Sinbad hadn’t come back home yet, ever since he stormed off earlier this morning. This caused Shark’s already intense guilt to grow exponentially.
Even now, he stood by the main room’s doorway, hoping to run to the door the second it opened. He had so many ways to say ‘I’m sorry’.
But he couldn’t exactly say any of them until Sinbad returned.
And he’d been waiting for hours.
Once he’d realized that Sinbad would probably not want to see him again tonight, he started upstairs.
“I can at least try and get some chores done…”
Once he was up in his and Sinbad’s room, Shark tried to busy himself with making the bed.
It didn’t exactly help that he had to make Sinbad’s side, though, nor did knowing that huge poster Sinbad had gotten a while back seemed to loom behind him.
Sagebear wasn’t entirely sure how she managed to sneak out of the house. That didn’t matter, though: What mattered was that she did it.
Now, she was scratching on the door of one of the houses somewhere in town.
After the unpleasantness that had transpired earlier, she needed a bit of time out. Possibly, she felt she needed to reacquaint herself with some of the townsfolk.
Even if she couldn’t understand everything they were saying.
Sagebear was certain that he was telling her nice things, even if she didn’t really speak his language. She was able to pick up a few words, though, recognizing them from all the time she’d spent around Harwood.
Then she heard a much more familiar voice behind her.
“That’s Sinbad’s dog!” Julienne said when she got close enough to recognize Sagebear. “How’d she get all the way out here, Wei? And why?”
Wei just shrugged. He certainly didn’t know.
Julienne just glanced over at Sagebear when she went into her house.
“Well, I guess I could let you stay here for a little while. I just hope Sinbad and Shark aren’t worried sick over you disappearing…”
Shark was going out to get the laundry when he heard something.
He was admittedly annoyed by the fact that it was apparently starting to snow. The sky certainly wasn’t showing any signs of clouds.
But it didn’t stop him from hearing something nearby. Holding his breath, Shark walked over to the other side of the house.
To his surprise, the source wasn’t the least bit sinister. At least not to him.
Sinbad was at his usual reading spot by the fire pit, calmly leafing through a book he must’ve gotten while he was gone.
“Oh, I already know most of this…Maybe I could give this book to Betty as a gift. I know how it feels to be the new person at work-”
“Sinbad?” When Shark said his hubby’s name, Sinbad nearly dropped his book into the fire.
He managed to compose himself, and looked away.
His facial expression displayed total and utter shame. But he tried to keep it hidden when he set the book down next to the fire pit.
At the least, he seemed to be at a loss for words.
Shark just stood there, staring, waiting to see what he’d do next.
Sinbad just stood up to get closer to him.
“Yeah, so…” His voice sounded monotone, yet somber. “I’m a fuckin’ idiot. I don’t think I need to explain why.”
“Sinbad, you’re not an idiot,” Shark said quietly as he went over and took hold of Sinbad’s hands.
“Yeah, but still. I could’ve at least warned you I was planning something.
“It probably would’ve been something like, ‘don’t freak out, but I’m doing something that might be super-pricey’, but I think you get the point.”
Shark nodded quietly before saying his own piece. “Would you believe I actually forgot my own birthday was coming up?”
“No, I would not, considering you remember a lot of other things involving me.”
“You mean like one time when you got so angry at a game you were playing, you threw my DS out of a third story window?”
“Hey, who’s that virtual culinary skank to tell me how to make omelets?”
Both of them chuckled at this, before becoming serious again.
“So is what you ordered still coming?”
Sinbad nodded. “Sure is. Next time, though, I’ll tell you if I’m thinking of getting something expensive. Sound good?”
“Sounds good! And, uh…likewise.”
Both of them held hands a little longer before delving into a nice, warm hug. Then Sinbad asked a bit of an odd question:
“Hey dude, where’s the dog?”
At some point, Julienne realized that Sagebear probably wasn’t going home anytime soon. When she realized this, she pulled out a brush and ran it over Sagebear’s short fur.
“All right, you can spend the night here. But tomorrow morning you’re going home. Got it?”
Sagebear just kept panting as he was brushed. When Julienne was done, Sagebear dashed upstairs into the bedroom.
Once in, she made herself comfortable on the bed.
It wasn’t long before she drifted off to sleep.