for Henry or Whisper to notice.
"Any funny business," Alex hissed, "and you will have no grub for a week."
So just a normal week for me then, Loki thought. He dug his paws into Alex's arms. It was Alex's turn to growl.
Henry stopped and took in the view of the park.
"So you booked this whole park?" said Henry.
"Yes Henry," Alex said through gritted teeth. Loki's claws were well planted in his arms. "The lighthouse was getting boring, so I thought we might go somewhere else for a change."
"So you booked this place for us?"
"Who else?" Alex's voice was a rasp.
"You alright Alex?" said Henry, not taking his eyes off the park's playground. Whisper's gonna love all the obstacle courses.
"Yes, Henry, I'm fine. Loki's just getting a bit heavy... aren't you Loki." Alex began cooing and patting Loki on the head, which he knew he hated. Loki glared up at his master.
"Ahh you've got our picnic laid out!" Henry cried. He nodded towards a picnic rug and two picnic baskets under a tree in the far right corner of the park.
"Yes Henry," Alex said. "Right, Loki you go play with Whisper..." Alex dumped Loki on the ground, while Henry unleashed Whisper. Once the dogs ran off, Henry turned his attention to Alex. "How did you manage to keep your bodyguards away?"
Alex smirked. "Bribery, Henry, and threats. They are to keep the paparazzi occupied, while I get a few hours of peace in the park. If they don't..." he bit his lip. "Well, Henry, I wouldn't like to be them."
"What a lovely king you are!" Henry said, and he took Alex's hand and led him to the picnic setup.
The sun was beginning to go down. The baskets lay empty. Alex had made sure to pack plenty of chicken burgers for Henry, who gobbled them up happily. As for him, he had had a small salad with black beans and lemon juice.
"Eww," Henry had said, "beans and leaves? What are you? A rabbit?"
"And you're a rabbit's lover!" Alex had replied kissing him on the cheek.
Now the two sat in each other's arms watching the dogs play. Alex rested his head on Henry's shoulder.
Loki stopped chasing Whisper and looked at his master.
Erch! Soppy business! he thought. Better put a stop to that.
"Woof Woof!" barked Loki. It was a high pitched bark that made Henry think 'cute' and Alex think 'pathetic.'
Whisper settled himself between Alex and Henry. Henry stroked his back lovingly.
"Hello Loki!" beamed Henry. "Are you and Whisper having fun?"
Loki stuck his tongue out and wagged his tale.
"Loki," said Alex with a forced smile. "You want to play with Whisper some more?"
"Aww! I think they're tired, Alex!"
"Nah, they're not tired," said Alex, his eyes still fixed on Loki, whose eyes were fixed on him.
Whisper nuzzled up to Henry.
"Maybe they want some attention," said Henry. "Shall we play fetch?" He patted Whisper, who started to bounce up and down, waggy tailed. Loki did the same.
Darn! Alex thought. Attention seeking brats!
Act fast, Alex. Then Alex had a thought.
He whispered something in Henry's ear. Henry giggled.
Oh.... bloody Odin! growled Loki.
"Oh, you are naughty!" said Henry.
"I aim to please!"
"Uh-huh!" Henry leaned over and kissed Alex.
Ugh! Loki sighed as he watched the giggling smooching sap before him.
Awww! whined Whisper. He crawled out from between Alex and Henry. They were beginning to crush him. Henry's forgotten about me.
No he hasn't! barked Loki. It's Alex. He's stealing the attention. He wants Henry for himself. That's why.
But that's not fair! whined Whisper.
No it's not, which is why I have a plan!
Yes, keep it down! Loki rolled his eyes. After all, if he's going to get one over Alex, he's counting on Henry not to notice Whisper... for now.
Okay, Whisper, do you trust me?
Do you trust me? Come over here.
Whisper crawled cautiously off the rug and over to Loki.
I trust you Loki! Henry's told me all about you.
Huh? He did?
Yeah, Alex told Henry what a clever critter you are.
He did, did he? Loki sniffed. Alex is a... clever Master too.
Whisper beamed. I'm glad you two get along as much as Henry and I do.
I very much doubt that. You two are, Loki cleared his throat, perfect... for... each... other.
Really? Whisper bounded up to him. Loki took a step back.
Uh! Want to hear my plan for getting Henry off Alex?
Cool! Here's my plan. We just run as far as we can. Just keep running... You like running?
Cool! I'll follow you.
Will Henry follow?
Of course. It'll be like... hide and seek.
Oooh I love hide and seek!
Then this should be fun!
Whisper bounded off and out of the park gate. Loki followed him.
Hehe, he thought. Henry's going to be so worried. This'll surely wreck Alex's evening.
It was almost evening. The lamplights had been lit. Henry lay on top of Alex with his arms locked lovingly under his ribs. "Mmm... you smell nice," he muttered and kissed Alex's ear.
"Thanks Henry," said Alex. He stared into the distance, eyes narrowed and brows knitted.
"I wonder where Loki and Whisper have got to?" said Henry.
"Hmm..." Alex sighed. I know.
"I'll go look for them." Henry got up. Alex copied.
"Henry!" Alex grabbed Henry's hand and Henry closed the distance, placing his hands on Alex's shoulders.
"I'll be back," he said. "Just got to go and find Whisper. See that he's okay. You should check on Loki too."
And Henry ran off.
Blasted Loki! I know what you've done. Henry will be looking all night for you two, won't he? But mark my words, Loki, you shall pay for stealing precious Henry time. You shall pay!
Hehe! I won't be coming home tonight. That's for sure!
Three years later....
The Hellewell-Fyres Home, 2031
Caleb Hellewell and his husband, Jonathon Fyres, were arguing over Henry's future.
"Look Jon, I wouldn't suggest this if Henry had a choice," said Caleb.
"A choice? Of course there's a choice! We can smuggle him out of the country!"
"And where would he go? Pleasantview? Because the Sweglords have ties there too and they will kill him if he doesn't join in the fight against the Evil Geniuses."
"Then get him protection!"
"How? The Evil Geniuses have compromised the police force!"
Jonathon broke down.
"No!" he said.
Caleb stepped forward to comfort him.
"I know," he said. "Goodness knows I don't want our boy anywhere near the Sweglords. But he'll die if he doesn't join, so we don't have a choice!"
A tapping could be heard at the front door. The two fathers rubbed their eyes.
"That'll be Henry home from uni," said Jonathon, and he headed over to the front door.
He opened it.
Note: Custom poses by Saluna Simmer and Daddy's Prince.
Picnic set by Laura Peralta.
Henry's hair is the Julian Hair by Birksche.