A/N: Sometime in the future, Gail and Holly live together...
Gail rammed her key into the lock, not bothering to stifle the yawn that overtook her entire body. They'd been on stakeout all week, working long shifts, sitting in blacked out vans watching video feeds. Finally it was over and she had the whole weekend off; two straight days to sleep as long as she wanted. She dropped her bag to the ground as she worked her key out of the lock. That's weird...she heard, footsteps? That couldn't be right. They were quick and pattering, but clunky. And was that, heavy breathing? After toeing off her shoes in the entryway Gail turned around and came face to face with an anxious looking English Bulldog. Gail stood frozen. There was not a dog here when she left this morning. She hadn't gotten nearly enough sleep for the last four nights, but she was certain there had been no dog. Maybe she was hallucinating. She must be. The dog's tongue was hanging out as it stood there, walking forward and back. It let out a curt, throaty bark before quickly waddling down the short hallway to the kitchen.
What. The. Hell.
"Holly!" Gail's call was urgent and curious as she cautiously followed the intruder down the hall.
"In the kitchen," came Holly's response, as casual as any other day.
"What is that?" Gail pointed at the dog that was now walking the length of the kitchen, between Holly and Gail, rapidly.
"What's what?" Holly turned her head away from the counter where her hands were buried in a stainless steal mixing bowl, her back to Gail.
Gail looked Holly sternly in the eye, leaving her arm outstretched and her finger zeroed in on the thing with four legs.
"Oh, a Canis lupus familiaris," Holly answered with a smile.
Gail left her arm outstretched but flipped her palm to the ceiling, demanding an explanation.
"A dog, Gail. She's a dog," Holly said it simply, as if Gail was questioning her choice of paper towel brand.
Gail leaned against the counter that made an 'L' with the one Holly was working at, crossing her arms in front of her chest defiantly. "Why is it here?" She could smell meat in the air.
"Her name's Penelope." Holly changed the subject quickly, as if the dog was a nonissue, "are you hungry?"
"Have you met me Holly? I'm starving. What is it doing in our apartment?" Gail eyed the thing cooly, watching it's every move around the kitchen. It was panting somewhat loudly, and finally she went over to the other side of the island, where a large water bowl had also appeared since Gail left that morning.
"I'm making your favorite; burgers and guac. Oh, and there's a six-pack of Moosehead in the fridge," Holly motioned towards the refrigerator with her elbow. Gail was pretty sure Holly was trying to butter her up. She wasn't doing a bad job either.
Gail turned her nose up, "burgers and guac isn't my favorite," she said matter-of-factly, like a twelve year old who wanted to be right.
"Yes it is, I'm making bacon and there's swiss cheese." Bacon swiss cheese burgers with guacamole were Gail's favorite, and everyone knew it. They guy Gail arrested last week probably knew it.
"Still not my favorite," Gail contradicted haughtily.
Holly twisted her neck, eyeing Gail over the rims of her glasses, "it's applewood smoked bacon, Gail. It's your favorite," Holly knew Gail was being fresh.
Just then Penelope walked over to Gail and placed her front right paw on top of Gail's sock clad foot.
"Okay, why is it touching my foot?" Gail's voice registered not only as irritated, but as slightly panicked. She looked down at the dog who was looking up at her sweetly, her tongue still dangling down, halfway to the floor.
"She likes you," Holly said cheerily, removing her hands from the bowl and taking the two steps over to the sink, turning on the faucet with her elbow. "Also, she's probably hungry," Holly explained, lathering her hands up with soap while the water warmed.
"I live here," Gail told Penelope, "where's your house, huh?" Gail didn't dare remove her eyes from the dog. "Holly, seriously why is she in our apartment?" Gail really wished it would stop touching her, but she also didn't want to make the first move, so she just let it keep it's paw on her foot.
Holly sighed, ripping a paper towel off the roll, "Lauren's leaving for England tonight, and their dog sitter broke her ankle in some race or something yesterday." Holly finished drying her hands and walked over to the trash can, "and the kennel was all full up on such short notice."
"Lauren, my scary boss, Lauren," Holly knelt down, puffing up Penelope's sagging cheeks and scratching her behind the ear, "plus how could you say no to this face?"
"Easily," finally free from Penelope's grip, Gail hopped up onto the counter, out of reach of the short, stocky dog.
Holly stood, placing her hands on Gail's knees, dropping a lingering kiss to Gail's unreceptive lips. "It's only for a week, it'll be fun," Holly remained chipper as she moved down the counter and filled a bowl with kibble.
"You're feeding her before me now?" Gail whined, pouting while she crossed her arms again.
"I would never," Holly feigned shock as she held the bowl of kibble out to Gail.
"You're not funny," Gail scowled as Holly chuckled and turned away to go place the bowl next to the one filled with water.
"So, define 'a week'," Gail leaned over and yanked the fridge open, retrieving a beer from the door without getting down from the counter, "like, are we talking six days, five nights, or eight days, and seven nights?"
"They're coming back on Saturday, soooo eight days and nights," Holly grinned nervously as she brushed her hands on the back of her jeans, "that is, if you don't count today."
Penelope chomped away at her dinner. Her heavy breathing and the crunch of her teeth on the kibble resounded through the kitchen. Gail didn't want to know how much farther it travelled. "She has terrible table manners," Gail judge snootily, bringing the bottle up to her lips for a sip, or gulp.
"Well, she's not eating at the table," Holly quickly dismissed that notion as she peeled the sticker off an avocado, "and you're one to talk." She pointed the knife in Gail's direction before starting to cut the avocado in half.
Gail brought the bottle down from her lips quickly, "okay, one," she held up a finger, "rude." She put up a second finger, "two, I don't breath disgustingly loud, three," a third finger joined the pair in the air, "when I am a guest in someone else's home I am on my very best behavior."
Holly smiled throughout Gail's little speech, "see, that's the thing about some people's bests, sometimes they're not as good as other people's worsts."
"Four!" Gail held up another finger, "rude, again!"
"I prefer brutally honest,'" Holly smirked as she started to chop up some lettuce.
Penelope, apparently having her fill for now, waddled across the kitchen and stood under Gail's dangling feet. Gail peered over the edge, looking down at the dog's head, cocked to the side, tongue hanging, yet again.
"She's house trained right?"
Holly rolled her eyes and looked across the room at Gail without a word.
"Well, I guess she could be uglier," Gail reasoned. "We should totally invite my mom over. She hates dogs." Gail's eyes widened as she took another swig of her beer, "we should tell her it's ours!"
Holly chuckled, and asked with an air of victory, "so she can stay?"
"Ya know Hol," Gail nodded her head, "it's really polite to at least call if you're gonna bring someone new home."
"I did call, but you didn't answer and I left a message telling you to call me as soon as you could," Holly informed Gail, slightly scolding.
"Oh," Gail deflated a bit, "I've had my phone on silent all day."
"Mhmm," Holly smiled as Gail continued to eye Penelope suspiciously. "Look, I really am sorry I didn't ask you, but I called, and you didn't answer, and she needed to know like right away, and I felt like I couldn't say no. Plus Lauren brought me a cupcake last week."
"Fine," Gail huffed dramatically as she let her head fall against the cupboard. "Although I still don't see why they couldn't take their English Bulldog to England."
"So you're not going to throw her out while I'm sleeping?'
"I wouldn't do that," Gail brought her hand to her chest, offended, "well, if by 'out' you mean outside, then no! If you mean the hall...no comment."
"And you're not going to move into your car for the week?" Holly raised an eyebrow.
"Um, nooo," Gail chuckled, but maybe Penelope could?
"Penelope!" Holly called out cheerily as she wiped her hands on a towel. She knelt down to greet the dog as she sauntered over. The dog's skin moved around loosely as Holly ran her hands up and down her back. "Gail, come here," Holly waived her over as she reached into her back pocket for her phone.
Gail hopped down from the counter, "why?"
"Because Steve bet me a dinner at Nota Bene that'd you'd opt to spend the week on his couch."
"What?" Gail stared down at the pair, wondering why she was being forced to take a picture with their new, drooling roommate, and what her brother had to do with anything.
"Steve was at the lab for a case when Lauren came in and told me her dog sitter had to bail," Holly opened the camera app and held her phone out in front of her and Penelope, "now get in here and look happy."
Gail set her beer on the kitchen island, "I love Nota Bene," she admitted as she squatted down next to Penelope.
Holly smiled, snapping a picture. "Hey, you're working nights next week right?"
"Yeah, why?" Gail sat on the floor, petting Penelope's head.
Holly moved to grab the bowl of burger meat off the counter, "super! You can walk her while I'm at work, since you two are such close friends now." Holly pointed back and forth between Gail and the dog, who was now wagging her tail excitedly, a 'smile' on her face as her tongue swung from her mouth.
"Wow," Gail looked up at Holly indignantly as she walked out onto the deck to use the grill, "you're welcome!" Gail called out.
"Oh, I plan on thanking you," Holly winked as she slid the door to the deck closed.
A/N: Checkout my tumblr (ybmojfics dot tumblr dot com) to see a couple pics that go along with story...
I hope you guys got a kick out of this one :)