Episode 50: Support Dogs

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Cole and I got back around five or six

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Cole and I got back around five or six. We didn't have any parties to work tonight. I just wanted to open the stand since I haven't done that in at least a few days.

I opened the door. "We're home!"

Alastair's brother, Ran, popped his head out of the kitchen. "Welcome back."

"Where's your brother?" Cole asked.

"In our room. He's sleeping."

It couldn't have been later than six, and he was sleeping? He had a tendency to doze off, but this felt different.

"Uh oh." I put my apron away. "What happened this time?"

"His other power came back on today."

His other power came back on? Yikes! It was pretty brutal when his lightning came back on. It messed him up pretty badly for a couple days.

"I have a question for you," Ran said.

Cole said, "Ask away."

"Do people in this place use their dogs to have them work?"

I raised an eyebrow. Why would he ask that? It wasn't like people had animals just to make them pets.

Ame popped in and said, "He's trying to ask if they have service dogs in this world."

Cole and I jumped. "Sweet Minicha, Amethyst!"

We both took a long breath.

"Is that what you're trying to ask?" Cole asked.

Ran scratched the back of his neck. "Kinda... Yeah..."

I brushed my hair out of my face. I had flour in my hair. "Why do you wanna know that?"

"I think that'd be a good thing for Alastair to have. I know I can't always be there if he freezes or goes into a meltdown. The dog would be different, though."

"Wasn't Honey sort of already like that?" Cole asked.

Ame cut in. "That's what he means. To make it official for her to be a sort of service dog."

"I don't really know what things are like in this place, but where we're from, you can't just take your dog in the grocery store or in a restaurant with you."

"People are pretty lenient about that around here," Cole said.

I added to his point. "Most of the people that run shops around here pass by my stand, so they know about her. I don't really think they'd mind if he brought her in with him. If they don't, they're probably jerks."

"You should know better than anyone that there's only so much you can do to take contain a meltdown," Ame said.

Cole and I rolled our eyes.

"I wouldn't want to assume. If somebody had a problem with it, it could make things worse for him than they already are."

"Worrying about it won't help, though."

Cole and I glared daggers at Ame.

"Fine, I get it!" She put her hands up. "I'll leave now!"

Ran sank into a chair. "Gracious, Kayleigh. That lady really gets my goat."

Cole and I stared. "Earth slang?"

"Basically, means she gets on my nerves. My God. That lady really gets on my nerves."

Ran looked like he was about to cry. Was he that frustrated?

"It drives me up the wall knowing Star had to put up with her. He'd been through enough when we brought him home. She and whoever sent him to that place made it so much worse."

"You don't blame Arthur at all?" Cole asked.

Ran shook his head. "Arthur and the kid who were taking care of him were good people. They did what they could to keep him comfortable. I got to watch them. It wasn't just a job to them."

It was good to know Alastair was taken care of when I couldn't care for him myself.

Cole put a hand on his shoulder. "Stressing about it won't make it better."

Ran nodded.

"I'll make dinner in a minute," I said. "I just need a quick shower."


***


I only took about ten minutes to shower. The boys were still in the kitchen when I got out.

"You boys want anything in particular?" I asked.

Cole smiled. "You know I'll eat anything you make, Cy."

Ran shrugged. "I don't really care. I need to check on Star in a minute."

Speak of the devil...

Alastair trudged into the room with Honey at his heels. He was using the wall to support himself.

"Oh, jeez, Star." Ran grabbed him before he could fall. "I told you to rest, didn't I?"

He was barely able to hold himself up, even once Ran got him into a chair. That said, he was tense. "I don't think I've had anything since this morning, so..."

Alastair didn't eat lunch? When did that thing happen? Ran was usually better at getting him to eat than we were.

I knelt beside him. "Is there anything you want then? I can't make up my mind and these two aren't helping much."

"Not really. Just sort of wanna eat at this point."

Alastair flinched.

Cole brushed his hair out of his face. "Are painkillers a thing where you guys are from?"

"Yeah." Ran sat beside his brother. "Hannah didn't give them to us much. When she did, it cuz someone had an accident. She didn't usually bother if it was caused by our KK powers."

"You think it'd help right now?" Cole asked.

Ran shrugged. "You wanna try it, Star?"

"I just want the food."

Okay. Alastair was stiff, sweaty, and pale. I wasn't sure if he was going to eat much. Soup was always a good thing to make at times like these.

Yeah, I'd make Alastair some soup. But what about the boys and myself? We wouldn't necessarily eat like birds. In that moment, I wished the boys would just tell me what they wanted!

Anyway, it only took me a few minutes or so to make Alastair soup.

His mouth watered when I set it in front of him, so I knew he was starving when he came out of his room. His hands were shaking. I hoped he wouldn't fall asleep in his food.

Ran hovered over him. He was ready to jump in if his brother needed it.

Ran perked up. "No idea why... I just got a craving for hot dogs."

Alastair looked up from his soup to laugh.

Cole put his hand over his mouth and went quiet for a minute. "Hot dogs? Sounds good to me."

Finally! I could make something. Cole and I actually hadn't been home for dinner much lately... That was probably why I had no idea what to make. On nights like those, there really wasn't time or anything to think about those things.

Alastair was nodding off after he finished his soup. Cole grabbed it so he couldn't face plant in the bowl. Ran picked him up to take him to bed. Cole and I were left to do the dishes after that.


***


Thoughts? Theories? Predictions?

~Shino out!

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