(2018-10-12) Sing for the Animals
Heather tries to convince Luke to take on the role of 'The Singing Vet'.

It was an hour or so after closing at Paws & Claws, leaving the clinic quiet and animal free (except for the ones in boarding, of course). Luke was the only one who remained now, and only because he'd invited Heather to come over and chat about this television opportunity. As such, he was lounging behind the receptionist's desk, his white lab coat still slung over his more typical jeans and t-shirt, making marks on a stack of reports in front of him with a red felt tip pen. The door was unlocked, thus there'd be no trouble getting into the building.

Heather at least tries the door before pushing it open and striding inside like she owns the place. She's on the phone - or at least talking into the mic held in her ear. "If you've got the evidence then of course you go for it, but I'm not putting gossip, opinion and innuendo on the air. This isn't Fox News." Spotting Luke, she holds up a finger to indicate she will just be a moment. "Uh-huh…uh-huh…and do you think it is worth that much?" A sigh. "Okay, go for it." She hangs up and offers Luke a broad smile and an outstretched hand. "Hey, thanks for the invite. Quiet around here. You're not twenty four seven?"

There's a glance up at the bell, though it wasn't hard to see that she was on the phone even before she put her finger in the air to give him pause. Luke just shrugs his shoulders, returning to making chicken-scratch on the papers in front of him before she finally hangs up. Only then does he drop his pen and get up, reaching to take her hand and shake it firmly. "Ah, no. I've got a rotation of on-call doctors throughout the week, but the staff's got to go home sometimes," he flashes her a dimpled grin before he points a thumb to the swinging door behind the receptionist's desk. "We can go into my office if you want, it's probably easier to sit back there."

"Sure, wherever you like" Heather nods, "Though I would like to have a look around at some point if that is okay. Get an idea of the layout. See some cute animals." She gestures for him to lead the way before switching her phone to messages - she's not completely rude. "How have you been, Doc?"

Luke motions for her to follow, a light chuckle escaping him as he heads towards the door, opening it for her to go through first. "It's pretty busy during office hours else I'd have had you come then. But I've got a stray in boarding that I found with her pups, if you want to see cute," he shrugs. He leads her through the back area and into a room down the hall. The office is small, but there's a desk and a couple of chairs, everything kept fairly orderly. "I've been good, though. Up to my ears in work. You can sit wherever you want," he offers, going around the desk to flop into the chair there. "What about you? Television keeping you on your toes?"

"Busy is the time we'd be after…for some of the show at least. Though we won't get in the way, promise. These days we only need one or two people. It's not as if we'd be lugging a huge camera around and setting up lights all over the place" Heather assures him before looking around the small office. A smirk at his offer to sit anywhere. "On your desk?" she teases before settling into a visitor chair. "Keeps me on my toes and on my feet. First time I've sat down today where it wasn't a car. I don't want to keep you here too long, you have a life, so I'll get straight to the point. I'd have a camera crew come down, say, once a week to get stuff of you working. If a case proves to be interesting or long-term, we'll do follow ups for as long as it takes. In addition to the work footage, we have you doing your adoption promotions and, maybe, even general animal education bits if you're up to it." A smile appears. "And it would be totally perfect if you sang the theme tune and performed during the episodes."

There's a flash of blue eyes to the desk, Luke squinting as he looks back up to Heather. "I mean, I don't think you'd be very comfortable there, but .. whatever floats your boat," he says with a shrug, though there might be a minor look of relief in his features when she chooses a chair, instead. He leans towards the desk, setting his elbows on the surface as he focuses on her, lips pressed in a thoughtful line as he listens. But he seems to be agreeable to a point, nodding his head slowly. "I'd like to focus solely on the rescue element of things, if that's all right. The people here in Calaveras, they don't like cameras in their business. I think my regular clients would get upset if I had someone in here filming their pets," he explains. "But I do a lot of work with the shelter downtown. They just redesigned the whole place, actually, you could probably film the grand re-opening if you wanted. But that way, you get the action shots you want, and some good feeling stories that'll hopefully end up with those animals getting adopted."

"Anyone whose pet is involved would have to give their permission. That's how it works. so I'll deal with that aspect. Your forget, I'm Calaveran too, and I know how much they love being in each other's business" Heather teases. "I'd like to make this a series, Doc. Unfortunately, there will probably be no end to abandoned animals, so we need to make sure that we keep this going. That opening sounds like a good theme for the first episode though. You'll be checking out the animals there - medically I mean."

"People love to gossip, they just hate being the ones people gossip about," Luke points out, a smirk curving along at the edge of his mouth at her comment there at the end. "Yeah. Actually, they've got a pregnant lab that they picked up a week or so back. She's not up for adoption yet, but she will be along with the pups once they're born. I have to go up there and do an exam on her, ultrasound and all of that," he lifts a shoulder. "That might be a good episode, yeah?" He considers this for a moment, before he adds with a small frown, "I'm hoping this does some good. I never really thought of putting the clinic on television before. But I'm kind of hesitant on the singing, do you think that'd look self absorbed?" he lifts a brow. "I'm not looking to get famous. Just get these animals some homes."

"It wouldn't look self-absorbed at all. It will look warm…human. It will bring a layer of connection that will encourage people to become a part of it. And in this case, that part will be adopting an animal" Heather replies. "Seriously, being heartfelt is much more important than being professionally slick. You love singing, right? You love animals, obviously. That is what people will pick up on. The love. The joy that a pet can bring to their own lives." She considers a moment before nodding. "Labradors work. Don't worry, Doc, this will definitely do good. I promise you."

There's still subtle skepticism in Luke's features as he leans back into his chair, but eventually he does nod his head. "All right then," he sighs, a chuckle following as he looks across to her. "You're good at what you do, Heather. I don't know if there are too many people in this world who could convince me to go on television and risk making a fool out of myself," he says, flashing her a dimpled grin. "So I take it I'm going to have to sign my life away before I make my debut, hm? I should probably have them looked over or something," he notes. "Not that I don't trust you, but I think my mom would smack me upside my head and call me a dumbass if I signed something without having a lawyer look at it first."

Heather smiles happily at her 'victory'. "You won't regret this, Doc, and the animals will love you for it. You're a natural. Charming. Handsome. Personality up the kazoo. And, obviously, smart enough to get a contract read before signing. Give me your lawyers contact details and I'll send over a pretty standard contract. There won't be a lot of money for you, but I'll do the best I can. Even make some donations to the shelter as part of it if you like. And I promise it won't involve signing away your life…just your first born." A wink for him before she stands and offers her hand once more. "This will be the start of a wonderful relationship."

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