Literally the worst title. Couldn't think of anything else. Enjoy!
Tramp sighed deeply and plopped his head down onto his front paws. It had been two weeks since the Darlings' return, and the novelty of being treated like a hero had worn off. Though both he and Lady had been initially excited about his acceptance into the family, Tramp was becoming more and more irritated with the life of a house pet. Waiting to be fed, waiting to be let out, waiting for Junior to stop pulling his ears... it seemed like all the legendary Tramp did lately was wait. Not to mention the confinement! Though he could easily hop the fence if he wanted to, he was scolded when he did so, and promptly ushered back into the yard. Worst of all, Lady didn't understand his frustration; she never would. Lady had grown up on a leash and had only spent one beautiful night running free. What would she know of wanderlust?
Speak of the devil. Lady trotted around the side of the house and skipped onto the porch, giving Tramp a loving nuzzle. Tramp smiled despite himself. Life behind a fence was undoubtedly annoying, but he would give up his freedom if it meant having the most beautiful dog in the world by his side. With a playful growl, he leaned over and nipped Lady's ear. She squeaked, and he rolled over to pounce on her, pinning her beneath him. He leaned down to kiss her and--
"Tramp, what are you doing?"
Lady's soft voice had a note of surprise. He blinked and stepped off her, and she rolled over to shake herself. "Tramp, we're on the front porch! What if the Darlings came out? Or if Jock and Trusty saw?"
The mutt sighed. He'd had many girls in his day, but none had ever been so concerned of what anyone else would think of their rendezvouses. He loved Lady, deeply, but even he could admit that she could be, well, prudish. At least, by his standards. Granted, as a former junkyard dog his standards were extremely low, but still, a dog could dream.
He plopped down on the cool porch again. "I dunno, I'm sorry Lady. It's just boring laying around here all day. With you gone at the vet all day, there wasn't much to do besides bark at pigeons, and Darling scolded me for waking Junior from his nap..."
"It's not so bad," Lady said. "I find my mid-afternoon nap quite relaxing. There's always time for play when Junior wakes up." She yawned and settled close to Tramp. "That sounds like a good idea, actually," she murmured, and closed her eyes. Before long, the petite spaniel was dozing. Tramp rested his head on her back and stared sleepily out at the world. He soon found himself in dreamland too.
Both dogs were awoken by a sharp whistle. Lady immediately trotted to the front gate, barking eagerly as she saw Jim Dear approach. "Hi, old gal," he said, scratching behind Lady's ears. Though she no longer raced down the street to meet him, their evening reunion was an important tradition. Tramp sat and wagged his short tail as Jim Dear patted him on the head, then entered the house, leaving the door ajar. Lady returned to the porch, and the two dogs listened to Darling greet her husband. "Let me get Junior up," Tramp overheard her say, and he sighed, already anticipating the rough playtime Junior was so fond of.
Jim Dear returned to the porch, holding something behind his back. "Tramp!" he called, and the mutt snapped to attention. He brought the mystery object to his front, and both dogs gasped.
In his hands, Jim Dear held a fine collar, made of deep red leather. Dangling from the buckle was a handsome gold tag. Lady's tail began wagging, while Tramp stared dumbstruck at the unfamiliar object. "This is for you, pal," Jim Dear said with a smile. Before he could react, Tramp found himself collared. "There you go. A real dog about town," Jim Dear said, giving him another pat on the head before going back inside.
Lady stared in awe at Tramp's new accessory. "Oh Tramp, they really do love you!" Her tail wagged furiously as she sniffed his neck. Tramp, still dumbfounded, walked over to stare at his reflection in the water bowl. He rubbed his paw over his eyes, but when they opened he found his reflection still wearing the dreaded collar. Tramp let out a soft woof of frustration and flopped down on the porch.
"Tramp? What's wrong?" Lady asked. The mutt sighed. "I don't know, it just makes it... official, I guess. That I'm some human's pet. I like the Darlings and all, but everything's happened so fast lately." He began scratching at the collar. "And this thing is irritating."
Lady smiled and licked his cheek. "You get used to it eventually. It's not so bad. Besides, this means you have a home forever. Here with me." She nuzzled close to Tramp and closed her eyes. Tramp sighed and rested his head on her back. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all.
The oppressive midday heat gave way to a mild evening. Tramp and Lady ate side by side in the kitchen, a mix of dog food and scraps from the Darlings' dinner. Deep down, Tramp still resented having to wait for humans to feed him, but it was nice not having to scrounge for food in the alleyways. He licked his chops and watched Lady delicately finish her meal. While he wolfed down his meals like he would never eat again, Lady ate slowly and politely, never making a mess. He guessed it was just another house dog thing.
After dinner, the two retired to the front porch again and watched the sky turn brilliant shades of pink and orange. Though the view wasn't quite as good as the one from the top of the junkyard heap, it was still pretty impressive. Tramp found himself lost in thought until Lady's soft voice broke into his consciousness.
"Tramp? There's something I need to tell you," she said, voice cracking nervously. He looked over at his beloved, concerned, and nuzzled her. "What's wrong?" he asked.
Lady looked down at her paws, then out at the street, back at Tramp, down at her paws again. "Tramp, I went to the vet with Darling today and I... you see, I'm... well..." Tramp furrowed his brow as Lady struggled to find the words.
"Oh Tramp," she burst out suddenly, "you're going to be a father! I'm expecting!"
Tramp was dumbfounded for the second time today. His jaw hung open as he worked to comprehend what Lady had just told him. "I.. who... hah..."
Lady grinned and licked Tramp's cheek. "Oh, isn't it exciting? The puppies are due at the end of October, so we have plenty of time to plan. Darling is so excited, and she was going to tell Jim Dear at dinner... Oh, Junior will be so excited as well!" She wagged her stumpy tail and let the excitement overtake her. "Tramp, we're going to be parents!"
Tramp swallowed hard and managed a weak smile. "Lady, that's fantastic," he said softly, nuzzling her. "I couldn't be happier." As Lady continued, wondering aloud what the Darlings would name their pups, he stared out into space. A father! Again! And this time, he was actually expected to stick around!
Night fell, and the family went to bed. Lady snoozed peacefully at the foot of the Darlings' bed as always, while Tramp sprawled on the bedroom floor. But tonight, he just couldn't sleep. Visions of bouncing puppies filled his head, no matter how hard he tried to think of something-- anything-- else. The clock ticked over to one AM, and he got up with a huff, giving up on sleep for the night. He would have to go to the backyard to clear his head.