2007-07-01: Cat Meditations


Cass_icon.gif Lachlan_icon.gif


Cass tries to help Lachlan learn to talk to the animals.

July 1st, 2007:

Cat Meditations

Cass' Apartment

Late afternoon finds Cass sitting on the couch playing fetch with Bonnie. The much larger dog is enjoying the bit of exercise it can find in between when the store owner is working and trying to set things up at Bat Country. Snorting and bouncing around, the mutt snatches the rag from the corner and brings it back, depositing in Cass' lap. "Good girl, Bonnie! Good girl!" Ruffling her ears, she scratches and pats her head and then tosses the doggie toy again. "Go and get it!"

There are sounds and signals of a happy puppy in the apartment, and that lifts Lachlan's mood considerably. When he enters the apartment, he's got George tucked into the crook of one arm, and the kitten is amusing himself by attempting to catch the faded words on the Scotsman's gray T-shirt: "I Wear Nothing Under My Kilt". As soon as he spots Bonnie, though, the kitten goes wide-eyed and puff-tailed, which is really very adorable and not threatening in the least. "Hey," grunts Lachlan as he closes and locks the door behind him and George lets out a miniature-sized hiss. One can only imagine how much fun it's been in Lachlan's apartment with four puppies and a dog-phobic kitten.

"Hey!" Cass is much more upbeat than Lachlan is. She's got a happy puppy and now her man coming with a kitten. "Awww." Though George doesn't mean to be, he's being quite adorable with his hissing. "Getting along with George alright?" It's hard to keep the smile from growing. Because Lachlan holding a kitten is just the cutest thing ever. Even if she would never say it out loud, as she knows what that would do to Lachlan. "I'm glad you brought him. I figured now that I can think straight and am mostly off those anti-biotics it's time to get started on what I promised I'd help you with - talking to other animals. That's part of the reason I got George. And, also, well, because he's just so so cute I couldn't help it."

No, George is not cute. George is never cute. Lachlan refuses to believe that George is cute. Even though he lets George sleep on the bed. But that's just to keep him from getting eaten by puppies. Totally. The Scotsman perks up a little at the idea of talking to other animals, though. The corners of his lips twitch upward slightly. "Can tell ye wha' he's thinkin' righ' now," he states as he moves over to the couch and takes a seat next to Cass. "He's thinkin'— " he raises George up and turns him to be displayed, giving him a little gentle shake as he speaks in a falsetto: "— 'Aw fuck, s'a dog!'" Lachlan: the master animal telepath.

Fine, then, George is adorable. And Cass can more than enough make up for the not thinking he's cute. "See, now that's cheating. /I/ can tell that's what he's thinking." Bonnie, seeing Lachlan is back comes prancing over to present her prize of the dish towel to him. And to try and sniff at poor terrified George. New friend? Or possibly food? She gives a playful yip and wags her tail happily. "Come on, let's actually try this. I have a theory that different animals are on different wavelengths - like a radio - and all you have to do to start hearing them is to tune into the right station. Now I just have to figure out how to program you right so that works. Maybe just concentrating really hard. Or /thinking/ on a different level will do it."

George is not happy to see Bonnie, and he looks as though he stuck his tongue in a light socket. Orange fur unfurled, he spits and swats at the dog's nose ineffectually, and Lachlan sets the little feline on his lap. "Dunno wha' it is. Y'know, b'fore ye got shot an' the like, I talked ta a chalupa. S'a weird little bugger, s'like … a pig-cat-rat-rabbit." No, really. "But it hurt like hell after, an' I dinna do it fer long."
He obligingly tosses the dish rag again for Bonnie to keep her distracted from the kitten.

Blinking, Cass looks confused and takes the rag away from Bonnie as she properly drops it right in front of her. Patting the puppy on the head, she puts the toy down on the table and looks at Lachlan. "A chalupa? You talked to a Mexican food?" She's sure that's not what he means, but she's almost positive there is no such thing as a chalupa animal. "I…I have never heard of any animal like that," she laughs. It certainly sounds weird. "Well. I don't want you to get a headache. Maybe. Hm. Maybe it's because you're trying to listen in on a…a - I can't believe I'm about to say this - a chalupa channel through a dog channel. So it's hurting you. What we nee to do is figure out how to switch the channel. Hm."

Mexican food? Do Mexicans eat chalupas? That's … that's gross. They're full of fluff. Mexicans are gross. Lachlan frowns and looks confused for a moment, then shrugs. "Dunno, mebbe it was somethin' else. Little gray fluffy thing, looked like mebbe a rabbit an' a rat got a bit friendly t'gether." Not important. He tilts toward Cass, angling his head to one side and peering at the TV remote nearby. "Mebbe if ye just pick up the clicker an' push the button." Yes, he's joking.

If only Cass could read Lachlan's mind, she could fix some misconceptions that he has. Of course, if Cass could read Lachlan's mind, she might just go insane within a couple of hours. "A rabbit and a rat? Do…do you mean a Chinchilla?" That's the only thing beginning with C that she can think of that has the sort of qualities that he's thinking about. "Ha. If only. Maybe if I had a psychic remote. Okay. Let's try this a different way. Instead of trying to force your way into the thoughts, maybe we can just relax you into hearing them. Okay?" Reaching forward, she attempts to take George from Lachlan and gestures for him to sit on the floor. "This may be a bust, but I'm going to teach you to meditate. And maybe when you can quiet down the Dog noise, you'll be able to hear Kitty Thoughts. So, sit down, anyway that is comfortable, close your eyes and steady your breathing."

A chinchilla! Lachlan snaps his fingers, face lighting up in sudden recognition. "Yeah, tha's righ'! A chinchilla." He gives up George without a struggle, and the kitten clings to Cass' shirt, still eyeing Bonnie with the most paranoid look any little creature can muster. The Scot does as he's instructed and takes a seat on the floor at the bookstore owner's feet. He props his back up against the couch, legs stretched straight before him, and lays his head back in her lap. It's comfy! "Y'know, best way ta mellow yerself out is ta take a couple hits from a joint," he smart-asses with a grin, closing his eyes and folding his hands in his lap. He breathes in deeply, then exhales and attempts to steady his breathing.

It's a good thing that Lachlan doesn't attempt to start meditating immediately, because Cass gives him a little thwack at the joint line. "Very funny. That's not really meditating, that's clouding your brain with drugs. That's not about to help us." Cradling George to her chest, she then settles herself against the back of the couch and then attempts to restore the calmness she sort of derailed by hitting him by stroking his hair. "So, take deep breaths, count backwards from ten. Just try to not think of anything. Not your thoughts, not dog thoughts. Maybe something will come to you."

Thwack! Lachlan snickersnorts when he's hit, lifting his head again and half-curling his torso in a lazy attempt to protect himself. He's soon laying his head back once more, though, and it's really easy to be calm when he's getting his hair stroked. Hell, he could probably fall asleep like this, given the incentive. He sighs and relaxes — but of course, trying not to think of things makes him, well, think of things. And Bonnie's unneeded input isn't helping either. Lachlan at least manages to clear his mind a little and relaxes his focus from Bonnie, but that just brings in a whole bunch of chatter from the strays within 100 yards. His brow furrows a bit and, after several seconds, he adds, "S'no' werkin'." Because meditation is supposed to be instantaneous, right?
"You have to give it more time than that," Cass tells Lachlan softly, not letting up on the hair stroking. Bonnie, possibly realizing that no one is going to throw the towel for her any more, gives a sigh and curls up by the table and rests her head on her paws. It was such a good time before the humans got all serious. Still wary of the dog, George eyes it and stays puffed up. "It can take a little while. Just, relax. Get past all those thoughts and all the dog thoughts. Don't focus on anything." And don't fall asleep. That goes without saying. But, she'll be more than happy to shake Lachlan awake should he succumb to that.

GAME: Lachlan has rolled WILLPOWER and got a result of GOOD.
GAME: Lachlan has rolled DROP THE CHALUPA+PENALTY+PENALTY and got a result of AVERAGE.

Siiiiiigh. It takes time? Lachlan is the world's most impatient man when it comes to cool things that he loves. He purses his lips a bit, then settles again and tries again. He's a little more successful this time, focusing most of his attention on his breathing, concentrating on how it flows in and out, in and out. It's a good way to keep his thoughts off of everything else, and it eventually pays off. Amidst the dull background noise of dogs, he manages to pick up something else — something he's never actually heard before. It's definitely a different signature than the usual canine stuff. The Scot starts grinning. It's … it's definitely George. He can sense the kitten's apprehension.

Now that Lachlan is actually concentrating and not trying to fight it, Cass merely sits back and keeps up with the petting of his hair. Trying to calm George down, she sets him down next to her on the couch and pets him with her free hand. It looks like a lot of her time at the moment is calming the two boys down. But, she doesn't mind. Unlike Lachlan, she has a lot of patience.

Unlike before, when Lachlan really really tried to talk to the chalu— chinchilla, he does not find himself fighting off a major headache. In fact, he doesn't feel any pain at all. It's almost like slipping from a warm bath to another warm bath. The signature of the kitten-voice is foreign, but because he's relaxed and not forcing anything, Lachlan is able to pick it up very easily. It really is like switching channels — slowly. "He likes it when ye rub 'is ears."

Grinning, Cass doesn't ease up on her petting - of either Lachlan's hair or George's fur. "Are you talking about George or you?" she teases lightly. It's not that she wants to interrupt his train of thought, as he really seems to be on to something, but that she can't help the quip. He doesn't seem to be getting a headache, so this seems to be going for a success.

GAME: Lachlan has rolled DROP THE CHALUPA+PENALTY+PENALTY and got a result of MEDIOCRE.
GAME: Lachlan has rolled STAMINA+TOUGH COOKIE and got a result of GREAT.

No, see, Lachlan likes it when something else entirely gets petted, and that very thought is enough to break his relaxation and concentration. This wouldn't be a big problem if he were just talking to dogs — that comes naturally to him and requires no effort on his part, like breathing and walking at the same time. It's a different matter entirely when he's trying to talk to a cat. When he feels his hold slipping, Lachlan tries and tries to pin it down, but that just seems to break his concentration more. He can feel a bit of a headache coming on — not much, but it's there — and his brow furrows. "Damn it."

"Shhh. Shhh." Cass remains calm and tries to just pass that feeling on through Lachlan. "You're forcing it again," she says quietly. Swearing obviously does not mean that he's relaxing and concentrating. "Start counting, take deep breaths, count them." It's something that works and that worked for him last time. This can be frustrating and she knows it, but she's trying to keep the focus going. They're making progress. "You can do this." By now George has quite gotten used to being petted and has started to purr softly by Cass' side. "Just relax."

GAME: Lachlan has rolled DROP THE CHALUPA+PENALTY+PENALTY and got a result of POOR.
GAME: Lachlan has rolled STAMINA and got a result of GOOD.

Lachlan tries, he really does. And that's probably the problem. Now that he's done it, he's even more impatient to get back to it, and so he attempts to get there as quickly as possible. It doesn't work. He settles and starts concentrating on his breathing again, but now his brain is on Excitable mode and he's really, really looking for that kitten voice. It doesn't come back, and the headache starts to get worse the more he tries. The Scot squeezes his eyes shut, and blows out a disappointed and flustered sigh. "'Ve lost it." And he was doing so well, too.

"You're trying too hard." Cass can just feel it while trying to calm him down. The veins are all working and he's shifting more. "Let's take a break for a second," she smiles. "You're getting there, though! You heard him." And that's something good. Leaning over, she attempts to give him a quick kiss on the forehead and then on the mouth. "See? You can do it! And once you start to master the whole meditation trick, I think it'll even come easier. YOu just have to try to not force it."

But … it. Lachlan sighs again, and of course he doesn't pull away from the kisses, returning the one to his lips chastely. He opens his eyes and turns his head to peer at George. "S'the damn cat's fault," he grunts. Somehow, it has to be George's fault. Because the kitten has, like, mind-blocking techniques or something. Yeah, that's it. Maybe that's the dull headache talking. With another sigh, Lachlan rolls over half onto his hip and rests his cheek on Cass' knee, wrapping both arms around her calves. It's a weird hug. "Gave Niki a puppy."

"Stop blaming George. It is not his fault." Cass's hands dart forward and attempts a quick tickle. Just for blaming the cat for something that is not his fault. "You just need to concentrate more." Then he's wrapping her in a very weird hug. Her legs are trapped! But she doesn't seem to mind that much. "You did?" That's surprising. "Hopefully not one of that policeman's puppies." Because that would not do well for his business. "How is she doing?" The bookstore owner definitely sounds worried about Niki. How could she not be?

Waugh, no tickling! Cheater! Lachlan sqiurms reflexively at the tickle, grinning some. "Nah, was one o' m'clients. They got a puppy an' their 'partment dinna allow it. Landlord caught 'em." Idiots. "Was a nice Queensland-Dobie mix. Real sweetheart." And as for the other thing, he relaxes again with a sigh. "She's doin' a'righ'. Seemed kinda down 'bout … y'know. An' she said I should be there when ye try ta help 'er — said ye shouldna be alone with 'er just in case. Tol' 'er she should start takin' 'er medicine again — she said she had some medicine b'fore."

Maybe a cheater, but Cass grins back, a mischievous smile. "They should have checked that sort of thing before they tried to get the puppy." Obviously, she agrees with him on the fact that they were silly in trying to take something on without researching. "That was really good of you, hon. Something like that will take her mind off of…yeah." She knows. "I'd like you to be there. I mean, I know /she/ doesn't want to hurt me. But…" just thinking back to that incident. "Jessica wasn't Niki. The /look/ in her eye." Cass shivers, a hand instinctively reaching up to her neck where she was choked. "That might be a good idea. But, I want to run a few tests on her. See what we can find out. Without knowing where those drugs came from, who knows what they did to her."

Maybe a cheater, but Cass grins back, a mischievous smile. "They should have checked that sort of thing before they tried to get the puppy." Obviously, she agrees with him on the fact that they were silly in trying to take something on without researching. "That was really good of you, hon. Something like that will take her mind off of…yeah." She knows. "I'd like you to be there. I mean, I know /she/ doesn't want to hurt me. But…" just thinking back to that incident. "Jessica wasn't Niki. The /look/ in her eye." Cass shivers, a hand instinctively reaching up to her neck where she was choked. "That might be a good idea. But, I want to run a few tests on her. See what we can find out. Without knowing where those drugs came from, who knows what they did to her."

Lachlan knows about the uncomfortableness, and his arms tighten instinctively around Cass' legs. It's okay. He's here now, right? That last part makes him crane his head to look up at her, brow furrowing. "But if they were helpin' 'er ta no' flip out an' go crazy, s'it really tha' bad?" Not that he's condoning the Company any, really. He can just see how helpful it'd be to not have one's crazy alter-ego taking over randomly and killing friends.

Wrapping her own arms around Lachlan, she leans forward so that their foreheads are touching. Yes, he's here and he'll protect her. She knows that. "I don't know," she answers truthfully. "That's part of what I'd like to find out. Drugs have side-affects, though, you know. And I'm worried about what /those/ pills might have done to her both for both short and long-term. They could become addictive, erode her stability without them, hurt her liver, a lot of different things." She's not about to condone the killing of friends, but random pills is not the way to go in her head, either.

Once again, Lachlan frowns, deeper this time. Medical stuff is hard. He's glad he's not part of it (except when he gets injured). "Mebbe she still has 'em an' ye can test 'em out." Yes. That is his helpful contribution. And speaking of helpful contributions, he rolls onto his knees and rises up to wrap his arms around Cass' waist, still kneeling in front of the couch. Since her forehead's already conveniently against his own, he just has to move his head from side to side to nuzzle against her nose. "Hey, since yer off the antibiotics, was thinkin' mebbe we could … ?" He trails off with a mischievous grin. You know.

"That's what I was hoping." Cass seems to be turning into a bit of a pharmacist with all the testing of drugs that she's planning lately. "Just so I know what I'm dealing with." It is a helpful contribution. Adjusting herself so that she can keep her arms around Lachlan as he moves upward, she sighs and smiles. "/Soon/," she assures him with a kiss. Oh, she knows. And it's been on her mind, too. "I'll have a big surprise for you when I'm ready." She already has it planned. "I just want to make sure that I can. And that I won't hurt myself." Because that's the last thing that they need.

No, no, Lachlan definitely wouldn't want Cass hurting herself. But … but … the last time he went this long without was an awkward period during his adolescence, and he's loathe to repeat it. Not that he wants to rush, but … well, okay, part of him does want to rush, but his other brain has grown a bit bigger over the past few months and is thus more in control than the previous brain. He sticks out his lower lip in a pout and lets out a whine, but it's really more playful than genuinely disappointed. Not by much, but still. He's soon grinning again. "Well, I love surprises," he informs Cass, "an' I love yer surprises, an' I love yer nose— " which he kisses "— an' I love yer cheeks— " which he also kisses "— an' I love yer chin— " smooch "— an' I love yer neck— " PBBBBBBFFF zerbert!

It seems like the talk of medicine is over and that's good enough for her. Cass makes her own sort of pouty face when Lachlan attempts his own. Two can play at that game. "Oh, I've yet to surprise you yet," she tells him as he starts his little list of things he loves about her. How can she interrupt that? Beaming, she listens in and accepts the kissing until the last part where she gives a bit of a squeal and pushes away. "Traitor!" She can't help but laugh. "Oh /yeah/?" Pulling her arms around him tighter to pull him in to a closer range, she giggles. "Well. I love you, too." And then, she goes right for the tickle spot. "/Right there/."

MUAHAHAHA. Lachlan is victorious and cunning and unstoppable and— "YIEEEEE!" That is the rather unmasculine, supersonic screech of a Scotsman being tickled. He bunches up and tries to get away from the torture, disturbing the dozing George in the process. The kitten has dashed to the other end of the couch, away from all the flailing and movement.

Poor little kitten. But, Cass is merciless in her tickling until she's deemed herself as champion. Then, she eases up and lets Lachlan breath and gather himself from his unmanly position. For the moment she doesn't gloat, but she does keep a foolish grin on her face. And she leans forward to give Lachlan a kiss. "Aw. Baby."

Huffpuff, huffpuff. Lachlan takes advantage of the time allotted him to catch his breath, but he's not real upset about the tickling. Nope. He's grinning and huffing out a laugh between gasps for air. The kiss is returned in kind, and the Scot rests a hand against the side of Cass' cheek. "Yer m'girl," he tells her fondly. "Even when yer mean like tha'." So cruel.

"I'm not mean," Cass replies with a grin, reaching a hand up to rest on top of his hand. After her long hospital stay, it's just good to be able to be tickling and the like. "And I /better/ be your girl. Otherwise I'll beat whoever else it is into a bloody pulp." Unlikely, but who knows! "Oh, I met Jack's girl the other day. The four of us - that's you, me, Trina and Jack - are all gonna go out sometime. A double date. It's not optional." Now /that/ is cruel. "She suggested Go Fish and Jose Cuervo, but I'm up for whatever."

Whatwhatwhatwhatwhat. What. No! Lachlan is not going on a double date. The point of a date is to make out in the movie theater, the parking lot behind the movie theater, outside the restaurant afterward, inside the restaurant afterward, outside the restaurant afterward, on the subway home, and at home. Having another couple along kinda defeats that purpose — unless they're into that sort of thing. And Lachlan has a funny feeling Cass isn't (and neither is he, where Cass is concerned). His face contorts into a rather pained, shocked, disgusted expression, as though she just told him that Bonnie took a dump in his shoes and he needs to clean it up. "Wha— ? Aw, baby. Why?" Groaaaaaan.

No, this is not to make out with Lachlan in front of other people, nor is it to trade dates. Indeed, Cass is /not/ into that sort of thing. Leaning forward, Cass rests on Lachlan and doesn't seem to mind his disgusted look. "Because Trina seems really nice and wants to get to know the people in Jack's life. And we're part of that. So we'll go, play cards, get drunk and be nice. I think you'll like her. I'll probably be the odd one out at the gathering, not you." Something tells her there is not going to be a lot of discussion about the latest books read or the newest breakthrough in medicine. She doesn't expect that sort of conversation with Lachlan or Jack and so she doesn't expect it from Trina, either. "And you'll be nice. Because she made me a really great food basket when I was in the hospital."

Mmmmnrrrrgh. Lachlan wraps his arms around Cass when she leans on him, frowning — nay pouting — all the more. He doesn't want to do a double date, but he can't really argue with that logic. "Yeah, well, last time I liked one o' Jack's girls …" He stops himself and shuts up. That's not something he should be bringing up. It really, really isn't. He tightens his arms around Cass and lays his cheek atop her head. "Sorry."

No, it really isn't something to be brought up. That reasoning is made all the more relevant when Cass stiffens slightly at the mention of that particular incident. "Well, Trina isn't Eliana," she says softly. And she doubts that he would cheat on her on a double date. "And bringing that up isn't going to get you out of this. I already told Trina we'd be there." Even if she doesn't want to think about that incident, that doesn't mean she's about to let it win an argument.

Well, Lachlan didn't really bring it up to get out of the double date. It just sort of slipped out. Really. No, seriously. Honest. He siiiiighs and rubs his hand over Cass' shoulder idly. "A'righ', a'righ', fine." Maybe he can fake the flu or something. Or maybe he'll meet with a horribly mangling accident between now and then. Yeah. Totally. "Should play strip poker." On a double date.

Even mangled and with the flu, Cass would drag Lachlan to this double date. Possibly because he brought up previous indiscretions as a tactic to get out of it. There is nothing he can say now that will get him out of it. "No," she shoots that down easily enough. "Unless it's you and Jack stripping and Trina and I get to watch. That's the only way strip poker is happening."

Lachlan scoffs. "S'no bloody way I'm gonna get naked with Jack hangin' 'round. Dunna wanna see his bloody babymaker." That is so not hetero. Not that Lachlan's shy, really. This is the guy who chases dogs down hallways in nothing but his boxers. "'Sides, y'know I'd beat ye in strip poker."

"Yeah, well, we'll have to try that out again when we're not going to do a double date." Not that Cass really believes that she can beat Lachlan, but because she has to try and defend her title. Her non-existent title. "Well then, looks like that's not what we're doing. You and Jack should talk about it and see what's up. However, Trina and I have veto rights." Just because /they/ are shameless doesn't mean that the girls or. Or that Cass is. As she said, she's sort of the odd duck out in that group. "You hungry? We could order Chinese if you want. I could murder some Sesame Chicken."

"Yer no' gonna like wha' we come up with anyway," protests Lachlan. They can't do fun things like wrestling or monster truck rallies. Fwuh. It might as well be the girls planning it out. The Scot shakes his head and gives Cass' shoulders a fond squeeze. Even if she makes him go on double dates, he loves her. "'ll talk ta 'im. An' yeah, Chinese sounds good." But the phone is way over there. Reeeeeeeeach — got it! So he starts to dial the nearest and best Chinese place whose number he can even remember.

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