Written fall 2007 - 5/28/09, 1977 words.
Bandom - currently gen, intended to turn out Pete/Patrick in the end (which I never wrote). This is the first of three attempts to write this fic before I gave up. There are holes and scenes missing, and my notes are at the bottom. This version takes place in some indescriminate time after the Young Wild Things Tour, when that was still the future, and Ashlee doesn't exist. This was also an exercise in FOB characterization for me, since I'd never really written them before.
One day, Pete Wentz woke up as a dog.
His first thought was that someone was playing some sort of trick on him, but when he tried to say, "Very fucking funny, now make me a person again," all that came out was a bark.
Okay, so this wasn't some very elaborate prank. Which meant that he actually was a dog.
Pete barked a few times, to see what would happen. Then he ran around the house frantically, until he tired himself out. He wound up back in his room, where he lay his head on his paws and whined pathetically.
Cautiously, a head poked around the doorframe. Sniffing the air and staring at him in obvious confusion, Pete's actual dog stepped into the room.
"Hemingway!" Pete said, but it came out, "Woof!"
Hemingway cocked his head to the side like he sometimes did when Pete talked to him. He didn't understand why the familiar smell of his human was coming from this dog, but it was clear the dog needed a friend. He walked over to Pete and curled up close to him, snuggling in.
Pete sighed and closed his eyes. He figured that if he had to be a dog, there were far worse things than being with Hemingway.
When Joe stopped by that afternoon, he was surprised to find the door open and no one there.
"Pete?" he called out. "Are you here?"
No answer, except a bark from upstairs. A few seconds later, a dog he'd never seen before was running at him.
“Hey, buddy,” Joe laughed, scratching the dog’s ears. “Where’d you come from, huh? Where’s Pete?”
The dog looked up at him and whined unhappily.
“Okay, dude,” Joe said, “I’ll take you out, since Pete’s fuckin’ MIA. Hemmy!” he called. Hemmy bounded downstairs, panting. “Let’s go out! Come on, boy.”
Pete only had one leash, so Joe just didn’t bother and hoped no one noticed. The dogs ran all over the place, clearly ecstatic to be outside, though they mostly stuck pretty close together. But it was also clear that they were leading him, not the other way around. Joe just tried to stay close and not lose sight of either of them, especially the new dog. Hemmy knew the way home.
But after a few minutes, he realized they were heading towards his hotel. Which was... a little strange, actually, but it was probably just a coincidence that the dogs were taking him in that direction.
The new dog seemed to be in the lead, Hemmy following submissively behind, which Joe had never seen him do. He was forced to admit that something was weird when the new dog took them right to the front door of the hotel he was staying at, sitting back on his haunches and looking up at Joe expectantly.
“Patrick.” Joe sounded slightly hysterical, and Patrick was instantly concerned. “Patrick, I don’t know what to do. I went over to Pete’s today, right, to hang out and whatever, and I thought the other dog was just, like, the neighbor’s or something, but then it wasn’t, it was Pete, and –”
“Joe. Joe. Calm down, dude,” Patrick said, not following in the slightest. “What’s going on?”
“Pete’s a dog,” Joe said, more than slightly hysterical at this point. “What the fuck do I do, Patrick, Pete is a dog.”
“This isn’t funny,” Patrick said slowly. “Tell Pete he’s an idiot if he thinks I’m going to fall for that one. That’s not even plausible.”
“No, dude, this isn’t a prank,” Joe said frantically. “Pete really is a dog, and I have no idea what to do.”
Patrick thought for a minute. Though it was much more likely that Pete was being an ass and laughing silently next to Joe right now than the alternative, it didn’t seem like the kind of prank Pete would pull. This wasn’t his style. It was far too tame, for one thing. And Joe wasn’t good at faking hysteria. In fact, it took a lot to break his usual laid-back demeanor, so whatever was going on, he probably believed it. “Are you high?” Patrick asked calmly.
“Damn it, Patrick. No, I’m not high, Pete is a motherfucking dog. Now can you get your ass over here?”
“Fine,” Patrick said, resigning himself to years of mocking if he was falling for some stupid joke right now. “I’ll be right there.”
When he got to Pete’s house, the door was open.
“In the kitchen,” Joe called out. Patrick walked into the kitchen, where Joe was sitting in one of Pete’s chairs looking miserable, flanked by dogs. One of them, the one that wasn’t Hemmy, raised its head and whined up at him.
“I don’t know, dude,” Patrick said, looking at Joe. “I mean, don’t you think that dog looks a little butch to be Pete?”
The dog in question glared at him, and, okay, that was a little eerie.
Joe snorted before seeming to remember that the dog to his left was Pete. He propped his elbows up on the table and dropped his forehead into his open palms. “Just believe me, okay? That’s Pete, and I don’t know how the fuck he got like that or how to turn him back.”
“Okay,” Patrick said, sitting next to him and ‘Pete,’ “assuming you’re, somehow, telling the truth right now, how’d you find out it wasn’t just some dog that happened to be at Pete’s house?”
Joe lifted his head. “That’s what I thought at first. I mean, who the fuck sees a random dog in their friend’s house and thinks, ‘Hey, that must be my friend?’ But then I thought maybe they needed to go out, so we did, and Pete fucking led me to my hotel. And then when we got back, he started taking out all of his things and bringing them downstairs. And I swear to god, Patrick, I fucking swear on my life, when I said, ‘Are you Pete?’ he fucking nodded.”
Pete-the-dog lifted his head off Patrick’s lap, where it had been the whole time Joe was talking. He rested his paw on Patrick’s leg and looked up at him with a decidedly Pete expression on his canine face.
“Well, fuck,” was all Patrick could say. Then, “We should call Andy.”
Being a dog fucking sucked.
It would have been all right if he could at least talk to Hemmy, but apparently dogs really couldn’t talk to each other – not in any language Pete could understand, anyway. He couldn’t talk to people, either. Even though he’d expected that part, not being able to talk to Patrick hurt.
Hemmy had seemed to sense right away that this new dog belonged to him somehow, and he wasn’t leaving Pete alone. Which was actually kind of sweet.
And now they were in the kitchen, and Joe was telling Patrick everything that had happened earlier, and Pete looked up at Patrick, wide-eyed, and whined.
“Well, fuck,” Patrick said, finally getting it, that this was really him, Pete, stuck in this dog’s body, and then Joe grabbed his phone and Pete lay his head back down on Patrick’s lap and closed his eyes. Somehow, he fell into a light sleep, because the only words he caught for the next little while were “band meeting” and “Pete’s house,” and when he woke up, Patrick was absent-mindedly scratching behind his ears, which felt surprisingly nice. He’d have to do this to Hemmy more, once he was human again – if he was human again. The thought sent a shudder through his whole body. Patrick looked down at him in surprise, his hand forgetting about Pete’s ears for the moment. “You okay?” he asked, as if it really was Pete sitting there, but Pete noticed the deliberate omission of his name. Patrick couldn’t bring himself to call a dog ‘Pete,’ and Pete couldn’t really blame him.
Pete woofed in response and instinctively licked Patrick’s hand. Okay, that was weird.
“Dude, Pete just licked you,” Joe said, staring.
“Yeah, um, what was that?” Patrick asked Pete, who attempted a shrug. It didn’t exactly work, but it seemed to get his point, such as it was, across.
The bell rang.
“It’s open,” Joe called out. Patrick just kept staring at Pete.
“Hey,” Andy said, walking into the kitchen. “What’s up? Where’s Pete?”
Patrick and Joe turned to each other, clearly unsure how to answer. Pete glanced at them and decided barking was the best course of action.
“Whose dog?” Andy asked.
“Um,” Patrick said. “That’s not, um, someone’s dog.” He stared at his hands. “It’s Pete.”
Andy glanced at Joe, who nodded.
“Okay,” he said, “so what do we do?”
Patrick stared at Andy. “Okay? You don’t even think this is, I don’t know, a little weird?”
Andy shrugged. “It’s Pete. Weirder things have happened.”
“Weirder than... okay, you know what, I don’t want to know.” Patrick shook his head.
Pete glanced at the three of them uncertainly.
“Maybe this is just a bad day,” Joe said. “Maybe he’ll wake up normal tomorrow.”
“No,” Patrick said, “This is not a bad day. A bad day is when you wake up grumpy and snap at people for no reason, or when you have a sore throat but you have to sing that night anyway, or when your mom calls and says your great-aunt is in the hospital. This is a fucking nightmare.”
“Okay,” Joe said, “but still, maybe things will go back to normal in the morning.”
Pete hoped against hope that he was right.
“In the meantime,” Joe continued, “we can’t just leave two dogs to fend for themselves.”
“Maybe you should stay tonight, then,” Patrick said.
Maybe it could be that simple. Joe would stay with them overnight, and in the morning, Pete would wake up human again and everything would go back to normal.
The sinking feeling in Pete’s chest, however, told him to expect otherwise.
Joe took the first guest room, like he always did, because even though Pete wasn’t occupying his bed, it still felt weird to sleep in it. As he sat down on the bed, Pete nosed his way around the door and into the room.
“What?” Joe asked. Pete just looked at him, expression unreadable, and Joe realized after a moment that he’d been waiting for an answer. From a dog. He groaned and rolled over until he was lying on his back, hand hanging off the side of the bed. Pete followed, sitting next to him, and Joe started absentmindedly stroking the top of his head, pausing to scratch his ears every now and then. “Sorry, dude,” he said after a long moment, “this is just going to take some getting used to, you know?” Pete, predictably, didn’t answer. Instead, he jumped onto the bed, taking a while to find a comfortable spot before curling up against Joe’s legs.
“Of course, you have to get used to it, too. That’s gotta suck,” Joe said. Then he sighed. “I’m talking to a dog.”
In the morning, Joe woke up to Hemmy and Pete taking up almost the whole bed. He was shoved into a little corner. But even so, he didn’t really mind. Actually, it was kind of nice.
It shouldn’t be weird, not being a dog anymore. It shouldn’t, but it is. Pete supposed he’d gotten used to it, a little. Joe stopped sleeping over, now that Pete didn’t need looking after anymore. Which was fine, and normal, and how things should be, but... some nights the bed felt empty in a way it hadn’t before. Pete and Hemmy snuggled all the time, but it wasn’t the same without someone on Pete’s other side.
It wasn’t a romantic thing, though. Pete really just missed cuddling with Joe as a dog. Which was almost more embarrassing to admit, so he didn’t.
Telling Joe – Pete and Hemmy take Joe to the place he’s staying in LA. Joe’s slightly spooked, but crazier things have happened, so it doesn’t really throw him or anything. He’s still pretty chill at this point. Then Pete leads him back to his house and starts taking out various items that are important to Pete-the-person, dropping them at Joe’s feet. That freaks Joe out quite a lot and he finally gets it.
Pete misses Patrick most of all.
When he’s a person again, though, he misses cuddling with Joe as a dog. Joe admits he does, too, though he’s embarrassed to admit it. So occasionally they cuddle on couches with Hemmy. It’s entirely platonic, but still extremely cute.
Pete and Patrick don’t actually get together in this fic, but it’s implied that they will. They’re pretty much all over each other 24/7 after Pete becomes human again. Mostly, this entails Pete draping himself all over Patrick all the time, so not that far from how things are now, in reality, only it’s literally EVERY SINGLE MOMENT they’re in the same room.
This one tabloid overhears Joe or Patrick calling the dog “Pete” one day while they’re taking a walk, and runs with it like crazy. The most out-there theory they have is actually the one that’s true. But the only people who believe it are crazy themselves, so it’s okay.
After the first day of freaking out/being emo, Pete figures that if he’s going to be stuck as a dog for a while, he might as well have some fun with it.
Things I Still Need To Figure Out:
-How long Pete is a dog for
-Why he wakes up a dog and how he transforms back
-What’s the canon time frame here? And how do I get rid of Ashlee without making it too far in the past or too ridiculously AU?
-What “official statement” do they give, and who gives it where?
-How is Pete-the-dog different from Pete-the-person? How are they the same?