2007-07-21: Check Up


DrAldric_icon.gif Cass_icon.gif


Dr. Aldric calls to check in on his daughter. Awkward conversations of boyfriends ensue.

July 21st, 2007:

Check Up

Wherever People Call From

It's late in the evening, later than Dr. Aldric would usually call his daughter, which is to say, it's not very late at all, just dark, but maybe she goes to bed early because she works so hard and is such a good girl despite her boyfriend of dubious character and needs her healthful sleep and— the point here is, Dr. Aldric calls Cass. The number he's calling from is unlisted, not his cell phone or the family line at home.

Unfortunately for dear old dad, Cass is mostly a night owl. It's been that way since college. Night's always just been the best time for her to get everything done and so it's not unusual to burn the candle oil, as it were. Plus, she has a boyfriend who can sometimes distract her. Anyway, the point is that when the phone rings, Cass picks it up after only a few rings. "Hello?" The number is unlisted and she sounds curious as to who this could be.

" -did press three to stay on the- " BEEEEEEEEP. That would be an actual key being pounded, not censorship. "Oh. Oh! Ah- Cassandra?" Her father's voice, with some residual frustration and distraction from his incident with the telephone. More prominent is the hint of hope, like he's making sure it's her. "Is that you?"

The loud beep causes Cass to quickly pull the phone away from her ear. And even if she does so, it still leaves a bit of a ringing sound in her ear. However, it's impossible to mistake the voice of her father on the other line. "Dad?" Just as confused. "Hey, yeah, it's me. You called my cell phone." Meaning she should be the only person to pick up. "What's up?"

"… Oh, right. Of course." The man on the other line clears his throat a bit. "I just wanted to see how you were, that's all. Everything is well?

It's impossible not to hear the smile in Cass' voice as she continues. "I'm fine. Things have just been a little crazy, you know?" There's a pause as if she's thinking a couple things over. "How about you? Haven't actually talked to you in a little while." Somethings he feels a little guilty about.

"Oh, good. Good. Glad to hear it," Dr. Aldric replies, a wee bit fretful despite the nice, reassuring answer Cass gave. "I'm fine. You know." The usual. … Wait. "Things haven't been too crazy, I hope, ah, how crazy is uh… crazy?"

Having lived with her father for eighteen years and in touch with him for many years after that, it's easy for Cass to judge his moods. Even just by voice over the phone. "Is something wrong, dad?" Because he sounds worried and as far as she knows, she hasn't done anything to worry him since getting shot. Though, well, maybe that could be why. "What do you mean? Just…you know. Crazy. Busy. The store and Lachlan and trying to not drown myself in work."

"No, nothing's wrong," Dr. Aldric says evenly. "We just hadn't checked in for awhile and, you know. It's good that you're not crazy, Cassandra." Pause. "I mean that things are averagely crazy. …that you're busy." Let's try another route. "How is your Blogglann?" Suffice to say, that nonsense is not at all what poor, concerned Dr. Aldric meant to say. What he meant to say, in fact, was 'how is your boyfriend?', but since he couldn't bring himself to say that, he opted for 'how is Lachlan?'. It's not only the phone's crossed wires he's having difficulty with this evening, it would seem. He coughs. "The Scottish fellow." At least he didn't say, 'so, you're busy with Lachlan?'. Small blessings.

"Hm." Even if her father sounds even about it, there was no mistaking his earlier tone. However, she takes it completely the wrong way than he perhaps intended it to. "No, I like to think I'm not crazy. Or, only as crazy as your average New Yorker." The average New Yorker that believes in abilities. There's a distinct frown in her voice, though as she continues. His slip up with Lachlan's name doesn't help the matter. "It's Lachlan and he's good. You don't like him, do you." It's not really a question.

Uh oh. Dr. Aldric is quiet for a moment before saying calmly, in contrast to his recent fumblings, "Well. I don't know him, Cassandra."

"I know you don't." The only time the two met was right before she woke up from a coma. Not exactly the best meeting ever. And even then, Lachlan doesn't always give the best first impression. "He's really a good man. I know he's not a doctor, but he'd got a good heart. And he looks out for me." Of course, she's not telling them to get together for dinners and cookouts. That could be too dangerous.

While Cassandra's mother might suggest something like dinner, Dr. Aldric cringes inwardly at the thought — and it is a thought, even though it's not brought up. The answer to getting to know Lachlan is, you know, being social with the guy. Cringe. "He seems to. …what does he do, ah… something with dogs. Does he make good money?"

It's like Cass can just /see/ Aldric flinching at the idea of spending an entire dinner with Lachlan at their table. And, well, Cass is probably making the exact same face at the same moment on her end. They're not related for nothing. "He's a dog trainer. It's actually paying him pretty well. I'm not sure what radio station you get up in Hartsdale, but he just did an ad for one of the ones down here. He made me do the voice for it." Something that was a little embarrassing for her, but which she did to help him.

What Dr. Aldric gets out of this is: "You're on the radio? What station?"

And that makes Cass do the typical embarrassed daughter thing. Even if she's not in the same room as him, she's putting a hand to cover her face. "Oh, dad. No. It's embarrassing. It was a thirty second radio clip! You're going to do that thing that you do. With the listening for it on the radio and calling me when you hear it."

"I want to hear my own daughter on the radio!" Dr. Aldric insists, in the typical fashion of a father. "Someone was telling me the other day that you can listen to any radio station in the world on the internet, did you know?"

"I know you do!" Cass says in a bit of an exasperated tone. Her father sometimes brings out that teenager in her. Typical of a daughter. "Anywhere in the world, huh? How about Kenya?" Now she's teasing. Trying to get the subject off of /her/ being on the radio, and possibly the internet now.

"I'm sure Kenya has radio stations. I imagine it would be there too. It's part of the world," Dr. Aldric says. Very seriously. "They could hear you in Kenya as well. Now, I wonder… what station would those Kenyans have to tune into on the internet if they wanted to hear an advertisement about training dogs in New York City? Hmm. I wonder."

This conversation has reached past the point of silliness. Something that she has been missing from her father's conversations as of late. "How aboouuuut…WKIR Wireless Kenyan Internet Radio?" A radio station that most likely doesn't exist. "They might like to hear about dog trainers in New York City. Though, really, it would take them awhile to get the training. Plus, the plane tickets and the handling fees for their dogs…they might just be better off finding something more local."

Ah, now Wireless Kenyan Internet Radio implies that the station broadcasts wirelessly in Kenya, not New York," Dr. Aldric points out with tenuous logic. "Hrmmh. The neighbours — the new ones, on the other side — they have a dog. It's foreign. It's a foreign dog. It keeps sneaking into our yard at four thirty in the morning." This is a ploy, but the dog must actually exist, given the twinge of discontentment. "If I knew where to tune in to get information on dog training…"

"That is true. I think you caught on to what I was doing there." Cass is back to grinning. She's forgotten the strange way he was talking before. "Oh, see, now /I/ know what you're doing there. You're pulling the 'Pity your father' card because of the poor barking dog. A /foreign/ barking dog. Next you're going to say he's Scottish and that will just seal the deal." She sighs. As always, she can only hold out on him for so long. "It's on the WYRK station. But I'm /not/ telling you what the station numbers are. /That/ you have to find on your own." Because she has to put her foot down somewhere.

"I believe the dog is … Kenyan," the elder Aldric states plainly. "W… Y… R… K." Is that a rustling of notepaper nearby? Why yes, it is. It's not that he can't remember four simple letters, but this is his daughter on the radio we're talking about. He wants to be sure. "And he's not barking, he's… digging holes around the bushes. Driving your mother crazier than— well. A Kenyan dog." More crumpling paper, which abruptly stops when a voice murmurs distantly in the background. "Ah, I have to be going. Drop by some time, Cassandra."

"A Kenyan dog, hm? Those must be very rare. I'll have to talk to Lachlan about it." There's a pause as she thinks something over. "Maybe we could come by and he can see what he could do about it." Not that she actually believes that there's a Kenyan dog next door. It's kind of her 'this may be the next step' sort of question. It's not dinner, it's…work? Maybe? "Or not. You know. It could be awkward as it's the neighbor's dog and not yours." An easy out should he need it! Another pause. "You mean the house, right?" She doubts he wants her to visit him at work.

"He can take the neighbour's dog. Be my guest." That's not exactly an answer, mind you. "Oh, yes. The house. Of course. It's been awhile." Dr. Aldric grows muffled for a moment, talking to whoever it is that's in the room with him now; the muffling is purposeful, a hand over the phone, voices quiet. Back to Cass: "But, I have to be going, Cassandra. Have a good night."

"That's not what I meant and you know it." The teasing is back in Cass' voice for a moment. Then, well, she allows it to slip. "I know. I've been meaning to visit." Just, there's a lot of things that get in the way. The muffling and the reminder put her back on track. "Of course. Sorry for keeping you. But…thanks for calling, dad. It was good to talk to you. You have a good night, too."

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