The Lonely Guy and his Cat

Daniel Wheeler-Ride had always prided himself on his easy-going, fun-loving, witty and charming personality that he had perfected over the years ever since his Uncle Mike had recounted his youth. Dan prided himself on the fact he was always the one with the girl, the nice job, and apartment (he was still working on the car). At age twenty-seven he was doing remarkably well for a rookie criminal defence lawyer his charm and inner knowledge of how the District Attorney and Police worked (growing up surrounded by cops had been useful) made him a formidable force in the court room. He was hard not to like - he knew how to talk to cops, how to create a sense of brotherhood with the DA and was always careful to be polite and courteous to any 'victim' he was cross-examining. People found it hard to fault him because after all he was just doing his job right?

He was a likable guy.

And yet on February the 14th, Valentine's Day, instead of French kissing some innocent young rookie cop and reciting poetry in Central Park he was sitting outside his apartment building on the steps, petting his cat, Ross. The infamous skirt chaser of the New York City Justice system was alone and watching the various couples that wandered down past him in a love sick frenzy, feeling incredibly jealous that they all had someone.

He had tried getting a date, going as far as to ask his friend who went sailing with in the summer and even that detective he now ran with every Sunday. Naturally they had both had dates already, even been surprised that he didn't already have something. Though, as he mused, running his hand along Ross' back, if he wasn't so 'care-free' and more serious he would still have someone. He had only broken up with a nurse from the New York General two weeks ago. He could still see it all clearly in his head; picture the diner where they had sat.

"It isn't you," she had said, trying to comfort him as he had stared at her dumbfounded.

"You're breaking up because I'm not 'serious' enough,"

"Dan –"

"I'm pretty sure that hints at the problem being me,"

"Dan, listen," she had said quickly, "You are a great guy. I've loved our time together but I need to find someone who wants to settle down. You aren't that guy. I can't fault you for just being you. I'm changing and I'm no longer interested in this kind of relationship. I need something more stable," she had smiled, "I'm really sorry but I don't want you to beat yourself up on this. It's just me,"

Dan had just stared, still trying to process what she had said. While he didn't want to get married anytime soon – hell they had only been dating for three months! She hadn't even asked him of the possibility of making the relationship more 'serious'.

"Anyway, I've got to go," she had stood up and said in a honey sweet voice, "Bye, Dan,"

And had just left.

Like that.

Dan glanced down at Ross and sighed. "You are so lucky you're just a cat, Ross,"

Ross purred.

"Still at least I have you," he said with a slight smile.

Ross purred.

"Even if your conversation sucks,"

At that moment his phone started to ring. Maybe it was Mel, his running partner, who needed saving since her date was weird or something? He was an astronomer after all - probably had his head in the clouds the whole time. Dan quickly pulled it from his jacket and flipped it open.

But it wasn't Mel.

Or even some other girl he knew.

It was Max Logan.

"Hey, Max," he said sullenly.

"What's wrong?" said Max.

"Nothing,"

A pause.

"Well, anyway – you busy, Dan?"

Dan considered saying 'yes' for about a second. He should be doing something. It was Valentine's Day for Christ's sake.

"Nope,"

"Awesome, because my babysitter just cancelled on me and I got to go out and I can't leave Will home alone, so would you mind if I dropped him over?"

Dan's life had reached a new low. He loved Will; great kid and all. But babysitting on Valentine's Day ...

"Sure, drop him by,"

"I really appreciate it – I'll bring you some éclairs,"

"Ummm, sure,"

"See you in a hour,"

The line went dead. Dan massaged his temples and peered at Ross. The cat peered back at him, with big blue eyes, tail twitching.

"Well at least I still got you," said Dan.

A loud meow to his left made him jump. Both human and cat glanced over to see a big white fluff of a beast stalking down the street towards them. Ross licked his lips. Dan looked at him and shook his head.

"No way, Ross," he said firmly.

Ross slinked forward. Dan reached forward, his finger tips just brushing against the cat's tail as he watched Ross and the other cat race off.

"Perfect," he said softly, "Even my cat has a date,"

"Hey, have you seen a white cat?"

He turned to see a red-faced, puffed out red head to his right; she was dressed in jeans and a very nice top. Her face was cherub like in a way. Very nice.

"Yeah," he said with a curt nod, "Fluffy?"

"Yeah,"

Dan smiled. Maybe this day wasn't such a bad one after all ...

Oh yeah, Will was coming over. Still, he mused as he walked briskly beside the girl, he had a good hour to lay some ground work. Besides she'd probably like him more if he was seen to like kids and was trusted to look after one. Chicks digged that kinda thing afterall.

Fin


Characters: Dan Wheeler-Ride, Ross the Cat, Max Logan (on the phone), Will Jaeger (Max's adopted son and mentioned in passing).

Author's Note: Hope you enjoyed this. Feel free to tell me your thoughts on it.