Well, they certainly aren’t Harry Hart’s favorite dogs. Still, a lost dog is a lost dog and this one definitely matches that picture of the pug featured on the haphazardly placed fliers that have been stapled in various places around the park. Someone clearly loves this dog.
Against his better judgement, he whistles for the pug and it reacts immediately by looking at Harry from over its pudgy body yet it doesn't move from the sprawled position beneath the shade of the tree. Lazy bastard.
Should he call for the little beast again? He rests his hand along the curve of his umbrella’s handle and shifts his weight just a bit— as if preparing to move closer to the lazy thing. However, Harry doesn't get that far because he is interrupted by a small tug on his sleeve.
“Excuse me, mister. Here!”
Ah, so this appears to be the owner of the pug. She’s a darling with dark-blond hair braided into two pigtails that fall on either side of her face. Her parents clearly dote on her— while her flower headband matches her purple dress the small combat boots definitely stand out in clear individualism.
“Excuuuse me,” she tries again.
“Pardon me.” Harry tucks his umbrella beneath his arm and crouches so he is eye-level with the young lady. “May I help you?”
“Yes,” she holds the flyer out with both hands. “This is my dog JB. That’s Jaaaay-Beeeee. That’s him in this picture.” She reaches around the flyer and pokes her finger on the image of the pug’s nose. “He’s lost and daddy says that I let him out when I wasn't supposed to so I have to find him. I don’t know why I have to find him. JB is prolly chasing the butterflies in the park—”
Harry gives a small, fond smile. She looks about five or six— that age where children like to talk on and on about fanciful things without an end to the conversation in sight. Clearly this little girl is well-loved by her father despite his apparent attempt to teach her a lesson about caring for her animals. Admirable goal, certainly. Lessons must be learned and all that.
Both Harry and the girl, now named Grace, turn at the sound of the voice calling for her. Grace bounces a little and rattles her flyer at who must be her brother or perhaps babysitter.
“Daddy, look. I’m finding JB, okay?”
Oh, perhaps not a babysitter or brother then. The man looks hardly into his twenties— let alone the father of a five or six year old. Harry straightens and slowly stands so that he can greet the new person.
“Pancake, you…” The young man sighs and rubs at his forehead in frustration but he quickly makes a visible effort of controlling his emotions for the benefit of his daughter. “Baby girl, you can’t just leave. You gotta wait on me, yeah?” The young man stops next to Harry and gives him a once-over and then frowns at him. “Who’er you?”
“I beg your pardon?” Harry is slightly taken aback by the young man’s tone but before he can continue his line of inquiry, Grace steps in.
“Daddy, he’s helping find JB. I have to find him. What if is he’s hungry and not playing with the butterflies?!”
The girl’s father gives Harry a pointed frown before sweeping the girl into his arms. “Gracie, we don’ talk to strangers.” He switches Grace to his other hip and frowns at Harry. “You see the dog then?”
“Yes, I have.” Harry hesitates and adjusts his umbrella so that the point is against the ground and his hand rests along the handle. “Over there by that tree,” he motions to the correct tree where, sure enough, there is a pudgy puddle of small dog laying in the shade.
The young man looks from the dog to Harry. “A’ight. Sorry ‘bout it.” He sets Grace down and the little girl runs full speed towards the tree so she can flop next to JB on the ground and pillow her head on the dog’s tummy.
“Quite all right,” Harry offers.
“Strangers, y’know. Gotta be careful ‘n all that.”
“You do not have to explain yourself to me Mr…?” Harry trails off purposefully in hopes of enticing the young man for his name.
“Aw, shit.” He grins and stuffs his hands in his pockets almost sheepishly. “Eggsy Unwin, that’s my name. My kid’s Grace. The dog JB. What ‘bout you?”
“Harry Hart. A pleasure to meet you.”
“JB noooooo!” Both Harry and Eggsy look towards the sound of Grace’s interrupting but happy shrieks.
“Thanks for helpin’, Harry Hart.”
“My pleasure.” Harry turns his attention from the laughing Grace and barking JB to look at the girl’s father. Eggsy is quite handsome— gorgeous eyes and sinful lips— if Harry were a younger man then perhaps he would ask Eggsy to accompany him for dinner. Alas, fifty is far too close and Eggsy is probably on the wrong side of twenty-five.
However, Eggsy is definitely not an idiot and he knows an interested man when he sees on. He’s not really on the dating wagon because having a five-year-old is a lot of work. Especially since he’s doing the single parent thing— Grace’s mother having given up all rights to her when she was born and all. Eggsy’s mother took over the raising of the girl until Eggsy finished with the marines and ever since then it’s been him and his girl against the world. Still, he’d like a bit of fun.
“You wanna—” His proposal for a bit of fun is cut off by Grace and JB running towards them.
“Daddy!” Eggsy lets out a little grunt when his girl collides into his legs. “I’m hungry. JB is too. He needs a P-B-AND-J sandwich.” Grace gives the gentleman who helped her find her dog a shy smile which she quickly hides behind her dad’s knees. “You can come too? Daddy makes the best P-B-J sandwiches.”
“Grace, c’mon now. You can’t ask people that—”
“Actually, that sounds heavenly. I would love to join you if that is acceptable.”
“… huh.” Eggsy’s confused look slowly melts into coy happiness. “All right then. JB, Grace, let’s go.”
That happy little slobbering shit that caused this whole fiasco gives an excited little bark and struts with Eggsy and Grace towards home. Harry finds himself enthralled and enchanted by the Unwin family-- a family so obviously full of love and adventure-- and perhaps, Eggsy is on the wrong side of twenty-five and perhaps the young man already has very serious responsibilities but that doesn't stop Harry from wanting to get to know them.
And... perhaps pugs are not Harry’s favorite dogs but this one will certainly grow on him if it comes with Eggsy and Grace Unwin.