2007-02-14: Dog Days of February


Jenny_icon.gif Eliana_icon.gif Lachlan_icon.gif


When a dog trainer is called to the set of a photoshoot, all sorts of fun happens, namely near-violence and Jenny acquiring a canine companion.

Date It Happened: February 14th, 2007

Dog Days of February

Hemming's Modelling Agency, Midtown West.

Hemming's Modelling Agency sits in the Garment District of Midtown West. It's not the biggest or best, but it's hardly a shabby dump either. Inside, there is presently a photo-shoot going on for a new Saturn Aura (what will become 2007's car of the year for North America). On the stage, there is a realistic-looking, completely fake backdrop of some clifftop in Arizona. The floor has even been covered in dirt and rocks flown in from the locale this shoot is supposed to be taking place in. It would have been more practical to just fly there and take the photos at the real place, but it's supposedly cheaper this way, and no one can tell the difference, so Jenny Hawking is presently wearing a black mini-dress with a low neckline, shoulder straps hanging on her upper arms, as she poses and pretends to be turned on by a car. Because that apparently makes the car sell better.


The director of the shoot is a scrawny, hyper-agitated man with a goatee, who is constantly screaming orders at people, including Jenny. Jenny knows better than to argue, or to look annoyed by the treatment, because she wants to actually get paid for this job. "I SAID adjust the lights UP, not DOWN! — Who has tin foil in here? GET THAT SHIT OUT OF HERE! IT'S REFLECTING ONTO THE SET! Where's my coffee? — WOMAN, I TOLD YOU TO SHOW MORE CLEAVAGE! That means STAY WHERE YOU WERE, LEANING OVER THE CAR! Sex sells, dammit! Everyone knows that!"

That's the director. Jenny, who had started to straighten her back slightly while he was yelling, returns to leaning over the car and trying to remain looking sexy when what she really wants to do is send the car running over the director's face. But that would be frowned upon by her other employers, and she has more self-control so she just smiles and says in a sultry tone, "Yes, sir."

The director doesn't even notice the tone. He looks down at a chocolate labrador lying on the floor next to his chair, looking terrified, and resumes yelling. "WHERE IS THAT DAMN DOG TRAINER!? He's supposed to be here in fifteen minutes! So where is he!?" An inexperienced girl who doesn't realize she's supposed to keep quiet, answers the question with, "Maybe he's fifteen minutes away?" The director leaps out of his chair, and jabs a finger at the assistant, yelling, "YOU THINK YOU CAN SMART OFF TO ME!? YOU'RE FIRED!!!" The dog, understandably, remains on the floor and doesn't move more than is necessary. Yelling scares him.

Eliana doesn't really know why she's here. But apparently fashion and cars go along together, and in order to write a little blurb about that little black dress and the not so little black car, she /apparently/ has to be here. Eliana sits in a corner with a steno pad and a pen, her coat draped over the back of the folding chair she's perched on. She looks bored out of her mind.

Sadly, the inexperienced and now unemployed girl is wrong: Lachlan Deatley is not fifteen minutes away, but twenty minutes away, and thus he arrives five minutes later than he ought. He is, of course, completely unruffled by this. As he enters the set — hands stuffed into the pockets of his old, brown leather jacket and a half-smoked cigarette between his lips — he peers around with a vaguely unnerved squint. There are a lot of people here, but there is also a very distressed dog. The trainer's own dogs — two full-grown, adult male Dobermans — accompany him on leashes, the loops of which are loosely wrapped around his wrist. He's not dressed at all like an expert of anything, as his faded green T-shirt is still a bit wrinkled from its harrowing experience in the bottom of the hamper and his jeans are rather ragged. There's even a small, ratty hole in one leg. However, after taking a moment to ascertain his surroundings, he moves to intercept a passing assistant (or he /hopes/ it is an assistant, anyway). "Hey," he grunts, "someone called fer a dog trainer?"

The assistant nods and says, "Yes, Mister Polloski is right this way." The assistant appears to be rather nervous as he approaches the director's chair. He waits nearby and doesn't announce himself until there is a break in the picture-taking. "Mister Polloski, the dog-trainer is here—" the young man gets out, and then the goatee'd director leaps up and turns to face the two of them. "Well, it's about frigging time! Don't you know that I'm on a schedule!? You should be glad I don't fire you right now!" He then turns away from the assistant (yes he was yelling at his own assistant all this time, not Lachlan) and sighs as he rubs his temples. "Well, you're here now at least. Here's the dog." He indicates the labrador with one hand. The dog wags his tail slightly, as his large brown eyes move from his owner to Lachlan, and then back again, as though seeking permission to show happiness. He apparently doesn't receive it, as the director scowls. "You can call me Marco Pollo. This dog, I was promised, would make a very good guard animal. He is, instead, a sappy good-for-nothing, more likely to lick the boots of an intruder than anything else. I had three attempts made on my life made last year! I can't afford to have a great lump of useless fur lying around instead of guarding me!" He waves his hands in the air in agitation.

Jenny takes the time this is all going on to move away from the car and out of the hot lights, to get a wet handkerchief and mop at her forehead and down the center of her chest and such. It's not realistic for her to sweat, apparently, so that must be excluded from that photos. She pauses by Eliana and nods her head in the direction of the director. "Swell guy, huh? Sorry you have to sit through all this. If there's any questions you need answered, let me know."

"Peaches," Eliana answers with a smirk as her glossed-over eyes spark back to life and she glances over at the director. "And thanks, but I think I can fill the spot I need to pretty well." She looks back to Jenny and nods to the handkerchief. "Wrapping up? Or is /he/ the only one who can say that?"

All the shouting and bellowing causes Lachlan to scowl a bit, but he listens quietly as the director informs him of the "problem". He casts glances between the man and his dog, and it doesn't take an animal telepath to see that the Labrador is suffering from a freakishly idiotic owner. The Scotsman sends a few calm, reassuring thoughts the dog's way until he's allowed the opporunity to speak. "A'righ'," is all he says. "'ll work with 'im a bit. Wha's his name?" As he asks the question, Lachlan shuffles a bit towards Eliana and Jenny, since they both seem to be very out-of-the-way of the entire mess. "Sorry, ye mind watchin' m'dogs fer me?" he asks as an aside to the writer, extending the hand that holds the leashes towards Eliana. "They dunna bite an' ye'll no' have any trouble with 'em." Indeed, the Dobermans look exceptionally well-behaved and even offer the two women a pair of curious glances and wagging stub-tails.

Mister Polloski shakes his head and says, "I haven't named him. It's too much of a bother." As Jenny smiles at Lachlan, and then crouches slightly to pet the dogs (but she doesn't go all the way down. It's a mini-dress after all). As she fawns over the well-behaved dogs, she looks up and offers, "How about Poncho?" Marco looks up sharply and says, "What? Poncho?" Jenny says, "For the dog. It's Portugeuse. Means something like… 'Follower of greatness'." The definition of the word is a complete lie, but Jenny manages to smile when she says it, so after looking hesitant for a few moments, the director says, "Sure. Fine. Whatever! Take the dog—" "Poncho," Jenny interrupts. "…Poncho, and… Fix him. I want him ready to follow commands and show some boldness /before/ someone comes after me with a gun again."

Then Polloski turns and says, "And you! Get back by the car!" Jenny straightens up and says, "Shoot's over." There's Eliana's answer. Marco yells, "WHAT!?" enraged, and making Poncho, who was just starting to get up and move towards Lachlan, to flop down and cover his eyes with his paws. Jenny says calmly, "You said yourself that at 5:00 PM we were done, because you had to go pick up a cake for your daughter's birthday. It's 4:59 now. I know your little girl would /hate/ for her father to be late for her own birthday, right?" Marco hesitates, with his mouth open, and then closes his audibly. "Yeah… Yeah, okay. Shoot's over! Everyone clean up and go home!" There is an almost palpable feeling of relief from everyone, who thought that Jenny might have started something bad when she spoke up.

Jenny sighs herself and lets out a light chuckle as she turns back to Eliana and the dogs.

Eliana eyes the dogs for a moment before she takes their leads. She's silent through the whole exchange between Jenny and Polloski until the latter finally leaves. Then, the pink-haired writer can help but sputter out a scornful laugh.

More shouting, more distress signals from the newly named Poncho, and Lachlan's nerves are starting to fray. /Horribly/. He manages a small, grateful wink at Jenny and Eliana before he turns around to face Mister Marco Pollo. With his own dogs taken care of, the Scotsman has is able to strengthen the telepathic comfort sent to the Labrador, which he does without hesitation. He plucks the cigarette from between his lips and drops it to the studio floor, where he proceeds to grind it out with the toe of his boot. "Fer one thing," he interjects in a voice that is a bit louder and rougher than it ought to be for one addressing the man who shall soon be signing his paycheck, "there's nothin' bloody /wrong/ with yer dog, 'cept tha' his owner's a right daft bastard. Fer Christ's sake, if ye shrieked and hollered like tha' around me, I'd no' wanna protect yer sorry arse either." The fact that he's badmouthing the proverbial top-dog of the set? Doesn't bother Lachlan. Not in the slightest. He has very little patience when it comes to dog owners who have little to no consideration for their pets.

As Poncho quickly picks up his paws and moves to stand next to Lachlan, Marco's eyes widen at the manner in which he is being spoken to. For a moment, it seems as if his head might start spinning and spewing fire from his mouth, such is the fury evident in his expression. Then Jenny remembers something abruptly, as Marco starts to reach for his coat on the back of his folding chair, with great urgency. And not because he plans to run away from Lachlan. Jenny remembers that Polloski recently started carrying a gun, because she saw it in an interior holster of that same coat earlier in the day.

She could try to get over there before something happens, but that might not be enough to stop the hot-heated director. So she says, "Sorryneedtoborrowthis." and snatches the pen out of Eliana's hand, before quickly aiming and throwing the writing implement like a dart, just as Marco turns his head to see where he is reaching. The pen flies at great speed, and skims the back of Marco's right wrist, tearing across the skin, leaving a gouge there, and causing a small spray of blood. The pen lodges itself in the wall all the way across the studio.

Marco claps a hand to his wrist as he yanks it away from his coat, and says in an aggravated, and shocked, tone, "The was that!?" Jenny approaches quickly and says, "Oh, you must have cut yourself on something inside your coat. You don't have anything sharp in there, do you?" She tries to sound convincingly surprised and concerned.

Polloski looks to his coat, picking it up carefully, and lifting it to examine it. Lachlan might see, but not anyone else, that there is indeed a long-handed knife in a loop inside the coat, in addition to a high-caliber pistol. Marco takes a moment to swallow, and then slips into his coat. "Must have been the chair. Damn cheap piece of shit. Sharp edges all over the place. I expect new chairs here when we start tommorow! None of this cheap crap!" He looks to Lachlan with hardly veiled animosity, as though he was somehow at fault, and then says, "I'll take your words under advisement." He stalks off, then. And Jenny sighs, putting a hand on her own wrist and rolling it around as though it was sore.

What the… Eliana is stunned, starring in horror as her pen is snatched and thrown. Her heart immediately starts to race, and, out of her control, the euphoric gas streams from her pores. The moment is over soon enough, but Eliana is left almost shaking in her seat, wide-eyed and strangely pale as her heart thuds in her chest and her skin expels the gas, though the concentration and radius starts to dwindle as the 'danger' disappears.

Oh yes, Lachlan sees the gun, and Lachlan sees the knife, but Lachlan also Does Not Care. He doesn't quite catch sight of the flying pen, as it zooms past his line of vision far faster than he can register it, and his focus is mainly on the man it gashes open anyway. For all he knows, the director really /did/ cut himself on his knife. The Dobermans near Jenny and Eliana, however, peer alertly at the former when she snatches the pen, and when the latter begins exuding the gas, the Dobermans are the first to get hit with it. Stubby tails start to wag furiously, and the dogs begin to rub and wriggle and grin and generally fawn all over the writer, because they are /so happy/ all of a sudden. They are, in fact, almost /embarrassingly/ happy, in a way that only male dogs can be embarrassingly happy, but their conditioning prevents them from doing anything terribly embarrassing to Eliana. As Lachlan watches the director storm off, he reaches down to pat Poncho on the head, then clicks his tongue at the dog and begins to move back towards Eliana to retrieve his Dobermans — before they do something stupid. "Bloody hell," he grumbles, "wha' the fuck's got into ye, ye cheeky bastards?" For once, he actually does sound a bit ashamed of their behavior. A sharp whistle calls the lean dogs to attention, and they promptly sit on their haunches, leaning against Eliana's chair on either side with Happy Dog Grins. "'M real sorry 'bout tha'," Lachlan adds, rubbing at his jaw. He's fortunate enough to remain out of the range of the gas. After a pause and a glance towards Jenny, he continues with: "Either one o' ye want a dog?"

Jenny is, however, right next to Eliana at first, and though it takes a moment for her to be affected, she does eventually start to feel slightly light-headed, and very enthusiastic. She was tired a moment ago, from the long day of posing under hot lights, and being yelled at, but now she feels rejuvenated. She smiles broadly, and says, "Oh, there's no problem. I'm just sorry you had to be subjected to Polloski." She moves around behind Eliana's chair and leans on it slightly, allowing one arm to drape over the other woman's shoulder, as she feels an inexplicable sense of companionship. Of course, it may also come across as Jenny… Well… Trying to be close to Eliana for certain other reasons. Cough cough.

Jenny is interrupted in the middle of saying, "You have such nice hair…" to Eliana, by Lachlan's question, and pauses to think about it, as though she isn't sure of her answer. "Hmm… I suppose I could look into it. Dogs are so nice. Especially these ones!" She moves away from Eliana to pet one of the dogs, depriving the writer of her… Uhh… Neck support. "One of these doggies, or another one?" She asks as she looks up at Lachlan. The effects of the gas are starting to wear off, so she shakes her head to clear it, blinking quickly a few times.

Eliana isn't exactly used to being so close to those under the affects of the gas, and when Jenny starts to act a bit more affectionate, it's all she can do not to encourage the woman with more of the odorless substance. Eliana lifts a fist to her mouth and coughs, eyeing the dogs on either side of her. Awkward~.

The strange behavior of Jenny also gives Lachlan pause, and he hikes one eyebrow up /quite/ curiously. He doesn't need Eliana's euphoric gas to make /him/ feel the least bit good about what he's seeing; a guy like Lachlan tends to pick up on Signals when it comes to things of that nature. However, he keeps his comments to himself and glances to Jenny when she asks her question. "Nah, nah, the Dobermans're mine," he laughs softly. "Was talkin' 'bout Poncho." He indicates the Labrador sitting next to him. "'M thinkin' he'll accidentally run off when I'm workin' with 'im. Lookit 'im; he's a wreck." The words are spoken pointedly, in a manner that says, "I'm not giving the dog back to that asshole, so do one of you want to take him instead?" His eyes move from Jenny to Eliana, then back again.

Jenny ponders and looks towards the chocolate lab. Now that there's no yelling, he seems quite friendly, wagging his tail and moving hesitantly to sniff at the other two dogs, though he stays close to Lachlan, who is possibly the only person so far he feels really good and safe around. Jenny looks to Eliana and says, "I can take him if you can't. He does need a better home than the one he's got… And a better owner." She trails a finger up and down Eliana's leg briefly, before standing and saying, "Like I said. I'd be glad to have him. I just hope you know what you're getting into. Polloski isn't going to be happy about losing an 'investment'."

A shudder rips subtly through Eliana at the model's touch, and she glares at her. It's short lived, though, as Eliana soon turns her face away. It's not /Jenny's/ fault that she's acting this way. Damned gas. "I have a cat," Eliana mutters, fiddling with her steno pad as she gets to her feet and takes a side-step around one of the Dobermans and away from Jenny. "I doubt they'd get along."

When Eliana stands and moves to put some distance between herself and the model, Lachlan's eyebrow goes up more. The dogs, Jenny, the spike in happiness and the touchy-feely — something is not right here. It's almost as though someone dropped some X in here, but … no. Hmm. The Scotsman continues to eye Eliana curiously as he responds, "'M a dog trainer; 'D train the dog to get along with cats." The Dobermans are starting to wind down from their highs and have taken to investigating Poncho with interest, but they show no signs of aggression, thanks to Lachlan's influence. His gaze moves back to Jenny, and his expression becomes wry as he releases a disdainful snort. "'M no' afraid o' tha' bloody pansy. He wants a bloody guard, he can hire from a fuckin' escort service."

Jenny seems to realize she has bothered Eliana — intruded on her personal space, and straightens out her mini-dress, not moving any closer to the other woman, as she says, "Well, that's okay. I don't have any cats. Poncho should do just fine with me." She smiles to the dog, and pats him on the head. "That's true. I'm not exactly terrified of the jerk either, I just prefer not to cause trouble when there doesn't need to be. Don't happen to have a spare leash do you?—Oh, and sorry about your pen, miss. I hope it wasn't expensive. I can buy you a new one if you want." Once she receives an answer, she shifts from one foot to the other, and then turns to offer her hand to Eliana. For a handshake obviously, not anything territorial-bubble-violating. "It's also been nice meeting you." She offers a hand to Lachlan as well, as she adds, "Both of you." A smile, though nowhere near as broad as when she was fully under the gas's influence, is on her lipsticked lips as she prepares to go change and take her new companion home.

Eliana extends her hand to shake Jenny's, but it's quick. Very quick. "It was just a pen. I'll make the mag pay for it," she mumbles before she nods to Lachland and starts to head out, her heels clicking on the floor. The shoot's over anyway.

With a grin, Lachlan produces a spare leash from the pocket of his jacket and presents it to Jenny. "Allus carry a spare, just in case," he remarks. "Ye can keep it, an' I'll even train the dog fer free, if ye like." When Eliana makes her exit, Lachlan gives her a nod and a smile right back. "Thanks fer watchin' m'dogs," he says, offering a small wave in farewell. "Ye take care o' yerself — an' ye do the same." The last is said to Jenny. "'D better be gettin' along home m'self, but here — " he trails off as he digs around in his pockets again, producing a business card that looks as though it's seen better days " — tha's m'card. Gimme a call sometime an' I'll set ye up with an appointment." Not that he usually /needs/ appointments, since his legitimate client-base is so small.

Jenny nods and smiles back to Lachlan, looking a bit embarassed by her previous behavior towards Eliana. Accepting the leash, she hooks it onto Poncho's collar, and then says, "Thanks! You don't have to do it for free, though… I make enough to pay for lessons." She takes the business card, and looks for somewhere to store it. No pockets, no purse, and the dress doesn't allow for boob-storage either. She'll just carry it until she gets changed. "Thanks again!" She waves and starts to head off to the dressing room with Poncho. She'll need to get him licensed and stuff tommorow. It doesn't look like he even has tags.

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