Characters: Dee, Ryo, Dick the dog.
Setting: After Like Like Love.
Summary: Dee and Ryo take Dick the dachshund home with them and introduce him to his new, albeit temporary, place of residence.
Word Count: 1587
Written For: Challenge 88: Inspection at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Pulling up outside their building, Dee turned off the engine and glanced over his shoulder at the dog on the backseat before turning to regard his partner, a slightly worried expression on his face. “We are doin’ the right thing, aren’t we?”
“Definitely,” Ryo said firmly, unfastening his seat belt. “Someone needs to look after him while Mrs Holloway can’t, and you said yourself she doesn’t have any family.”
“That’s what that idiot Wade told me, it’s just, well, neither of us has ever had a dog and like you said, you don’t know any more about takin’ care of one than I do. We’ll be flyin’ blind.”
“Would you just relax and quit worrying? I’ve never seen you like this! Look, loads of people get dogs, even people like us with no prior experience; looking after one is hardly rocket science. We just have to feed him regularly, make sure he has water to drink, take him for walks, and clean up after him. Anything we don’t know we can look up online.” Ryo went to get out of the car and paused with the door half open. “Aside from that, I think the main thing to remember is not to leave anything lying around that could prove dangerous, and that includes anything with chocolate in it.”
Halfway out the driver’s side door, Dee ducked back down to frown at his partner. “Why chocolate in particular?”
“Something in it is poisonous to dogs, I remember seeing something about it on TV one time; some sweet company thought sending out free samples of chocolate to a random selection of people would be a great publicity stunt. It wasn’t; several dogs got hold of the chocolates and almost died because of it.”
“I hope the owners sued the people responsible.” Dee thought hard, then shook his head. “Nope. Pretty sure all chocolate is secure, but maybe I should keep the dog on his leash until we’ve given the apartment a thorough inspection, just to make sure it’s safe.”
“Probably sensible. Pop the trunk? I’ll move his things into the elevator while you bring… the dog.”
Dee grinned; looked like their guest was going to get called that a lot until they came up with something more suitable; Ryo obviously couldn’t bring himself to call the little dachshund ‘Dick’ any more than Dee could.
“I’ll give ya a hand with the bags, then fetch him.” Dee joined Ryo at the rear of the car, having made sure the doors were shut. He hefted the heavier of the two bags out of the trunk and carried it up the stoop while Ryo followed with the other one. Setting his burden down by the elevator, he pressed the call button and returned to the car to fetch Dick.
The little dog was lying patiently on the back seat, chin still on his teddy bear, like it was his comfort blanket or something. Maybe it was. As he was about to open the door, Dee had a sudden thought and jogging back up the stoop into the building, called out to Ryo, “I think maybe I should take him for a short walk before we come in.”
“Okay, yes, that’s a good idea. I’ll take this stuff up, do a quick safety check, and unpack; that way when you bring the dog in he’ll see all his things and it might help him to settle.” The elevator had arrived and Ryo had already moved the bags inside, so Dee just nodded, left his partner to it, and headed back out to his car.
“Come on, you.” Dee clipped Dick’s leash on, lifted the dog from the back seat and set him on the sidewalk before stuffing the teddy bear in his jacket pocket. Locking the car, he looked down at Dick, who was just standing there looking back up at him, head cocked to one side. “Wanna go walkies?”
The skinny little tail whipped back and forth eagerly. “Woof!”
“Guess that means yes. Right, here we go then.” Dee set off along the sidewalk, walking slowly, letting the little dog have a good look around his new neighbourhood. Dick trotted beside him, pausing for a sniff here and there, only pulling on the leash when he was too far away from a tree or a lamppost he wanted to inspect. Several people stopped to comment on what a cute dog he was, asking his name, but Dee fobbed them off by saying he didn’t have one yet. “Can’t just pick somethin’ at random; it has to suit him,” he explained. It wasn’t really a lie; Mrs Holloway might have believed Dick the perfect name for the miniature dachshund, but since Dee didn’t agree with the old lady’s choice he’d have to give some careful thought to what a more suitable alternative might be.
By the time they’d made it three quarters of the way around the block, Dick had watered two trees, a lamppost, and a fire hydrant, and seemed satisfied that any dogs passing by would know he’d been there. He was also starting to limp a bit because of his sore paws, so Dee carried him the rest of the way along the street, up the stoop, and into the old brownstone, only setting him down when they were in the elevator so he could have a sniff around it and get used to the scent of the two other dogs who lived in the building, a Jack Russell and a miniature poodle. Dick had a cursory sniff, then sat on Dee’s foot as the elevator rose to their floor.
“What’s with the foot fetish?” Dee asked, frowning down at the dog. The only response he got was a wagging tail and a small brown body leaning against his leg. At least this dog liked him, for whatever reason. If all dogs were as good-natured Dee wouldn’t have a problem with them. Unfortunately, too many seemed to be bad-tempered, snappy little things with a taste for human flesh, judging by the number of times he’d had sharp little teeth sunk into his ankle during the course of his work. It was hardly surprising he’d developed a deep distrust of the creatures and preferred to steer well clear of them. He didn’t enjoy being a chew toy.
Reaching the top floor, Dee slid the grille aside and paused. “You’re gonna have to shift your butt; I can’t walk with ya on my foot.” He nudged the dog gently with his toes. That did the trick; Dick stood up and Dee led the way to the apartment’s main door, finding that Ryo had left it unlocked for him. “Is it safe to come in yet?” he called, poking his head inside.
“I think so,” Ryo replied, emerging from the kitchen. “I’ve given everywhere a thorough inspection, put things away or out of reach, and made sure there’s no food or chemicals in any of the cupboards a dog might be able to open. As long as we remember to keep doors closed we should be alright. Just keep him on the leash while he has a look around, so he can be stopped quickly if he tries to do anything he shouldn’t.”
Dee led Dick inside, holding the leash loosely, letting the dog go wherever he wanted, sniffing around the furniture and once or twice disappearing underneath it. The main advantage of being so low to the ground was that unlike Dee, Dick didn’t need to detour around things and could instead take the more direct route.
In the kitchen, Dick found his dishes set out on his familiar mat, the water bowl freshly filled, so he stopped for a drink, lapping thirstily before moving on to inspect the lounge area. Ryo had placed the dog’s bed in a cosy corner, his box of toys beside it. Trotting over to the bed, Dick settled down on it and yawned. Dee crouched down to unclip the leash and give Dick his teddy bear, rubbing the little dog’s ears gently. “You’ve had quite a day, haven’t you?”
The dog licked his fingers and yawned again, flopping onto his side.
“He could take the prize for the world’s best behaved dog,” Ryo said with a grin, coming to stand beside his partner and look down at the little dog.
“Doubt that’ll last; he’s been through a lot today so he’s probably tired, sore, and a bit confused. Once he’s settled in he’ll be into everything, you just wait and see,” Dee warned.
“Can’t be any worse than Bikky,” Ryo replied with a shrug. “It’s getting late; how about we order takeout tonight and then I’ll phone around the hospitals, find out where Mrs Holloway was taken? The sooner we track her down the better; I’m sure she must be worried about her dog so I want to set her mind at rest as soon as possible.”
“Yeah, good thinking, and while you do that I’ll go online and do some research, find out everything we need to know about looking after a… whatever the hell he is.”
“Miniature dachshund,” Ryo supplied.
“Right; that.” Dee inspected his hand, still wet from being thoroughly licked. “Think I’d better wash up before I do anything else though, don’t wanna get dog slobber over everything,” he added, heading towards the bathroom. It had only been a few short hours but he could already tell that owning a dog, even just temporarily, was going to take some getting used to.
TBC in Part 5 – Dog’s Dinner