This my first cute-fluffy-fic, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as i enjoyed writing it! Ripper Rated G Summary: Nick buys Greg something special for their anniversary. Disclaimer: Not mine, wish they were. Beta'd with much appreciation by <a href="http://it-glitters.livejournal.com/">ItGlitters </a> It had been one year since Greg moved in and changed Nick's life. He finally came out and everyone knew, including his family, who, to Nick's surprise, had suspected it all along. They welcomed Greg with open arms and he became a part of the Stokes family. Their co-workers accepted them as well, and for the first time in his life Nick was truly happy. On their first anniversary Nick wanted to give Greg something he has been wanting since they moved in together. Nick had a plan, and since they were given the next few days off, he had the perfect opportunity. He got up and dressed in record time and insisted Greg do the same, but that wasn't easy because Greg was not a morning person. “Come on G, get up and get dressed. I'll make us some breakfast,” Nick said, patting Greg on the shoulder to wake him. “No, leave me alone,” Greg mumbled. “I wanna sleep. <i>You </I>come back to bed.” “Look Greg, I made plans so you need to get up,” Nick said as he headed out of the bedroom and into the kitchen. “I'll make coffee.” “Whatever.” Greg yawned and laid his head back onto his pillow, refusing to move from his comfortable spot beneath the warm blankets. Five minutes later the smell of fresh coffee filled Greg's nostrils as Nick moved a mug back and forth beneath Greg's nose. Greg opened his eyes and stared up at Nick, then slowly sat up as Nick moved the mug away. “Fine, you win,” Greg said sleepily, silently cursing to himself. “It's our anniversary Greg, one year since you moved in. I want to do something special to celebrate,” Nick said to him. “Get dressed.” After a few cups of coffee and Nick's fantastic pancakes and bacon Greg was fully awake. He got up from the table to join Nick in the kitchen where he was putting the dishes in the sink. Greg walked up behind him and snaked his arms around Nick's waist. “Happy anniversary, baby,” Greg said.“Thanks for breakfast.” He leaned in and kissed Nick on the cheek. “You're welcome sweet cheeks, now go put on some shoes. I've got a surprise for you,” Nick instructed. Greg did what he was told, and Nick did the same. He grabbed his keys and wallet from the book stand and they headed toward the door. They got into Nick's truck and once the engine roared to life Nick pulled out of the driveway. “Where are we going, Nicky?” Greg asked, knowing Nick wouldn't tell him. “If I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise.” Nick laughed, “Relax, it's not that far.” Nick wanted to surprise him, so he kept their destination to himself until they pulled up ten minutes later and parked in from of the building. The sign outside read <i>Noah's Ark Pet Shop</i>. Greg's eyes lit up as he realized where they were, stared up at the sign and then looked over at Nick in a questioning manner. “It's a pet shop, Nicky. What're we doing here?” Greg asked. “You keep bugging me about getting a dog, I thought it was time we did,” Nick answered. “My anniversary gift to you.” “Seriously?” Greg asked in amazement. “You always said our crazy hours made it too hard to take care of a dog.” “Hard yes, but not impossible,” Nick replied, shrugging his shoulders and turning to face Greg. “We can work it out.” “Thank you, Nicky.” Greg leaned across the seat and pulled Nick into a slightly awkward side-hug . “You're welcome, G. Now let's get inside.” They exited the vehicle and headed to the shop. Greg looked around in awe, the place was huge compared to other pet shops Greg had seen before. There was isle after isle of everything a pet could ever need, starting with accessories, like collars and leashes and and then moving into a massive toy area. Greg went to the collars and ran his fingers over the leather, feeling a bit playful. He took one from the shelf when the sales woman walked up to them. “Can I help you gentlemen?” she asked, looking from one man to the other. “Yeah maybe you can.” Greg grinned and placed the collar around his neck. “Does this look good on me?” Nick's jaw dropped and his face turned scarlet with embarrassment, he put his hands up to his face and turned away. The woman's features went from courteous to annoyed. “Young man, these collars are for animals only. You're obviously in the wrong place!” She snatched the collar from Greg's hands and replaced it on the shelf, then turned abruptly and walked back to the counter. “Nice going, Greg,” Nick said lightly slapping the back of Greg's head. “Now she thinks we're a couple of perverts and she's not gonna help us now.” “Relax Nicky, I can smooth things over,” Greg assured him as he patted Nick's shoulder. “I doubt that. Maybe we should go somewhere else,” Nick suggested with a tone to his voice that denoted that he was extremely uncomfortable with the situation that Greg had created. . “What? You're doubting the Sanders charm?” Greg questioned. “You of all people should know better than that.” “Um, yeah, whatever, G... Good luck,” Nick said, laying his hand on Greg's back and pushing him in the direction of the counter. “Luck is for those without skill, “Greg replied with a wink as he walked away. The saleswoman was sorting through receipts as Greg made his way to the counter. Nick watched, pretending to be interested in the aquarium supplies in front of him as his boyfriend's demeanor changed before his eyes and the charming, flirtatious side of Greg emerged. Greg reached the counter and rested his elbows on it. “Excuse me...Ah, Doris,” Greg said, taking note of the woman's name-tag. “Please let me apologize for my behavior back there, I didn't mean to offend you. I was kidding, that collar wasn't really for me.” He reached out and patted the woman's hand, then tilted his head and gave a crooked smile. “My friend over there,” Greg points towards Nick, “embarrasses easily and I was just messing with him, you know? It's fun to see him blush. Understand?” Then he glanced up at her through his lashes and she let out a small chuckle and he knew he'd won her over. Nick smiled to himself and shook his head as he watched the whole thing unfold. “Well, young man,” she said with a smile, “now that I think about it, it was rather amusing. How may I help you today?” Greg looked over his shoulder at Nick and motioned with his head for Nick to join him. Nick casually strolled over and stood next to his boyfriend, then smiled politely at the saleswoman. “Afternoon ma'am,” Nick crooned, with his best Texas accent; he too knew how to pour on the charm when needed. Greg suppressed a laugh as he imagined Nick getting off a horse wearing a cowboy hat and tipping the brim at her. She was immediately taken in by his southern drawl and gave him a wide smile, then repeated the question she had asked Greg moments ago. “How may I help you today?” She glanced at both the men. . “Well ma'am,” Nick began, “my partner and I would like to adopt a puppy.” “Then you've come to the right place, we have one of the largest selections of puppies in all of Clark County.” She said proudly. “Let me show you.” She lead them to the back of the store, to a large room filled with cages of all sizes and a large variety of puppies, kittens, reptiles, rodents, rabbits, ferrets, and more. She motioned toward the door with a wave of her hand, invited them to go in. “Whoa,” Greg sighed, his eyes wide with excitement. “Look at 'em all.” “Is there any particular breed you are looking for?” Doris asked Nick. “Because we have a wide variety of breeds to choose from, are you interested in a small or large dog?” “Probably large, but it's up to him,” Nick said, pointing to Greg. “It's my gift to him.” “Ahh, that's sweet.” Doris smiled at him. While Nick continued his conversation with Doris, Greg began browsing from cage to cage, playfully sticking his fingers through the bars to the delight of the puppies that licked at his fingers and wagged their tails furiously, hungry for his attention. Greg continued moving along and petting the puppies through the bars until one in particular caught his eye. It was a golden retriever, it stood up in its cage. It wagged its tail and barked at Greg excitedly as he looked up at Greg with its huge brown eyes. The puppy wrapped its paws around Greg's hand, licking at his fingers. The fur was soft and warm to the touch and Greg immediately lost his heart, and he turned his head back towards Nick. “Nicky!” Greg called. “Come here, look at this one.” “Excuse me, ma'am,” Nick said as he walked over to join Greg. “This is the one, Nicky,” Greg insisted. “Isn't he adorable?” “He certainly is,” Nick agreed as he put one arm around Greg's shoulder and sticking the fingers of his free hand through the bars as well. “We'll take him,” Nick said, turning to Doris. When they finally arrived home with their new addition to their family, Greg was surprised to see that Nick had been secretly shopping for the past few months to prepare for the puppy's arrival. In the back of his truck was a dog bed, dog food, food and water dishes, chew toys, and barriers to keep the dog confined to one room. “How long have you been planning this?” Greg asked, holding his new puppy against his chest. “A couple months,” Nick replied. “You've wanted a dog for a long time, so I thought I'd surprise you.” “God, Nicky, I don't know if I can love you more than I do right now.” Greg grabbed the front of Nick's shirt with one hand pulled him in so that he could kiss him. “Thank you.” “You're welcome, now let's get inside and show this guy his new home,” Nick said as he unloaded the back of his truck. Once inside, Nick set up all the barriers and Greg lay the puppy down on the floor. He grabbed a newspaper so he could spread it over the floor to make cleaning up accidents easier, at least until the puppy was house trained. “Greg,” Nick protested, “that's yesterday's paper and I haven't read it yet.” “You can live without the paper one day. Nothing exciting happened yesterday anyway. Trust me,” Greg argued. “Besides, this is the only paper we have, the others were thrown away.” “Fine,” Nick scoffed and sat on the couch. “At least give me the sports page.” “Okay.” Greg handed Nick the sports page. “Where should we put the dog bed?” Greg asked as he spread the newspaper. “Anywhere you think is best,” Nick answered as he began reading. “So, you're just gonna read the paper and ignore me?” Greg asked with annoyance. “By the time you finish spreading the paper, finding a place for the dog bed and food dishes, I'll be finished. Besides ignoring you is next to impossible,” Nick reasoned. “I'm taking that as a compliment.” Greg chuckled, and then spotted the perfect place for the dog bed - in the corner next to the fish tank. He went and sat the bowls outside the kitchen doorway, filling one with food, and the other with water. Just as he was setting the water dish into its place, he heard a bark followed by, a tearing sound and a frustrated “<i>Oh man.</i>” from Nick. Greg turned and discovered the puppy had jumped onto Nick's lap, tearing the paper in half in the process. Greg couldn't help but laugh as the puppy yelped and wagged it's tail as it, tried desperately to stretch up and lick Nick's startled face. “Guess he doesn't like being ignored either.” Greg laughed as he watched Nick struggle. “So much for reading the paper,” Nick complained, and then smiled. “You know, I just thought of the perfect name for this little guy. How bout Ripper?” “As in Jack the Ripper? You want to name our dog after a serial killer?” Greg questioned. “No, I just though since he ripped my paper...” Before he could finish Greg interrupted. “It's perfect! We could call him Rip for short.” Greg practically fell onto the couch next to Nick, and pulled the puppy into his arms “How do you like you new name boy?” Greg asked the puppy, who just wagged his tail and licked Greg's face. “I think he likes it, Nicky.” “Yep, it fits him,” Nick agreed. “Now, lets watch some TV.” “Okay,” Greg said as the puppy settled down on his lap. Nick clicked on the television and turned to Animal Planet; he moved closer to Greg and draped his arm around Greg's shoulders. He moved in and gave Greg a kiss, and the puppy stretched up and licked at their joined lips. Both men pulled back and laughed. “Guess he felt left out.” Nick laughed, wiped his mouth and then reached out to scratch the puppy's ears. “He just wants some attention too.” Greg smirked and, stroked the puppy's soft fur as it once again settled down onto his lap, letting his tail thump gently against Greg’s thigh. Greg continued stroking the puppy and it finally fell asleep in his lap. Greg laid his head on Nick's shoulder and took Nick's hand in his. “You know, Nicky, I have something special planned for you too. It won't be as wonderful as your gift but...” “Hey,” Nick interrupted. “I'm not keeping score G, whatever you have planned, I'm sure I'll love it. It's from your heart and that's what matters.” “That's good to know, because I plan to make you a nice dinner tonight, chicken parmesan, with garlic bread and a salad. I also got a nice bottle of Merlot to wash it down,” Greg explained. “Mmmm, sounds delicious,” Nick said with a smile. “We can eat it by candlelight if you want, it would be romantic,” Greg suggested. “It all sounds wonderful; I love the idea of a home cooked meal. Seems we've been living on take-out lately.” “I thought you might appreciate that,” Greg said as he snuggled closer to Nick and closed his eyes. “I do, it's the perfect gift,” Nick assured him. They continued to relax in front of the television, and soon Greg had fallen asleep, his head resting on Nick's shoulder. Nick smiled and kissed him lightly on the top of his head. Nick was feeling content with both Greg and the puppy sleeping next to him. A few hours later and Greg awoke alone on the couch; both Nick and Ripper were nowhere in sight. He shook his head to help un-fog his mind, wondering if it had all just been a dream. Looking around and seeing the newspaper on the floor, he realized it wasn't. Then the sound of the front door opening caught his attention and Nick walked through the door with the puppy in his arms. Greg relaxed. “Good, you're awake,” Nick said putting the puppy down, and letting it run over to Greg. “I took Ripper outside so he could get the feel of the yard.” “Good idea,” Greg said with a yawn. He reached down and pulled the puppy up on his lap. “Oh, and by the way,” Nick added, “I introduced him to the neighbor's daughter, Suzy. She gushed over him.” “You mean the cheerleader?” Greg asked with a smirk. “Yeah, she's also a babysitter,” Nick said. “Said she'd be happy to look in on him while we're at work.” “Well that's nice of her, one less thing to worry about.” Greg smiled over at him. “True,” Nick agreed. Greg took a look at his watch; he was surprised at the time. He had slept longer than he realized. It was already time to make Nick's home cooked meal or they wouldn’t be having it at all. “You hungry?” Greg asked. “Yeah, I could eat,” Nick answered. “Then I'll get started on your home cooked meal.” Greg lowered the puppy to the floor as he got up and headed towards the kitchen. Nick reached out and took hold of his arm, stopping him so he could pull Greg in for a hug and a brief kiss. “Thanks, sweet cheeks.” Nick gave Greg’s butt a slight squeeze before letting him go. Nick watched as Greg hurried into the kitchen, then looked around to see Ripper lying on his dog bed, chewing on a rubber ball. He sat back down to watch some more television while Greg worked in the kitchen. Nearly forty-five minutes passed and the meal was ready, Nick thought it smelled delicious and was looking forward to tasting it. He wasted no time sitting down at the table once Greg said, “Dinner is served, my love.” Greg served up the meal, setting out the full plates in front of them, along with the wineglasses. Nick was hungrier than he thought; he took a few quick bites and moaned in appreciation. “Mmmmm, this is so good G,” Nick said between bites, “Just like my mom's!” “It should be,” Greg replied, “She gave me the recipe.” “You called my mom?” Nick asked, surprised. “Of course not,” Greg snickered. “I emailed her.” “You're just full of surprises.” Nick laughed, and then took a sip of his wine. “I know.” Greg smirked, drinking from his glass as well. The meal was long since finished and their celebrating was over, they fell asleep entwined in each other's arms. Ripper was left alone on his dog bed, but hours later Nick woke up to the feel of tongue sweeping across his mouth, he was barely able to open his eyes. “Come on G, stop it. I'm tired.” Nick mumbled. “I'm not doing anything.” Greg laughed, he was awake and watching with amusement as Ripper liked Nick's face. Nick opened his eyes and realized what was happening and he gently pushed Ripper away from his face. “Down boy.” Nick turned to face Greg. “Why isn't he in his own bed, Greg?” “I woke up and heard him yelping I couldn't help but bring him in here with us,” Greg said, giving Nick one of his best pouts. “He was lonely, Nicky.” “Alright fine, I need some water. Want any?” Nick asked, getting out of bed. “No thanks,” Greg answered, taking the puppy in his arms. Nick left the bedroom and went into the kitchen, took a bottled water from the refrigerator and began his return to the bedroom. As he walked through the living room, Nick stepped into a pile of dog poop and growled in frustration. “<i>Dammit,</i>” He swore under his breath. Nick hopped on one foot into the bathroom to clean off the offending mess. He began to wonder if getting this dog was such a good idea after all. But returning to the bedroom Nick heard low growls and laughter coming for the room, when he reached the bedroom he witnessed Greg playing tug of war with Ripper and one of Nick's new socks. Greg looked so happy, and with everything he's gone through lately with his attack and the resulting civil suit it had been a long time since he looked this happy. Greg looked up and smiled at Nick. The joyous look on Greg's face told Nick getting Greg this puppy was definitely the right choice. The End Author's note: I grew up with a dog named Ripper (which we called Rip for short), he was my dad's hunting dog. He was half beagle and loved to go hunting. Rip was a great dog, so I dedicate this fic to his memory.