Title: Dog Person
Series: The Best Moves
Disclaimer: Wholly original work.
Characters/Pairings: Lainey, Matthew
Summary: Lainey returns from a date.
Notes: Prompt was 'Animals'.
"Well?" Matthew asked as he looked up from his umpteenth cycle of Disgaea. Lainey shot him a little look that said 'let me at least take off my shoes' and he nodded and went back to finishing up the map he was currently playing.
"He's nice," Lainey said a minute later, as she stepped back into the entranceway to lock the door and turn off the porch light.
Matthew sighed at the answer. "That bad?"
"If that's the best you can say..." Matthew trailed off as he selected a save file, saved, and then set his controller down. He was glad that he'd been close to the end of his last map when he'd heard the telltale sounds of Lainey's van in the driveway.
Echoing his sigh, Lainey dropped her handbag on the floor and flopped into an opposing armchair.
"I don't even know why I'm telling you this," she admitted, shaking her head.
"I'm here?" Matthew said with a shrug. "And your list of female friends has dwindled due to marriage and childbirth."
Lainey frowned. And then she sighed again.
"Point," she said. "And I don't know..." Reaching up, she ran a hand through her hair. "He's charming and we have a lot of similar interest, but..."
"Then what's the deal-breaker?" Matthew questioned, hoping he wasn't being too nosy. This time, though, he really couldn't help himself - this was a rare second date for Lainey, which he attributed to her either being way too picky or the dating pool being really pathetic. He tended towards both.
"He has dogs," Lainey replied, shifting and tucking her feet up underneath her. "I know more about his dogs than I do about him." She paused. "There's something not right about that."
Matthew blinked a few times, trying to do something other than laughing. He failed.
"I mean," Lainey continued, obviously trying to ignore Matthew's reaction, "I like animals. If I didn't currently live in the basement of your rental house, I'd like to get a hedgehog or something. I even like dogs, but this was the sort of date where we needed to maybe talk about something that wasn't what his dogs did in the week since I last saw him."
"Maybe he was just nervous," Matthew suggested. He'd said some fairly dumb things while on dates, mostly due to nerves and also just being at a loss of what else to say and wanted to fill gaps in conversation. "It's better than talking about toys?"
"Not really," Lainey replied. She seemed to deflate a bit against the chair. "Believe it or not, I like talking about toys - most of the time. I manage a toy store, after all. It's my current knowledge base, if nothing else."
Reaching to brush a few loose strands of blonde hair back again, she looked straight at Matthew.
"D'you think I'm intimidating?" she asked.
Matthew blinked again, trying to separate the somewhat distant and hard-edged Lainey other people saw from the one he'd gotten to know. The one who lived in the basement and danced with the vacuum and kept a pitcher of Koolaid in the fridge at all times was about as intimidating as a hamster. But that was a Lainey that only appeared after prolonged close contact.
She was obviously waiting for an answer.
"No," Matthew replied, lying just a bit. "I just think that you haven't met the right person yet."
Drink Lemonade! Tip Your Waitress!