((A/N: Fic based off the post: "There could be a fic about Reilly eating dog food out of a can with Total and I'd probably bookmark it. Heh" -Rootlessdream))

Reilly leaned back on his swivel chair, tapping idly at the edge of his desk, "Anyone up for a chat?" he asked the dark room. The cages lining the far wall harmonised, barks and mutters and high pitched whines all coming together in a resolute 'No,' and Reilly could have sworn he heard a 'fucking way' tacked on the end of one. He wondered where the experiment had learned such language and, having nothing better to do, went over to see which experiment it was.

He stopped in front of a cage, reading the label, 'Total recombinant being – canine origins,' it looked like dog. It looked like a pretty average dog. Reilly had learnt better than that with his work in both the School and the Institute.

"What the fuck are you looking at, Sci-guy?" the dog asked roughly.

Reilly blinked. Okay, a talking dog – hadn't seen one of them before, but in this line of business there's always something you've never seen before. "You, I suppose, where'd you learn that language?"

The Total Recombinant Being stared at him as if it were obvious, which isn't surprising since the only verbal contact these creatures have is with the scientists running the experiment. Reilly knew this, but was it really so much to hope to engage one damn dog in idle chatter? He'd gotten locked down here yesterday morning and as of yet, nobody had come to check on the animals. Not that he cared, but he'd use anything for an excuse to be pissed at whoever took care of them – he was locked down here and it was mostly his own stupid fault – he needed some source for the moral high ground and righteous indignation. There wasn't even any food.

"Pull up a chair, Sci-guy, my pal, we'll share a can of generic dog food and compare battle scars," the dog finally said. What the hell had these scientists been talking about? Damn geeks. Reilly dragged his chair closer in spite of himself and fished out a can of dog food allocated for the subject.

"Hey, this isn't generic..." Reilly squinted at the can, "I'm not even sure this is dog food," he muttered, opening the can. There was a scoop left lying around – the ice cream kind – which he used to extract half the can of... whatever it was and drop it into a remarkably clean bowl that pushed into the cage. Damn, this dog had it better than he did, Reilly thought, thinking back to his messy apartment with his sink full of dirty plates. He'd taken to buying paper plates, it'd been so long since he cleaned his kitchen that he was too terrified to go in there; there could be any number of hideous monsters hiding under those piles of dirty dishes.

Reilly settled down into his chair and dug into the can. He nibbled tentatively at a speck of the 'dog food.' The dog watched him curiously the whole time. It tasted like some sort of formula, probably the reason for the infrequency of feeding; the right food and these little guys wouldn't need to eat quite so often, though it probably did nothing for their physical hunger. All that mattered was that they were kept alive, and sometimes even that wasn't necessary.

Reilly shrugged it off and started on the can – he hadn't eaten for more than a day before he got himself locked inside here, he was willing to eat dog food that tasted nothing like dog food. "Well, my Totally Recombined friend, what now?" he asked.

"It's just Total, thank you, now this one time I bit a scientist's finger off, beat that,"

Reilly blinked, great, a dog with a competitive dominance complex, "Once I... terminated a smart-mouthed little canine origin total recombinant being,"

Total stared at him, "You're shitting me,"

Reilly heard the outer door open and bolted from the room, "Finally, I've been locked down here for a day or more!" he shouted, ignoring the shouted insults from behind him. He allowed himself a small smile thinking about Total as he was cursed as a kin-killer.