2007-05-27: Of Smurfs, Scottish Kittens, and Meeting Dad


Cass_icon.gif DrAldric_icon.gif Lachlan_icon.gif


Lachlan and Dr. Aldric finally come face-to-face in Cass' hospital room. Cass wakes up for the first time since she was shot and talks about Smurfs and Scottish alien kittens. Lachlan and Dr. Aldric are BFFs forever.

Date It Happened: May 27th, 2007

Of Smurfs, Scottish Kittens, and Meeting Dad

Beth Israel

The hospital still doesn't allow Lachlan to stay in Cass' room overnight, despite the fact that he looks and acts completely pathetic when asked to leave. The staff of Beth Israel have finally managed to get it through his head that he isn't allowed to stay because of policy, so getting him to leave is just as simple as saying, "Visiting hours are over, Mister Deatley", so that's a blessing. Still, he's back again as soon as visiting hours begin in the morning, and now he's right back in the chair that he left the night before. One of the nurses managed to talk him into having a portable bowl of cereal, which now lies empty on the side table, and the Scotsman sits quietly, staring at a Field&Stream magazine that the previously mentioned nurse also gave him.

A rather unassuming man - a bit of scruff on his face, matching light brown hair that, currently, is sticking up in a few directions, black rectangular-framed glasses on his face - walks into the hospital. He seems anxious, but that's not anything unusual for hospital visitors. He looks every which way until his zones in on the nurse's station. Shuffling his tan-coloured coat where it's folded over one arm - the rest of his attire consists of a slate blue shirt, brown suspenders and tan slacks - he stands in front of the nurse and clears his throat. "I'm here to see Cassandra Aldric— uh— " Blink. "Oh, Julie? Is that you? Hello. How are you liking Beth Isr— anyway, um, yes, so Cassandra is…?"

"Oh. Doctor Aldric." Julie seems a little surprised to see the man, but this quickly turns into a warm smile. "It's a living. Cassandra is down that hall, room 409." She doesn't offer much more information than that. No need to say anything that may or may not stress out a parent.

In room 409, Lachlan squints at his magazine, frowns, and mutters, "Wha' the fuck's a java-leena?"

But Dr. Aldric, being a doctor, knows that a lack of information is just as bad as bad news. It's after a hurried bob of his head and a tense smile of gratitude to Julie that he turns down the hall. Room 409. He appears in the doorway, and at first, all he sees is Cass. The man's gaze seems to be caught there, taking in the sight of his daughter lying in the hospital bed, obvious worry and concern frozen on his face to the point that he doesn't spot her other visitor right away. When he does, he actually jumps a little. "Oh— I didn't realize Cassandra had another guest." A guest who is not family. His eyes narrow and he steps inside. "Who are you?" It's as polite as such a simple, blunt question can be, which isn't saying much.

It's fortunate Cass keeps family photos around her apartment, otherwise Doctor Aldric might have been met with some hostility on Lachlan's end — or, well, at least more hostility than he would normally. The man is still Company. At first, the Scotsman just stares stupidly, giving a ponderous blink or two at the other man. It's a bit odd to see someone in-person after having seen only photographs for a long, long while. When Lachlan finally does come to life, it's a bit awkward. He closes the magazine and slowly rises from his chair. "Uhhh. Hey. 'M Lachlan. 'M Cass' boyfriend." He doesn't extend a hand, though. In fact, the shock has faded away, and now it's been replaced by unmistakable coldness.

Boyfriend. Cassandra's boyfriend. "I see." In light of this groundbreaking news, Dr. Aldric is examining Lachlan with a more vested interest. Read: scrutiny. Evidently, he doesn't like what he sees, because he looks a bit… pained, all of a sudden. He clears his throat and nods. "I'm Dr. Aldric. Cassandra's father." No hand is extended on his part, either. When father instincts merge with doctor instincts, it means… well, it means that Dr. Aldric turns away from Lachlan and starts checking Cass's vitals. He checks the monitors, the IV, thumbs open her eyes to see her pupils, feels her forehead, all with a small frown.

"Yeah, I know." Lachlan goes so far as to stuff his hands into the pockets of his jeans. He suddenly feels extremely uncomfortable, and it's all Doctor Aldric's fault, so Doctor Aldric gets to shoulder the blame. The Scotsman watches the other man check over Cass, scowling all the while. He doesn't speak again for some time — not until it looks like the elder Aldric has finished his examination. "Docs say she's better'n they though' she'd be." In other words: you don't have to check all the monitors. She's already in better hands than yours.

Dr. Aldric, in turn, only looks over his shoulder to respond to this… man… after he's finished checking on Cass. When he does, it's with a deepened frown, although it's not quite a scowl. "I spoke to her doctor on the phone." He turns, standing by the bedside and shuffling his folded coat from one arm to the other. "He was on his way to the OR, though, and he— couldn't say much. How did— how did this happen?" Is that a hint of misplaced accusation in Dr. Aldric's tone toward Lachlan?

Whatever it is, Lachlan doesn't like the sound of it. It definitely raises his proverbial hackles, deepening his scowl and causing his jaw muscles to flex a little. He clears his throat softly, letting out a soft hiss of air through his nostrils. "Was a mugger," he states in a low and flat voice. "Out b'hind 'er shop." The part where she leapt in the way to save him is purposefully left out. The Scot doesn't need anymore guilt than the self-blame he's been silently dishing out already. "They're still lookin' fer 'im."

"A mugger," Dr. Aldric repeats as if the words are foreign. He shakes his head, blinking several times behind the lenses of his glasses. "I told Cassandra, that area is too dangerous at night for that shop of hers." He doesn't mean to be degrading. He really doesn't. He just worries because he cares! "Did anyone get a clear look at him? The… mugger?" In other words: were you there? The man glances sidelong at Lachlan, somewhat put off by the scruffy, tense Scotsman (really, Cass? This is your boyfriend?), then dawns with realization - over something completely unrelated to Lachlan, clearly. Dr. Aldric becomes distracted by rummaging in the pocket of his shunned coat. After about twenty seconds, it becomes obvious that it's the wrong pocket. He tries the other one. It's empty. Just give him a few minutes.

Well. That's totally reassuring. Lachlan watches Doctor Aldric's movements warily, like he might just magically produce the Hashbrown from his jacket pocket and wipe the entire room. While his eyes are fixed on the work of the other man's hands, though, his mind hasn't forgotten the question. His answer is a bit distracted, but he gives it: "Yeah. Had a … somethin'. In 'is eye. Red." And a gun. He had a gun. He'll regret that.

"Hm? Red? In his eye?" Dr. Aldric asks for clarification as he rifles through the coat's pockets. "Well. Good. He had a distinguishing feature." The reason Dr. Aldric can't find what he's looking for is because it's sticking out of his back pocket. When the realization strikes him, he wastes no time in pulling it out: a Get Well Soon card with pastel pink and yellow sparkly swirls on the front as well as a picture of kittens. He carefully props it up on the bedside table. "How, uh, how long have you been seeing my Cassandra?" he asks without looking at Lachlan.

Oh. It's a Get Well Soon card… . a very ugly one. With kittens. That's not as threatening as Pocket Hashbrown, but it still looks like it might kill someone. Lachlan relaxes a little when it's just the card and not something more sinister. Jesus. He brings a hand up to rub at his stubbled jaw, slipping momentarily away into thought until that last question hits him. "Oh, uh. Months. Few months. Started in, uh— " think think think "— February. March."

That long? "I see." Dr. Aldric looks at Lachlan critically, but hides his surprise (Cass did not tell him about this man in her life) by winding his way around the hospital room to snag the younger Aldric's chart from the wall. He may not work at this hospital, but it's his daughter, and by damned if he's not going to look at her chart. What he reads encourages creases to form in his forehead. He looks from the chart to Cass to the chart to— well, you get the idea. Eventually, he walks back to the side of her bed and touches her arm. However, he stays quiet because of the burly Scotsman.

And so Lachlan remains silent, watching the older man like a hawk. A hawk with one hand on his hip, the other covering his mouth in an almost thoughtful pose. The Scotsman wouldn't deny Cass' father some time spent with her during such a situation, but that doesn't mean he has to like Doctor Aldric. Lachlan remains this way for a pregnant pause before he tosses the magazine onto the side table and settles back into his chair with an audible sigh. Wow. For two people who share a love of Cass, they sure don't have a lot to talk about. Or, well, Lachlan could talk about things that are currently on his mind, but that would be giving away too much about himself to someone he would rather not know. "So." So what? "D'ye like dogs?" Well, he gets points for effort.

Cass's father, having been lost in thought as he looks down at his poor, broken-looking daughter, turns to stare at Lachlan as if suddenly realizing the man is an alien. His question throws him off completely, but he recovers soon enough, squinting through his glasses. "Dogs. Do I like— dogs are, they're fine. I can't say I feel strongly one way or uh, the other about dogs. I take it you like dogs." At least he didn't say he likes to kick puppies, right? Truth be told, he's not looking to rack up point, eyeing Lachlan with something akin to wariness, like he's still trying to figure the man out.

The change between conscious and unconscious isn't something that is very noticeable. It's slow and confusing for Cass with all the strange smells, noises, feelings. She opens her eyes slowly and then squeezes them shut again to protect them from the harsh florescent hospital lighting. That definitely hurts. After a few moments, she tries again and lets her eyes get accostomed to the lighting. But, all she can really see is the ceiling. She can hear voices, though. And they sound familiar. If only she could place everything. Where is she?

Well. Lachlan can't say he hates Doctor Aldric for not liking dogs. But he can't say he likes the man for liking them, either. Damned fence-sitter. The Scotsman nods a little. "Yeah, I train 'em." His eyes go to Cass' face, because he doesn't want to look at the other man in the room. It's just an idle gesture to avoid looking, but the expression on his face soon grows a lot less placid and much, much more shocked. Her … her eyes just opened. Closed again, but … "Jesus." He's up on his feet in a flash and at the side of the bed, leaning on the rail to peer down at Cass' face. "Cassie? Baby?"

Oh, God. His daughter is dating a Scottish dog trainer with the apparent vocabulary of a five year old. (Who, thankfully, cannot read minds.) "It's good th--" Whatever… compliment?… he was, conversely, about to tell Lachlan is abruptly cut off. When the other man notices the woman in the bed stirring, so does he. "Cassandra," Dr. Aldric says in what may be the quietest exclamation ever known to man. He slides the chart onto the nearest surface, a table, all his focus on Cass. "Welcome back, Cassandra. Take it easy, you've recently undergone several operations. Okay? You were shot." He gets to the point, but his voice is quite gentle.

Cassie? That'd be Lachlan. Cassandra? That would be…her father. Oh God. Lachlan and her father in the same room. Meeting. Her heart beat monitor speeds up as that thought hits the full weight of meaning on her brain. She may have been shot, but she's not totally numb to the consequences of that. Wait…she was shot? That…might explain the aching all over her body. "T-thirsty." That's all she can really think that can cover the grave mistake it is for her father to meet her boyfriend in a hospital room.

Sure Lachlan can read minds — but Cass' father isn't a dog (or a chinchilla), so he can't read Doctor Aldric's mind. And it doesn't much matter anyway, because Cass is awake and it doesn't matter what else is happening now. The Scotsman is grinning like an idiot, relieved. Cass is awake! Cass is awake! And she's thirsty. Which means water. "Lemme get it. I got it." He leaves the bedside to grab the pitcher and a cup off the side table, fills it — quite a feat, considering that his hands have started to tremble a bit — and then returns to the bedside, where he pauses. Oh. How does he— ? A glance from Cass to the cup, Cass to the cup. "Uh." Straw. There are straws somewhere. Off he goes in quest again! Drawers are opened until the Scot finds a wrapped straw, which he starts to open as he returns to the bed.

As far as Dr. Aldric is concerned, Lachlan's very existence notwithstanding, this is going well. But his focus is also entirely on Cass by this point, although he does watch Lachlan's scrambling to get water, blinkingly, for a few moments. Looks like he's got it covered. "How are you feeling? You're recovering very well - actually, remarkably well, I read your chart. I'll - I'm going to get a nurse, and to see if I can track down your doctor, the one who operated on you." He squeezes Cass's arm for a second and starts to walk out of the room. Very slowly. It's with reluctance, leaving her there with this unfamiliar person from Cass's life, but he goes.

Everything is a little - okay, very - fuzzy for Cass. First Lachlan scrambling for water and straws and her father talking to her and then leaving. The last thing she remembers clearly is pushing Lachlan to the side. And now she's lightheaded. And confused. But there's a straw! And water. And she can finally quench a very parched throat. "What…" happened? Am I doing here? Is that funny feeling in her shoulder? There are just so many questions. So, instead, she'll just go back to sipping on her straw.

Bad as it may be, Lachlan's glad that Doctor Aldric leaves the room, because that means he gets the newly conscious Cass all to himself, and that is just precisely the way he wanted it to be. He's so happy he might just explode, and it would be totally unmanly to show such in front of another man. So he watches the older man walk out and waits until he's sure that Doctor Aldric is gone before he turns his attention back to the woman in the bed. Cass is awake and moving and talking and and and and! "Ye got shot," he responds, trying to answer as many questions as he can think of without Cass having to actually ask them. "It was … was pretty bad. Docs dinna think ye were gonna make it, but, uh." Maybe better not to say how she survived. "Ye did. An' yer awake!" Glee!

"Oh." This is all a little too much for the storekeep to process all at once. Pretty bad? Not going to make it? Those are not good descriptors. "Yeah." Cass is awake. Though at the moment things that happened to her while she was awake and those that happened in her unconscious dreaming world are scattered together in a strange mix of reality and fantasy. She's not sure what all happened when. Being trapped in a room with Peter's voice talking to her over a loudspeaker, Elena as a nurse with a syringe, Lachlan with Bonnie wandering down hallways. And that mugger with red flecks in his eyes always around a different corner. That last thought makes her shiver and want to sit up. But, she can't. She's attached to things and the very attempt sends aching all across her body.

Ooh, no, no. No, she shouldn't sit up. The bed is motorized to sit up for her! When Cass attempts to get upright, Lachlan winces a bit and lays a restricting hand gently on her uninjured shoulder. "Nah, baby, dunna get up. Lemme get it." He moves for the controls that operate the bed, stares at them, then tilts his head so that he can stare at them more from Cass' viewpoint. It helps him to remember which button does what from his own stays in a hospital. A moment before he presses one button, and the upper portion of the bed starts to slowly rise. "Tha' a'righ'?"

It doesn't take much to stop Cass from moving. She's been out for two days and she's not in the best shape she's ever been in. But even if it's the bed that's moving and not her, it makes her wince. She's moving in ways she hasn't in a couple of days. In fact, moving at all is something she hasn't done for a little while. Once the bed is raised up some more, she blinks, nods her head a bit and stares at her feet. "I…I think they put my feet on backwards." What is she talking about? Who knows! But at least she's awake, right?

… that … Lachlan blinks once, twice. Then he just grins more. Oh boy. She's on drugs. "Nah, baby, yer feet're fine." He glances over at the IV — if there's anything he knows how to read in a hospital, it's dosages. "They've got ye high as a bloody kite. Yer a bit out o' it." But he doesn't really care, because she is awake. And she'll live. She can be high for the next week, so long as those two facts continue to ring true. "Ye feelin' a'righ'?"

"Oh. They are?" Cass sounds…almost disappointed about that thought. Those aren't how she remembered her feet looking before. Huh. Weird. Maybe they just transplanted her feet and that's why they look different. Yes. That makes perfect sense. "Yeaaaah," she drawls out, her eyes moving from her feet to the TV. "Shhhh…look. The Smurfs are on. I love the Smurfs." The TV is not on. It probably doesn't even work.

Oh man. Lachlan makes a mental note: bring a video camera. He has to have something to taunt Cass with later. And why not have a little fun? He glances up at the TV, then back at Cass with a grin, then back at the TV. "Nah, baby, tha's Ninja Turtles." Some of the best fun he's ever had was humoring druggies' delusions.

Oh, if Cass were with it enough to know Lachlan was teasing her, he would get a vicious tongue lashing. And possibly bruises. But, she has no idea. In fact, she looks slightly heartbroken when told that what she thought was the Smurfs is actually Ninja Turtles. "But…who changed the channel?" There is a full on pout brewing on her face.

Awwwww. Awwwwwww. Cass is pouting. It's heartbreaking and endearing all at the same time. Lachlan wants to kiss her, but. Well. So he just grins all the wider. "Sorry, baby, I was just lookin' ta see which episode it was." Then he makes a button-pressing motion with his thumb, fingers crooked as though he's holding a remote. He makes a clicking sound with his tongue and announces, "There ye go."

Whenever Cass gets off the drugs and into her regular head, she will be so embarassed about episodes such as these. However, right now she is extraordinarily susceptible to suggestion and pretend. So, when Lachlan says he changes the channel, well, she believes that he does. And now that Smurfs is 'back' on the screen, she smiles happily and leans her head back against the pillow. "Papa Smurf is crazy."

Cue Papa Smurf. It takes longer than it perhaps should for Dr. Aldric to return - not because he stalled, got off-track, or was otherwise delayed himself, but because there was some sort of emergency with Dr. Ward in room 504 and the nurses were running in every direction. That left Dr. Aldric standing there not unlike an unwitting eyewitness to a herd of stampeding buffalo, in which he stood very still in the center of. Coloured scrubs everywhere! Now, however, the man is making his way back to his daughter's room along with a short and squat nurse whose name, he's learned in the thirty or so seconds it takes to walk to the door, is Rosetta, and she has four children and the youngest has the flu and loves the colour blue. Dr. Aldric clears his throat quietly as he steps back in. "How, how are you feeling, Cassandra? You're looking more … awake." And drugged. "This is Rosetta. She, ah, she paged your doctor."

Rosetta beams sunnily. "Well, hi there Ms. Aldric! You gave us quite a scare. Let me just check you over."

"Sure he is." This is far too amusing. And then Doctor Aldric returns and interrupts the mocking of his daughter. Lachlan immediately loses all mirth when the other man speaks, and he rises to his feet with a grunt. Without a word, he steps aside to let the nurse do her thing, standing out of the way near the foot of the bed with his arms crossed over his chest.

Though Cass is feeling a bit better, she's now intently watching 'The Smurfs'. Or what she thinks is the Smurfs. "Rosetta! Like the Stone! You know, in 1858 the University of Pennsylvania published the full English translation of the Stone. It's a big old black thing with really cramped text all over it. You'd think if you were going to make something for that long, you'd have better handwriting, you know? And it always makes me think. What if someone misspelled something? Then it's like that for all eternity! Like, they misspelled the word for King in Greek and so it actually says Cheese or something. And now everyone thinks that Cheese is King! Or something." Yes, very drugged. "Hi Rosetta. Stone." She blinks, looks up at the TV and then back at her father. "Dad! Hi! What happened to the Smurfs?"

Dr. Aldric shuffles over to the bedside without getting in Rosetta's way. He watches her every move with a distantly critical eye, peppered with bewildered glances to his daughter. The nurse goes along with Cass: "Mmhmm, isn't that interesting!" Dr. Aldric clears his throat once more, trying not to break into a smirk. He looks from Cass to the TV screen and stares at both a second time. "I, uh, well, Cassandra, I hate to break it to you, but I think they were cancelled eventually. Good things can't go on forever." Pause. "This must be a special marathon," he says. Completely serious. He glances, very briefly, to Lachlan while doing a good job of keeping a straight face. "What was the name of that smurf you used to love when you were little?"

Whoa, wait, what? Lachlan stares at Doctor Aldric with the quintessential 'deer-in-headlights' expression. "Uh." Is … is he humoring Cass' crazy morphine-induced rantings? What is this? He's her father. He's supposed to be all … serious and not cool and what? "Uh. The … the girl Smurf, I guess. Dunno, I dinna watch the Smurfs when I was little." He was too busy getting picked on by his cousins.

Oh, Rosetta is a blessed woman. Either that or she's just dealt with a lot of morphine patients. Cass goes along with the check up, doing whatever is needed and staying out of the way. Breathing in and out and letting her check her pulse. "They did?" Once again, she's pouting. It's such a crushing fact that the Smurfs were cancelled. "Azrael," she replies to her father with a goofy grin. The evil cat. "You liked Smurfette?" she turns a doe-like stare to Lachlan. "But. She always seemed so…whoreish! One girl with all those guys? And some weird thing going on with Papa Smurf. I think she was an allegory for something. I just….I don't know what."

Now that Dr. Aldric knows this of Lachlan, he eyes the man as if it is deeply telling of his psychological profile. Maybe it is. Lachlan liked the girl smurf. That whore. What does that say about Lachlan? That he's a womanizer? The doctor suddenly squints. "I thought Azrael was a cat," he offers distractedly while squinting at Lachlan. After a moment, he adjusts his glasses. "It looks like you have a bit of a stay ahead of you, Cassandra… your mother wanted to be here, but, well, we got you that. That card." He gestures to the pink, yellow, kitten-filled, sparkly card on the bedside table. "She'll come along in the morning. You know how hospitals make her feel." Another look to the card. "And how much she likes kittens."

Did Lachlan say something wrong? He's getting that vibe — the sort of vibe one gets when one is being judged, see. Which isn't that far off. He looks between Cass and her father, tightening his arms around his chest in a wholly uncomfortable fashion and says nothing more. The more he doesn't talk, the less he throws out there to be scrutinized.

"He was," Cass sighs happily. "A wonderfully evil cat." So not technically a Smurf, but still part of the whole Smurf brigade. "It's okay. I know she would. She sent kittens. Happy fluffy get well kittens." Are there any other kind? "They're adorable. Lachlan, aren't my mom's get well kittens adorable?" Because he hasn't been talking for very long and she just wants to make sure he hasn't run out the hallways screaming. Meeting her father is kind of scary. "Thanks, dad."

When Rosetta beams, a sure sign that everything is A-OK, and bustles off into the hall with a 'be right back!' gesture, Dr. Aldric gets closer to Cass at the bedside. "Mhm. Well, you're welcome, Cassandra. Your mother picked it out. Wonderfully, ah, respectable get well kittens." Happy. Fluffy. That is, they're not evil like Azrael. Looking slightly more than vaguely uncomfortable, he interjects with a casual line. "So Lachlan, you're Scottish."

No, no, he hasn't run out into the hallway screaming, but it is apparent that, were it not for Cass being in here and having nearly died, he would be elsewhere right now. Very quickly. When he's asked about the kittens, Lachlan gives the card a rather unimpressed glance. "Uh. Yeah. 'Dorable." He's never been a 'kitten' sort of guy, truth be told. Puppies. Puppies are where it's at. He clears his throat softly and is prepared to withdraw back into silence when Doctor Aldric speaks up, and the Scot clears his throat again a bit louder. "Yeah. From Glasgow." He doesn't specify where in Glasgow.

"Respectably fluffy kittens," Cass corrects her father. It's important that he gets that straight. "Lachlan trains dogs! But I think I'm gonna get him a kitten. He needs to learn how to get along with kittens, too." She pauses, thinks this over. "I'm not sure if I can find Scottish kittens, though. Maybe that would be easier. Are there trade restrictions on those sort of things? Or do they need to be quarantined?" Because maybe Scottish kittens think in Scottish. It will be easier to pick up on their thoughts. "Lachlan! Scottish kittens! What do you think?" This is certainly not the way that Cass wanted her boyfriend and father to meet. In fact, she never wanted them to. But, at least this way they can talk about kittens. "Dad, do you know where I could get some of those?"

"I see," Dr. Aldric says. … and that's it. Until, that is, his daughter is asking him about— what is she asking him about? The poor man has to pause and stare at Cass for a moment, backtracking until he realizes that she's still talking about kittens. "Ah, well, I… uh." He brings a hand to his jawline and scratches his chin with his thumb. "Katie has a book of… of cat breeds. I saw. Once. It was our coffee table book for a period of several months. I believe there are such a thing as Scottish Fold cats." He happens to regard Lachlan as he adds, "Some form of mutant."

It's official: Lachlan is Uncomfortable In This Room. Talk about kittens and Scottish kittens in general just bothers him. A lot. Especially when Cass starts talking about 'getting along with kittens too'. She's on morphine. She could let slip things that she is not supposed to be talking about. "Uh. It… . I dunno, baby, 'm no' a big cat-person." And for that reason, he isn't familiar enough with cat breeds to argue with Doctor Aldric, so he goes with what he knows: dog breeds. Glaring at the other man, he utters, "Yeah, well, there's plen'y o' grand dogs where tha' came from." He could name at least thirteen off the top of his head.

"Mutant cats?" Cass thinks this over seriously. "No. I think it should be a regular cat." She completely misses the dig on mutant Scots, but then, she's not exactly catching most of what is normal at the moment. Strange things only she can hear and see, sure. Otherwise, nothing else. "I know you're not! I'm gonna fix that, though. Maybe we should just adopt some cats. And you can hang out with them at your apartment." Unfortunately, normally perceptive Cass also doesn't pick up on subtleties about what should not be said in front of her Company father. "Maybe I could borrow that book from Mom."

"I was of the opinion that they resembled aliens," Dr. Aldric offers his opinion on Scottish Fold cats dryly. "…I'll tell her to bring it by tomorrow." If nothing else, looking through a book filled with pictures of cats will be a source of amusement for Cass (and likely everyone nearby). A good distraction. He smiles down at his daughter, fondly; it's a bit stiff under the circumstances, but it's there. "You scared me, Cassandra." He glances at Lachlan sidelong. Awkward. He briefly eyes the privacy curtain that's pulled back and notes how it could drape Lachlan from sight, but makes no such move. Back to Cass; his voice is quiet. "I hope you're being careful." Pause. "With your business." Pause. "At your store. Your security with your store. The crime in this city…"

But … Lachlan does not want a cat in his apartment. Ever. Because he'd have to feed it and take care of it, and he really isn't big on cats. But anything to get Cass off the subject. "Sure, baby. We'll talk 'bout it later." Later, when her Company father isn't in the room. And speaking of the Company father, those pauses are in very awkward and bad spots and each one causes Lachlan to bristle more. Because it brings to mind thoughts like 'Oh, so I'm not good enough to be having babies with your daughter now?' Even though Lachlan would probably cut off his left testicle should there ever be one such accident, it's a matter of pride, and Doctor Aldric is bruising his. So even though the other man really does mean somewhat well, the Scot pipes up quite hostilely with: "It wasna in 'er store, it was in the alley at the back. Had nothin' ta do with the security in 'er place; she's fixed it up fine." So there.

"Aliens!" Cass takes upon that subject quite happily. "Kitty aliens. They'd be the cutest things ever." Now happily thinking about kitten aliens, she leans back against the pillows and smiles happily. This serious topic of security and such is not fitting in well with her plans of kitten bliss. "I'm being careful." A hint of her 'Dad' sort of tone sneaks through the drug haze. "Later. Alright. I like later." Later she'll have more drugs and then she's back to being more of her happy state. "Behind the store?" This is kind of puzzling her. The details of what happened are still kind of fuzzy in her head. What happened how she got here. There are some things she remembers, but others just don't make any sense. "What wasn't in the store?"

"Your--your-- Lachlan was saying that the fellow who attacked you did so outside of your store," Dr. Aldric tries to clarify gently. "Sometimes I wish you had taken a nice little house in Hartsdale near us." He brushes his sleeve off of one wrist to glance at his watch. "Speaking of Hartsdale, I have to be getting back there. And the traffic… well. I should be going. Don't give the doctors a hard time," he adds with a small smile. He tucks his hands into his pockets and nods to Lachlan. Politely, no less. "It was nice meeting you."

Yeah, well, Lachlan's glad she didn't take a nice little house in Hartsdale near them, because then he never would've had the opportunity to ask her out in the Most Awkward Way Ever, and then he wouldn't be here now. Come to think of it, neither would she. But he doesn't want to think of that, actually. He gives a jerk of his head toward Doctor Aldric and grunts out, "Sure." That's about as polite as he's going to get. At least it's not grumblygrowling.

"Oh. Right." That thing that was outside the store. Cass frowns. That part is at least somewhat clear. So much for happy alien kittens. "It might have been nice. But, I like New York." And her shop and her apartment. And she's glad she's here, too. Because things might even be worse without Lachlan to be there for her. "Bye Daddy, I'll see you soon, right?" Because situations like these require fatherly guidance.

"Of course Cassandra," Dr. Aldric assures the bedridden woman, leaning over to give the top of her head a fatherly kiss. After the grunt from Lachlan, he's basically ignoring the man. He said his goodbye. He was polite. Lachlan grunted. There's not much else to say there unless he wants to rant about manners, but that's for another day. "Make sure to get your rest and your fluids and— I'll just… I'll send a note to Doctor… Dickstein, I think his name is. Make sure you get treated well." He pauses at the door to give a little wave before departing. "Bye then!"

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