Two Cooters

Rutherford Veterinary Hospital

The events of this log take place after a brief telephone conversation.

Well beyond closing time, everything at the Rutherford Veterinary Hospital is quiet. Except for the tiny mewls, and sleeping puppy barks as the animals in the back dream. There is a single light on in the back room. A note taped to the outside door let's Mischa; or a crazed serial killer; know where she is.

Summer is standing there, wearing the outfit from earlier. Only now she's got her hair tied back in a loose ponytail, a white doctor's coat hanging over it.

Mischa shows up as promised, with his large Tupperware box for the two little turtles otherwise known as river cooters. He seems somewhat apprehensive about going into a clinic this late at night, as though there's something distinctly forbidden and daring about going into it. When he gets out of the car and approaches the clinic, he reads the note. Taking it off the door he enters and moves back towards the room that Summer is in, reading each door carefully. "Hey, Summer. Nice to see you again so soon. I brought the thing."

"Perfect," she says, fussing with something in the big basin sink. Summer settles something into it, pulls her hands out dripping wet and goes to grab the jar that's nearby. "Just set it on that exam table if you don't mind? I'll dump the river water into it, and try to build them a mini habitat for now." Normally, the veterinarian wouldn't bother with such a fuss over two dropped off turtles, but when she stopped by to grab her car, there they were and no sanctuary was open for her to deliver them to.

The librarian does as instructed and puts the big plastic tub down on the examination table, smiling at Summer. He moves a little closer to get a better look at the itty bitty turtles, letting out a quiet 'aww' when he sees them. "So cute. At least they dropped them off here instead of just leaving them somewhere else. I don't get how people are so irresponsible with animals sometimes, you know? I used to try to watch those reality shows where they would go in and rescue the animals who had been abandoned, but it was always way too sad."

Once the tub is down, the lid of the jar is removed and the water poured in until there is about two inches from the top. Summer then places the jar back beside the basin, and starts to dig through a drawer until she finds a couple of flat rocks, which she stacks up in one corner of the tupperware container. "I believe they're both male, but I've never tried gendering a turtle before so I could be wrong." Something about the woman makes her seem like she's a little bit on edge at the moment. "I did that for a year in university. I had to stop because I really wanted to treat the owners like they treated their pets. It's cruel, and I loathe people that would hurt such beautiful creatures, or leave a defenseless kitten in a sack because they decide they don't want it any more."

Mischa actually seems to whimper at the comment about kittens. He watches her with interest though, frowning as he considers her words. "You alright?" Mischa asks, before he turns away from the turtles himself. He doesn't want to have any strange accidents, after all. He reaches up to run his fingers through his hair before he nods. "I'm not a particularly violent or hateful man, but there are two or three things I just can't abide by in this world. People who mistreat animals, children, and women." Mischa stops crowding Summer and gives her a little space, instead looking around at the various posters on the walls.

Several deep breaths are taken, and her eyes are closed. Her hands reach into the water, and as she touches the first turtle, her body twitches a little. This close to the full moon? Working like this? It's dangerous for her. Summer quickly carries the little guy toward the tupperware container, and once he's in the water he happily swims around. "I don't think these two are more than two, maybe three weeks old. There are a few lilies in the pond out back that should feed them until morning." She starts for the sink again to grab the other one quickly, and plop him into the container as well.

The librarian makes his way back over towards Summer, though he's not scrutinizing her. He's more interested in the tupperware container. With a finger, he reaches out to briefly touch the shell of the turtle that's already in the container. "Great. I can help you go get the lilies before we take off. I'll make sure that you close up alright. I know that there was a big women's movement and all, but I've never felt quite right about women working the late shift and having to close things up all by themselves," he admits. It's not in a condescending manner, but rather a truly concerned and genteel one.

"That's actually a—" Summer glances at him, her nerves on edge, her body dying to shift into one of the cute little critters in the tupperware container. "Sweet. It's really sweet," she whispers. "I researched them before you got here, they can be fed lettuce as well. I recall you saying you like to cook? So on the off chance they won't bite off pieces of the lilies, try that? I have no idea where they came from or what they've been fed in the past. There's a decent sanctuary for abandoned wildlife just outside the city, so if you decide you don't want to keep them, I can send someone to pick them up and deliver them there."

Mischa seems pleased when Summer thinks it's really sweet. The fact of the matter? He probably didn't want to go outside by himself either. "Sure. I generally keep lettuce around. I guess I eat like something of a turtle myself. Though no lilies. Not recently, anyhow." He lets out something of a chuckle before looking back towards the turtles. "Poor babies. I hope they haven't been scrounging in anything they shouldn't have been because they were hungry." He pauses, considering for a moment before his gaze returns to Summer's. "I think I might keep them. They seem low maintenance, you know. And docile. I can live with docile."

Summer laughs, then starts to head for the door. Abruptly, she swivels on her heel, heads back toward the drawer and rummages around until she finds a pen sized flashlight. "We'll likely need this." About as much as she needs out of the room now. "I don't know much about river cooters. We don't deal with a whole lot of reptiles here, barring the occasional snake and even that's pretty rare." Her ponytail is flipped over her shoulder and she asks, "You coming?"

Following Summer towards the door, he nods to her. "Of course. Finding lilies in the dark is hard work." He watches her flip her ponytail over her shoulder, stopping for a moment before he resumes his gait towards the door and Summer. "I don't know much about them either. Not to mention, 'river cooters' is just a funny name. I'm going to have to name them, I think." Mischa can't help but laugh before he takes in a breath as they start to move outside. "Suggestions? Maybe Amos and Andy."

"Why not name them after characters in your favorite books?" Summer draws open the back door, the sound of its creak ringing out loudly through the empty clinic. "Quiet door, quiet." It creaks again, but she finally gets it opened enough to head out into the back. "You may want to watch your step. I don't think they've raked the yard up yet. The lilies are just over to the left." The penlight is twisted on, and she shines it in that direction.

"Characters in my favorite books?" Mischa asks, as he begins to step over towards the path directed in the penlight. For just the briefest of instants, Mischa's eyes glow in the moonlight — not unlike the eyes of a cat. They even look briefly green for a moment. He looks up towards the sky, particularly at the moon before he moves over to the lilies. "Ah, here we are. A few of them. They should do until the morning. I hope they like them alright." Pause. "And as for my favorite books, well… hm. Heath and Cliff it is."

The light catches the odd shift of the eyes, and Summer stands there light held on him. Over-tired brain, she tells herself. A trick of the moonlight. She's seen it happen before. The light just continues to shine on him until he starts to gather the lilies. She seems to snap out of it then, moving toward the pond to pry a few up gently. "I somehow don't think you're meaning from that comic book cat." Her own eyes snap shut before he can see them, though he will be able to detect how tense she is. "Bronte, right?"

It would be a trick of the light if it didn't happen again. It's even briefer now, but it was there. "Indeed, Bronte. What can I say? I guess I'm not your average male. Or straight male, anyhow. I like romance novels. All sorts of them." He clenches his own lilies very carefully, not wanting to squish them in the palm of his hand before the poor turtles have a chance to munch on them. "Summer, are you alright? You seem a little uneasy." He reaches out with his free hand, attempting to gently put it on her shoulder as if to steady her.

He'll feel the heat radiating from her, even through the lab coat she's wearing. Summer's eyes remain closed until she gets herself under control. When she finally opens them, she smiles. "Fine. I'm fine. Didn't get much sleep last night is all. I apologize for staring, but you have extremely unique eyes. I thought it was a trick of the light, but—" Breaking off with a laugh, she shakes her head a small amount. "Don't mind me. Sleep deprivation is all it is."

"I've been told they're quite blue on occasion…" Mischa says as he draws nearer to Summer. The heat rolling off of her makes him seem to want to get closer, perhaps a little too close for two people who have known each other such a short amount of time. Really, really short. Really. "Maybe it's just the full moon." His words come out quietly, just loud enough for her to hear without them being a whisper. "It tends to make people a little different sometimes, you know?" He gives her shoulder the slightest of squeezes before pulling back somewhat. "You should go home and rest, Summer. Do you trust yourself to drive? I could always give you a lift home."

Summer inhales deeply when he draws closer, eyes drifting shut once more. "They were green," she mentions quietly to him. "Only for a moment, but the way the light caught them—" Was like a light shining on a cat's eyes. The thought is cut off before it's finished. "That must be it. The moon," she whispers back. "Tends to put people on edge as well." Once he pulls away from her, even some what she lifts her head and nods toward the clinic. "Let's go put the lilies in the container, poke some holes for those little guys, and get Heath and Cliff home with you. I'll be fine, I'll just feed some of the overnighters and then be on my way."

Mischa nods to Summer, grinning at her very briefly. "Well, you did say you liked cats," he reminds in a playful tone of voice before he heads inside with her. "Alright. That sounds good. It is getting pretty late out. But I suppose you'd better turn in before you have to come into the clinic tomorrow."

"Good idea. Extraction surgery in the morning." Summer moves toward the door, holds it open for him so that he can go and get the river cooters ready for the trip back to his apartment. "I'll speak with an associate in the morning after the surgery, and find out the best type of home habitat for you." Now that there's distance between her and the turtles she seems to be less on edge. While he goes to collect the tupperware of turtles, she offers him a small exacto knife to cut holes into the lid then goes about feeding the various animals that need their dishes checked and topped up.

Mischa takes the knife and cuts the holes gingerly in the Tupperware container before laying the knife down on a nearby table, smiling at Summer. "Thank you for everything. I'm going to go now, let me know if you need anything?" He asks as he inches back towards the door with the river cooters, the lilies having been placed in the water.

When Summer turns to face him, there is a slightly wild look in her eyes. Intense even. Lids drift shut over them, and she nods. "I'll call tomorrow to check in on them. I'll be fine. But—" She exhales a sharp, pointed sigh. "You should go now so I can lock up and be on my way." Because if he's not out of there soon, she may not be able to hold back the change much longer.

"Well. Okay then!" Mischa says as he steps out of the clinic, willing to let Summer's odd behavior rest. After all, he has sweet little baby cooters to care for now.

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