It was a rather windy afternoon, and Rita was out on the streets searching for something to eat that she could bring home to the others. Opportunities had been rather thin on the ground over the past few days and everyone was that bit hungrier than usual. Rita had managed to get her paws on small pieces of food, but nothing substantial enough to feed the whole gang, it was rather frustrating.
As she wandered the city, Rita came to a cafe. While most of the customers were sitting inside out of the way of the cold wind, a couple were sitting outdoors under an umbrella. Rita watched from nearby as the woman got up from the table to retrieve her hat which had been blown from her head, followed by her partner who scrambled to help her retrieve it. The Saluki saw this as the perfect opportunity and rushed in to grab whatever of their lunch that she could. Her attempt to snatch the man's steak was made the more difficult by table cloth which was flapping around in the way of her face.
"OY!" shouted the man, as he turned to see the dog up at the table and came running over, waving his wife's hat. Unable to quickly grab the steak, Rita made a hasty retreat, furious that she'd missed her chance. It had really been one of those days, but she hated to give up when the others had trusted her to find them something to eat, and walked off, trying to stay positive.
For several more hours Rita searched without luck, but as the sky was starting to darken, something caught her eye. A pizza delivery car was parked outside a house, the delivery man had (very unwisely) left the door open as he'd gone up to the house with the family's pizzas. As quietly and quickly as possible, Rita went over to investigate. As the delivery man chatted at the doorway oblivious, Rita slipped into the car, and whilst staying as out of sight as she could, discovered an as yet undelivered pizza. Rita carefully picked the box up in her teeth and manoeuvred herself out of the car. The pizza man turned around as he heard her get out, but by the time he got over it was too late, she was gone. The man swore angrily.
It wasn't all that easy to run through the city with a large, awkward box to carry, but Rita was relieved and happy, so didn't mind a bit. By this time it was quite late and she was keen to get home. As she made her way through the back streets, she felt an unnerving feeling like someone was watching her. She stopped and looked around to see Dodger walking over from behind.
"You're not just a pretty face, huh Rita?" he said, eyeing the box that Rita held in her mouth.
"But of course you already knew that I'm sure." she replied, smiling at him. "I take it you're out late after a busy day of flirting with every woman in New York."
"Nah, what do ya take me for?" Dodger laughed, as Rita raised an eyebrow at him. "I've been 'round to see the kid, there's been a bit of drama over there, so who better to help?"
"Is Oliver alright?" Rita asked, concerned.
"Sure, there's just been a lot happenin' over there today. You can come over with me tomorrow if you want. But don't worry about it, everything's fine."
Rita studied his face carefully, she knew that even if Dodger was worried about something that he'd do his best to make certain no one could tell. Satisfied that Dodger was fine, continued on her way, now walking alongside her friend.
"Ya know," Dodger said with a slight grin, "We could sit down somewhere together and have a little bite to eat, just the two of us."
Rita sighed. "Dodge, we've got to get back, I don't think it would go down well if we ate all the food."
"I dunno, I think a good bit of pizza would go down very well..."
"You know very well what I meant." She looked back over at him. "How about tomorrow night though?" she asked, feeling hopeful. Trust Dodger to choose an inappropriate time to show any interest in her.
"I say absitively yes." Dodger replied with a characteristically cocky grin.
He took a turn at carrying the box to give Rita a break, as it wasn't the easiest thing to hold comfortably in one's mouth. The two continued on their way, thinking that the others must surely be wondering what was taking them so long.