Characters: Ryo, OFCs, Dick the Dog.
Setting: After Like Like Love.
Summary: Ryo goes to visit old Mrs Holloway in the hospital to let her know her dog is in good hands.
Word Count: 1599
Content Notes: None needed.
Written For: Challenge 213: Amnesty at fan_flashworks, using Challenge 179: Dog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
After breakfast, Ryo left the dishes to Dee, grabbed his jacket, and headed out, promising to be back in plenty of time to go to the park with his partner and their temporary dog. By the time they’d gotten their house guest settled the night before, had dinner, and traced which hospital Dick’s owner, Mrs Holloway, had been taken to, it had been much too late to visit her, but Ryo felt that letting the old lady know her pet was safe and being looked after was something that shouldn’t be put off any longer. She would surely be worried about her faithful friend.
Arriving at the hospital, he headed straight to reception to double-check the room number, only to be told by a rather officious receptionist that it wasn’t visiting hours yet.
“I know it isn’t, but this can’t wait.” He showed the woman his badge. “Police business.”
The woman changed her tune immediately. “Oh, well of course, detective. Mrs Lillian Holloway, you said?” She tapped at her computer keyboard. “Here we are. Room 518, south wing; take the elevator over there to the fifth floor, turn right as you get off and go to the end of the corridor, then turn left, go through two sets of double doors and turn right, that will take you into Geriatric Care. Someone there will direct you to Mrs Holloway’s room.”
“Thank you.” Ryo followed the receptionist’s directions, going up in the elevator then wending his way through the maze of corridors that made up the hospital. The place was so big that without directions it would have been very easy to lose his way. Reaching the department he wanted, he pushed the door open and went inside, looking around for assistance.
A nurse coming out of a nearby room spotted him. “Excuse me,” she said. “It isn’t visiting hours yet; you shouldn’t be in here. Come back this afternoon.”
Once again, Ryo produced his badge. “Detective Maclean. I’m looking for Mrs Lillian Holloway, room 518.”
“Are you sure you’ve got the right person?” The nurse looked dubious. “She’s eighty-seven and has a broken hip! I can’t imagine how she could possibly be in trouble with the police.”
Ryo smiled reassuringly. “She isn’t, but she may be the victim of an attempted theft. Someone tried to take her dog, a pedigree miniature dachshund, from her apartment building and since she’d just been admitted to hospital, we don’t believe he had her permission. I need to talk to her to make sure. It won’t take long.”
“Oh, well that’s different. Come with me and I’ll show you to her room.” The nurse led Ryo along a couple more corridors before opening the door to a private room. “Mrs Holloway? There’s a detective here to see you.” She stepped aside to let Ryo enter. “I would ask that you don’t tire her out. Mrs Holloway needs her rest,” she told him firmly as she left, closing the door behind her.
Mrs Holloway peered up at Ryo through her glasses and a smile brightened her face. “I know you! You were one of the nice detectives who found my little Dick and brought him home when he got lost.”
Ryo winced slightly at her phrasing but returned her smile. “That’s right, Mrs Holloway. How are you feeling?”
“Oh, you know, as well as can be expected I imagine. I fell and broke my hip, so silly of me; I spilt some water on the floor, went to get something to mop it up with, then forgot where it was and slipped in it. Poor Dick was quite frantic when I couldn’t get up again. It’s a good thing I have one of those clever emergency button things. Help arrived very quickly, and they’re taking good care of me here. Everyone is very nice, but I’m worried about Dick. He’s all alone; I’ve been here since yesterday morning and I don’t know if anyone has been in to check on him. I don’t have any family I can ask. What will become of him?”
“That’s actually why I’m here,” Ryo told her, taking off his jacket and sitting down in the chair beside the bed. “To set your mind at rest, I mean. Dick is fine. My partner happened to see someone trying to take him away yesterday, and when he found out what had happened to you, he offered to look after your dog until you recover.”
“Really? Oh, that is so kind of him! I was dreadfully afraid Dick would have to go to the pound, and I’m sure he wouldn’t be at all happy there. He’s been with me since he was ten weeks old. The thought of him being in a strange place without any of the comforts of home… Well, it was very upsetting.”
“I’m sure it was, but you don’t need to worry any longer. Your building’s caretaker made sure my partner got all of Dick’s things; his bed, food, dishes, and toys. He’s settling in well and when I leave here, my partner and I are going to take him to the park for a run. It’s a lovely day and we could all do with some fresh air and exercise.”
“I’m sure Dick will like that, he does enjoy his walks. That’s something I miss, you know; I’ve had dogs all my life and I always used to take them for long walks. I can’t manage to walk Dick very often these days, I’m getting too old, but I still like having a dog for company, and it’s been easy enough to hire someone to walk him for me. It’s so strange not having him with me though. Last night I kept expecting him to jump up on the bed. He’s not supposed to, but he still does that sometimes, the little scamp! I probably shouldn’t let him, but… Well, it’s hard to say no to him.”
“I’ve noticed,” Ryo agreed with a laugh. “Here, I bought some photos of him with me.” Ryo pulled an envelope from his pocket; he’d taken several pictures of the little dog the previous evening, printing them out so Mrs Holloway could keep them. He thought they might make her feel a little less lonely. “Here he is with his favourite teddy bear.” He handed Dick’s owner a picture of the little dog with the soft toy in his mouth. “Here’s one of him in his bed.” Dick was sprawled on his side, looking relaxed and comfy. “Waiting for his dinner.” The little dachshund was sitting up on his haunches, begging, and practically drooling. “And one of him with my partner.” Dick was sitting in his favourite place and looking up at the camera, his little tail wagging so hard it was just a blur. “For some reason he seems to like sitting on Dee’s foot.”
Mrs Holloway laughed. “He’s a real character, isn’t he? Does such funny things, but I’ve never seen him do that before.”
“He did it when we first came across him in the park, just walked right up to Dee and sat on him; now he does it all the time. I think perhaps it makes him feel safe. Dee has that effect on people.”
“Well, Dick is obviously happy with your partner; that’s good to know.”
“He does seem to be. He’s really taken to Dee, although I’m sure he misses you. We wanted to let you know as soon as possible so you could stop worrying about him and concentrate on getting better. You can rest assured that he’s in good hands, although I suspect he’s probably going to get a bit spoiled. Hard to resist those pleading puppy dog eyes.”
“I spoil him a bit myself,” Mrs Holloway admitted with a guilty smile. “He’s such a charming little dog.”
“He certainly is.” Ryo smiled back. “Now, I was told not to tire you out so I should probably go, but either I or my partner will visit you every week to keep you up to date on whatever mischief Dick is getting into.”
“I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your kindness. I’ll reimburse you of course. Taking care of a dog can be quite costly.”
Ryo shook his head. “That’s not necessary, we’re happy to look after him, and besides, Dee could use the exercise, he can be a bit lazy. Keep the pictures; I’ll bring some more next time I visit.” Ryo stood up and put his jacket back on. “You just rest and recover, and if you need anything at all, just call. I’ve written our phone numbers on the backs of the pictures in case you need to get in touch for any reason.”
“Thank you, detective… I’m sorry, I don’t remember your name.”
“Maclean. Randy Maclean, and you’re welcome. I’ll see you again soon, Mrs Holloway.” Ryo left the old lady propped against her pillows, looking at the pictures of her dog; he only wished he could find a way to smuggle the little dachshund into the hospital for a visit, but the nurses would probably have a fit. Perhaps when Mrs Holloway was a bit better he and Dee could bring Dick to the hospital and one of them could take the old lady outside in a wheelchair so she could visit with him. He’d have to have a word with the nurses in a week or two and see what could be arranged. Right now though, he needed to get home; there was a little dog there waiting to go to the park.
Part 8 - Making New Friends