92: “Jesus Christ, Greg, you gotta stop feeding your dog pate”

The population of Finch’s apartment often went through a lot of changes. Sometimes Gavin was dating Carly. Most times he was not because she was dating her cousin. Janine had been a near-constant fixture for a while and then her dog had been as well. That had been fun for Finch and Eartha. But Gord had finally managed to dump her so now they never saw her or her dog anymore. For a while, Jacklyn had been Public Enemy Number One, first because she wouldn’t let Gord hang out with her cat, and then later because she ghosted Amare. But now Amare and Jacklyn were back together in what was sure to be another doomed relationship attempt and she was welcome in their home. Except she wasn’t really because it wasn’t Amare’s home and Gord still hated her guts. Robin spent a lot of time at their apartment, and Finch was obviously fine with that. Sometimes Robin came on his own, but other times he came with someone else, usually Joey, and that made the whole Jacklyn situation awkward for another set of reasons.

There were other constants as well, though. Finch’s next door neighbour always sang Paula Abdul songs ridiculously early in the morning. And OBG was always a constant. He had been knocking on their apartment door for months in pursuit of Gord’s affections. OBG was very persistent, despite the fact that Gord had shown absolutely no interest in him whatsoever. In fact, as far as OBG was aware, Gord didn’t even understand anything he said to him because Gord was still pretending to be Spanish to avoid OBG’s advances. It wasn’t working, a fact which brought both Gavin and Amare immeasurable happiness. They felt Gord had been cruel to them during their own relationship struggles and now felt that Gord deserved to struggle.

“Sure, but also he dated Janine for, like, a billion years,” Finch pointed out when Amare said as much to him one night while Gord was at choir practice.

“Yeah, but that was his own fault,” Amare returned dismissively.

“Sure,” Finch agreed, nodding.  “But also it is fucking hilarious that Jacklyn once ghosted you for Joey and that Carly dumped Gavin for her cousin.”

“Brock is her third cousin,” Gavin interjected, toting out his usual defense.

“Still a blood relative,” Finch said for the umpteenth time, pointing to Gavin before pointing to Amare. “Still left you for Joey.”

“No, she dumped Joey for me,” Amare countered empathetically.

“Did she?” Finch asked skeptically. “Or did she just dump him and then you happened to be really fucking keen?”

“Whatever,” Amare grumbled. “You’re the worst.”

Finch just laughed at him.

One afternoon, as Finch and Robin were making their way up the hallway to Finch’s apartment after a joint shift at the record store, they came across OBG, who was standing in the hallway in front of Finch’s apartment door with his neurotic dog. Classically, he was wearing his open bathrobe, but he had put on a pair of white running shoes that looked as if he’d owned them since the early 80s. He very likely had. They were in pretty good shape, which Finch attributed to the fact that OBG likely hadn’t done much in the way of fitness since the 80s.

“Senor Gord isn’t here right now,” Finch told OBG as he and Robin approached the front door. He was hoping to get inside as quickly as possible to limit the amount of exposure either of them would have to OBG. That was how much he cared about Robin.

“I might speak to you as well,” OBG informed Finch loftily. Finch felt that he was being unusually haughty for a man wearing white briefs in public. Robin snorted.

“How nice,” Finch returned dryly.

“I need a ride,” OBG continued. Finch and Robin stared at him in response for a moment.

“Is that a euphemism or…?” Robin asked eventually, voicing a question Finch most definitely did not want the answer to.

“I need a ride to the veterinary,” OBG clarified. Finch and Robin stared at him again.

“I don’t own a car,” Finch told him flatly. OBG raised a stubby hand and pointed one chubby, sausage-like finger at Robin, both eyes pointing in different directions.

“He does,” OBG said.

“Jesus, man, how closely do you pay attention to us?” Robin returned, visibly startled by OBG’s level of interest. Finch didn’t blame him. It was startling. It was also beginning to verge on the level that required a restraining order and an open police investigation. If any of them ended up murdered and buried in the forest, Finch knew who would have done it. He should write a note just to help the potential murder investigation move along efficiently.

“Well, my car isn’t here,” Robin told OBG.

“I saw it in the parking garage,” OBG replied.

“Jesus Christ,” Robin muttered under his breath. “Alright, damn, I’ll take you to the vet’s.”

Finch shot Robin a look, but Robin only shrugged at him with one shoulder before turning to walk back down the hall in the direction they’d come from. OBG waddled after him, apparently content to visit the vet’s in his underwear and open bathrobe, and Finch was left with no other option but to follow along as well, lest he become the asshole that let his boyfriend get murdered by a man in his underwear. Finch had only been in a handful of fights in his life, but he figured he’d be a far cry more useful in any altercation than Robin, who was skinny and lippy.

Finch made OBG sit in the back of Robin’s car with his admittedly lethargic dog as OBG directed Robin to his veterinarian’s office, which turned out to be a sterile-smelling, sparklingly clean practice not far from the apartment building. The office staff didn’t seem particularly concerned or even shocked by OBG’s signature outfit, which lead Finch to believe that they were used to him. Robin and Finch waited next to OBG and his miniature dog in the lobby, silently avoiding eye contact with all the other people waiting with their beloved pets. Finally, the woman behind the front desk motioned for OBG to follow her into one of the examination rooms. Finch stayed in his chair. He had no intention of being more involved than he already was.

“Did your friends want to come with you?” The woman asked OBG, glancing at Finch and Robin, who studiously avoided her eye contact.

“They’re my emotional support,” OBG informed her so that Finch and Robin looked like dicks for not immediately jumping up to be with him. Next to Finch, Robin sighed deeply.

“Well fuck,” he muttered under his breath. “I guess we’re going with him.”

Very reluctantly, Finch left his seat and followed the woman, OBG, and Robin into the examination room. The woman left them there and the three of them stood around in awkward silence while OBG’s dog sniffed the corners of the room and they waited for the vet to see them.

It didn’t take long. They were soon joined by a young man in a white lab coat. He was holding onto a clipboard and wearing a stethoscope around his neck, like a stereotype of a doctor. He was wearing a name tag that declared him Dr. James Jackson. Dr. Jackson sighed, long and suffering, as soon as he saw OBG. Finch assumed it was due to the open bathrobe and the particularly small underwear. OBG bent down, his bathroom lifted, Finch caught sight of OBG’s underwear from a whole other unfortunate angle, and OBG deposited his dog on top of the examining table. Dr. Jackson reached out a gloved hand and felt around the dog’s neck. He sighed again and looked up at OBG.

“Jesus Christ, Greg, you gotta stop feeding your dog pate,” Dr. Jackson said exasperatedly.

“Greg?” Finch repeated, raising an eyebrow.

“Pate?” Robin repeated, even more incredulous. Dr. Jackson nodded at Robin.

“Todd here has canine gout,” Dr. Jackson explained.

“Todd?” Finch repeated, completely dumbfounded at this point.

“Canine gout?” Robin repeated. Finch could tell he was trying not to laugh. That would definitely make them look like dicks. Dr. Jackson nodded again before turning back to OBG, or Greg apparently.

“Hey, man, why don’t you go wait for the prescription and think about how you’re not going to feed your Boston terrier duck liver anymore,” he suggested, gesturing to the door. “I’ll get Todd set up here. I think he’s going to need to spend the night.”

“Todd the Boston terrier,” Robin repeated softly under his breath as OBG stepped out of the examination room, clearly still in awe.

“We just live in his building,” Finch told Dr. Jackson, feeling the need to defend his tenuous relationship to OBG.

“Yeah, man, I didn’t think you were friends,” Dr. Jackson returned, patting Todd the Boston terrier on the head. “He’s a real fucking weird dude.”

“I can’t believe canine gout is a real thing,” Robin said in the same awed voice.

“Oh yeah, man, dogs can get all kinds of weird shit,” Dr. Jackson replied. He wasn’t like any vet Finch had ever met before. He was going to start bringing Eartha to him for her annual check-ups.

When Finch and Robin returned home, leaving OBG at the front door to fend for himself, Gord and Gavin were sitting in the living room together. Gord was tuning his guitar and Gavin was reading. Finch threw himself on the couch next to Gord and picked up Eartha with one hand.

“Hola, Senor Gord,” he greeted Gord, who immediately glared at him. “Did you know that OBG’s real name is Greg?”

“Greg?” Gavin repeated delightedly, head snapping up immediately. “Greg? Gord and Greg, sitting in a tree!”

He didn’t get any further than that because Gord clocked him in the face with one of the throw pillows. It wouldn’t have been so bad, except they were sitting quite close.

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