Asking for Trouble
What the hell is that? Riker asked as he walked
through the doorway of his brothers small flat.
Its a dog.
Thats not a dog.
Of course its a dog.
No that has got to be the ugliest thing Ive ever
seen in my life, that isnt a dog its a genetic
mishap. Riker stated as he walked into the living
Dont talk about him that way, hes just a puppy.
Thomas defended his pet.
Oh its male? How in the hell can you tell, with all
that, what is that fur or fuzz?
Im not sure.
Whyd you get a dog, Tom?
Because, havent you heard women are attracted to
puppies and I just figured that . . .
Youre going to lure women into your quarters with
THAT! Riker said, setting a box of supplied down on
the kitchen table. Most of the women I know . . .
theyll take one look at that thing and go straight
for your throat.
Kiss my ass.
Oh for Christs sake, its trying to hump my leg.
Thomas your dog is humping my leg.
Not my fault you look like a girl.
All I have to do is peel it off my leg, right?
Riker said, bending down and detaching the dog from
his calf, he raised it up and looked into the small
animals face, and then began to jiggle it up and down
as if weighing it. How much does this thing weigh
anyway? Its like holding an apple.
Give me my dog.
Wheres its tail?
What do you mean wheres its tail? Tom retrieved
the animal from his brothers hands. Its where its
supposed to be.
Those three hairs, thats its tail right?
Stop trying to give my dog a complex, what do you
I came by to see if you wanted to play some poker and
drink a little bit. His head nodded towards the box
on the table. Deanna sent a few things over for you,
bed sheets, towels and stuff like that.
Tell your wife I said thank you and of course I want
to drink. Ill get the glasses.
Be sure to wash your hands first. Ill go get the
cards, they still in the same place?
Hey, its following me.
He likes you.
I know it tried to hump my leg. Is it supposed to
hobble like that? I mean is that normal?
Yes its normal, puppies always walk like that.
Thomas yelled from the other side of the room.
How long have you had it?
Couple of days.
Is it refundable?
Just sit your ass down, all right. You pour the
drinks, Ill deal the cards.
Ill pour the drinks . . .you deal the cards. That
dog is scary.
Will you shut up, my dog isnt scary.
Will, hey Will? Thomas tapped on the table in front
of his brother attempting to catch his attention.
How many cards do you want?
Oh . . . Riker jerked his head up, snapping out of
his stupor. Three.
Three? Sucker hand eh?
Just give me my cards. Riker threw his cards on the
table, face up as if he was folding. Wait on second
thought, I dont want to play cards.
Damn it, Will . . . Why dont you want to play
Because its gone.
What? Whats gone?
That dog of yours . . . Riker said looking under the
table and then finally resting his eyes on his brother
to sat across from him. Its gone.
He probably just went back into the bedroom. Thomas
said, with a shrug.
To shit on the floor?
Ive set out some puppy pads for that.
Puppy pads? Riker said in disbelief. Youre
pathetic. He added. His eyes grew wide at the sight
of the miss-shaped animal coming around the corner.
Oh look, its coming back.
Will you leave my dog alone? Thomas insisted. I
know what you need . . . he said. You need another
drink. Say when. All he received was silence, Okay
fine. Dont say when, just drink the whole damn glass
I plan to, isnt that why I came over here?
Yep, by the way. Wheres Deanna?
At her mothers for the weekend. Shell be back day
How come you didnt go with her?
Would you? Riker asked, this mind thinking of his
No. . . Thomas chuckled, thinking of Lwaxana Troi.
Hey, that dogs chewing on something, whats it got in
its mouth anyway. Oh shit, its chewing up my jacket,
Puppies do that.
Will you shut the hell up, and help me get my jacket
back? Let go, let go, you ugly little bastard. What
the hells with this thing, so, you want to play tug of
war uh? Let me warn you, I win.
Dont call my dog names. Hey, let go, Virgil.
Virgil damn it! Let go. Thomas stated, jerking the
jacket away from the puppies sharp little teeth. The
dog immediately latched onto the leather jacket again
and took off down the hallway. Hey Virgil, come
Virgil? You named your dog Virgil? Damn, Thomas. No
wonder its got anger issues.
Virgil doesnt have anger issues, Virgil just hates
Wheres he going with my coat?
He probably went to go shit on your jacket, Will.
Whistle for him, Thomas. Dogs have sensitive ears.
You whistle for him.
Im in no shape to whistle, I can barely form my
Youre turning into a light weight, is that what
marriage does for you?
No marriage has a tendency to make me spend time with
my deranged brother, who for God only knows the reason
has just adopted something that looks like an
evolutionary backslider and its chewing the hell out
of my jacket as we speak; and another thing, when I
confess that Virgil is cute . . . thats when Im
drunk. Now where did that little bald bastard get off
to with my jacket?
Dont call my dog names, Will.
Its got a head that looks like a Worf, and a body
that looks like a caterpillar, two legs are shorter
than the other two, and where in the hell is its tail?
At least my pet has a tail.
Of course your pet has a tail, its a gold fish. You
Dont talk about my fish.
I had the decency to at least name my pet. Whats
your pet named, you cant say can you, because you
never took the time to name him.
My fish has a name.
What? Oh dont tell me, Flower Blossom? Rose Petal?
Something poetic like Goldie-pooh, Golden rod?
My-fish, my fishs name is My-Fish. I introduce him
to people and say. He gave Thomas a drunken sweeping
gesture of his arm, as if introducing something. Id
like you to meet My-Fish.
Now youre the one whos pathetic. Thomas stated
with a chuckle, Here, you hold the bottle and Ill
look outside for Virgil.
What the hell, Thomas. You think Virgil took my
jacket and went outside for a bit of fresh air, or
maybe a stroll in the moonlight. How in the hell
could he get outside?
Hey, Virgil! Come here boy. Come on. Thomas poked
his head out the door and began to yell for the dog.
Thomas its three oclock in the morning. Riker
warned; the alcohol was definitely having an affect on
Thats it, good boy.
How in the hell did that dog get outside? What is he
magic? Some sort of Black wizard canine?
Dont go outside Virgil, someone might kidnap you.
Kidnap that! Riker laughed.
Can I say something you dont want to hear? Thomas
Taking a swig from the bottle, Riker wiped off his
mouth with the back of his hand, I have to hear
things I dont want to hear all the time. Go ahead.
You dont like animals do you?
I like animals just fine, its Virgil that I dont
like. He ate my jacket, plus hes empty pawed, or
mouthed or whatever in the hell you call it.
Damn you are drunk, what the hell do you expect him
to be armed with weapons, photon torpedoes. No
wonder Deanna didnt want you to go with her.
I mean that creature doesnt have my jacket! And
Deanna never said I couldnt go.
She told me, she didnt want you to go. You
embarrass her too much. Thomas said, putting the
puppy down on the floor, the animal scurried off into
the other room.
Dont put him down!
Because, hell shit all over the place, thats why!
He said, with disgust Or, he added, Run off with
more articles of clothing.
Articles of clothing? Youre not planning to strip
are you, because if you do, Will . . . I think its
time to say good night now. Thomas said with a shake
of his head, as he walked back towards the living
Kiss my ass, Tom. Riker retaliated, following
behind his brother.
Thomas simply, whirled around and gave his brother an
unspoken gesture of his hand, added with a huge smile.
He stumbled to the kitchen and opened one of the
Do you have any food?
Not in there.
You have a replicator?
What kind of house doesnt have any food or a
The kind of house that I live in.
Oh damn it. There he goes looking for a corner to
shit in. See hes sniffing. At least I think hes
sniffing, that end is his head isnt it.
Hes not sniffing.
If he wanted to do that, hed be going towards his
Im getting hungry.
Food is for wimps.
Lets cook Virgil. Riker suggested teasingly.
Ill go get my phaser, you stay right here.
Nah, Im more in the mood for fish.
Touché. Riker laughed. I guess Ill just sit
on the floor and watch Virgil chew up everything in
your house. Damn, I cant believe weve gotten so
drunk over two bottles of whiskey.
Do me a favor.
Go home now. Thomas stated simply.
There was a sudden yipping sound in the other room.
Hey. It barks!
Of course he barks. Hes a dog. What the hell did
you think he would do, speak Klingon?
What breed is he? Riker asked, slumping down onto
the floor, against the back of the couch.
Im not sure. What breed is your fish? Thomas
asked, sitting down next to his brother.
Oh. Thomas replied simply, taking the bourbon
bottle from his brothers hand and taking a hefty
That dogs scary.
My dog isnt scary, Will.
Yes he is. Just look at him, he sniffs, hobbles, and
humps. And I bet he snores, a nasty kind of snore,
the kind that makes you think a gang of ferengis is
attacking you; the kind of snore that resembles a
woman wailing hysterically with the pangs of
childbirth, that kind of scary kind of snore.
Hes coming towards me, Thomas. Riker said,
straightening his posture up against the back of the
Hes on my lap, on great. . .he probably wants to
hump again. Riker stated, What do I do now?
I should have gotten a cat. Thomas stated out of
Why? Riker asked, his eyes never leaving the pet,
the puppy snuggled into Riker lap and closed its eyes.
Is it asleep?
Thomas cocked his head sideways, and stared at the
small dog for a moment. Hes going to sleep.
Why should you have gotten a cat? Riker asked,
passing the bottle to his brother.
Cats eat fish. Thomas said, gulping down the
contents of the bottle.
I dont know. Im starting to like Virgil. Riker
stated, petting the dog gently. Im sure hell make
a fine watch dog, I mean, he hates leather right?
Most burglars wear leather, and hell hobble over and
bite the hell out them.
God, youre an idiot! Thomas laughed. If you
could just hear yourself.
I am when Im this drunk. Riker smiled, his eyes
flashing with mischief.
Are you going home tonight, or should I say this
morning the sun is coming up.
Probably not. Riker answered his words were
beginning to slur, Plus, if I get up. Ill wake up
Fine. Im going to bed.
Ill just stay here on the floor, with Virgil on my
Thomas stumbled to his feet and began to stagger
across the room, he lost his balance and stumbled over
a rug, falling flat on his face. That was all he
needed to burst out in laughter.
Riker opened one blood shot eye to see what all of the
cursing and laughter was about, he opened both eyes
and started to laugh along with his brother.
Thomas attempted to give his brother a sigh for them
to be quiet, he placed one finger across his lips and
with the other hand he pointed towards Virgil, who was
sleeping across Rikers lap.
Oh yeah. Riker whispered, attempting to focus on
the small pet. Shhhh.
Thomas crawled off to bed, and Riker leaned his head
back against the couch and passed out, his head
flopping to the side, and his hand lay gently across
the small animals back.
Riker never heard Virgil as he began to snore, a
nasty, ugly nose plugging snore.