You and Arthur walked along the side of the road, holding hands. You loved this time of the evening: Everything was quiet except for the quiet rustling of the dry leaves on the sidewalk. Complete peace. You looked down at the autumn leaves on the ground, happily noting all their colors and shapes. And then you saw it, huddling down in a little ditch, barely noticeable but for a small patch of white fur.
"Arty, look at this!" You tugged on his sleeve, pulling him to the side of the road and bending over the little creature in the ditch.
"What is it, Ducky?" Arthur asked, one caterpillar eyebrow arched inquisitively. He picked the little thing up out of the brush, inspecting it in the light of the setting sun.
It was a small, white bunny. Its pink wet nose twitched and its large brown eyes twinkled knowingly. The little guy shivered in Arthur's hands, looking a bit frightened yet hopeful.
"Aw, a little bunny! Can we keep it, Arty? Please?"
"Well, I don't see why not. What do you say, old chap? Fancy coming to live with us?"
The little rabbit's floppy ears perked up and he started to wiggle about excitedly.
Arthur laughed, "I'll take that as a yes."
The little tub finished filling just as Arthur came into the room, holding the little bunny.
"_____, you'll never guess what just happened!" He cried gleefully.
"What was it, dear?" you asked, not really listening as you swirled the water around the bath.
"Well, I was out in the front yard doing a bit of weeding and this little guy started eating our mint! Silly little man… I think we should call him Minty."
"That sounds perfect. Minty it is. And with that being said, it's time for Minty's bath I think."
Arthur nodded, setting the little bunny down in the basin gently. The poor thing began to thrash around, trying to scramble out of the water. Arthur managed to hold him down but not without both you and him getting soaked. Eventually the rabbit calmed down, sitting still in the water, shaking slightly.
You looked at Arthur and giggled. His carefully ironed sweater was now dripping with bathwater and extremely rumpled.
He just shrugged, pulling it over the top of his head and setting it aside, "I guess bath time is a chore best done without nice clothes on…" He looked at you, smiling and looking pointedly at your wet shirt.
You shook your head, "I'd rather let this get wet."
Arthur chuckled, pulling you close and kissing at your neck only to have you push him away.
"It's bath time, remember? Maybe later though…" You smiled apologetically at Arthur and grabbed the baby shampoo, squirting some in your hand and lathering it in Minty's soft, wet fur.
Arthur joined you in scrubbing the little rabbit clean, making sure every inch of his tiny body was sparkling clean. Once that was done, he lifted Minty out of the tub and set him on a towel, wrapping it around him and rubbing him dry. Arthur wrapped the towel around the bunny, making a sort of bundle. He handed Minty over to you gently, running off to fetch something.
You held Minty in confusion, wondering where Arthur went.
"Hang on a minute, darling!" shouted Arthur's muffled voice from the other room, "I'm looking for the camera!"
There was a minute of thumping and muffled curses before Arthur stumbled back into the bathroom, camera in hand. He snapped what felt like hundreds of photos of you and Minty before deciding to be finished. He studied the pictures for long moments before a grin broke out on his face and he said, "You know… I think I'm going to put one of these pictures on my desk at work. A picture of the two cutest things in the world." Arthur grinned bashfully at you, emerald eyes glimmering hopefully.
You rushed over to give him a kiss, squishing Minty between you. The bunny let out a little squeak and you pulled away from Arthur, laughing and kissing Minty on top of his head. "Sorry, sorry! We'll stop now, don't you worry!"
Something touched the back of your head softly, burying itself in your soft, (h/c) hair.
"Mmmm…" you mumbled, "Arthur, please… I'm trying to sleep."
"Huh?" a British voice asked sleepily.
"Isn't that… you?"
"What ever are you talking about, Ducky?"
"I could've sworn…" you trailed off, putting your hands to your hands to your hair, feeling something soft and fuzzy snuggling up against you. "Minty? I thought you were in your cage, buddy." You sat up, looking down at the little bunny lying on your pillow.
Arthur laughed, sitting up as well and kissing your nose, "Leave him. If we try and put him back in his cage, he'll probably just get out again. And you can't really blame him for lying in your hair… It is fantastic." He ran his fingers through your long locks tenderly.
"I guess not." You trailed off, looking down at the snoozing rabbit.
"Now come on then… Minty had his turn to cuddle you, it's mine now." A long arm snaked around you, pulling you close to Arthur and leaving Minty the pillow all to himself.
It had been three months since you and Arthur had found little Minty on the side of the road and he had grown quickly. He was twice the size he had been and his fur had grown long and silky. His big brown eyes still glinted knowingly but had a more relaxed look about them. You had soon accustomed to seeing the rabbit out in the garden with Arthur, eating up the weeds or hopping around under your feet looking for treats but recently he had been growing more distant, spending his time staring out the back window facing the forest or lying in his crate, curled up and forlorn.
"Arthur?" you asked over dinner one night.
"Do you think something's wrong with Minty? He's been looking sad lately…"
There was a long silence as Arthur mulled over your question, "Well, you know, _____... Rabbits aren't supposed to live very long. He might be nearing the end of his life."
"Don't say that!" you cried, suddenly distressed.
"Alright, alright! He may just be missing life outside… I'm sure that's all it is."
You nodded, "Of course… It makes sense." You mixed the food about on your plate sadly. A warm hand squeezed yours comfortingly and you looked up to see Arthur smiling at you.
"It'll be alright, Ducky… I promise."
The next morning when you went to give Minty his breakfast of carrots and salad greens, you noticed something strange… Something was wrong. A lump had grown on each of Minty shoulders. You could see them moving and shifting grotesquely as the little rabbit dreamed. You let out a shriek of horror, dropping the bowl which smashed into a million pieces on the hard wood floor.
Arthur dashed into the room, tie hanging loosely about his neck, "What is it, _____?! I heard a scream!"
"It's… It's… Oh, Arty it's awful! Look at Minty!"
Arthur let out an astonished gasp, pushing you back away from the white rabbit and staring dumbfounded at it. "What's… What's happening to him?" he asked to no one in particular.
Before your eyes, the lumps on Minty's shoulders burst open to reveal a pair of sleek, feathered wings. The rabbit sat up, turning to look at you and Arthur with his knowing brown eyes.
"Hello," Minty said in a squeaky voice, "I'm sorry if I gave you a fright… I'm fine, really."
Both you and Arthur's mouths dropped open. Did Minty just... talk?
"Thank you for taking care of me. I was in a really rough place for a bit there." Minty chuckled, "But I'll make it up to you guys, I promise!"
Neither of you said anything, still to astonished to speak.
"Oh… Yeah. I guess this is kind of weird, isn't it?" The rabbit's nose twitched and he flew up to you and Arthur's faces, waving his little paw in front of them, "Helloooooo? Anyone in there?"
"Er…" Arthur recovered first, "Yes. Sorry, old chap. Do you need anything before you leave?" Always the gentleman, Arthur kept his questions to himself.
"Y-Yeah!" you put in, finally back to yourself, "Can I get you some food or… something?"
Minty laughed again, rolling over in the air, "You two are so caring! Such a nice couple… And yes, I'd love some mint please."
You nodded, bustling out of the room and into the kitchen, "Of course!"
"How did you get here?" Arthur questioned the rabbit after you had left.
"It's a long story… Maybe I'll tell it to you some time. Right now, I have to get going… Uni is waiting for me at home!"
Arthur nodded, "Of course, of course…"
You came back into the room with a bushel of freshly washed mint. "Here you are! Just like you like it, Minty…" you smiled tiredly. This was a bit over your head still and you were a bit lost… Sensing your distress, Arthur came to your side, wrapping an arm around you supportively.
"It'll be okay, Love…" he whispered in your ear.
Minty floated over, taking the mint leaves from you and stuffing a few in his mouth, chewing thoughtfully. He swallowed and his fur rippled, changing from the pristine white to a soft green color, "Thanks a bunch, ____!" he cried happily, turning a somersault, "I feel great! Might have just enough juice to get home."
"Goodbye, Minty…" you sniffled, "You were a great pet."
The little rabbit's face scrunched up sadly and he put his wet pink nose to yours, "I will never forget you… Either of you. You two are the sweetest, most perfect pair of people I've met and it pains me to go… But I have to."
"Don't forget to come back and visit, though, Minty… I don't know if we can do without at least a few visits from you."
"You betcha, Arty! Now I have to go… Everybody's waiting and you know how Hook gets... Well, maybe not but it's bad." Minty gave both of you one last nuzzle with his nose and flew out of the open window, into the early morning air.
"Goodbye!" you called.
"Don't forget to write!" Arthur put in.
You both watched as Minty disappeared over the horizon into the bright blue sky.
"I sure am going to miss the little guy…" you said, wistfully.
"Me too. But I can make do with just you, I think." Arthur kissed the top of your head, lovingly, holding you close.
You giggled, "Maybe… But that rabbit still better come back and visit!"