Word Count: 2000ish
Category: AU, Gen, Team fic
Summary/ A/N: My first multichaptered SGA fic. I don't really know why, for a first fic, I went with AU. Especially dog!fic AU...
“Our perfect companions never
have fewer than four feet”
~Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
He was a Doberman. At least, that was what the human said who yanked him roughly up by the scruff of his neck. He yelped, more from surprise than pain, and tried to twist his head to bite at the intrusive hand with his tiny teeth.
“Got a bit of fight in him.” the human laughed before tossing him down with his brothers and sister. His mother nuzzled him lightly as he scowled up at the man whose breath smelled like rank acid and whose eyes were dead. When the man finally left, he wriggled next to his kin, but as they soon slept, he kept watch.
As time passed they grew and soon were too large for the cardboard box under the porch. They lounged and ate of the cheap kibble in the large bowl; tussled and cut their teeth on the bits of chicken bone strewn about their tiny yard. Their happy yips were soon barks, deep and strong.
His sister, Ara was the first to be taken, sold as a breeding bitch to one of the many young men who frequented the old dilapidated house with the broken window panes and loose wooden boards. He fought when she was taken, but soon realized that her fate was a kind one.
His human, and many others, were members of the Wraith, an inner city gang built on blood and violence. They traded in crimes and drugs and drew their entertainment in the form of dog fighting. They used Pit Bulls, bread to tear into each other in competitions conceived by the men and played out in the old shed under the cover of night. They would jeer and yell from the side lines as the large dogs growled and snapped and ripped into flesh, tearing ligaments and leaving the losers torn and bleeding in the dirt. The victors would often not be in better shape, and most were put down by the very owners who made them fight.
The Wraith took his brothers, Tyre and Rakai; and they fed them to the Pits. For sport, or for training, the big dogs ripped his young brothers apart. He snarled and snapped and tried to get to them, but the chain around his neck kept him at bay, no matter how hard he struggled. His neck was bloody and raw and he shook with fury when the humans finally came over to him.
“He's a big one.” One said, holding a beer can and appraising him warily.
“We'll see how long he lasts,” The other remarked. And it was the same human who had laid out food and water for him who unhooked his chain and led him to the ring. The Pit was on the other side, fierce and ready. Its mouth was clamped with what the humans called a muzzle, but it didn't stop the vicious growls coming from it. It fought against the human who held it, tugging against the rope that held it back.
He was ready for it. He'd seen how they did with his brothers. The cowardly humans waited until they were clear before releasing the Pit's mouth. He didn't give them that chance. As soon as they released the chain from his neck he charged, snarling and snapping at the human holding back the Pit. The man let go of the rope, but did not have time to release the muzzle.
He threw himself at the heavier dog, bore down the Pit with his momentum, and in that moment bit down on its throat with all his force. The snarls of the Pit became desperate, but he didn't let up, feeling with satisfaction as something gave beneath his crushing jaws. He heard the startled curses of the humans, but none approached as he tore into the other dog. He didn't know if this was one of the ones that had killed his brothers, and as its struggling weakened and stilled beneath him, he didn't care.
The Wraith named him Ronon after that; partially because they lacked creativity, but already had one dog named Conan. He liked it, but not as much as he would have liked sinking his teeth into their soft, fragile necks. They began training him to fight, and soon he was winning against dogs much heavier than he. He hated it as much as he hated the Wraith, and once he realized their intentions for him, made every attempt to escape. After he'd broken the second door to his cage, his owner spent the necessary money to have a GPS chip put into his back, between his shoulder blades. His mistake then was allowing himself to be caught. It took several other failed attempts for him to realize that they now tracked him as he ran, though that did nothing to still his dreams of escape.
The fights became his only release, and in the confines of the ring, Ronon let his anger and frustration bleed out of ever wound his gave, every one he received. He left each match panting and bloody, but still on his on power as the other dog's owner warily moved around him to collect its remains. He never left a dog alive; though there was no pride in his battles. Only an instinct to live and survive.
This continued for two years, though in ways it felt shorter. At the same time it felt like a thousand lifetimes of running and fighting and recovering from injuries, only to get up and do the same thing over and over again. He was weary of it all, but to stop fighting was to lay down and die, something he defiantly refused to do.
Once yearly all of the Wraith gathered to have a tournament of dog fights. Bragging rights and wads of dirty hundred dollar bills were their prize as dogs from all over the city ripped each other to shreds in an abandoned warehouse near the port. Though it was almost completely masked by the scents of two dozen other dogs, Ronon could smell the cold salt sea air from his cage as he paced, a menacing growl rumbling deep in his throat. Two times had these gatherings occurred during his time with the Wraith. The first time he'd not participated due to an infected leg injury; the second time he'd won. Now he watched with wary suspicion as men of all ages circled his cage, sneering through the metal bars that were all that stood between their unguarded necks and his bared fangs.
The air was filled with roaring laughter and cheers from the audience; snarls, barks, and yelps from the fighters. Occasionally fights would break out among the Wraith themselves, drunken brawls where two or more men would begin to pound on each other like the animals they cheered. The fights would be quelled in one way or another, and then the crowds would return their attention to the makeshift ring in the center of the old building.
Soon it was Ronon's turn. A man approached whose scent was unknown to him, a rope and muzzle held in his hand. He unlocked the cage and was easing the door open when an abrupt yell rang from by the door. It fell over the din and all hell broke loose. “Cops!!”
The man looked away and in that distracted moment Ronon forced the door open and slipped through the space. His urge was to attack the Wraith beside him, but the room was filled with frantic shouts and curses as the occupants shoved at each other in their rush towards the back entrance of the building. The man beside the cage glanced at the dog, but his attention was with his fellow Wraith. “Shit!” he muttered before tossing the rope and muzzle to the ground and joining the mass of fleeing bodies. Ronon growled, but let him go. No one seemed to notice the lone free dog as he barreled down the row of caged animals towards the now unguarded but still open freight doors. Some of the dogs snarled and snapped at him from behind their bars as he passed while others, the ones who had managed to survive the fights, barely had the energy to raise their heads and watch him pass.
He slid to a stop as he reached the exit. Rows of cars filled the lot, lights flashing on them as men ran towards the building. These were not Wraith. These were strange humans, all dressed in matching dark clothing. They gripped odd black objects, deadly extensions of their hands that they held at the ready in front of them. Ronon backpedaled before he was spotted. He bared his fangs in a frustrated growl as he fell back from the only clear exit.
He'd just managed to duck out of site behind some old packing crates draped with plastic tarps when the new humans burst into the building. At their entrance, the room erupted into chaos. The Wraith who had not managed to flee turned, and their shouts mixed with the roared commands of the new humans. Soon loud barks of thunder erupted from the back of the building and the strange humans scattered. Ronon ducked down as the sounds pierced his ears, a sensation that turned painful when the humans closest to him raised their dark hands and answered in kind.
A long time passed before the sounds finally began to fade. His ears still ringing, Ronon watched unseen from his hiding spot as many of the Wraith were led outside, their hands bound behind their backs. He bared his teeth in pleasure as these new humans treated the Wraith with as much disdain as Ronon himself felt. Hints of blood reached him, mixed and mingled with sweat and some harsher scent that was unknown to him. He cast it aside as he concentrated on the remaining humans. He was confident he could escape, but many men blocked his path as more and more streamed through the doors.
Most of what the humans said to each other were meaningless to Ronon. He caught hints of conversation from them as the building was slowly cleared of Wraith. Words like drugs, dogs, and arrest were bandied about all around him. At one point he heard one say “I think we've got them all,” while another spoke into a radio saying “Send in the K9 unit” while eying the bloodstained circle in the center of the room.
Ronon was considering making his move as the activity lulled and the way to the entrance finally was clear. He stood slowly, then froze as a new human entered the building. At his side was a dog. German Shepherd, his mind supplied, though he couldn't remember where he'd learned that. The large dog entered the room confidently, it's large ears pointed and erect on top of its high forehead. It kept pace with the human as together they walked towards the one who had spoken into his radio. Ronon watched the dog warily, but for the moment its focus was solely on the man at its side.
They paused beside the man, and the humans spoke in low tones. The Shepherd stood quietly, but Ronon could see its black nose flaring softly as it took in the scents of the building. The large head turned and dark eyes scanned the building, resting momentarily on the ignored dog cages before continuing their silent appraisal. Ronon tensed as the gaze fell on the crates he hid among, but he was in the shadows and for the moment remained unseen.
Instinct and hatred told him to attack, to bear down the dog with his greater weight and rip its throat out. But... his eyes strayed to the opened door. So close, the freedom of the darkening day taunted him from just a few meters away. If he attacked, he risked capture, being shoved back in that cage and forced to fight again.
But it seemed that the decision would be taken from him. As he watched, the human and the dog broke away from the other man and began a wide circuit of the room which would soon bring them to the crates within whose shadows he hid. He backed up until he bumped against the furthermost crate. He was trapped. The two came closer and closer, and Ronon could feel his hackles raise as the Shepherd's scent became stronger and clearer. A barely suppressed growl weighed in his chest and every muscle in his body tensed as the two neared.
A few feet away still, the Shepherd froze, his gaze locked on the piled crates in front of him. The human paused too, and clicked on the flashlight in his hand. He cast it's light on the stacked wooden boxes, but didn't see enough room for a human to hide. “What is it boy?” he said. The Shepherd took a slow step forward, and in that moment Ronon silently burst from his hiding spot. The human stumbled back with a shout, but Ronon payed him no mind as he launched himself at the other dog. He crashed into the Shepherd with his full force and did not stop until his fangs closed around its throat.