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Snow Day

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Bear doesn't like wearing the booties, but there's salt out on the sidewalks. They don't have time for him to be footsore now that the numbers are coming in again. Harold watches John slip them over Bear's feet, while Bear stands patiently, ears a little flattened but tolerant of the procedure. There's a camaraderie between them as they work, and it's like watching one soldier fit another out with an unpleasant but necessary piece of kit.

When John's done and Bear has his harness on buckled on securely, Harold slips into his overcoat so they can all leave the subway station together. He feels John's hands over his shoulders, smoothing the coat into position, folding the collar up so that Harold's neck is protected. Beside them, Bear moves quietly over the concrete, silent in his boots, tucking in at Harold's side. Harold would never think of himself as a soldier, but sometimes it's a nice reminder that they are a unit.

The last thing John does before they leave is kiss Harold, hard and dirty, for a long minute at the top of the stairs. Harold puts a hand on John's lapel, and kisses back, then laughs. "What, no kiss for the dog?" he says as they leave.

John makes a soft huff as he shoves open the door to the street. "Your breath is better," he says, and slips into that watchful state of awareness that has kept them alive for this long. Then the three of them are out and walking, sending flurries of soft snow behind them as they move.