Characters: Dee, Ryo, OFCs, Dick the dog.
Setting: After Like Like Love.
Summary: Following an unpleasant ordeal, Dee decides Dick the dachshund needs to be checked over by a vet.
Word Count: 2100
Content Notes: None needed.
Written For: Challenge 208: Check at fan_flashworks.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Getting out of his car, Dee opened the rear door and plucked Dick the miniature dachshund off the backseat, still not entirely sure what had possessed him to take charge of the dog. He and Ryo both worked full time; what were they going to do with a pet? He must have been struck by a bout of temporary insanity; that was the only explanation. Sure, his blood had boiled when he’d seen the innocent little dog being mistreated by the asshole who’d claimed to be taking him to the pound, but how that had led to Dee offering to give the dumb dog a home while its owner was in the hospital was beyond him.
Still, here he was, complete with dog, taking it to the vet to be checked over for damage. Who knew what harm being dragged along the sidewalk might have done to its little paws? With that in mind, Dee figured he’d best carry the dog; it had grown a bit since the last time they’d met, and now fitted neatly into his arms as if custom-made for that very purpose. He shook his head; he had to stop thinking like that. This was a temporary arrangement, not a permanent adoption; a few weeks, maybe a couple of months, that was all.
“Don’t go gettin’ used to this,” he warned the dog. “I’m not carryin’ you everywhere; you’ve got legs.” The dog licked his chin. “Cut that out,” Dee grumbled as he followed Ryo across the small parking lot to the entrance. “Don’t need my face washin’, and I know where your tongue’s been! Sheesh, do you have any idea how unhygienic that is?”
Ryo held the door open for Dee, who carried the dog into a waiting room packed with other owners and their assorted pets, including a very noisy parrot, all of them waiting to be seen by the vet. As he made his way through the crowded room to the desk, the receptionist looked up from her computer and smiled at him. “Hello. Do you have an appointment?”
“Ah, no.” Dammit, he hadn’t thought of that. Thankfully, just then Ryo joined him and the receptionist’s smile brightened; she clearly recognised him.
“Detective Maclean, nice to see you again; it’s been a while, hasn’t it? How can we help you today?”
“Hello, Hilary. We were kind of hoping you might be able to fit this little dog in for a check-up. Some idiot was literally dragging him along the sidewalk and we’re concerned he may have been injured.” Dee had told him all about the incident on the drive over.
“Oh, the poor little thing!” The receptionist turned her attention to the dog in Dee’s arms. Dick gave her the best pitiful puppy-eyed look he could muster, which Dee had to admit was really quite impressive. Hilary smiled up at Dee. “I’m sure Doctor Blake will be happy to squeeze you in, but I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a bit for the other patients to be seen; we’re a bit busy today.”
“That’s fine,” Ryo assured her. “We don’t mind waiting; we’re not in any rush.”
“Take a seat then; it shouldn’t be too long.”
Dee and Ryo found a couple of vacant chairs side by side in the far corner of the room, next to a woman whose Chihuahua was cowering behind her legs, barely visible. It stuck its head out and growled at Dee as he flopped onto the hard seat, still with his arms full of dog. Dee frowned down at it, wishing he’d sat in the other seat and let Ryo have this one; he’d hated those horrid little yappy dogs ever since one had chased him up a tree a year or two back. Dick leaned over Dee’s arm and growled back at the Chihuahua, which scuttled as far away as it could get, wrapping its leash around its owner’s legs in the process. Dee scratched Dick’s ears, smirking slightly. ‘Take that, you little monster,’ he thought with satisfaction. He debated whether he should set Dick on the floor, but decided against it, just in case the Chihuahua wasn’t quite as intimidated as it appeared. The last thing they needed was to start a dogfight. Besides, the dumb dog seemed comfortable where he was, and he wasn’t that heavy.
Thankfully, the Chihuahua was called in next so that was one thing less for Dee to worry about. Now if the parrot would just stop with the squawking... It was already starting to give him a headache.
Gradually the waiting room began to empty as one patient after another was called through to the treatment area. It was a huge relief when it was finally the parrot’s turn; after the racket it had been making the relative peace and quiet was sheer bliss.
Forty minutes later, just as Dee was starting to doze off thanks to a combination of the warm room and the almost complete silence that had settled over the waiting area by the time the last patient had been sent in, Hilary called out, “Detective Maclean? Doctor Blake can see you now, just go on through; you know the way.”
“Thanks, Hilary.” Ryo was on his feet and halfway across the waiting room by the time Dee, burdened as he was by an armful of dog, managed to get out of his seat. He was starting to think he should have put the animal on the floor after all; his arms were going to sleep.
“Hello there, Detective Maclean,” Doctor Blake greeted Ryo brightly. “Long time no see. How’re your boy and his cat?”
“Both fine and enjoying the California sunshine last I heard,” Ryo replied with a smile as Dee set Dick on the examination table. “This is my partner, Detective Laytner.”
“Good to meet you, detective. And who have we got here? Well, aren’t you a handsome little fellow?” The vet stroked Dick’s ears, setting his tail wagging. She looked up at Dee enquiringly. “What seems to be the problem with him?”
“I caught some jerk dragging him along by his leash. Pulled him right off his feet and along the ground. Dog doesn’t even belong to him, he’d just been told to take it to the pound because the elderly owner had been admitted to hospital. I just want to make sure he hasn’t been injured,” Dee told her. “No animal should ever be treated like that.”
“I agree; you did the right thing bringing him in. Okay, let’s take a look.” Gently Doctor Blake began to examine the little dog, first checking under his collar and around his head for abrasions, then down his long body, and finally taking a close look at each little paw. Dick rolled onto his back for that. “He’s not even fully grown yet, probably nine or ten months old, still got a bit of filling out to do. He’s been well cared for though.” She straightened up and looked at the two detectives. “Well, there’s some damage but nothing too serious; this little chap’s lucky you intervened when you did or it might have been worse. He has a broken claw on his left hind foot; I’ll trim the jagged edge so he won’t hurt himself with it. Luckily it didn’t break far enough up to bleed so that’s not causing him any pain, but his pads are scraped a bit raw in places and he has a small graze along his left flank. I’ll prescribe some ointment that will soothe the injuries and help them heal. What will happen to him now? Will he still have to go to the pound?”
“No way!” Dee exclaimed. “From what I was told, Mrs Holloway hadn’t even been consulted. The guy who manages the building where she lives just didn’t want the responsibility of finding someone to take care of him. Can you imagine throwing out someone else’s pet because it’s inconvenient?”
“My partner and I know both the dog and his owner,” Ryo explained. “Found him and returned him to her when he got himself lost a few weeks back. If it turns out nobody bothered to ask her what she wants done about her pet while she’s in the hospital, then sending him to the pound practically amounts to theft. Mrs Holloway adores him; she’d be devastated.”
“There’s no family, as far as we know, so I guess we’ll just take care of him for now?” Dee turned the statement into a question, looking to Ryo for confirmation.
Ryo nodded. “We’ll find out which hospital Mrs Holloway was taken to and let her know we have her dog, so she won’t have to worry about him.”
Doctor Blake smiled. “That’s good to know. He obviously likes you both and feels safe with you.” She handed Dee a form. “If you could fill this out with your name and address, the dog’s details, and his owner’s, for my records. He’s probably registered with another vet in the city.”
“I’m sure he is,” Ryo agreed, “but until we find out where his owner was taken we won’t know which one; that’s why I suggested bringing him here.”
“I’ll check to see if he’s microchipped and make note of the number if he is, then get that ointment.” The vet picked up a scanner and ran it over Dick’s neck until it beeped. “There we go.”
Dee passed across the completed form and the vet filled in the microchip number. She read through the rest of the information, her eyes widening. “He’s called Dick?”
“Yeah,” Dee said, managing to look both pained and amused. “Poor dog. I honestly don’t think Mrs Holloway has any idea…” He trailed off, shaking his head. “If he’s stayin’ with us for any length of time, I think I’ll have to change his name though. People might get the wrong idea if we hang around in the park yellin’ ‘Dick’.” From the corner of his eye he noticed Ryo had turned an interesting shade of pink at his words.
“Believe it or not, I’ve heard worse names,” Doctor Blake told them with a wry smile. “When it comes to naming their pets, some people have astonishingly poor judgement.” She tidied Dick’s broken claw and trimmed the others for him, then fetched a tube of ointment and showed the two men where and how to apply it.
“Is it okay for him to walk?” Dee asked.
“I’d recommend just short walks for the next few days, but if he starts to limp when you’re out with him then pick him up. All done, little fella! You’re such a brave puppy, aren’t you?” Dick wagged himself vigorously at the praise and the fuss Doctor Blake was making of him. Laughing, she gave him a dog treat for being a good boy and Dee lifted him to the floor. “If there’s any problem then bring him back, but he should be fine. I’ll have Hilary send you the bill. You should get it in a few days.”
Ryo thanked the vet and followed Dee and Dick back out to the car, the little dog trotting happily along at Dee’s side.
“Whelp,” Dee said, unlocking his car and lifting Dick onto the backseat, “looks like we’re dog owners now, even if it’s only temporary.”
“We’ll have to dog-proof the apartment,” Ryo told him.
“Ack! Hadn’t thought of that. I hope he doesn’t turn out to be destructo dog and chew everything in sight.”
Ryo chuckled. “I don’t think we need to worry about that; nothing in Mrs Holloway’s apartment looked chewed.”
“Not that we saw.” Dee looked at the dog, once again wondering just what the hell he thought he was doing, volunteering himself and Ryo to take care of it. “If he doesn’t behave he’ll be out on his ear. Hear that, mutt?”
With a grunt, Dick flopped down on the seat with his teddy bear, looking very much as if he belonged there. At least one of them didn’t seem to be having any doubts about the situation.
Ryo chuckled. “He looks comfy. I guess we should take our new house guest home.”
“Yeah.” Dee slammed the rear door and went around to the driver’s side. “How much d’you know about looking after dogs?”
“Probably about as much as you do, but it’ll be fine; we’ll figure it out. Can’t be any harder than raising a child.”
“Good point.” Dee started the car. The dog-owning adventure was about to begin; only time would tell whether or not all three of them would survive the experience.