HEY GUYS look I have another fic. I'm sure you're thrilled. Oh God 18 pages. Why.
So, um, yeah. This is the fic I promised ages ago on DA detailing Worth's many epic adventures with his fifty-bazillion pets. It's meant to be part crack and part a sort of character study regarding Worth and his relationships. This all actually came into being thanks to a conversation with my roommate that lasted several hours. We were discussing the Worth-mobile and how the cat fur got into its grill and... well, it all kind of spiralled from there.
There's actually several more stories regarding a raccoon named Garbage and a hamster that died after a week because it got loose and Worth didn't care enough to rescue the thing, but I wanted to keep the number to 15 so I could have a story about Cat every five things. Because Cat is awesome, damnit. Also this thing is obscenely long as it is. Each section was meant to only be a few paragraphs, but well, we all know how I am when it comes to a story being "short".
Um, not much else to say. This is my first time writing Lamont, so I hope he came out okay. I'm kind of iffy with bits and pieces and the last shot in particular I feel kind of eh about, but overall I'm pretty pleased with this and I hope you guys enjoy it. Crits and comments are greatly appreciated!
Credit goes to la-zombie-monkey on DA for coming up with Whiskey the rat, by the way, and as always the characters belong to miss Tessa Stone.Title:
He's an AnimalRating:
Doc Worth-centric with bits of Lamont, Hanna, Conrad, and Zombie.Chapters:
Doc Worth, at best, could be described as a bit of an eccentric, creepy man. And being an eccentric, creepy man, it seemed only fitting that throughout his lifetime he would have a number of eccentric, creepy pets.I. Cat
He's not really sure how it all started.
Living in a back alley, Worth tended to get his fair share of interesting animals. They were practically his neighbors, and he generally treated them with the same odd sort of hospitality that he gave all other living things. That is to say, when he spotted a raccoon or some shit digging through his garbage, he threw a brick at that fucker. Those used needles were his
Indeed, he had his fair share of interesting visitors, from cats to raccoons to even a bear at one point. But there was one in particular that was kind of special.
She was white, or at least he thinks she had been at one point. Now he's not really sure what color she is. There's these interesting patches of brown and gray, a bit of matted fur coated in black grease from a car or something, and he's not even sure how the bit of green and purple got into the picture. She was a terrifying, shaking mess of bones and fur, thin and mangy like most alleycats tended to be. Her whiskers were a curled mess of wire, and for some reason one of her ears was just gone. It hadn't been bitten off or anything, it was just gone
He wasn't really sure where this thing had come from. All he knew is he'd seen her wandering around his alley one day, and since he hadn't felt the urge to punt her across said alley he figured maybe it was some sort of sign. So he'd said hello to the cat and she kept coming and before he knew it he was putting a saucer of milk and rum (because damnit Cat is special and deserves it) out every morning. He didn't always see her, but the saucer was empty at the end of every day and he'd made a point of chasing away any other cats, so he figured it was working well enough.
So when he pokes his head out of his apartment in the morning (well, okay, it's four in the afternoon, but to him that's the crack of fucking dawn) and shuffles out in his furry bathrobe and slippers to fish yesterday's newspaper from the dumpster, he's not too surprised when he hears a soft meow coming from below him.
"Hm?" He glances down at the cat, then smirks. "'Lo, Cat. Lovely morning, eh?" She has no name, she is just "Cat", and he feels she likes it well enough.
She blinks up at him with two mismatched eyes, then lets out another meow and rubs against his leg.
"Pfft. Only here when you want something, eh? Christ, you're as bad as my fucking junkies," He muttered as he rolls up an aged newspaper. "'Ang on, I'm getting your stupid breakfast. Christ." So he wanders inside and Cat trails behind, and he can't help but muse on how weird the whole mess is. Though he supposes he thrives on weird, so this is nothing new.
It wasn't like he went out of his way to do this stuff, but it seemed like he'd become a sort of collector of the strange and the stray. He wasn't really sure how that had happened... but it was amusing enough, so he supposed it didn't really matter.
Besides, he kinda had a thing for animals.II. Admiral
His first pet had actually been a goldfish when he was nine. He'd wanted the cat from the dumpster, but his parents had said some stupid shit about 'responsibility' and 'you'll never remember to feed it' and 'it probably has rabies' and so on and he'd ended up with a goldfish instead.
So he'd sat there in his room, staring blankly at this goldfish. He'd decided to name it Admiral and that'd been all well and fine and he'd been vaguely excited when he fed the thing and it floated on up to the top and gobbled everything up. But that amusement had lasted all of five minutes and then he was just bored out of his mind.
He'd sat there for a few minutes, staring. Then he'd grinned. "Say, Admiral..." He'd said as he picked up the bowl and began walking toward the bathroom. "It's occurred to me that I can't really call you Admiral
when you haven't been on any proper adventures... how does exploring the pipes sound?"
So he'd flushed his own goldfish. This may have been kind of cruel, but really, that fish was getting it off nice when one considered how boring his parent's house was. He was doing the damn thing a favor. Besides, three days later he'd found the fish swimming around in a toilet in some museum that he'd been dragged to, and really, that was just poetic. From one shitter to a slightly less shitty shitter... that was the just the circle of life, wasn't it?III. Polly
"Oi, Polly, eat your fuckin' cracker," He'd growled as he poked a saltine through the bars of the rusty cage.
He was kind of concerned. Well, vaguely concerned anyway, which was more concern than he could usually muster for his classmates or teachers at med school. He hadn't heard any irritating squawking coming from the gray parrot's cage in a few days now, and really, what was the point in having a bird if it wasn't going to annoy the fuck out of everyone?
Worth let out a sigh as he nudged the bars. "C'mon, get up."
The parrot in question let out a weak squawk and sat up, the few gray feathers that remained on its skinny frame ruffling with the motion. He watched as the thing inched toward the cracker, then promptly collapsed.
"Aw," Worth's face fell slightly. "Jeez, that's kinda upsetting..." He shrugged and nudged the cage again, then turned and walked away. This was probably his fault, he shouldn't have named a parrot 'Polly' of all things. It was just asking for trouble.
Oh well. He'd wanted a vulture anyway, and at least the dead body might freak his flatmates out for awhile. Besides, Lamont had been betting the thing wouldn't last a week and it had been two, so in Worth's opinion he'd won this one.IV. Punt
He'd had a few girlfriends in his lifetime. Some were hot, some were ugly, all of them were fucking bitches but that was how he liked them. They came and went as the seasons changed and they all had varying degrees of psychosis, but usually he didn't exactly regret any of them. There was one that left him wondering what the hell he had been thinking though.
Maybe it was because she was rich. Her dad was the CEO of something or other, and he did need money. And she was
kinda hot, if painfully stupid. He really was not sure how she got into college, the only explanation was probably bribary. But none of that really made up for the fact that she was annoying as hell.
Her voice was grating at best, and she was always chattering and chewing away at her gum. She was always rambling about some designers item or another, complaining about his fashion sense, fixing his ties (which he liked
to have crooked, thank you very much) and really the sex wasn't good enough to make up for it all. He really wasn't sure why he stayed with her for as long as he did.
The breaking point, weirdly enough, had been her dog.
She'd brought it to his flat one day. This little rat of a dog, a chihuahua. He hated dogs as it was, but this one in particular was just annoying. The rhinestone collar and little fluffy pink sweater only seemed to add to the annoying. It looked like a squealing, prissy rat in her arms, except that wasn't an accurate description because he liked
So she held the thing and it licked at her face and whined in a high pitch that was stupidly close to her voice as she rambled on and on about how adorable he was and kept asking for suggestions for names. And he just sort of nodded and smiled as he watched the thing go through his perfectly nice clutter, its little nose poking through his stuff.
After awhile she'd said something about needing to go to the bathroom and she'd left, cheerily telling him to "play nice". So he'd sat in his room with this little rat of a dog looking up at him with wet brown eyes and whining. He sat and he stared, watching as its little tail wagged.
And then finally he'd just snapped and punted the thing. "PUNT!" He snapped as he watched the thing fly across the room. "THAT'S YOUR GODDAMN NAME!"
Naturally, she'd been hysterical. She broke up with him on the spot and there'd been yelling and screaming and breaking of his nose, and oh that hadn't been nearly
as annoying as their whole relationship had been.
But he heard later that the name "Punt" had actually stuck with that runt of a dog, so at least there was a silver lining.V. Cat II
It was a beautiful morning.
That was the first thing the striped, somewhat shabby tom cat was aware of as he stepped out of his box. A deliciously warm morning sunbeam was shining into his section of alleyway, casting the area in a lovely golden glow. His flea-bitten ear twitched as he caught the sound of birds chirping over the usual roar of morning traffic, their song cheerful and pleasant. Indeed, the air was almost peaceful, something rare for the city.
The cat gave a great yawn and stretched, then padded out of its box into the street. It seemed like a good time to seek out some breakfast. Perhaps that scary blonde woman had thrown out her shrimp lo mein leftovers from the night before.'Vroom!'
The peaceful air was broken by what could only be described as an ominous growl. The tom cat paused, gray ears perking up as he glanced about for the source of this strange sound. It almost sounded like a dying animal, but that couldn't have been quite right because it also sounded mechanical...
And then quite suddenly it flew over the horizon and came barreling toward the tomcat: two tons of rusted, dented, blood red red minivan surrounded in a cloud of smoke. The headlights shown from the thing as if it were the eyes of a monster rising from the depths of hell, and the dying shrieks of whatever machinations were going on under the hood didn't help matters.
The tomcat let out a yelp of terror and promptly bolted. Striped, matted fur stood straight on end as it ran for its life, the van closing in on it as a terrifying, butchered Aussie accent rang out over the roar of the Worth-mobile."KNOCK UP CAT, WILL YA? I'LL SHOW YOU, YOU LITTLE FUCKING BASTARD OF A TOM!"VI. Maneater
"...Is that a piranha?"
Worth glanced up from where he was haphazardly shoving newly acquired hospital grade cleaning supplies into a dingy supply closet. Lamont had set down the boxes he was carrying and was leaning against one of the filing cabinets they'd recently stolen from the insurance company five blocks down. There was a nervous grin on his face as he squinted, trying to see through the dirty, speckled glass that made up the fishbowl sitting on top of the cabinet in question.
"'Course it's a fuckin' piranha, what does it look like?" Worth snorted as he pushed a gallon of disinfectant into the closet, then slammed the door as hard as he could in hopes that the force would perhaps keep it shut this time. "Name's Maneater."
Lamont gave a snicker at the name as he peered at the grayish fish, squinting to catch sight of the creature's pink underbelly. "I see. Why do you have a piranha?"
"A better question would be why the fuck not
?" The blond doctor drawled as he walked over to the boxes Lamont had set on his new desk. "It's badass," He added as he began to fish through them, chewing absently on the end of his lit cigarette.
His companion chuckled at this, shaking his head. "Right, who was I kidding? What kind of self respecting backalley doctor doesn't
have his own piranha?" He reached out with a finger, calloused after years of rough work, to tap lightly at the glass. "So what, are you going to, I dunno, feed the thing the amputated limbs of your victims or something?"
A terrifying, yellow-toothed grin came to Worth's face as he threw several medical instruments aside. "Hell yeah
Lamont gave a nervous giggle as he turned to look to Worth. "Haha, oh God. That's terrible."
Worth's grin widened as he finally fished out a shining, terrifyingly sharp scalpel. "I know. What else am I gonna do with the Goddamn body parts, right?" He quirked a brow as he spoke, observing his reflection in the instrument.
His friend stared at him for a moment. Then he promptly burst into laughter, his heavy shoulders shaking as he collapsed against the cabinet and cackled. The sudden force of his weight shook the fishbowl on top of the cabinet, sending some water splashing out onto the rusting metal and causing the fish within to make a panicked lap around the bowl.
Worth's grin became a scowl as he glared at Lamont, slamming the scalpel down on the table. "I'm not joking
, asshole. And be careful, you're gonna tip him over."
"I know, I know!" Lamont exclaimed as he clapped a hand over his mouth, trying to stiffle his snickers. Dark eyes glanced around the new one room office, taking in the rusting cabinets, the creaking old desk, the new medical supplies he'd brought in, and the dying plant that Worth had lugged all the way from his old college flat. It was all a terrifying mess, but this was his friend's new business... and in some strange way it looked like it was going to work.
He wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not.
The dark-haired man glanced back at the piranha, his face splitting into a grin as he watched the thing flash a set of sharp, yellowed teeth that were too reminiscent of Worth's own set to not be somewhat terrifying.
"I know. That's what scares me."VII. Whiskey
This was it. Tonight was the night.
Worth scowled as he sat at his desk, dirty shoes propped up on the top, chair leaning back, grimy fingers laced together, yellowed teeth grinding down on his twentieth cigarette as he eyed the half empty bottle of whiskey placed next to his shoes. Slow business and a roaring hangover had left him in a less than pleasant mood, so he figured this would be the perfect time to attempt to take care of the rat problem. His food had been going missing for several weeks now, and Worth figured if he was filled with a sense of insatiable bloodlust, he may as well use it in a semi-positive manner.
You know, if only to cackle at the bleeding carcass of the thing that kept putting bite marks in his week old leftover pizza.
So he'd set a trap and now all he could do was wait. He'd caught glimpses of a pink tail, he knew the little bastard was around. He could be patient if he had to be, and damnit he was determined to be around when the grimy little bastard met its terrible end. So he sat, he smoked, and waited.
A few hours into the whole thing his anger had drained and he was reminded why it was that he normally didn't care for such things. Hunting down nature may have been entertaining in that brief, triumphant moment of victorious murder, but outside of that it was boring as fuck
. He was just thinking of closing up shop and heading out to find himself some proper booze when he heard a loud 'Snap!'
from the corner.
"HA!" Worth cried out as he leaped to his feet, his chair clattering to the floor as he pointed dramatically at the corner. "Take that, you lil' fuckin' bastard! That'll teach you to steal my..." He trailed off, his arms dropping as he viewed the decidedly empty trap. "...the fuck?" It was then that he heard a squeak from his desk. The doctor blinked in confusion, then turned, his white fur coat flaring out behind him.
There was a scrawny rat perched upon the corner of his desk, its patchy butterscotch fur sticking up in all directions. The creature seemed to be quite content with chowing down on the piece of cheese Worth had intended to use as bait.
"Huh," Worth muttered as he wandered over the desk, quirking a brow as he gazed down at the creature. "I see ya got the cheese without much trouble, clever lil' bugger." The rat paused in its chewing to glance up at Worth, beady little eyes glittering. After watching him for another moment, the doctor gave a snort and knelt down in front of the creature. "I'm not gonna be able ta' catch you, am I?" He murmured. The rat gave a squeak and scittered away from Worth's reach, moving behind the bottle of whiskey on the other end of the desk. Worth gave a laugh at this. "Fair 'nough. Yer name's Whiskey then, how's that sound?"
He sat and watched the rat for a moment, then shrugged and stood, stretching his arms above his head and arching his thin back. "Well, whatever. What place back here doesn't have a rat problem? You just keep outta my shit and make sure to freak people out when they come over, deal?" He drawled as he reached up to scratch the back of his head.
The rat, now dubbed Whiskey, peered up at him for another moment. Then it gave a squeak, grabbed the piece of cheese and hopped off his desk. Worth watched the creature vanish into a hole in the wall, then snorted as he took his chair back. "Alright. Later then, asshole."
Some would call him crazy, but that sounded like a deal to him. And in his kind of business, deals were good.VIII. Hanna
He wasn't sure what to do with the kid.
When the redhead had first shown up on his doorstep he'd been bleeding out, and that had been no problem. Sure, the kid had been more of a mess than most and had an interesting condition, but it wasn't any sort of challenge that Worth couldn't handle. So he'd sewn the kid up and gone through an interesting mess involving industrial staples and that had been fine.
Except now the kid wasn't dying, he was up and moving and Worth wasn't quite sure what to make of it.
He'd gone through the kid's wallet in the three days the redhead had been out, so he knew the guy's name (Hanna Falk Cross, what kind of a gayass name was that?), his age (Nineteen
, really? Kid looked about twelve), his social security number and the fact that he was broke, which was all the information Worth needed to find him annoying as fuck. Add that to the fact that the boy didn't seem to be willing to speak without an obscene amount of prodding and the doctor couldn't help but think the kid was basically the essence of pain in the ass.
Really, he should have just kicked the kid out, but from the few words he'd managed to get he'd pieced together that the kid had nowhere to go. Ordinarily Worth would not have given a damn, he would have shoved the kid out the door, wished the brat luck and gone on with his life. There were homeless shelters down the street and this guy was an adult, he could take care of himself. In fact, he had tried
to shove the kid out, but the little bastard had just stayed sitting on his doorstep until Worth let him back in several hours later with a grumble. He didn't know why, but he couldn't seem to get the kid to leave.
So what was he supposed to do now?
Worth scowled, yellowed teeth grinding down on his cigarette as he stood glaring at the kid in question. The idiot had sat unmoving in the corner for several hours now, knees pulled up to his chest as he gazed unblinkingly at the nearest wall.
Well, it was time to change that.
"Oi, asshole," Worth grunted, attempting to get the kid's attention. When the redhead didn't look up, he gave the boy a light kick in the side, causing the redhead to flinch. Wide, electric blue eyes blink blearily up at him from behind cracked, dirty glasses, causing the doctor's scowl to deepen. "Stop lookin' at me like that, Christ! Look, if you're gonna keep hangin' around my place, ya can't keep sittin' there. An' ya can't just follow me everywhere like some kind of mentally challenged duckling or whatever, I'm not your fuckin' mother."
The kid just blinked up at him.
Worth gave a growl. "Stop looking
at me like that, you little bastard!" He snapped, causing the redhead to flinch and attempt to bury himself deeper into his corner. The blond gave another growl at this and reached up to rake his fingers through his hair. "What the hell am I supposed to do with you, huh? Ya can't just keep sitting in that corner, it's creepy as hell. Christ, you're like the dog I never wanted." At these words the blond paused, blinking. He looked to the redhead, whom blinked back at him. After a moment of silence, Worth's mouth spread into a grin.
"Well, there's an idea."
Several hours later Lamont shoved the door to Worth's office open, grunting under the weight of several large boxes. "Worth, I've got your order, and Goddamn
it is heavy. What, did you order a bunch of cinderblocks just to fuck with me or..." The dark-haired man's words trailed of as he paused in the doorway, brow furrowing as he took in the scene before him.
"'Lo, Cuntface," Worth drawled in what could be considered a halfway pleasant greeting from him. Aside from the greeting he made no move to really acknowledge Lamont, as he was currently seemingly engrossed in the book he was reading. This in itself was rather odd, as although Lamont knew Worth read, he was also aware that Worth generally preferred to keep this from being terribly common knowledge. Add that to the title, Dogs for Dummies
, and Lamont was already beginning to think he was in an alternate dimension.
But really, the weirdest part was the box. It was cardboard and looked like it had once been the packaging for a big screen TV. Now, however, it was lined with towels and blankets, and a hastily scrawled "Hanna's Box"
in sharpie made it rather clear what it was meant for. This was all pretty weird, but to add to the weirdness factor was the fact that the kid had indeed taken up residence inside the box and actually looked almost happy as he sat there and continued his staring at the wall.
"...What." Lamont mumbled as he finally walked in and set the boxes down.
"Hm?" Worth glanced up from his reading material, then followed Lamont's gaze to the box. "What? Bugger needed a place to sleep. Now he has one." He shrugged, then looked back to the book.
"I... can see that," Lamont said as he wandered over to the box, cocking his head to the side. The redhead blinked back at him, then cocked his head to the side as well, causing Lamont to smile. The kid really was nice, just apparently ridiculously shellshocked. "Couldn't he just sleep on the couch or something?"
"Fuck no," Worth grunted as he flipped a few more pages. "I need that couch for important shit. Besides, he's basically a dog, dogs sleep in boxes, right?"
Lamont gave a snicker as he tapped the label on the box. "You're joking, right? He's a kid, Worth, he's not a beagle. You can't just stick him in a box and take him for walks and feed him milkbones or whatever."
"What, are you going report me to fuckin' PETA or somethin?" The doctor snorted.
His friend blinked, then gave a nervous giggle at this. He supposed this was a decent argument, but looking between Worth and the kid in the box he couldn't help but be concerned. "I thought you hated dogs," He said as he finally made his way over to Worth's side, raising a brow at the blond.
"Exactly," The doctor grumbled as he leaned over the book, his head propped up in his hands. "Kid's a pain in the fucking ass and keeps giving me those gay lil' puppy dog eyes, so I'll treat him just like any other pain in the fucking ass."
Lamont supposed this was admittedly a good point. Worth hated dogs and kids, and this redhead seemed like a weird mixture of both. The fact that this was the case and yet somehow the kid seemed to officially have a box to his name said a lot about the strangeness of the situation. This probably meant Worth was feeling either very masochistic or very sadistic. Whichever it was, in spite of everything the kid seemed to be there to stay.
He wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not. Regardless, at least it looked like they'd have some fun in the meantime.
"So," Lamont grinned as he peered over Worth's shoulder at the book in his hands. "Do you think we can teach him to do any tricks?"IX. Snapper
"Ow! OWowowowowow! Woooooooooorth, heeeeeeelp!"
Worth didn't even look up from his magazine. Hanna's yelps of pain weren't exactly a rarity in his office, and over the pat few months the blond had gotten fairly skilled in the art of tuning them out. In fact, Worth was more likely to be something akin concerned if the redhead somehow succeeded in not
getting himself injured for several days, since that usually meant something was actually wrong. But no, those shrieks of pain sounded fairly run-of-the-mill, and Worth was personally far more invested in imagining Jessica Alba without that bikini top, so Hanna would have to wait.
Five minutes of whimpering later Worth finally let out a groan and set his magazine down. "This had better be real
fuckin' important, kid," He growled as he sauntered into the main room of his office, dragging his shoes across the worn carpet. He paused in the doorway, then his face broke into a grin. "Well, ain't this an interestin' picture. What'd I tell you about that drawer?"
"N-nothing!" A nervous grin came to Hanna's face even as he winced in pain, looking for all the world like a five-year old with his hand caught in a cookie jar. This was a fairly accurate description, as he currently stood on his tiptoes, one long, skinny arm stuck in the top drawer of a cabinet while his free hand attempted to pull it loose. He seemed to be failing, largely thanks to a black, spiny-shelled snapping turtle attached to his finger.
Worth gave a snort. "That don't look like nothin' to me." He supposed he should have seen this coming, he knew by now that telling Hanna not to do something was like waving a neon sign telling the redhead to do it.
"M-maybe..." Hanna winced as the turtle took that opportunity to gnaw on his finger again. "O-okay, I'm sorry, I was just curious! Man I didn't even know you had a snapping turtle, that's pretty-- Owowowowow okay okay MAKE HIM STOP!"
The doctor smirked as he made his way over to the two, hands shoved in the pockets of his dingy coat. "Y'know, it's not even like I've got any fancy shit or anythin' like that, 's just files... even so," He shrugged, blew a puff of smoke in Hanna's face, then reached up to pat the spiny thing on the shell as the redhead coughed violently. "Snapper here's pretty good at keepin' nosey little brats outta my junk." His eyes narrowed as he looked to the redhead, his tone growing somewhat dangerous. "Don't suppose you've learned your lesson now, have ya?"
Hanna's nervous grin widened and he shrunk away from Worth's look. "Oh-no-I've-definitely-learned-I'm-good-n
ow-please MAKE HIM LET GO!" He whimpered, his plea coming out in a pained whine as as the turtle chomped harder on his finger.
Worth stared at him for another moment. Then he beamed, apparently satisfied that Hanna had learned the 'you do not mess with Worth' rule. He then turned to walk away, dingy coat flaring out behind him.
"H-hey, wait!" Hanna sputtered. "Where are you going!? Come back!"
"Yeah, yeah, I'll help ya in a minute, calm the fuck down.Just gotta figure out where I dropped that damn camera, picture for the scrapbook an' all," Worth said as he made his way toward the back room.
"This one's definitely a keeper."X. Cat III
"Wooooorth~!" Hanna's voice was irritatingly chipper as he poked his head into the office, a grin on his face even as blood dripped from a cut somewhere in his hairline. "Did we catch you before your midnight booze run? I hope we..." His cheery tone trailed off as he stepped into the dark front room of the office, brow furrowing in confusion. "Worth?" He called out, his voice sounding very small in a room that seemed considerably creepier without the standard dingy yellow lighting.
Hanna's zombie friend frowned as he stepped inside as well, closing the aged door behind him. "He doesn't seem to be here... maybe he's out?" Even as he spoke, the undead man had to doubt his own words. Unless he was a few blocks down the street getting alcohol, Worth was never
out at night.
"No, no, that'd just be weird," The redhead muttered as he looked around, pulling open filing cabinets and peering under the desk, as if expecting Worth to be hiding like some kind of fur-lined ninja. After finally coming to the conclusion that the obscenity-spewing doctor was indeed not in his office, or in any of the other rooms in said office, Hanna began his trek through the back hallway.
"Hanna, I highly doubt Worth wants us back here," Hanna's zombie friend put in, but went ignored as per usual. The two made their way through the hallway, Hanna's expression brightening as he spotted a light coming from the stairway that lead to the upper floors where Worth lived.
"Wooooooorth?" Hanna called out as he took the rickety stairs two at a time, making a point to avoid the one stair that he knew perfectly well was unlikely to hold, even under his meager weight. "You'd better not be jerking off up here or something, 'cause that'd be gross and I'm kinda bleeding
and I-- oh, there you are!" The redhead paused in the middle of Worth's terrifying excuse for a kitchen, beaming as he spotted the man.
The doctor in question didn't seem to have even noticed Hanna's entrance, though he was facing the doorway. He was currently seated at his kitchen counter, the mountain of ancient dirty dishes, old newspapers and other trash having been shoved aside so he actually had a place to set the bottle of vodka he seemed to be in the middle of chugging. It was a miracle he had room for this particular bottle, as he was practically drowning in a sea of fresh crushed beer cans, empty bottles, and cigarette butts. Adding this to the sunken in, blank stare, unshaven face and his current attire of a stained old gray shirt, boxers that were an equally grimy brown, and a see-through, fur-lined bathrobe left one with an image of Worth that was a bit more messed up than usual.
, you look terrible. Are you okay?" Hanna asked as he made his way over to the counter, tripping once over his own feet before miraculously being saved by a terribly sticky stain on a different section of the floor.
"Wha?" Worth finally seemed to realize Hanna and his friend were there. The doctor gave a grunt, long fingers reaching up to rub at his face. "Hanna, what the fuck are you doing here? It's too fuckin' early," He groaned, voice muffled by his fingers.
"It's eleven forty-five, actually..." Hanna's friend put in as he glanced around the kitchen, absently musing that when Worth said his office was clean in comparison, he hadn't been kidding.
"It is?" Worth slurred, his brow furrowing. He then gave another grunt and threw his head back so he could properly guzzle down the other half of the bottle of vodka in his hands, the clear liquid sloshing messily as he downed it.
Hanna frowned as he put his hands on his hips, taking a good look at Worth. He then glanced at the doctor's surroundings again, his eyes catching a spot of white fur. The redhead blinked in confusion, then reached over and moved aside some of the empty bottles. "What the... is this a stuffed cat
?" He sputtered.
Worth wiped his mouth, then turned to glare at Hanna. "Not just a cat, that's Cat
, dumbass. Show some fuckin' respect!" He growled, banging the now empty bottle of vodka on the table. Hanna's zombie friend couldn't help but feel that with the missing ears and different fur colors the creature really didn't look like a cat anymore, but he decided this was a thought best kept to himself.
"That's... really, really
weird Worth," Hanna said as he turned back to the creature. After squinting at it for a moment, his mouth suddenly broke into a grin. "Hey, I remember this cat! I saw it in your back alleyway a few times! What, did you finally snap and shoot it or something? Man, this thing is uglier
now that it's dead!" He exclaimed as he reached out to poke the animal.
Worth immediately reached out and smacked Hanna's hand away, eliciting a yelp from the boy. "She's no' ugly, she's beautiful
, an' leave her t' fuck alone!" He snarled as he reached out and grabbed the stuffed cat, then stumbled off of the stool he'd been sitting on so he could get it out of Hanna's reach. "An' I did not
shoot her, bitch went and dropped dead on 'er own, thanks."
"Sorry, I just don't get why you went and got some alleycat stuffed. It's weird even for you," Hanna winced, cradling his aching hand as he watched Worth for a moment. He then blinked, a look of understanding coming to his face. "Ooooh, I get it. That's why you're up here drinking like crazy!"
The doctor turned to stare blearily at him. "...What?" Hanna's friend looked equally confused, giving Hanna a look that made it rather clear he was starting to feel Hanna was entering territory that he probably shouldn't be.
Hanna ignored his friend completely, giving a sage nod. "You actually liked this cat, didn't you? I think I remember you feeding it... yeah, that's right, you gave her milk with rum, right?! You actually liked her and then she died and you were sad so you had her stuffed and now you've been up here because you're sad and you miss her!" The redhead clapped his hands together and beamed, clearly proud of himself for making this connection. "Wow, who'd have thought scary old Worth would be sad over a cat, eh?"
Worth stared blankly at him for a moment. Then his lips pulled back into a snarl. "The fuck are you on about?" He growled, taking a step toward Hanna as his hand clenched into a fist around the bottle in his hand. "I am not
sad about a fuckin' cat, that's jus' crazy! What, d'ya think I'm some kind of psycho cat lady or something? Fuck off, go talk to Count Fagula if you wanna hear sentimental bullshit about his cats or his dresses or what-the-fuck-ever!"
The redhead's eyebrows rose in surprise as he took a step back, holding his hands up in a defensive sort of gesture. "Whoa, hey, I was just suggesting--"
"Something fucking ridiculous
, as always! What the hell are ya doin' here, anyway? It's my Goddamn house, ya can't jus' come prancin' in here whenever ya damn well please!" Worth snarled as he took another step toward Hanna. "Can't a guy drink in his own damn shitty apartment in peace? Jesus fucking Christ, do you jus' not know how to mind your own fuckin' business!?"
"Hanna, we should probably go," Hanna's friend spoke up, putting a hand on the redhead's shoulder and trying to guide him toward the door. Ordinarily he trusted Worth for the most part, but it was clear right now that the doctor was very
drunk and very upset, and the zombie didn't feel like pushing Hanna's luck against those sorts of odds.
Hanna seemed willing to agree, his expression that same nervous grin he always wore when Worth was mad at him. "Oookay Worth, sorry for bothering you. Uh, we know where the first aid kit is, so we'll just find that and be on our way," The redhead rambled as he inched toward the stairwell and began to follow his friend down it. He paused to glance back at Worth and flashed one final sympathetic smile. "Sorry about your cat, man."
Worth responded by hurling the empty vodka bottle at the spot where Hanna's head had been, the glass shattering and clattering to the grimy floor.
The doctor stood there in his kitchen as he heard the two sets of footsteps rushing down the stairs and out of his office. Once things were quiet he let out a sigh, allowing his body to relax as he glanced down at the stuffed cat in his arms. "What?" He slurred as he made his way back to the counter, setting the thing down and running his fingers through matted fur. "Dun' look at me like that. It's not like I woulda hit him, bastard knows missing on purpose is 'ow I show affection." With those words he took his seat at the counter again, still stroking the stuffed cat. After a few moments of silence he tipped the creature forward, forcing her unmoving mouth into a small saucer of milk Worth had placed in front of it. "That's good, right?" He muttered, then gave a harsh, hollow laugh. "'Course it ain't, who am I fuckin' kidding?"
Worth suddenly slumped forward, face hitting the counter with a loud 'Bang!'
. He lay there in silence for a bit, then gave a weak, drunken laugh that slowly filtered down to a strange, choked noise, his long fingers twisting through the fur of that damned stuffed cat. He wasn't crying, no, that would be ridiculous. He was not crying and he was not mourning, because these were things he had sworn off long after he'd hit rock bottom. He did not cry and he did not mourn, because Worth no longer gave a shit about anything, whether it was a certain asshole dealer or idiotic redheaded patients who never listened to him or something as ridiculous as the ugliest alley cat to ever exist.
He didn't care, but he'd be damned if it didn't hurt anyway.XI. Juan
"Hey, hey, careful! You almost stepped on Juan" Hanna's voice rang through Worth's office, causing Lamont to pause midstep.
"Juan?" Lamont repeated as he lifted his foot, brow furrowing as he tried to peer past the boxes in his hands at the floor. His confusion doubled when he saw nothing more than a brown cockroach skittering across the floor. "...Hanna, that's a cockroach. They're all over this place."
"Nuh uh!" Hanna shook his head, a grin coming to his face as he knelt down to get a better look at the cockroach. "It's Juan! See, you can tell because he got a messed up antenna after Worth stepped on him four times and he still lived, it was awesome
!" He chirped as he pointed at the creature. Sure enough, it did have a somewhat messed up antenna.
The dark-haired man had to smile at the twenty year old's childlike enthusiasm as he moved to set the boxes down. "You've started naming Worth's roach problem?What, is Worth still refusing to let you have a dog or something?" He snickered, recalling the whole mess from a few weeks ago when Hanna had apparently arrived with a puppy and had promptly been shooed from the office until he disposed of the creature.
"Yeah, Worth still won't let me keep a dog. He keeps saying I
already count, can you believe it?" Hanna huffed, his lower lip poking out into a pout. "But no, I didn't name the roaches, Worth did! See, that one over there is Guadalupe!" He pointed to a roach chilling on the wall. "And those two over there are Miguel and Dora!" Again he pointed, this time to two roaches skittering all over each other in a corner. "And that one on the cabinet is Jesus, except you know, it's pronounced all 'hey-zeus' or whatever 'cause it's Mexican." The redhead beamed, clearly proud of himself for remembering all the names.
Lamont grinned as he looked at the cockroaches, then knelt down beside Hanna. "Why am I not surprised? Why are they all Mexican names though?" He inquired as he raised an eyebrow.
Hanna blinked, then turned to Lamont and rose a brow. "Isn't it obvious? Worth said they're all like immigrants or something, so we're supposed to give them Mexican names!" He beamed, then looked back to the cockroaches. Then he pointed. "Oh, oh, I think that one's new! How does Rafael sound for a name!?"
The dark-haired man's jaw dropped as he turned to stare at Hanna, whom simply beamed in return. Then Lamont started laughing.
"Hey, why are you laughing!?" Hanna sputtered. "I was serious! I think it's a good name"
"I-I know, I know! I-it is, don't worry!" Lamont cackled as he sat there on his knees, clutching his stomach and failing miserably at controlling his giggles. "It's just... it's just... oh man
, that is terrible!" He finally calmed down enough to focus on the cockroaches again, a wide grin on his face. "I dunno if Raphael is generic enough... maybe Diego?"
Hanna beamed. "Perfect!"
Lamont gave another cackle at this as he gazed down at the cockroach Hanna had pointed out. He then shook his head and rose, patting Hanna on the shoulder as he did so. "He really is a bad influence on you, kid." At Hanna's furrowed brow, the dark-haired man chuckled. "Don't worry about it, you're a good kid. I doubt he can do that much to you. Besides..." He trailed off as he looked back the box he'd been carrying, a smirk coming to his face as he watched a now familiar cockroach crawl across the outside. He reached out and flicked the insect, giving another laugh as he watched 'Juan', or at least he assumed it was Juan, fall to the table and skitter away.
"He's a bad influence on me too."XII. Annie
He couldn't breathe. This wasn't the "he'd had far too many smokes and his lungs were raw" inability to breathe either, he really couldn't breathe
Worth's eye gave a twitch as he struggled against the twenty-foot snake wrapped around his mid-section, trying and failing to get his arms free from the creature's monstrous grip. "And," He choked out as he clawed weakly at patterned scale. "What did you say the bitch's name was again?"
"Annie!" Hanna chirped from his seat on the desktop, small legs swinging back and forth as he watched the python wrap tighter around Worth's midsection. "I think she likes you, too! See, she's giving you a hug!"
The doctor let out a grunt that would have been a wave of profanity had he had the oxygen to spit it all out. Instead he was reduced to a mild "Fuck!"
as he stumbled around the office, attempting to find some sort of weapon. He supposed he'd made jokes about women being far too clingy and squeezing the life out of him, but this was ridiculous. He finally managed to grab hold of a rather heavy-looking book (medical in nature, which was probably why it was covered in dust) and slipped his hand free so he could heft the thing into the air. "Back off, ya slimy bitch, there's enough Worth t' go around!" He roared before slamming the book down on the snake's head.
The snake let out a loud hiss and finally retreated, releasing Worth and dropping to the dirty floor in a boneless heap of scales and muscle. Worth stood over the thing, panting for breath, coat and clothes disheveled from the battle for his life. He stood there for a few seconds, then knelt down, grabbing his still smoldering cigarette from the floor and popping it back into his mouth. After taking a deep, calming drag, he turned to Hanna and glared. "What the fuck
was tha' about!?" He snapped. "Thought ya said that was a present
, not a fuckin' murder attempt!"
Hanna flinched away from Worth's yell, small shoulders hunching forward as a nervous grin came to his face. "S-sorry, it's just you seem to really like animals and I found the snake while I was on a job and, um, um, you know, you've done a lot for me s-so I thought you'd like it!" He rambled, eyes wide as he desperately attempted to explain himself.. "A-and besides, that was really cool! Seriously, I didn't know you could wrestle a freaking python
! That was so badass! You're like the Crocodile Hunter
Worth stared at him for a moment, cigarette nearly dropping from his mouth. "...What."
"You know, the Crocodile Hunter?" Hanna seemed to forget the danger he was in for the moment, his eyes brightening in excitement as he kicked his legs with renewed vigor. "You know, goes through the jungle hunting down rare, dangerous animals, wrestles them into submission, says 'Crikey!' all the time! You could totally be just like him, you're badass enough and you have the accent! Come on, say 'Crikey' or something, it'll be awesome
!" He pointed excitedly at the doctor, his grin widening. "Say 'Crikey'!"
Worth blinked at Hanna, then looked down at the unconscious snake. He then did what he felt any self-respecting asshole with an Australian accent would do in such a situation.
He socked Hanna in the jaw.
The redhead let out a yelp as he toppled from the desk, crashing to the floor with a groan of pain. Worth stood over him, his lips twisted into a snarl as he jabbed a long finger in Hanna's direction. "If you ever
suggest I say that gayass catchphrase ever again, I will end you
, motherfucker. No jury would convict me."
"Fair enough," Hanna laughed as he rubbed his aching jaw, looking up to Worth and beaming. "But do you like the snake?"
Worth frowned, considering this, then glanced over at the unconscious snake again. He did appreciate the occasional near-death experience, and admittedly there was nothing quite like wrestling a giant fucking snake into submission. He supposed for all his complaints, Hanna knew his taste pretty well. That and after many of his patients had referred to him as a no good snake, he had to appreciate the irony.
"Eh, she'll do," The doctor drawled as he sat down on the desk. "But next time you feel like getting me a present, just bring me a fuckin' beer or something."XIII. Rabbit
It took roughly two hours for Worth to realize that rabbits did jack shit. They tasted pretty good with ketchup though.XIV. Queenie
In retrospect, Worth supposed getting a crocodile had not been the best idea.
Actually, he wasn't even sure it was a crocodile. Maybe it was an alligator, he knew there was some difference but it wasn't like he cared enough to really find out. A crocodile sounded more badass though, so he was inclined to refer to the thing as a crocodile.
At any rate, he was pretty sure he'd been some combination of drunk and high when he'd made the decision. At the time it had made perfect sense. After all, he'd already made his own pills and surgery was no big deal anymore, so what was left to try but that witch doctor shit?
It had taken a wad of cash to convince Lamont he was serious, and then a punch in the mouth to get the asshole to stop giggling about it. He finally got it through Lamont's head though, and a few weeks later and several complaints along the lines of "where am I supposed to find a crocodile, man!?" he found himself with a crocodile.
It took him about a week to realize this had not been the best of plans.
First of all, the thing ate an obscene amount of meat. Worth had been grateful when he stopped having to deal with feeding Hanna since the redhead ate roughly his own weight in just about anything when he had the chance, but the crocodile was easily ten times worse. Worth could barely afford to feed himself, so of course this was a problem. Then of course there was the question as to where to keep the thing. For awhile he had the crocodile just tromping around wherever it wanted, but that got rather inconvenient and then there'd been the mess when Hanna had showed up bleeding and had naturally gone and poked the thing. Getting a fully-grown crocodile to unclamp it's jaws from Hanna's leg had been an experience, even with the zombie sidekick's help. To top it all off, the crocodile was less than cheery regarding Worth's plan to take the bugger's teeth, and after multiple failed attempts and several new scars the doctor came to the conclusion that a crocodile really was far more trouble than it was worth.
Except, you know, now that he had the thing he couldn't exactly get rid of it.
Worth had tried selling the thing, but it seemed most people in the city weren't eager to purchase a live crocodile. He supposed this shouldn't be that much of a surprise, as Lamont claimed he'd gone through hell to get the thing. He supposed demand for live, full grown crocodiles wasn't exactly big in his part of town. Of course Worth didn't want to send the thing to a zoo, because as much of a bitch as the crocodile was he knew that was just cruel. He considered chasing the thing into the sewer as well, except the crocodile had recently made a home in his downstairs bathtub and didn't seem willing to leave anytime soon. He tried everything to make the creature leave, from chasing it out with loud noises to trying to get Annie and the creature to duke it out to using Hanna as live bait, much to a certain zombie's disdain. After a final adventure that ended with Worth pressed against his closed bathroom door, clutching a bite on his arm and swearing at the top of his lungs, the doctor was finally willing to accept that for now that battle was clearly skewed in the favor of that scaled beast and he'd just have to wait until the thing felt like leaving or just died.
So he left the creature in the bathroom and while it was vaguely annoying, like most mistakes in his life Worth just learned to deal with it. It was just his office bathroom, after all, and really he didn't shower often as it was so it wasn't like he was missing out on anything. And really, as long as he made a point of occasionally opening the bathroom door and tossing something in there, the creature remained relatively peaceful and complacent. In fact, Worth ended up forgetting she was even in there.
This proved to be disastrous one night when Hanna came tromping in with his usual undead entourage, covered in some kind of slime and rambling cheerily at the top of his lungs about some mess in the sewers. Worth had just sort of tuned it all out as he set to fixing up the latest gash in Hanna's side, though Conrad managed to catch his attention for a moment with some whining question as to where the bathroom was.
"What, d'ya need to touch up your make-up or some shit like that, Cindy? I dun' think that works if you don't have a reflection," Worth had snorted.
Conrad rolled his eyes. "Look, your bathroom is probably easily
as disgusting as you are, but this goo is worse and I'd like to try to get it off. Where's your bathroom?"
"Uh huh. Excuses, excuses," Worth drawled as he jerked a thumb toward the hallway. "Second door t' yer right, Confag."
The vampire rolled his eyes and pushed past the doctor, stomping down the hallway with a string of grumbled obscenities in his wake. The obscenities picked up in pitch as he found the room in question, a growl in his voice as he read the sign on the door. "'Queenie's room'
? What the fuck, Worth? Were you just waiting for me to use the bathroom so you could make another dumbass gay joke or-- HOLY SHIT!
There was a loud growling noise, followed by several heavy bangs as Conrad slammed the bathroom door and something far heavier slammed against that. "Worth!" The vampire shrieked from down the hall, his voice taking on an impressively girly pitch. "WHY THE FUCK DO YOU HAVE A FUCKING ALLIGATOR
IN YOUR BATHROOM?"
Worth paused in his sewing up of Hanna to blink. "Oh. I forgot she was in there. And she's a fuckin' crocodile, thank-you-very-much."
!?" Conrad sputtered. "HOW THE FUCK DO YOU FORGET SOMETHING LIKE THAT!?"
"You have a crocodile!?" Hanna exclaimed excitedly as he tried to stand up and go look, only to be pushed back down by his zombie friend. "That's so cool!"
"Eh, it's not big deal," Worth shrugged as he went back to work on Hanna's wound, a grin coming to his face as he heard Conrad's continued yelps as he tried and failed to keep the door closed.
He supposed even mistakes had their uses.XV. Cat IV
They were in an alternate dimension.
That was the only explanation Conrad could think of when he learned the reason Worth had called them all over to his office. At first he'd assumed this was going to be some mindfuckery of epic proportions and thus Worth had deemed it absolutely necessary that they all be present for whatever he was planning. The vampire felt he couldn't be blamed for being suspicious, as Worth was creepy as it was and Conrad had no idea how the man had gotten his number. When he added that to the world's shortest invitation, which had been an amazingly articulate "Hey, you, get the fuck over here", Conrad would be quick to admit that he wasn't feeling terribly positive about the whole outing.
But of course he'd gone anyway, because Conrad was Conrad and whether he'd admit it or not he was the world's worst pushover when it came to just about anything.
So he'd wandered over to Worth's just after sundown, hands shoved into his pockets and feeling somewhat nervous in spite of how familiar this part of town was starting to become. He wasn't sure what he was expecting when he finally walked through the door to Worth's office. Maybe Worth had gotten hold of some new prescription that was off the market and he wanted to use everyone as test subjects to see if it was potentially lethal, or maybe he was just really drunk and feeling particularly up to the sport of messing with him. There were really a number of things Worth could have been up to, all of which sounded decidedly unpleasant.
Never in his wildest dreams would he have expected to be greeted by the sight of Worth sitting at his desk, surrounded by mewling, fluffy white kittens.
"...What." Conrad mumbled as he stood in the doorway.
"Oh, Connie!" Hanna exclaimed brightly, giving a cheery wave before hopping up from his spot on the floor. As he rose, several kittens clung to him with their teeth and claws, hanging off of his clothes and skin as if they were stuck there thanks to static cling. "Look, Conrad, they like me!"
Conrad winced at the various miniature claw marks that covered the redhead's arms and face. "...yeeeaah, that is clearly
what is going on here," The vampire said slowly as he watched the kittens continue to try to maul anything they could reach on Hanna.
"Would you two clam the fuck down? Some of 'em are tryin' to sleep," Worth grumbled from his desk, then nodded to the pile of kittens that were currently settled in a certain zombie's lap. The undead man glanced up from where he was petting one of the kittens and gave a small smile, causing Hanna to grin back.
"Oookay," Conrad lowered his voice as he made his way across the room, brow furrowing. "Mind telling me why
your office has been turned into the Petshop of Horrors?"
"Oh man, it's so great!" Hanna gushed as he made his way over to Worth's desk, the kittens still gnawing at his ankles. "So Worth had this alleycat, right!?"
," Worth interjected as he stood from his desk, shrugging off his coat as he did so. "'An' she wasn't mine."
"Whatever," The redhead muttered as he scooped up several kittens from the floor, ignoring them as they clawed at his pale skin. "Anyway, so Cat died, and Worth was--" Hanna paused to look at Worth, whom seemed to be focused on straightening out his coat. When he was sure the doctor wasn't paying attention, he lowered his voice to the most conspicuous whisper Conrad had ever heard. "Worth was really
sad, cause he actually liked the cat. But it's okay now because it turns out Cat was pregnant and she had a bunch of kittens before she died and Worth just found them, isn't that awesome?!"
"Feh," Worth shrugged as he shooed several of the kittens onto his coat, then reached out to grab one and tug it from where it was chewing on Hanna's arm. "It's annoying as fuck, that's wha' it is. Come on Special, let him go
!" He grunted as he yanked the kitten loose.
"Special?" Conrad muttered as he looked to the kitten, whom was mewling and pawing for Hanna before Worth set the creature on it's feet.
"Worth dropped that one on its head. See, his eyes cross and everything!" Hanna said cheerily as he pointed to the kitten. Sure enough, the little white kitten was indeed cross-eyed, and seemed to be walking with a weird limp.
"What? He'll be fine, 'is mum was tough. He'll be a badass lil' cracker, you wait n' see," Worth muttered as he saw Conrad's horrified expression, ushering the kitten onto the coat and nodding as the creature settled in the yellowed fur.
"It's true. He called me special and I turned out fine!" Hanna declared proudly.
Somehow this did not make Conrad feel any better.
"So what... you called me over to see a bunch of kittens? Isn't this a bit weird for you?" Conrad muttered as he leaned against the desk, watching as Hanna tried to pry the other kittens off of him. Miraculously, once the kittens were removed from Hanna, the kittens began to yawn and curl up together on Worth's coat. Apparently they were all quite exhausted, it was just that the exhaustion was not enough to stave off the general hate Hanna seemed to inspire in all animals.
Worth shrugged as he pulled yet another crumpled pack of cigarettes from his back pocket. "What? They're cute lil' abominations, ain't they? Ya act like a fuckin' cat as it is, figured you'd have a spiritual connection with 'em or some shit like that."
"What!?" Conrad sputtered. "I am not
a Goddamn cat!"
"Nooo, you're a bat
, duh!" Hanna piped up loudly.
"You're not helping, Hanna."
"Is this all of them?" Hanna's zombie friend asked as he made his way over to the desk, carefully adding three sleeping kittens the pile and bringing their total up to nine.
"Yep, that's 'bout right," Worth said as he stuck a fresh cigarette between his teeth. "Thanks for helping em' settle down, I swear it's like having a billion Hannas in my office."
Hanna's eyes grew wide. "A billion of me? That would be amazing
!" He exclaimed, a grin coming to his face as he imagined the results of such a disaster.
"No, trust me, it's a fuckin' nightmare. Little paws all over, sharp little teeth gnawing on my shit and they get into fuckin' everything
. The only good thing is they really aren't
pups like you," The doctor muttered as he lit the cigarette, then blew a stream of smoke out of his nose. "They're kind of a problem, t' be honest. I can't keep 'em forever, I'm not gonna be a fuckin' crazy cat lady. I've already got Lamont on it, but I'll need you assholes to help me find homes for the little bastards."
"Ooh, ooh, we can keep one!" Hanna immediately insisted, jumping up and down excitedly. "It can stay in my room and eat baked potatoes with me and we'll get a ball of yarn and--"
"Hanna, we can't," His friend immediately interjected, putting a hand on his shoulder. "You can barely afford to feed yourself."
Hanna looked about ready to protest, but Worth stopped him this time, his eyes narrowed as he rounded on the paranormal investigator. "Nuh uh, no way! You
are not keeping any of them. You already need Frankenstein over there are your Goddamn babysitter and I'm not a fuckin' vet. There's no way I'm dealing with you carrying a furball to my office whining about how you accidentally got it stuck in the fuckin' vent or the microwave or whatever."
The redhead's shoulders slumped. "Awwww, come on! I'm not that
careless," He pouted, but went ignored. Worth looked to Conrad instead, raising a brow in a silent question.
"H-hey, don't look at me!" Conrad sputtered, holding his hands up and taking a step back. So this was Worth's evil plot this time, trying to stick the vampire with one of his little fluffy white balls of terror. Well, Conrad wasn't going to have it! He had enough problems as it was, the last thing he wanted to deal with was a kitten.
"Why the fuck not?" Worth demanded as he leaned against his desk, gesturing to the sleeping balls of fluff in his coat. "Look at 'em, what's not to love? They're fuckin' adorable, you have space and unlike Hanna I know
you can actually spare a bit of your damn fancy commission money to feed the thing and make sure it don't die or anythin' like that. What, are you afraid to take some money away from purchasing the next generation of the next iPad or some fancy shit?"
"N-no, it's nothing like that!" The vampire exclaimed, hands clenching into fists. "I... I just..." He trailed off as he looked from Worth's glare to the sleeping kittens on the desk. He wasn't sure what to make of all of it. He was used to a Worth who took without asking, who smeared his grime in Conrad's face, made a general ass of himself and really didn't give a damn about the vampire beyond the amusement he seemed to get from their 'relationship'. He wasn't used to this other side even if he supposed he'd seen it before, this side being a man who called everyone up because he was honest-to-God proud of these damn kittens. This was the man who made him miserable but still always seemed to make sure Conrad wasn't starving, the man who swore up a storm every time Hanna came in bleeding from every orifice but still patched the kid up every time.
He supposed when he considered it he'd seen this man before, but it still didn't make the image of a Worth who was actually asking for a favor in his own round-about way seem any less weird.
"...I'll think about it," Conrad finally muttered as he reached down to scratch one of the kittens behind the ears, a small smile coming to his face as the creature started to purr in its sleep. "What are you going to do with them in the meantime?"
Worth blinked at this response, then frowned, as if he apparently hadn't given this any consideration before now. "Fuck if I know. I guess the lucky bastards get to use this place as their own personal kitty hotel for now," He gazed down at the kittens sleeping on his coat, then shrugged and reached down to pet one. It was really rather strange, seeing a man as cantankerous as Doc Worth looking down at those kittens. One would expect the image to be mildly horrifying, but in that instant Worth looked almost pleased with this litter of kittens on his desk. Sure, the man was known for doing some awful things, and when it came to most living creatures around him he wasn't exactly known for his hospitality. But when it came to things he actually gave a damn about, well, that was another story even if Worth would never admit it.
Conrad had to admit, watching the scene now, he got the feeling those kittens were going to be just fine.
And then of course, Worth had to smirk, and any semblance of calm Conrad felt about the situation went out the window. "Well, I wouldn't worry too much about it. After all, if you fuckers can't find homes for the bastards, I'm sure the China One down the street would pay a decent amount for a whole litter's worth of Chicken Chow Mein..."
!" Conrad sputtered.
Worth's only response was a grin.