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The Curious Case of Koda

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Ryan was dressed in Steven's sweatshirt and Shane's button up in hopes of making his lovers feel more inclined toward his cause. It didn’t hurt that the clothing also brought him comfort as he tried not to become too anxious about this meeting he had set up. He fiddled idly with the manila folder in his hands as he waited for Steven and Shane to come sit down on the couch in front of him.

Steven eyed the folder in Ryan's hands as he sat down. "Are we getting a divorce?" He asked with a furrowed brow, tugging Shane down on the couch close to him.

"We're not even married, Steven." Shane said, as if Steven wasn't hyper-aware of that fact. Though Shane did immediately begin rubbing Steven's back to sooth his nerves. "Is this a business meeting?"

"No, and no. Will you please just gimme a chance here?" Ryan said in exasperation. He opened his folder peeked at the first page so he could keep this on track. But when he opened his mouth to speak, Shane beat him to it.

"That's my shirt." He said, like it was a very important revelation. "You look good in it." He hummed as he looked Ryan up and down. He grinned when he realized Ryan was also wearing Steven's shirt beneath his flannel. "If you're trying to make us more sympathetic to whatever you're trying to talk about, it's definitely working on me."

Steven was too concerned about whatever was happening to think too much on Ryan's wardrobe choices, but he did look sweet layered comfortably in both their shirts. “What are you trying to talk about?”

"Shut up, Shane." Ryan swatted Shane's shoulder with the folder. He looked at Steven whose leg had started bouncing and he moved to press a kiss to the top of Steven’s head. "Relax, baby. I just want to run something by you guys. Well, more like I want to convince you, but we'll see."

Steven looked up at Ryan and smiled gently. "Okay. Thank you. Convince away, sweetheart." He said, leaning into Shane a bit more and wrapping an arm around his shoulders.

Ryan nodded and tapped the folder against his palm, once again a bit nervous. He wanted this so bad. “Okay, so. I know we currently have two cats, and you know I love them both. And I know you two are more cat people than anything else, but… I really want to get a dog. I have a whole list of reasons why it would be good, but I wanna know what your initial thoughts are first.”

Shane considered it for less than half a second. “I’ve never had a dog before. It could be fun.” He said with a shrug. “If you want a dog, Ry, we can get a dog. Unless Steven has any objections?” He asked, looking to Steven.

“It might be hard to find one that gets along with Obi and Simba, but if we can find a dog that likes cats and that our cats like, then I don’t see why not.” Steven smiled at Ryan.

Ryan looked down at his folder and then between his two lovers. “I… did a lot of research and you guys just immediately say yes.” He said with an exasperated chuckle and a shake of his head. “Well, I did find a few breeds the internet says should be okay with cats, so at least that is helpful.” He opened his folder and pulled out a sheet with pictures and facts about the different breeds. “There are some bigger ones and some small ones, if that’s a deciding factor.” He handed the page to Steven who was making grabby hands.

He mostly wanted to see the pictures of the different kinds of dogs since he didn’t really know anything about the various dog breeds. “Does size matter?” He asked as he looked over the wildly different options they apparently had.

“That’s what he said.” Ryan snickered and Shane snorted. “Really though, I prefer the little ones, but that’s just me. I feel like small dogs have bigger personalities, but all dogs are different, so it really just depends. I really just want a dog so if either of you have preferences, we can get whatever you want.”

“Small with a big personality… sounds like you, Ryan.” Shane teased, looking at the open folder in Ryan’s hands. “Does that say people with dogs recover faster from being sick?”

“You are very good at reading upside down, what the hell? But yeah, it does! And dog owners are twice as likely to make a full recovery from a heart attack.” Ryan said matter-of-factly, handing the entire folder to Shane.

“Is that really true?” Steven asked as he looked at the fact sheet Shane was reading.

“I honestly have no idea. I don’t know how it works if it does, but I really want a dog.” Ryan admitted.

“I think we can agree that if you want a dog bad enough to make an entire case file about it, then we should get a dog.” Shane said fondly. Steven agreed easily. The more animals, the merrier in his opinion.

About a week later they found a very friendly medium sized black and brown mixed-breed dog named Koda. He was apparently named such because he was an absolute teddy bear with lots of personality which reminded someone on the staff of Brother Bear. This fact absolutely delighted Ryan.

When they brought Koda home, Obi was very skeptical at first. Simba was more curious than anything else and he was quick to approach Koda and sniff him. Much to everyone's relief, the two immediately got along. Obi, however, took more convincing, but eventually came around.

In fact, one day Ryan found Obi curled up on Koda, both sound asleep, which absolutely melted his heart. Never in his wildest dreams would he have dared to think Obi would warm up so well to Koda. He had thought that it wouldn’t be too optimistic to think Simba would get along with a dog since he was a little more high-energy than Obi, and thankfully he’d been right about that, but Obi really surprised him.

One night a few days later, Steven and Ryan came home from a shopping trip to find Shane asleep with his chin propped up on his hand, laptop in his lap, headphones on his head, and Koda curled up against his thigh. They cooed quietly to each other about how cute it was and took photos and accidentally woke Shane. He wasn’t mad, though. He smiled when he saw that Koda was cuddled up to him and he happily ran his hand gently down Koda’s back.

Ryan adored the fond look Shane gave Koda. Dogs interacted differently than cats, and it had taken a little bit for Shane to adapt. Steven however, had immediately taken to coddling Koda like he would Simba, which Koda somehow loved (far more than Simba did). Ryan hadn’t known if a dog would fit into this small family of theirs, but Koda turned out to be the perfect addition.

Ryan was full to the brim with love for his chosen family and he felt so very lucky to be loved by them in return.