Hey, y'all. Long time no fic. Hope everyone's doing okay with all the shit 2020 is throwing at us. Wanted to check in with all of you lovely people because you're amazing and I miss you. Stay safe, wear a damn mask, and wash your damn hands.
I've been doing a lot of writing on original fics, but this was something I wrote to help me get through writer's block because ew.
I never intended to post this or really write more for the KT in general, but I'm doing so in hopes that my friend Itachi's-Penis reads it because I don't really have any other way to contact her, other than via fanfic which was originally how we met because she read the KT and our friendship, meme-sharing, snapchat streak started from there.
Lana, I hope you're good. *strums guitar* I love you, bitch. I ain't gonna never stop loving you...Bitch.
Anyways, enjoy this bullshit. It's pretty boring but eh. Content is content.
Alice squinted at her phone where it was vibrating on the nightstand beside her bed and she debated on whether or not it was truly worth the effort of moving to grab it to shut it up. Whether it was an alarm, a call, or something else, it would shut up eventually and then she wouldn't have to adjust her comfortable position at all. She could just pretend she slept through it. Then she wouldn't have to deal with it.
Ah, but what if it was Kathryn?
Alice cursed the fact that she loved her friend and was a woman of her word as she shifted and reached out, grabbing her phone and tilting it up so she could see who it was. If it wasn't Kathryn, she could just ignore it.
Unless, of course, it was her manager.
She swiped the green icon on the screen and held the phone up to her ear. "I fell asleep an hour ago. Someone had better be bleeding out. Otherwise I will use my very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career—skills that make me a nightmare for people like you—to find you and kill you."
"Calm down, Liam Neeson," Sam said, grin evident in her voice. "I don't have your daughter and no one is bleeding out."
"Oh good. Bye then."
Alice groaned. "What?"
"How much should I feed the dogs?"
"You're the one who got a degree in canine nutrition. Figure it out! Ask Kathryn!"
"Kathryn is radio silent. I think she's at her other job."
"I'm going to my other job," Alice said. She knew Kathryn was, in fact, off of work for both of her jobs. Kathryn and Alice always arranged to have the same off days so they could hang out together.
"You have another job?!"
"Yes. It's at this lovely little place called my bed and I'm really busy trying to do my job. It's a full eight-hour work day."
Sam sighed with relief. "Oh god. You scared me. Please never get another job. Ever."
"Give me a raise."
"I can't. I'm just a manager."
"I quit then."
"What do you want? I'm off. It's my only day off for the next two weeks. Let me sleep, Sam, for the love of god."
"Don't you want to know about the dogs?" she asked.
"I'll call you if I want to know about the dogs."
"How are your dogs?"
"Samantha, I swear to god."
"Ew, don't call me Samantha."
Alice sighed heavily.
"Okay, okay. I'm sorry. I'll let you sleep. Don't be mad. But seriously, keep me updated on the dogs. The ones here are super weird."
"Are they misbehaving?"
"Surprisingly no. Even Squeaker is being good, which is really suspicious."
Alice grunted. "Great. Then I don't care. Bye."
Sam whined but sighed. "Fine! Bye. I call you later!"
"Please don't." Alice ended the call and tossed her phone aside before she snuggled back into her bed and her dozen pillows. Her magical, memory-foam king-sized bed that she splurged on even though she usually would never bother buying something so expensive. But some things were worth the expense, especially since she rarely was able to sleep, so having something so nice encouraged her to try.
But shit, when she was able to sleep? The bed was amazing. And it did wonders for her back and shoulder problems.
Five minutes later, Alice sighed and got up. She was still exhausted, but now she was fully awake and there was absolutely no chance of her falling back asleep. She grabbed her phone and slid it into the pocket of her pajama pants before leaving her bedroom. She noted the rising sun and the frost on the grass before she went to the back room.
It had once been a bedroom, back when the house was first built, but her great-uncle—who had left her his house in the will—had turned it into an extra-large mudroom that lead out to the large, fenced in back yard. Her uncle had used it for storage, but Alice used it as more of a sunroom. The floor was smooth, stone tile and there was a set of French doors that she could leave open when she wanted some fresh air.
At the moment, the back room was being used as a place to house the dogs she was taking care of. She walked into the back room and noted the three dogs she'd brought home with her—Fluffy Boi, Handsome Man, and Harrison McHarry—were sleeping on the furniture she kept in there.
She had set up kennels for them last night, the three largest ones she had. She'd put blankets in them, draped blankets over them, and then left the doors open just in case. She'd set up two large bowls of water for them to drink out of, because they were big dogs, and she'd tossed out a few toys they could play with.
She didn't crate them overnight because she hadn't wanted to stress them out, yet she'd spent most of the night listening for them causing a ruckus. They hadn't made a peep. And looking over the room showed they hadn't gotten into any trouble. No destroyed furniture, no messes, no accidents.
"Good dogs," she said, and she walked to the French doors. She opened them up after unlocking them and stepped aside as the three dogs got up and trotted out into the yard to sniff around and go to the bathroom. All three of them had cased the yard yesterday when she'd brought them home, but they seemed intent to do it again with the new day.
Alice left the doors open for them to come in when they wanted and then went back inside. She grabbed their bowls from the drying rack and began preparing them some food to eat. She hadn't gotten dog food yet, but she had plenty of chicken and rice to give them, so she did that. Heaping generous portions into each bowl, she then made her own breakfast. She added some unseasoned scrambled eggs to top off their bowls as she made herself bacon, eggs, and toast.
She carried their bowls into the back room, as well as her own plate. She grabbed one of the beach towels and blankets from the couch in the back room, slipped on her sandals, and then went outside. She set her plate on the table on the patio and then spread the dogs' bowls around exactly where she had them the night before.
She whistled. "Food!"
The dogs looked up at her call and slowly trickled back towards the patio. Fluffy was the first, going to his bowl and sniffing the contents before digging in. Harry was second, and he walked to his bowl and started eating without any hesitation or sniffing. Handsome was last, and he trotted over to her, sniffing at her plate as he smooshed his large face into her side.
"Hey, Handsome," she said, giving him a scratch. She broke off a small piece of bacon and made a shushing sound as she gave it to him. "Don't tell anyone." She smiled when he ate it happily and patted him. "Go eat, buddy. You've got your own food."
He snorted but trotted over to his bowl and started eating, docked nub wagging as he did so. Alice smiled as she watched him before she looked over the other dogs. Harry finished eating first, and he came over to sniff her before dismissing her and then going to lie down on the couch in the back room, intense green eyes—which were weird—gazing out at her.
Handsome finished second, and he trotted over to Fluffy. Alice was prepared to scold him, but Handsome just flopped to the ground beside him and then looked out over the yard. Fluffy didn't seem at all bothered by his presence either. When Fluffy was finished eating, he sat down beside Handsome so their backs were touching, his attention directed towards Harry.
"You dogs are fucking weird," Alice said flatly.
"Alice! I'm here to mooch!"
Alice sighed. "Out back!"
"Your house is freezing! No wonder you have back problems, you old man!"
Alice watched Spongebob and Blanket dart out of the house and into her backyard. Harry got off the couch and trotted after them. Alice turned to look at Kathryn and hummed when she saw the paper cup Kathryn held out to her. "I am not an old man."
"I got you peppermint hot chocolate because you're a heathen," Kathryn said, and she sipped at her coffee. "Also, I love you."
"I love you too," Alice replied. "Thank you. There's bacon in the kitchen if you want some. I can make you some eggs, too."
Kathryn smiled and sat down. "Nah. I ate before I left the house when I fed the boys. They were so good last night. I was going to crate them, but they looked so pitiful that I couldn't do it. They stayed in my room and slept through the night. Didn't make any messes or anything."
"My three were good too." Alice sipped at the hot chocolate and watched the dogs sniff around the yard and make all kinds of quiet noises at each other. "They're weird, though."
"Super weird," Kathryn agreed. "Did Sam call you? She called me, but I didn't answer."
"She did. I answered. She just was looking for an excuse to not do her job."
Kathryn sighed. "God love her."
Alice snorted. "Said that the dogs were being good at the kennel, though. So that's good. Even Squeaker."
"Well, the alternative is they act up and then she'll beg you to house them."
Alice sighed. "She's going to shit her pants when she finds out I plan on quitting soon."
"Yeah, but you're still going to be working partially at the kennel, right? As a trainer?"
"I'll only be there when I have clients. So, yes, but I'll be working from home otherwise."
"When are you making that official?"
"I already spoke with Suz about it. She already hired replacement in the back for me, so as soon as the new hire is brought in and trained up enough, I'm out."
"Does anyone else know?"
"Suz said she would be having a meeting about it with Sam and the other managers from both locations."
"Why both locations?"
"I'm not driving out there anymore. It's too far. I told Suz I refused to keep doing it. So if my clients from that location want to stick with me, they're going to have to make appointments at our kennel. Or they find a new trainer."
Kathryn tilted her head. "Why don't you just start your own training business instead of going through the kennel? You'd probably make more money."
"Because that sounds like too much work."
"You didn't sign a non-compete, did you?"
"No. I told Suz upfront I wouldn't be signing something like that, since I already had other jobs and clients before I even worked at the kennel. She said it was fine. I'm not going to poach clients from her. I'm not a daycare or a boarding facility. I'm not pet-sitting for those uppity bastards, either. I just train their dogs. That's it."
Kathryn hummed. "I guess that makes sense. I hate that you're leaving me to work there alone, though."
"Sucks to suck, man. You can quit too. You make more money at the vet clinic anyways."
"Yeah, but I make decent money here, too. Not as much as you, but more than enough."
Alice shrugged. "I don't know what to tell you." She looked down as her phone rang and sighed when she saw it was Sam. She answered the call. "Hello?"
"Hey. How much would I have to pay you to come and get these dogs?"
"Why? What happened?"
"They keep breaking out of the yards and the kennels and Squeaker keeps trying to bite everyone even though I put a muzzle on him. Sprinkler got on top of the cage dryers. I have no idea how. The groom room was shut since Kathryn's gone, but he got up there and knocked all of the cage dryers down. He also tore up like five bags of food and ripped apart three dog beds. Bernie has almost escaped from the building three times and I don't even see him until he's almost out the door. I checked the cameras. I don't see him. Boss and Blueberry won't stay in the yards either. Boss keeps looking at me like he knows every bad thing I've ever done in my life and I want to cry. They're bullying me, Alice. The dogs are bullying me."
Alice closed her eyes and sighed. "Okay. I'll be up there to get them in a few minutes. Just…keep them contained, I guess." She ended the call and looked at Kathryn. "Stay here and watch the dogs. I need to go to the kennel and get the other five. They're causing chaos."
Kathryn grimaced. "I got them. Good luck."
Alice walked into the kennel and noticed Sam was, as usual, not at the front desk like she was supposed to be. She slipped past the counter, greeted the old Labrador that hung out up front because he was too cranky and old to be in the back with the rest of the dogs, and then headed towards the back.
She found Sam in the middle of a shouting match with Squeaker while her two other coworkers filmed it with their cell phones where Sam couldn't see them. Alice shot them a look and they both quickly put their phones away and refocused on the dogs they were meant to be watching. Alice went to the private run where Sam was.
"Hi. I'm here. Where are the dogs?" Alice asked.
"Alice!" Sam gasped. "Thank god. I love you!"
Alice sighed. "I love you too, Sam. Dogs. I want to go home."
"Shitface is in here," Sam said. "You were right. Shitface is a better name."
Alice snorted. "I told you." She nudged Sam out of the way and opened the door. "C'mon, asshole. Let's go. You're coming with me." She reached out as he neared her and she gave his ear a scratch before she slipped a lead on him and then removed his muzzle. "Let's get your friends."
Blueberry, Boss, Sprinkler, and Bernie were easy to get on leads and Alice quickly said goodbye and left before Sam could try and rope her into a conversation. She put the dogs in her Hummer and then headed home. Herding them through the house to the backyard only took a few minutes and then she watched them as Squeaker, Spongebob, and Sprinkler chased each other around and tackled each other until Squeaker decided to bother Harry and Boss-Man snapped at the other two.
Alice rolled her eyes and went back to sit by Kathryn.
Meanwhile, the Akatsuki reunited.
"They fed us burn brown balls," Hidan said. "It was bullshit. What'd you guys eat?"
"Chicken, rice, and eggs," Kisame told him.
"Chicken, rice, and raw green beans, hmm," Deidara replied.
Hidan shrieked with outrage.
"Hey! Shut up, Squeaker, or you'll go inside! I have neighbors!" Alice snapped.
Kathryn glanced at her. "You have an acre of land. Your neighbors are too far away."
"People on fucking Neptune could hear that high-pitched bullshit. Surprised it didn't shatter my windows. Can't believe that dog still has balls with a voice that high."
Kakuzu's tail wagged, delighted at Hidan's humiliation. "I vote, no matter what happens, that we let that girl live. She's fantastic. I might ask her to marry me."
"You may have to get in line. She is quite fond of Kisame," Itachi told him.
Kisame just grinned, the expression just as terrifying with dog teeth as it was when he was a bipedal shark-man with filed teeth. "She's funny."
"What's the plan, Leader?" Sasori asked. "What are we supposed to do and how do you think we are getting home?"
Pein's eyes narrowed. "I do not know the answer to the latter. But as for the former, for now we blend in and bide our time. We find out what is going on, where we are, and then look for a solution to the problem. From what I've been able to gather, this place is nothing like what we are used to. I would even venture that it is…elsewhere entirely."
"What do you mean by that?" Konan wondered.
"Tobi thinks Leader means a different dimension! A different world!" Tobi chimed in excitedly, bouncing around them.
Pein nodded. "For lack of a better term and without knowing for sure, yes. Pretty much."
"That is concerning," Itachi said.
"How do we get back?" Zetsu wondered. "We have to get back."
"We'll figure it out, Zetsu," Konan assured him. "It might take a little while, but we'll get home. First, we need to figure out how we can return to being human."
"That is another concern, yes," Kakuzu agreed. "I am too old for this."
"Hmm. Interesting. I wonder if our age will impact how we are as dogs," Sasori said.
"Obviously not. Kakuzu's older than fucking dirt and he's fine. Even if you do the whole dog-years thing. He'd be almost fourteen. Dogs his size don't fucking live that long," Hidan said.
Kakuzu squinted at him. "It can do math. My goodness. Will wonders never cease?"
"Fuck you, you fucking rat bastard!"
Deidara sat down beside Hidan, head cocking to the side. "Why do you know so much about dogs, hm?"
"I used to have one when I was a kid. It's common fucking knowledge either way," Hidan grumbled. "At least one of you must have known that."
"It's true, though I've never encountered a normal dog his size before," Pein said and Konan nodded. "Aside from a ninken, I had no idea normal dogs could get that big."
"The Inuzuka in Konoha had plenty of dogs his size and some even larger," Itachi chimed in. "They lived well beyond the norm for canines. But that comes with them being exposed to chakra and being so well taken care of. Perhaps it is similar here?"
"Aside from us, I haven't felt a single drop of chakra here," Kisame said, glancing at him. "And ours is muted."
Zetsu growled, head lowering with discomfort. "Likewise. We haven't sensed anything. We can't access our abilities like this, but there is not even any chakra in the land, let alone the people. Where we come from, the land is rich with chakra. Here, it's like trying to find water in a dry well. It's very strange. We don't like it."
"Hey! Weirdo dogs!" Alice called, and they looked around to see her standing on the patio with her hands on her hips. "Behave yourselves. If there's any fighting, I'm gonna put you in a cage. If any of you start pestering Blueberry or trying to hump her, I'll book an appointment at the vet to get you neutered. Blueberry, you bite the shit out of them if they're rude!"
"Oh, if they dared, I would do much worse than bite them," Konan said, giving the surrounding males a cold look that had them all averting their gazes. "A vet appointment for neutering would hardly be necessary."
"Are they leaving, hm?" Deidara asked as Alice turned away and walked inside.
"They left the door open, so I assume not. Perhaps just going inside?" Sasori mused.
"We should make sure," Pein decided. "Let's go. As I understand it, we might be staying here instead of the kennel. We need to learn the house anyways."
Kisame stood and stretched. "Let's go, then. It's a nice place. Kinda empty, though."
Together, the Akatsuki headed for the house. They slipped inside through the open door and crept down the hallway, spreading out to check inside any open doorways. They passed a couple of spare bedrooms and a bathroom. There was a room that looked like an office and then another larger room that had a ridiculous amount of books stuffed onto bookshelves that stretched from the floor to the ceiling. There were a set of stairs but none of them ventured that way and instead headed for the sound of voices.
They entered a spacious kitchen that was connected to a sitting room with comfortable looking furniture.
"So, are you going to be keeping the other dogs here, now that you've brought them home?" Kathryn wondered where she was sitting on a stood at the breakfast bar.
Alice stood at the sink, washing dishes and the bowls that Kisame, Kakuzu, and Itachi had eaten out of. "I guess so. Probably easier this way, even though I'm going to have to drag them all to work with me every damn day and then drag them all back home." She glanced at her. "Do you want me to keep Spongebob and Blanket, too? Or do you like having them?"
"I might have you keep them on days I work at the clinic," she said. "But I don't want you to have to deal with ten dogs on your own."
Alice shrugged. "I don't mind it. I've done it before. Before you came to work at the kennel, I used to have to run the back by myself. And this was back when we had someone stay overnight. I basically lived in the kennel because I worked so much. Back then, we only had three employees, including me. It's why Suz owes me her soul. She might own the place, but I basically ran it for her."
"I can't believe you've worked there for eight years," Kathryn said. "You've been there longer than Sam. How come they didn't make you manager?"
"Because I hate people and I said fuck that much responsibility," Alice replied. "It's why I never was allowed to work the front desk. I've told many shitty customers to get fucked and take their terrible dogs elsewhere. I also tell off employees if they're garbage."
"You're never that rude with your clients."
"I am. But if people are coming to me to get help with their dogs, then I give them a chance because they must at least want what's best for the animal. It's the people that ask me to take their dog and train the dog alone that make me mad. It does no good for me to train the dog by itself if the owners aren't going to learn how to handle it. I train the owners just as much as I do the dogs. Dogs are fucking smarter than people, I swear to god."
Kathryn snickered. "I might leave them here tonight since I work at the clinic in the morning, see how it is, but if they're too much, I'll take them home with me."
"That's fine. What's two more?" she asked. She looked around when the dogs entered the kitchen and she smiled when Kisame came up to her. "Hi, Handsome. I'd pet you, but my hands are all wet."
"You really love that Corso," Kathryn said, grinning.
"He's perfect," Alice whined. "I'm keeping him if no one comes to claim him."
Kisame looked at the others, amused. "You guys need to step up your game."
"What about Fluffy and Harry?" Kathryn wondered.
"I mean, they're both adorable and I like them. Super chill dogs," Alice said. "I'd definitely keep them. But, like, Handsome is so cute and sweet and funny. He's such a good dog."
"I'm not sure you should be taking these things as compliments, Kisame," Itachi said in response to Kisame's clear amusement.
"You're just jealous, Fluffy," Kisame said, and he snickered at Itachi's exasperated sigh.
"It's a shame you're so bad at naming things," Kathryn told Alice.
Alice scowled at her, turning off the sink and grabbing a rag to dry off her hands. "You wanted to name them colors. You were going to name Spongebob 'Old Yeller'. Spongebob isn't even a Lab or a Blackmouth Cur like the dogs in the movie and book. He's a mutt. Well, the dog in the movie was a mutt, too, but he was supposed to look like a Labrador. He was a mastiff/lab mix."
"That's a dumb name," Hidan said. "And what the fuck does Spongebob mean, anyways?"
"Who knows?" Kakuzu sighed.
"Old Yeller is an actual dog name!" Kathryn said defensively. "Shut up with your weird dog movie knowledge. No one cares! The point is, Old Yeller is a famous dog name and this dog is yellow!"
"The dog in the book and the movie got rabies and was shot," Alice stressed. "Killed!"
"How morbid," Zetsu drawled.
"It's sad!" Alice continued, unknowing of most of her audience. "I mean, you can clearly tell the dog in the movie doesn't actually have rabies and that it's been trained to growl on command, but like. The principle of it, Kathryn. You don't name a dog after one in a movie that has a terrible fate. It's like the clients that named their redbone coonhounds Old Dan and Little Ann!"
"That actually physically pained me even though they're so cute," Kathryn said softly. "Okay, I get your point. Old Yeller was a bad choice."
"I'm confused," Deidara announced.
"We all are, brat. The people here are very strange," Sasori replied. "Especially the tall blonde one. She was odd. Last night was an experience."
"Oh?" Hidan asked, amused. "Do tell. You two watch her change and shit?"
"We didn't, Hidan, shut up!" Deidara snarled.
"Spongebob, you quit that," Alice snapped. "I know Squeak's a jerk but he's being good right now. Leave it."
Deidara relaxed his snarl.
"Good boy," she said, and she missed how a few of the other dogs laughed at Deidara's expense.
"She cranked up a lot of loud music and danced around her apartment. Well, I think it was dancing. She just sort of flailed around a lot. And she talks a lot," Sasori elaborated.
Deidara nodded. "She talks a lot and the flailing was dangerous. She's so tall. She almost hit me and Danna a few times, yeah."
Sasori tilted his head towards Deidara. "After her dancing she sat on the couch and turned on this giant window that displayed a bunch of women fighting about petty things. She cried and shouted at it even though it was clear her voice was unheard."
Zetsu snorted. "That sounds awful. I'm glad we stayed at the kennel instead."
Tobi cowered, head dipping low with his ears back and body hunched down. "Tobi didn't like the kennel. All the dogs were very sad about being there, and they barked so much! They kept us in tiny rooms and Tobi felt scared. Tobi doesn't like tight spaces!"
Zetsu glanced at him. "There, there, Tobi. We figured out how to escape the tiny rooms. It was very loud there, though. The people there are loud and annoying."
"In comparison, our caretaker is very quiet. After we got back, she let us roam the yard and part of the house while she sat down and read a book or tapped at some oddly flat, square thing with a glowing screen," Kakuzu said. "She talked to us a bit, and to herself, but for the most part she was quiet."
"I think there's someone else here, too," Kisame said. "At least they were for a second, even though none of us saw them or sensed them. She called them 'Alexa' and whoever they were played music through the house. They turned off the music at some point, too, but no matter how much we looked we couldn't find them."
"Odd. Perhaps a servant?" Pein wondered.
"It's possible, but they're a poor servant," Itachi said. "The woman, Alice, has been cooking and cleaning and doing pretty much everything else by herself. She only called for the Alexa woman to handle the music."
"What kind of music?" Hidan asked.
"Classical," Kakuzu replied.
"Lame," Hidan said, making Kakuzu sigh.
Konan sat beside Kathryn, allowing her to stroke her fur. "Well, we'll keep an eye out for this Alexa person. We need to know who we're dealing with."
"Konan is right," Pein agreed. "These two girls do not seem like too much of a threat, but we cannot underestimate them. This could all be an elaborate trap. We must be careful and cautious until we know for certain. Do not anger them or draw any negative attention to yourself."
So yeah. This is a thing. I work in dog daycares and boarding facilities, so I'm very familiar with such an industry and how it works. I currently don't work in one because I'm moving from Ohio to Tennessee next within the next month or so. Wish me fucking luck. I have six dogs and a cat to move down there, ugh.
Anyways. I love you all. Hope you're all doing well. I know shit's crazy because of COVID and everything else going on, but if anyone needs anything, feel free to contact me in some way. I'm here if anyone needs someone to talk to or anything like that.
That's all I got for you guys this time. Check ya later.
Oh, also and most importantly BLM.