HOW DARE YOU MAKE ME LOVE YOU AND CRY AND CRY AND CRY……..
Prompt: Butch is told to watch dogmeat, who ends up dying under his care. Butch can only blame himself and cannot be consoled. ;n;
Story by Neonreverberations
“Watch over Dogmeat while I’m gone.”
Those were the last words that his fellow vaultie had said to him before heading out into the wastes with her ghoul bodyguard, Charon. He had argued with her decision to ultimately make him stay behind and baby sit the dog, but between her stubborness and Charon’s gruff disposition he had ultimately resigned himself to his fate. Not that he didn’t like Dogmeat, no it was quite the contrary. Butch found that he was most comfortable when the flea bag was hanging around him, sitting there waiting for him to bend down and scratch the top of his head. He didn’t like admitting it but he found it easier to sleep when Dogmeat squeezed into bed with him. Maybe it was just because he felt less alone, maybe it was just because he had never really had a pet; but for whatever reason Butch was happy to have the dog by his side.
But Megaton wasn’t exactly the most happening and exciting of places to be. There was hardly anything to do in the small settlement besides drink, and even then the alcohol that was available tasted like piss. While the inhabitants weren’t exactly the most welcoming, at least they didn’t shoot first and ask questions later like most other people. And yes, their home, their being his, Dogmeat’s and Cadence’s, wasn’t the cleanest but it was a roof over their head and he certainly couldn’t argue with that. Although he did often miss the days when he had clean sheets to lay on.
Instead of sitting around the house sulking, Butch decided to head to Gob’s Saloon. Cadence had told him that the previous owner had died in a gun fight and that the current owner, a ghoul, was the only one willing to take over the business. Not that the saloon was much better entertainment than his own home, but he was running empty on alcohol.
“Hey there.” Gob’s raspy voice greeted the tunnel snake as he entered. As usual, he was cleaning a glass, the others sitting in rows on the counter in front of him. They never did seem to get any cleaner, no matter how many times he cleaned them. “Lookin’ for a drink? Or just killing time until Vaultie gets back?”
“Little bit of both.” Butch sat down on one of the stools in front of the counter and watched as Dogmeat sat at his feet. He smiled down at the mutt and scratched him behind the ear, chuckling as the dog leaned into his touch. “I’d take a beer though.”
Nova, who was leaning up against her usual spot took a drag from her cigarette and chuckled. “Seems these days all you do is get left behind to house sit and dog sit.” She blew the smoke in Butch’s direction and gave him a smile. “Don’t you get tired of all that sitting? Wonder why she doesn’t take you out into the wastes.”
“Nova.” Gob’s voice was firm as he glanced over at the red headed woman. “Don’t. Shouldn’t you be renting out rooms?”
“Oh, I’m only kidding Gobby.” She cast the pair a smirk and took another drag of her cigarette, flicking the ashes on the ground. “Mostly.”
“She’s probably just trying to keep you safe.” Gob reassured him, setting the beer in front of Butch. “Seems the type to do things by herself is she can help it.”
Butch’s mouth had formed into a thin line and he had stopped scratching Dogmeat’s ear. He could take a lot of shit from people, but he couldn’t and wouldn’t sit there and get the third degree from her. Maybe he didn’t get to go out into the wastes as much as he’d like, but he contributed in his own ways dammit. Getting up from his seat Butch made his way out of the saloon, slamming the door behind him as soon as Dogmeat had gotten in front of him.
“If he gets himself into trouble, you’re the one who’s gonna answer to the Vaultie for it.” Gob shook his head as he continued cleaning the bar.
“It’s not like I said anything that isn’t true.” Nova rolled her eyes and dusted her skirt off. “He’ll probably go home and sulk in bed anyway.”
Butch did go home, but he certainly didn’t sulk. Instead, he had gotten fresh water from Wadsworth, who tried to tell the young man a joke in order to calm him down (it was in fact unsuccessful) and gathered stimpaks and radaway and threw it into a small bag for him to carry. Without even another thought he was marching toward the gates of Megaton, giving the sheriff a nod as he walked by and stopped to stare at the wastes before him. Admittedly he wasn’t feeling so confident now that he was staring at the wastes.
However, Dogmeat’s bark snapped him out of that mentality. Butch had traveled the wastes alone when he had first left the vault and it had been a terrifying experience. He wouldn’t admit it to anyone, but he had been sure that he wouldn’t make it to Rivet City, but by some grace of a higher being he had managed to survive. Granted, he had his fair share of run ins (he had learned how to hide and run like a pro) but he had survived. But he had Dogmeat now and that was well, to be quite frank, a very comforting thing.
He didn’t feel alone with his four-legged friend at his side. Butch smiled at the dog, knelt down and was eye level with him.
“You ready to do a little scavenging, Dogmeat?” He laughed as the dog licked his face and barked in reply. “A’ight boy! Let’s get to steppin’!”
They were less than successful with actually finding anything of worth to take back and exchange for caps or use to patch
up things around the house. But hey, Butch was at least doing something other than sitting around waiting for Cadence and her bodyguard to come home after their fantastic adventuring escapades. So Butch was a little bitter about being left behind, sue him.
But the sun was starting to go down, and even though Butch was a badass he wasn’t willing to travel around in the open when visibility was shot to hell. So, he figured he’d head back to Megaton and have a drink before crashing with the dog.
The sound of a bullet whizzing by Butch’s ear made him jump, and Dogmeat immediatly began growling. Drawing his gun,
Butch darted behind some cover, Dogmeat reluctanlty joining him. Fuck, he could hear it was raiders. Not the worst enemies he could have encountered, but it didn’t make them any less dangerous. Peeking from behind cover, he could see they were advancing upon him.
“SHIT!” Well, it was do or die at this point, and Butch didn’t plan on dying.
The fiends were tough, drug upped sons of bitched, Butch had to admit that. And while he wasn’t the best shot he was finding that target practice was in fact paying off. There were three of them total, one of which he had been able to gun down from a distance, though the other two were getting far too close for his liking. But it was when he struck down the other two and after Dogmeat had gotten through trying to maul them that Butch let his guard down.
“Who’s a good boy?” He knelt down and began patting Dogmeat on the head, noticing that the dog was covered in blood from the fiends. “Who’s a good b-AUGH!”
Really, Butch should have made sure that the area was clear of any other hostiles before celebrating his and Dogmeat’s victory. While he wasn’t looking two fiends had managed to sneak up behind him, one and grazing his shoulder with a knife while the other hung back and aimed their rifle. Reaching for his gun, Butch caught the sight of Dogmeat leaping to attack the one that had cut him. What made him absolutely sick was the yelp that followed.
There was something in Butch that snapped when he heard Dogmeat’s whimper and yelp. He aimed his gun, fired and hit the fiend with the knife square in the forehead and then focused his attention on the rifle-wielding fiend who, once seeing their comrade fall began backtracking.
“Not today, puke sack!” Butch aimed at the back of the fiend’s spine and with the help of V.A.T.S. was able to hit them right in the back of the neck. Close enough. He huffed, making sure to do a quick look of his surroundings and then whistled for Dogmeat.
There was no sound. And that scared the piss out of Butch.
“C’mere, boy!” He called, waiting for Dogmeat to come toward him. “Dogmeat!” He waited, his voice getting quieter with each call. “C-come on, boy…stop fooling around.” His voice was cracking at this point, and then he heard the whimper. That horrible, pain-riddled whimpering.
Butch collapsed to his knees when he found Dogmeat, who was not far off from where he was, lying on the ground. The poor dog was lying on his side, blood oozing out of a long, not to mention deep knife wound that ran from his upper left leg down to the middle of his chest. Butch was positive he was going to be sick and drew out some stimpacks, trying to apply them to the wound. It was deep. Too deep and he knew it, but he couldn’t sit there and do nothing.
Then again he was the reason that Dogmeat was in this predicament. He knew it wasn’t smart sitting out in the open like this, but he didn’t really care. Between Dogmeat’s whimpers and licking Bucth’s hand he just couldn’t be bothered to give a flying fuck.
He had screwed up, yet again and this time it had cost him big. Butch circled his arms around Dogmeat’s body and buried his face into the dog’s face and began sobbing. He didn’t care if someone found him in this state, he had gotten his friend, his pet seriously injured and there was no way to fix it.
Chalk it up as one more fuck up for Butch DeLoria.
Wiping his eyes, Butch wrapped Dogmeat up in his jacket and lifted him off the ground. The high pitched whine that Dogmeat let out only caused Butch to start crying again, knowing that he had to be in terrible pain. Butch was ignoring his own stinging injury for the time being and focusing on trying to make it back to Megaton in time.
He wouldn’t make it in time, much to the Tunnel Snake leader’s dismay. When he had reached the gate he had noticed Dogmeat’s whimpering had stopped and he felt lax in his arms. He muffled his sobbing in Dogmeat’s fur as he entered the settlement, not stopping to talk to anyone who was still awake at this hour. No, he headed straight for his home and locked the door behind him.
Butch carefully placed Dogmeat on the floor in their bedroom, leaving him wrapped up in his jacket. He sat down next to Dogmeat, placing a hand on his torso and was silent. And that’s what bothered Butch. It was too quiet and he was left alone to his own thoughts.
“I’m so sorry.” He finally managed to say, patting the body. “I’m so sorry. I fucked up and got you…y…I should have stayed home. We should have stayed here and then you wouldn’t b-” He choked back another sob and drew his knees up to his chest.
He was worthless, he was nothing more than a fuck up. He had one task and that was to watch over their home and Dogmeat. Butch had gotten Dogmeat killed, and for what? Scrap metal and some electronic parts. Getting up, Butch went downstairs and took a beer from the fridge. If his mother had taught him anything it was that alcohol could help you escape unpleasant realities.
And right now Butch just didn’t want to be able to think. Well, he had certainly accomplished that, because the next morning he woke up to Charon and Cadence hovering over him and looking concerned.
“Butch? What the hell happened to you?” Cadence’s brow was furrowed as she spoke, a hint of worry and suspicion in her tone. “Where…” She looked around the house. “Where’s Dogmeat?”
Charon spotted the blood spots on Butch’s white shirt and frowned.
“I…” Butch’s mouth felt dry as he spoke and he sat up. “He’s gone.” He rubbed his forehead and made it a point not to make eye contact with either of them.
Cadence’s mouth hung open as she stared at him in horror. “You…You’re joking right?” She studied his face and backed up from him. “Butch, what happened?”
“I went out to scavenge, okay! I got tired of being left behind to babysit and so I took Dogmeat and went out into the wastes!” Butch held his head, tears pricking at the side of his eyes. “We were fucking ambushed by fiends and…” His voice cracked and he buried his face in his hands. “I fucked up. I fucked up like I always do.”
There was silence as Cadence only stared at him in shock, Charon looking as stoic as ever. She went to put a hand on Butch’s shoulder, but he shoved her away. “Butch…”
“Get off of me!” He was angry at her for always leaving him behind, angry at Charon for being the one she relied on and looked to for help. But mostly he was angry at himself for being so foolish and useless. Give it up for Butch DeLoria, the vault-raised fuck up. “Just get the fuck away from me, Nosebleed!”
Charon had his hand on his rifle and only stopped once Cadence had motioned to him.
“Where is he?” She asked quietly. Really, she wanted to get angry, ask more questions and hit him across the face for getting him killed, but not now. Now was not the time.
“Upstairs. I…” He sniffed. “Wrapped him in my jacket.”
Motioning for Charon to go and get Dogmeat, Cadence stayed behind. “We should bury him. He deserves that much.”
“He deserved better than what he got.” Butch didn’t even try holding back his tears. “I fucked up like I always do. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”
Cadence tentatively reached out and wrapped her arms around him, cradling his head. Truthfully, there was nothing she could say that could remedy the situation or his current feelings. “I’m sorry I left you behind.” Her voice was strained and bordering on breaking as she found herself trying not to cry.
He was sure those words were supposed to make him feel better, but they really only served as a means to only remind him that he had been the downfall of his pet and friend.
And that no amount of “I’m sorry” would bring him back.