The Dog-Gone Days (Cato/Liv AU)


It seemed like she had understood at least. He bit the inside of his cheek, feeling a similar flutter of repressed delight at the prospect of actually having someone so close that he could talk to on an equal level. Gods did he regret opening that up though. He really shouldn’t be spending any more time with her. Her ward was the least of the problems. He really wasn’t good with people. He flinched a little as she mentioned the… Enclave. His face contorted a little and his arms crossed instinctively, fingers tracing along small half-faded old scars all along his arms. He could almost feel the cold glass shards cutting into his skin again, the darkness and the muted tune from those patriotic records his mother had kept. A quick bout of nausea washed over him as he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Fuck, it had been a long time since he heard that word. Enclave. He hoped she hadn’t noticed his distress. Weakness. Freak. Inbred.

“Maybe he isn’t. But while you are here you are his responsibility. Everything you do reflects upon him. I doubt he would want you to talk to me…” He tossed his armor in the water through and began washing it from the damned dust. At least his last assignment before coming back to the Mojave had been free of that. But in a way snow was worse. “…but with that said, I could care less what he would want. If you want to speak to me again, you know where to find me.”


A strange man this one. But the strange was horribly interesting. She smiled again though it was doubtful he’d seen it because he was distracted with his armor. At least he didn’t tell her not to come back or seem off put by who her ward was like several others she’d talked to.
"Alright then. I guess I’ll see you around then." With that she wandered off.

It was a relief, knowing that she had someone to talk to there. About books and such. Well… maybe. He had referenced both Mark Twain and Frank Baum in a short amount of time, so she had hope. Now all she needed was a notebook and she could feel comfortable here. Well, almost.

She let several days pass before going back to the pens again, not wanting to seem too eager. She felt so silly, acting this way. Like some kind of school girl with a crush. The first time she’d returned after they’d met had been a bust and the second. But she had to remind herself it was statistically impossible that they wouldn’t see each other again. Maybe if she came earlier?

So that’s what she did, feeding the dogs bits of food from her breakfast hoping that the man would show up and they could talk again.

The Dog-Gone Days (Cato/Liv AU)


He began wrapping the now stinking wound with layer after layer of bandages. The better to keep the smell from escaping. He didn’t need any more nicknames like Dog-Breath and Wet Hound of Caesar. It was his turn to wrinkle his nose, brows knitting together as she told him where she came from. It was like she didn’t expect him to know, as if a map had eluded him his whole life. Well, to be fair every stinking tribal in the Legion would have known no different. They would have assumed on the other side of the country meant somewhere in Colorado or New Mexico, the extent of Caesar’s empire to the east. He gave her a scoff, deciding to pull it back onto her all the same. “The grand old benevolent National Asylum for the helpless… D.C. as per Mark Twain. Would you agree with that statement?”

He finished washing up and pulled the tunic back over his head. What use was it to flaunt anything he had read back in his youth? The least from what his mother had called a flamboyant secessionist faggot. No one read books anymore. It was a nuisance to wade through in old ruins to get to the scavenging treasures of the day. Even so, it felt good. He had only ever discussed anything like it with the Malpais. And he was long gone…

“You are a long way from home, Olivia. And there is no yellow brick road to follow and I sure am not a scarecrow. It would be best if you go back to Vulpes now, before you get yourself in trouble… or me for that matter.”

"Oh." The word was soft, but she really hadn’t expected that from this gruff looking man. Who knew that one of these tribals could actually read? Well, Vulpes could but that wasn’t much to go by. "I-" she hesitated for a moment. "I guess so. After all the Enclave almost overran everything. If it wasn’t for the Brotherhood… But, that’s something else."

Her face heated up and she felt embarrassed at how delighted she felt in that moment. Maybe she’d have someone she could have an actual conversation with other than little snippets of harsh commentary from someone who seemed not to want much to do with her. She smiled genuinely now, like she had before when she’d been petting the dogs.

"Vulpes isn’t my master," the redhead said quickly. Heaven forbid someone think she was property. “But you’re right, I probably should go.” Though her feet didn’t budge. Hesitating again, she watched him for a long moment. What a strange man. “It was a pleasure meeting you, Cato. Perhaps I’ll see you again then?”

She hoped so.

The Dog-Gone Days (Cato/Liv AU)


Cato gave a grumble and removed the bandage, giving the wound a thorough inspection and a few trying prods before he nodded and knelt down next to his satchel. Jars clinked together, creating a disharmonious chorus before he produced one with a brown green goop inside it. Shuffling through the bag a little more he pulled a severed dried deathclaw hand out of his way to get to a fresh roll of bandages, a small donation from the deceased trooper that had given him his shoulder perforation.

“It’s nothing. Just a bullet wound…” With said bullet still lodged in there, but that was work for the medicus, whenever he got around to that. He disliked threads and needles. It was the main reason most of the scars covering his body where ugly jagged messes. He just bound any wound up tight and let it healed however it settled. “…nothing more than a scratch.”

It wasn’t as much a show of bravado or machoism as it was just… well, an unwillingness to accept assistance. The least from a stranger he had just met. He opened the jar, releasing a strong sour smell that even made the hounds in the pens whine. It was anything but pleasant, but it cleaned the wound nicely when wrapped up. Pasting a few fingers into and over the hole the bullet had left he couldn’t help but give a wounded whine. “Where do you hail from, Olivia?”

Her nose scrunched up as he pulled a jar of unknown goo out followed by a poor deathclaw’s removed hand. But then that’s how these people went about wasn’t it? Displaying their brute force and savagery for all to see? She sniffed as he brushed off her words of concern and crossed her arms.

"Well… It doesn’t look like ‘nothing more than a scratch.’ Aren’t you worried about infection?" Olivia frowned, her eyes flicking over him. It would just heal and become yet another scar on him, though she doubted the soldier cared. He had so many already. What would be one more?

Watching him now, she shifted, nose scrunching up again as he opened the jar. What the hell was that stuff? It smelled hedious. Why anyone would willingly put it on themself was beyond her, but there he was, slathering it on. His sound made her feel bad for him, but his earlier words kept her from wanting to help him. After all it was just a bullet wound.

"Not from here," she said with a harsh laugh as if it was some kind of personal joke. A humorless smile appeared on her lips now. "Virginia. On the other side of the country."

The Dog-Gone Days (Cato/Liv AU)


“Without his homelands his name means nothing. There are many with the name of Cassius in the Legion… but all that I know are unmarried as of yet.”

Another splash of water, washing out the skin to the depth. He stopped for a moment as she told him the name of her ward. The Fox. He suddenly wished his boots had not given out. Anything involving that man were bad news. He winced a little, rolling his left shoulder as a spike of pain ran up his spine. Three days since the fucking trooper had shot him. It was healing up alright though. He knew the ways. He gave the woman a quick glance before he started untying his primitive armor. If she was bothered by it she would look away or leave. Either way suited him fine now that he knew Vulpes held his clawed paw over her.

“You shouldn’t pick at it. Healing powder and crushed agave, wrap it in wet wraps…” He pulled the pads of his shoulders and tossed them to the side before he wrestled the belt off him. Weapons and tools clattered to the ground, followed by a well filled satchel and his tunica, leaving only the skirt on as he began undressing his bullet wound from brown red bandages. “What happened to your wrists?”

Olivia gave another shrug. “Well… That’s all I have. I’d have to ask Vulpes when he returns where Cassius was from.” Though she imagined the blonde would just get irritated. Not that she cared much either way.

Any shred of her vault-bred squeamishness had evaporated long ago, though she couldn’t help but wonder why it was that none of the tribals she had encountered seemed to mind just stripping in front of her. Especially here in the Legion it seemed. It could be worse she supposed. At least everyone stripping in front of her was fairly attractive.

"I-" Dammit. She put her hands down, pressing her wrists to her sides. It was a subconcious thing, the redhead not noticing she was doing it until someone pointed it out. Her face flushed and her jaw clenched. "I did." It was weird, saying it out loud. Made her feel strangely guilty. As if this stranger was going to get mad at her for the confession. "Is your shoulder alright?" Olivia asked quickly, watching as he took off his bandage.

The Dog-Gone Days (Cato/Liv AU)


Cato watched patiently as Olivia doted the hounds. Even Mercurio had showed a little affection in his own way, giving her a headbutt and tugging her sleeves with sharp teeth. All good things must come to an end though and as he opened up their pen they dutifully milled in, egged on by a few growls and bites on the hind from Mercurio. He frowned a little as he closed the gate. Something about her story didn’t add up. A wife of a legionnaire would have known better and she seemed hesitant to the idea. Curious. With a tired sigh he sat down next to the gate of the pen and began undoing his tattered boots. He threw them away before he removed his helmet and tossed it to the side as well.

“I know most legionnaires that are eligible for marriage. Veterans, the old guard… perhaps I know him as well. What is his name and his homelands?”

He stood up again and paced over to a nearby water through, washing away the grime and dirt of his arms and legs, cleansing the deep scars that ran across them. It was about time he got a break. He had been out in the field for weeks and had only returned when ordered to go out again. Rinsing out the dried blood and dirt out from under his nails before he raised his hands to his face. A moment of hesitation before he finally pulled down his face mask to reveal the overlapping layers of scars and badly damaged teeth. Hound. Beast. Monster. Splashing water over his face and hair felt refreshing. It wasn’t something you could afford out there. Every source of water was precious.

“Who is your ward?” It sounded more like a demand than a question. He had never been known for manners anyway. Why start now?

Her smile disappeared briefly as the man herded his animals into the pen now and closed the gate. Poor guys, at least they got to hang out with their other dog friends. She stood, brushing herself off and watched as the Legionary flopped down beside the pen’s gate to take his boots off. Oh, here was the line of questioning she’d been dreading. Her stomach clenched and she smiled hard, edges of the expression faltering. 

"Ah, well… I’m not sure about his homelands, but I was t-" That always sounded odd, didn’t it? The words 'I was told his name was' made people seem suspicious and it was bad enough that she had so much trouble answering. “His name is Cassius.”

Watching him as he rinsed himself felt rude, but she found the scars that mapped his body horribly intriguing and she couldn’t look away. Was her husband scarred as well, she wondered wishing that she could recall. But her memories were locked away tight even from her. Her fingers strayed to her wrist, plucking idly at the damaged skin that was there. The poor man, even his face was scarred, but Olivia figured that happened when you were a soldier.

She gave a little shrug at his words. Did it matter who her ward was? What was it to him? “Vulpes Inculta,” she said, undaunted by his tone.


sequoia national forest, california (by letsbeforestfriends)


deathclawenthusiast replied to your post: vulgar thoughts

What kind of vulgar thoughts?

The likes of which a claimed woman should not be asking about!

Shhh, I’m just being nosey. And besiiiides who am I going to tell about it? My notebook? Because I’m like a rotten teen grounded to my tent till further notice. *she frowns but it evaporates rather quickly.* Plus, I’m a little drunk so you should tell me anyways. 

The Dog-Gone Days (Cato/Liv AU)


Her ward? So at least she had someone who cared for her at the Fort. Cato wished they wouldhave had the decency to collar her at least. Not that he favored it, but he could imagine this was not the first time she had been accosted by a stingy legionnaire. Even a non functional one would have done the trick. He looked down at his dogs who were patiently waiting. They could very well do so for a little while longer. “Trouble? No, not as such. I care little as long as you do not tamper with my work or the hounds…”Well, she kind of was already. His dogs had never been this undisciplined. But then again his dogs had never taken a liking to anyone at first sight either.

He gave a short bark-like call and finally the hounds bound forward, surrounding Liv within the second with curiou”Ohs noses and happy tails. All but the oldest, who always stayed at Cato’s side no matter what. “It is a wonder we haven’t met before then. Even with me spending much of my time out on patrol, I always come back here at least once a week.” Perhaps Fortuna had just kept them apart by some strange twist of fate. Cato wasn’t the usual superstitious tribal of the Legion though, so coincident would be explanation enough, just as coincident had lead him here today. He stepped closer, if nothing else so that he could keep the dogs in check and let Mercurio greet the stranger as well.

“I am Cato. Decanus and hound master.” It wasn’t often that he spoke to anyone for this long and it showed. His deep voice were already starting to run coarse. “How come that you are here at the Fort then?”

Delight filled her face as his dogs bounded happily to her. With her empty hand she let them smell her before breaking up the last of the meat she’d brought to feed to them. Hands empty now she showed them and resumed petting them. “Ah, well… It’s not my intention to tamper with the work or your hounds, so as long as you point out when I’m interfering I’ll make sure to step aside.”

She crouched down, making kissy noises at the beasts, petting them as they all tried to lick her face. “Ah, well. I usually try to come early in the morning or late in the evening to be honest. I try to avoid your whole lot at all costs to be honest. Most of the men here seem fairly… brutish to be honest.” Olivia shrugged. These kinds of things happened. She came on different days each week so it wasn’t like they wouldn’t have eventually ran into each other like that had now. “I mean, we’re meeting now aren’t we?”

He stepped closer and Liv held her hands out to the older hound that stuck beside his master’s side. She felt a little guilty for having given the other dogs all of her treats. Perhaps if they ever met again she could have something for him. “Well Cato, it’s a pleasure I’m sure.” His voice seemed gruff and she found herself supressing a smile at his words. If you spent all your time only talking to animals, your voice fell out of use. Olivia could totally understand how that was. She almost wanted to tease him, but the redhead had no idea what being a Decanus meant, but it sounded semi-important. After all, it was probably a hideous idea to mock a man with a machete.

"Oh… Ah, it’s a long story. The short part is- I’m waiting for my husband."

The Dog-Gone Days (Cato/Liv AU)


Cato drew in a deep breath, a killing command already on the tip of his tongue. She should be locked up with the other slaves. She should never have been allowed to roam without… the breath stuck. Why weren’t his hounds already coiled for charge? He looked down on them, nose wrinkled up with the confusion. Mercurio yawned a little lazily, as if the stranger wasn’t even there at all. The others were… wagging their tails. He should have noticed the happy howls and lack of growling from the pens as well. But he had been too preoccupied with his shoes and grumbling, too reliant on his hounds to be his eyes and ears.

“Olivia?” He eased the grip on the hilt of his blade. Then surely she must have come here often. Perhaps accompanied. A spy or saboteur would have raised the alarms of the dogs. Yes, that must be it. Perhaps she had even been there while his own hounds were kept in the pens. He relaxed, at least as much as he could permit himself, she was still a stranger after all. “You shouldn’t move about unattended. They… we do not take kindly to women moving about unattended.” The words were like spoiled meat in his mouth. Rancid.

He paced forward, body hunched like an animal ready to pounce.Not that he necessarily was intending to. He was just always… ready. The dogs followed after and it didn’t take long before the first tried to break rank to skip over to her. A snarled command made the dog stop in its track, ears lowered sadly as it whined. “They seem to know you. How many times have you come here and snuck them food like that?”

She stared at him, unsure what he was going to do. He glanced around at the animals and Olivia felt herself stiffen. This wasn’t really going to get her into some kind of trouble here was it? All she wanted was a reprieve from the humdrum of her new life. Dogs barked from behind her, they were probably disappointed that she was just holding the bit of meat that she’d just been feeding them. Well, once she got this guy sorted out she’d get back to giving her furry friends their treats.

"Yeah. That’s what I said." Oops, she really should watch her tone. Vulpes had already warned her about the reprecussions of her words, but she loathed being made to feel- feel what? He hadn’t really said much to her other than tell her where she should be. She bit her lip. "I’m sorry. You’re right, I probably shouldn’t, but my ward had told me as long as I only went the places he said I could go and didn’t leave I should be fine."

Fuck. She squared her shoulders back, ready for the worst, but no- his dogs were delighted to see her and she gave a shaking sigh, breaking into a smile which faltered a little as he stopped one. Olivia offered up a small shrug in return, pulling some loose hair back behind her ear. “Well, probably two… maybe three times a week for the past month?” The redhead offered up a slightly anxious grin to the man. “Am I in trouble here? I just wanted to spend some time with the animals.”

Anonymous whispered:
M!A Liv is now a terrible clutz for as long as you like.

"Oh!" Olivia’s fingers fumbled on the glass only to have it  clatter on the table. Thankfully it didn’t break, but she mourned the loss of the water she was drinking. Normally she wasn’t this clumsy. Maybe she was still tired. 

Oh well. She wasn’t going to over think it.

((Im going to do this until tomorrow at around the same time.))