Ding Dong -- Dog


brynn_icon.gif emily_icon.gif hailey_icon.gif

Scene Title Ding Dong — Dog
Synopsis Hailey drops in uninvited to give Brynn something she's missing. Ears.
Date October 17, 2018

That Disgusting LHK Apartment

Damnit Joe, wash your socks.

It’s not uncommon for weeks to go by without a visit or even word from Lance’s sister. She’s fairly known for being alone, away from the rest, and generally aloof. So it’s unusual for the rest of the lighthouse siblings to see her more than once in a few days. Today, though, is important. Hailey had an idea and couldn’t get it out of her head.

knock knock knock

The pounding on the door is deliberately loud, even though she knows that Brynn can’t hear it, maybe Joe or her brother will roll their carcass out of bed to answer. Looking down, the empath regards her little companion and shrugs. She receives a small whine in response, one that she’s not quite used to yet. Today, Jim isn’t with her, he’s out doing monkey things which probably include bothering Squeaks, just because he likes doing that. Adjusting the shoulder strap of her backpack, she hugs onto it with two hands, it’s heavy but everything inside it is necessary.

knock knock knock

snuffle snuffle snuffle snuffle snuffle

Is what they hear on the other side of the door.

Although she can't hear the banging on the door, the boys rigged up a light with some kind of sensor on it. So at least the deaf teen can see when people are knocking. Of course, anyone who knows the teens also knows to knock loud, because Brynn's reasonably sensitive to the feel of thumps against the door too.

Certain behaviors have not gone the way of the dodo bird — the thumping on the door automatically brings up the head of the girl laying on her stomach on the floor with her sketch pad, and with wary gray eyes she eases to her go-bag, always within reach, makes sure her boot knife is in her hand, and heads for the door to peep out. She's getting comfortable, but what with what's happened to Squeaks and Hailey, she is far from complacent.

The apartment door cracks open just a hair, and then Brynn flings it wide with a grin. She doesn't catch that Hailey's not alone until the door's already wide. A wave suffices for greeting, along with the smile.

The banging at the door is a bit hard to notice, so Emily glances up when it happens but doesn't move from her seat on the couch. A tabbed binder is opened in her lap, a notepad balanced on top of it, pen paused mid-stroke.

Not her house. Not her door to open. Brynn's cautious reaction to the door elicits a raised eyebrow and for Emily to adjust her seat, the knife in hand causing an additional double-blink. Clearly, she wasn't taking unexpected knocks seriously enough at her household with just having a baseball bat by the door.

When the door's pulled back, Emily lets out a quiet laugh. "Holy shit, it's Hailey." is murmured to herself as she begins to close up the binder, notebook sandwiched inside.

Then she gasps, eyes brightening. Hailey is not alone.

"Hey nerds!" Hailey's cheerful greeting sounds through the apartment as she flounces through the door. Her companion for the day, a golden doodle, sits patiently at the door looking after her. He doesn't budge. The empath is busy relaying through sign (and voice for Emily's benefit) today's raison d'etre. "Brynn I brought you a present."

Finally, she turns to the dog and nods. Right on cue, he stands, trots into the apartment, and takes a seat right next to Brynn's bag. When Hailey nods again, he lays down.

"Brynn, Emily, meet Bug," she announces as she pulls the pack from her shoulder and begins unloading dog supplies. Brand news ones, so they must have cost a little bit of money. After placing a brush, a bag of food, and some treats on the coffee table, she is free to sign again. "Brynn, Bug is going to be your ears."

The boot knife is tucked into Brynn's back pocket, sheathed safely until she can put it back in her bag. She's surprised to see Hailey with a dog rather than Jim, but not at an animal's presence around her sister. The greeting rates a roll of gray eyes, and Brynn grins toward Emily. She's been writing notes back and forth, along with teaching the other girl the rudiments of ASL when they're hanging out, but the arrival of one of the Crew always makes communication easier.

Nerds are smart. Em's a nerd, I'm just an art geek, she retorts. She can't close the door until Bug enters, but she does it when he comes in and then looks startled. Wait, what?

The beautiful little doodle is hers? The deaf teen comes over to squat next to Bug, looking up at Hailey. But why? She's never even considered having an animal. And does Lance's apartment even allow them?

Emily quietly clicks her teeth off her cheek as she learns the new sign just by watching, subtly miming it to herself to attempt to commit it to memory. Though she wasn't sure how useful 'nerd' was going to be in everyday conversation.

"Where did you even…?" Emily starts to ask, then trails off. She's not sure she wants the answer. There was a chance it was somewhere where no other humans were consulted in the rehoming, though the supplies dumped from the bag did look brand new. Hailey had special-dog-breed-kind of money laying around?

"Motion to let Brynn rename the dog." she offers up conversationally. The thing was too cute to be a 'bug'. Unless it was short for 'love bug'.

Emily waves for attention, sheepishly attempting to express herself in sign, though she says plenty more out loud. "Think of it like… the door just now. If you were in the other room, how would you know Hailey was here?"

Not that she's advocating accepting it, if Brynn doesn't want it. She can just see the use.

"What brought all this on?" Emily asks aloud, signing why now?

"Whatever," Hailey signs, and voices, "you're all nerds comparatively." To whom, she doesn't say but presumably herself. With the more fragile things taken out of the bag, she tips it over and dumps out a small selection of toys. There's a rope tied into a knot, a squeaky toy (that will definitely bother the boys more), and a rubber thing, all the items that a dog needs for self entertaining. When he's not working. When he is working, there are an assortment of pull ropes, rags, and a harness.

To answer Emily's motion, Hailey looks at the golden doodle and frowns a little, "What's wrong with Doodlebug? Bug is short because it's easier.. but watch this."

She waves her hand and the dog's attention is immediately focused on her, rather than his new owner. Then, Hailey makes the sign for 'lightswitch' and the dog immediately trots to the other side of the room and noses the switch off. Upon his return, Hailey gives him a pat.

"He knows a few different signs. You can even get him to bring you a water, after you tie a rag to the fridge door. And why is because you shouldn't have to carry a knife around in your own house." Yes, she noticed.

Fffffft. And where did you grow up, thinking it's ever okay to be totally unarmed? Brynn scoffs, her expression at ease. But as she watches what Doodlebug does — she is so totally entertained by that name, clearly!! — there's a moment where she also looks a little sad. The look is a brief flash and then gone.

Hailey… I love him already, she tells her sister. They're not exactly the huggy types and they're very close in age, but the way Brynn watches Hailey is definitely that of a younger sister to her older one, the one who gets looked up to. If Lance has a cow, though, it's all your fault, she offers with an impish grin.

She drops her hands out toward the dog to let the curly-haired moppet sniff to his heart's content so that she can scritch his ears!

"Wow." Hailey's really put a lot of thought into this. Including the name for the dog, which is even more cheesy than she had thought it might be. Emily leans back into the sofa, watching Brynn interact with the floppy, gangly dog. Something about what she signs reminds her of something, and she leans forward to pull her phone from the inside of the bookbag at her feet. Speaking of Lance…

Headphone cords still wrapped around it, she maneuvers around the minor block to her tapping space to bring up the desired app, the speaker on the phone suddenly outpulsing a radio broadcast. The tail-end of a song is wrapping up, a familiar enough voice jumping through the notes as they fade out.

"And that was 'Proud Mary', by Creedence Clearwater Revival. You know, why don't we have a riverboat casino or something? I mean, it'd be easier than taking over a building. If anyone steals that idea, you owe me five percent, by the way. Just make it out to DJ Lancelot. Anyway, up next we've got— Meatloaf's 'It Just Won't Quit'! As a reminder, if anyone has an issue with what we're playing, come drop off some more vinyls. We only have so many."

Emily tosses the phone onto the couch beside her, nodding back at the other two knowingly. "Well, you've got at least a while yet to figure out how to sell him on it." She could be helpful and offer suggestions beyond that, but she's unable to get past her own initial reaction, if she were in his shoes — a firm he's cute, but no. Dogs, pets in general… they were a lot of work. Then would come the rational explaining, and the emotional cajoling…

She frowns thoughtfully. They all cared about each other, pretty much unconditionally. He'd probably cave.

"What're you up to these days, Hailey?" she distracts herself with asking, looking over to her. You know, aside from training a service dog is the implication.

Sell Lance on a working animal for Brynn's security and well being?

"Yeah, sure thing. It's not going to be hard." Hailey says easily as she flops down on the couch next to the phone and wrinkles her nose at it. "You know, he could at least get some Biggy or DMX. This stuff is hot garbo."

Then she reaches for Emily's book to peruse through what the kids are learning in school these days. Not that she's been since her tweens.

"These days?" She gives the other blonde an uptick of an eyebrow as she flips through the pages. "Oh you know, the usual.. stealing cars, chopping them up, selling the parts." The nonchalant way she goes on, it's hard to tell if she's joking or not. Brynn knows her history but she didn't sign to spare her the worry, so the other young lady will have to rely on lip reading.

Then she puts the book down and begins signing again.

"Just kidding, I've been working."

Brynn's attention is taken by the dog so she's not looking at Hailey's face and since there's no signing, she doesn't catch what's being said. And well, she can't hear the radio at all. After the initial meet and greet wherein the deaf girl earns a face-washing, she looks up at the other two. her face has a wistful look to it, and she confesses, I kind of miss having your menagerie around. Hailey's animals have been a regular part of Brynn's life since they before the war. Being without a critter in the vicinity strikes her as a little odd, and she seems more relaxed just from the few minutes of doggy loving.

What kind of work? The question is innocent enough, but she does tell Hailey, The boys have been doing some smuggling. She's stayed out of that. And she's relying, once again, on Hailey to translate.

Emily has a skeptical look on her face at Hailey's explanation, which might be more than enough of an answer to what she thinks of the other girl's deflection. She does spare a quick look back and forth between Brynn and Hailey, looking for some kind of translation from either party. They've moved well-past what she's able to keep up with.

"Doing things like this?" she asks carefully, nodding back to the dog. "Bet people would pay really well for having a well-trained …" A look is given to the well-trained doodle in question. The look grows more thoughtful. "… service dog."

For ease of conversation, Hailey lowers herself to the floor between Emily and Brynn. Then for Emily's sake, she signs as she speaks… both slowly. "The kind of work I've been doing is just welding jobs, mostly." She just doesn't have the patience for scholarly pursuits. "But I'm also fixing up a house."

Looking around the room, she frowns just a little and shakes her head. "You know Brynn, even if it is in Park Slope," meaning without power or running water. "I think you guys should move there. It's big enough."

Brynn knows, she's seen it.

To Emily, Hailey nods in agreement. "Gillian wanted me to do something like this when I was little. Before the war. Now that the war is over… I think she might be right. There's enough veterans that need them and enough homeless dogs that need veterans."

With the conversation now both verbal and in sign, Brynn relaxes still further. Aunt Gilly told her people would pay good money before, the teen agrees. You know, Squeaks has a dog … bet training him would be good too.

There's a pause when Hailey invites them to move into the house. She looks hesitant and her brows pull together slightly. I thought… you didn't want to be in group housing anymore, she offers tentatively. They've all lived together in a large home, but Hailey likes her privacy, in Brynn's eyes.

Emily cocks an eyebrow as she listens, doing her best to keep from doing what she hates to do to other people — pry. It's impossible not to be curious, even if she tries to give them both their own space.

She pulls one leg up to her on the couch, looking uncomfortable despite trying to get more comfortable. Her head comes forward to rest on her knee while she watches, pensive. "That's wholesome as fuck, Hailey." she acknowledges. Her sign interpretation of it is that's really nice. Better than nothing, she hopes.

"Emily!!" Looking completely scandalized Hailey gasps and claps her hands over Brynn's ears. "Language! Who taught you to speak like that in front of poor little Brynn?"

Yes, Hailey is very aware that Brynn can't actually hear it and lets go of her sister's head with a wide grin.

Shrugging to Brynn, she signs and speaks, again slowly for Emily's learning benefit. "It's a big house and there's other houses around. If I get sick of all of you, I can just move a door or two down the street." She points a finger and waves at the room around them before she speaks again. "This place? It's tiny, one room. There's rats, probably bedbugs, and other creepy crawly things. It's not a nice place. My place, you could have a room of your own, instead of having to share a floor or a couch."

The hands on her head make Brynn jump, eyes wide. Do what now?! Then she catches on — she saw Emily's words even if she didn't catch Hailey's — and laughs a silent giggle, swatting at her sister. Dork. Language indeed.

Her spine goes straight and she objects, There's no bedbugs! She can't exactly retort about the rest — Hailey's not wrong, despite the fact that Brynn and Lance keep it pretty clean. It's not the worst place, but it's not the best either. The deaf teen looks a little uncertain. The fairy hollow is really cool… And if they're already living in the brownstones by the time someone comes to clean it up, well… chances are, they won't bother to kick tenants out?

Maybe that's way too optimistic. Looking at Emily, she signs with a grin, Hailey claimed a really primal piece of real estate. It's absolutely gorgeous! From an artist's eye.

Emily might be slightly more concerned about Hailey's assertion of bed bugs and rats and bleh if she hadn't just invited Brynn to go live somewhere where there was literally no electricity or working plumbing. She gives a skeptical 'hrm' aloud to the melodrama.

In response to Brynn's excitement about the house, she arches her brow and smiles thinly. "I bet." she says. And she does mean it. Reclaimed brownstone covered in ivy did have a certain charm.

Hailey shrugs at the response, “Well… when you start picking cockroaches out of the peanut butter, you know where to find me.” The empath is pretty sure that would be Joe’s last straw. Nobody and nothing messes with that boy’s peanut butter.

She snaps her fingers and the dog sits at attention. It’s difficult to demonstrate and sign at the same time, so she tips her head over to Emily. “Can you write this down for Brynn for later?” Then she begins signing to the dog. First he sits up with his paws in the air, then he rolls over, then he lays down, all while looking at Hailey. “Those are the basic ones. He knows water, light, shoes..” This one she signs for the dog and in a shot, he gets up from Brynn’s side and comes loping back with a pair of her sneakers in his teeth. He drops them on her lap.

“And if you’re scared,” she signs to Brynn as she speaks, “he’ll guard you.”

Tilting her head as she watches her sister and Emily, Brynn is amuses at the skepticism on Em's face. And honestly, she shudders visibly at the idea of picking roaches out of anything. So gross!

Her gray eyes flicker up to Hailey solemnly and she signs, I can only keep him if it's okay with Lance, though. It's his apartment. Technically Brynn herself is still a squatter too, assigned to the intake shelter still. But since you don't want me to tell him about your place, I won't mention that part. Sharing a place with him is … comfortable. And it's kinda becoming home for Mouse too.

Hailey is afforded a blank stare as she asks Emily to write the list of commands down, the smile fading immediately. All this preparation she'd done, and Hailey couldn't be bothered to do something simple like this? She reaches for the binder again, also shutting off the radio and tossing her phone back in her bag before the battery was worn down any further.

Flipping to a new page, she writes down what she'd heard, trying to look up to still see what was happening, and what's being said, only with middling success. She sees Brynn's sign for Squeaks and smirks to herself before tearing the page from the notepad.

"Good dog." she tells Bug, since no one else has yet. Bringing over the shoes, and without chewing them, is an impressive task.

Bug settles in beside Brynn, curling his furry body into her and resting his head on her lap with a yawn. “He likes you!” Hailey beams as she signs enthusiastically. “I knew he would. He’s got your kind of personality.”

Though there’s not much space, the empath stretches out on the floor and folds one arms behind her head while using her free hand to sign simpler cant for Brynn’s benefit. “I think you’re right Emily,” she’s oddly cheerful in the face of whatever her brother might have to say about his… fifth(?) roommate. “Service dogs are needed around here. Squeaks will be living at Gillian’s with her and Lene, after she gets adopted, so Brynn will be alone a bit more.”

Her brows pull together slightly over her nose as Brynn follows the Cant. She does sign 'thank you' to Emily for jotting down the information, because she appreciates it madly. She contents herself petting the animal, who for all that the breed can tend to be a little energetic seems calmer than some. He clearly likes to play, but Hailey's training shows in how well disciplined he is. She gives him the sign for 'lay down' and is delighted when he curls up next to her for a good loving-on. Mouse is moving into Aunt Gilly's? she asks, a little skeptical. That didn't sound like what Squeaks had said, but it's entirely possible Brynn misunderstood. There are still occasional glitches in the signing with Squeakers. I don't mind being alone, she offers… although Hailey knows her sister well enough to know that's not exactly true. Brynn's fine on her own and perfectly able to take care of herself, but she prefers the group. Always has.

Emily's been hanging out a lot studying around here, and Lance is always in and out. So it's not like I'm really alone. Brynn grins at Emily. You realize we're totally going to absorb you into our collective, right? Emily may not even realize that it's probably already too late to escape the Katamari of Lighthouse.

It's probably a good thing Emily didn't entirely understand that cluster of signs, or she'd look more skeptical than she currently does. She's hanging on for dear life with the conversation. It's a good learning experience, though. Her deadpan expression makes it hard to read how much she understood versus agrees with … but then again, Brynn's seen that blank expression enough times recently to probably see right through it.

"Huh." is all she says aloud at hearing the young adventurer would be moving in with the librarian. "Good for her. Gillian seemed really nice. She's probably got a ton of books at her house, too." Something that's a positive, judging by the shift in her tone. She blinks as she realizes she's lapsed with signing, quickly lifting her hands to apologize. Her brow arches as she looks back to Brynn. "I won't be always be here this much, you know." Emily's careful to make sure she signs as best she's able. Simple messages, padded and deepened by the spoken words.

"I take the test next week. No more studying, then." She seems to trail off as she says it, like she's just realized it. She's enjoyed the quiet company with Brynn. "…. 'til college, after New Years." Emily adds, spelling out college. She shrugs a shoulder, trying to avoid the implication of inviting herself over.

Emily earns a dirty look of her own from Hailey at that. “You know..” she says in that superior tone that worldly women of twenty years possess that their teenage counterparts could never hope to understand. “You don’t need to be studying to just come over.” Then she releases a low chuckle that causes Bug to lift his head a little before flopping it back down in Brynn’s lap.

“That goes for you too Brynn,” though the sarcasm in her tone doesn’t quite make it through to signing. “You guys never come over to Gillybean’s.”

Brynn looks surprised and there's no censor on her signs. I didn't know she'd want us to, she admits. Aunt Gilly loves all of them, but it never occurred to Brynn that after all this time, the woman most of them think of as 'mom' would really want them around much. She has her own life! And then she realizes that perhaps that gives away way more about Brynn herself than it says about Gillian's feelings, which Brynn's never asked.

I'll make a point more often, she promises Hailey with an abashed expression. But she does hasten to add for Emily, I really hope you don't stop coming over to hang out just because your studying is done. I… like having you here. Brynn's a little lonelier than she's ever willing to let on.

So is Emily, and it's something she's only become more aware of throughout the power outages. It's great that everything's getting more back to normal, and that she could go back to sitting alone in the apartment with her laptop most of the day, but…

She just frowns at Hailey, though, unwilling to discuss or even admit to that. "You too?" she shoots back lazily, giving her a knowing look to accompany it. She's been here often enough lately to feel justified in lobbing that one back over the net at her. Ultimately, she shrugs it off, turning back to Brynn with something like a nod. After a moment, one hand lifts to sheepishly sign something that might be thanks. She doesn't know how to handle how direct that was.

Hailey's in too good of a mood to let Debbie Downer pee in her cornflakes. Shaking her head in dismay at Emily, she just sighs, "I call em' as I see 'em, foo'. I'm just trying to save you from following my road. Besides, I already admitted to my sins and took steps to fix them." By bringing a giant dog into an already overcrowded apartment. A dog that she knows will be useful to them very soon.

The loneliness that Brynn and Emily feel isn't shared by the empath, who (by her own standards) has a very busy social life. There's only so many hours in a day to fit in all of the visiting that needs to be done. Plus work. Plus being a mother.

Brynn looks back and forth between the girls and smirks slightly. I'm glad you're coming back around, Hailey, she admits. We all miss you. I was kinda hoping we might be able to do something fun next week — like carve pumpkins? I saw in the market that there's a stall
Setting up for them. I was thinking if we got one or two, we could make the faces but also make those roasted seeds Brian always had on scary movie night. Up for it?
Holidays aren't like a huge thing, especially this one, but they did have some cool scary movie nights back home.

Emily tilts her head with a small smirk at Hailey's response, giving a tip of her head. Weird phrasing, but respectable message.

Her interest is piqued as the topic shifts to pumpkins, posture shifting. "Oooh," she says urgently, looking between the other two. She doesn't have the signs for this one. "Pumpkin seeds with cinnamon sugar."

Mmmm, it'd been a while.

"Are you not planning on checking out that 'Matsuri' thing?" she asks as casually as possible. It wasn't like she was looking forward to it or anything. Just kidding, she really was, even if it was some big gimmick.

Hailey wrinkles her nose when the Matsuri event is brought up and shakes her head, shooting an apologetic look to Brynn. She spells out Matsuri and Yamagato Park for Brynn's benefit and then indicates a negative for herself. "No, I can't, not for most of it." If she did, Gillian would find out the surprise that Hailey's been hiding.

"But pumpkin seeds!" She brightens and quickly signs to Brynn, while speaking to Emily. "Gillian's birthday is on the twenty-ninth.." She lets those words sink in a little for both Emily and Brynn before going on. "I want to throw a party for her and I think an old fashioned Lighthouse Halloween party would be perfect. I'm thinking the Saturday night before, the twenty-seventh? Pumpkins, birthday cake, scary movies?"

Brynn has no clue what Matsuri is, but she recognizes Yamagato Park. Looking curiously between them, she asks, What's a matsuri? She would be willing to go — especially if Emily wants to go that bad and no one else will go with her. But she lights up at the other suggestion. OMG, Primal! Lighthouse party!! She pauses and looks at Emily beseeching, You'll come, right?? We can do pumpkin seeds and all kinds of stuff!

There's a flicker of hesitation visible before Emily's expression goes entirely blank. Just barge in on Gillian's birthday? She didn't even know Gillian.

Then she pauses to remind herself how it was she met Brynn in the first place. The irony isn't lost on her.

She carefully signs along with her response. "Y-yeah, I guess. I mean, I need to give her back her binder, anyway." It hopefully wouldn't be too overconfident to give it back without knowing the results. … nah. She had this.

She looks thoughtfully between the two, nodding again with a touch more confidence than before. "Okay." Emily's already making the mental note to ask Brynn later what a good gift might be.

She starts to smile. "I can bake the cake? I mean…" she trails off, casting a sympathetic look back between the two on the floor. She knows how interesting cooking and meals around here can be, after all.

"Okay, good stuff," Hailey can't help but speak and sign much more quickly now, either forgetting Emily's dysfunction with the language or … no, it's probably just forgetting. "Emily, you're in charge of the cake. We will need enough for about ten…ish?" The word hitches like a question before she moves on "..people. Brynn, you're in charge of decorations, of course. I will be in charge of the foodie foods. Lance and Joe can take care of the movies. We need at least three scary ones for an overnighty."

Then she pauses and gives them both a wide smile, "Oh yeah… bring sleeping bags."

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