He enters the garage again nearly a full month earlier than Dr. Quackenbush instructed, much to the dismay of both his boss and the establishment's resident flapper girl, who evidently can't stay so mad as to neglect to pester him about his reckless behavior and failing health. Viktor grunts, lets out a wheezing breath that no one present finds especially reassuring and sets off to toil over the car's open hood with a curt proclamation that "he is fine". He's made it this far with one eye, hasn't he? Who ever said he needed both his lungs?

(Although he will add later, in a private conversation between him and Mitzi, that he feels the bar downstairs is sadly more than he can manage in his current state. He doesn't like that she laughs, but is relieved when she agrees.)

He doesn't see the two cousins until the day after his official return to semi-active duty. They saunter into the garage en route to the club, this entrance being the safer, more inconspicuous choice during the daytime hours, and find him quietly sizzling in the aftermath of yet another heated argument with Ivy. There have been plenty of those these past few weeks, and that seemed to put him in an even more irritable state, if one could imagine.

Rocky is genuinely worried for a second when his inordinately verbose greeting fails to elicit the appropriate response. He wonders why the encounter as a whole feels so drastically different from what he's used to; then he realizes he is not being glared at for once, and the toothy smile broadens. He tips his hat and strides toward the cellar door with a blithe remark on Freckle's ever growing usefulness, but the shorter tom at his heel doesn't pay attention because his cousin rarely makes much sense anyway and he is preoccupied with the baleful stare that follows him all through the garage and down the wooden steps to the ancient limestone caverns that so graciously accommodate their unlawful employment.

Thus concludes his second encounter with the terrifying one-eyed giant Ivy has been complaining to him about. The two have yet to exchange a word, and a pattern is already being established.