Leonard looked nervous. Very rarely did Leonard ever look nervous, or at least in the relatively short time she had known him between Lawrence and New Orleans. “Why do you look like you think I’m going to rip your head off your shoulders?” she asked, giving him a curious look.
"I may have broken the dishwasher," he said sheepishly.
“Just in our unit?” she asked, tilting her head. He nodded, and she let herself laugh. “It’s all right, Leonard. While dishwashers are useful things, it’s still easy to wash dishes by hand.”
He let out a sigh of relief. “I’ll do them, I promise. I was just trying to make shrimp scampi and it’s kind of all gone to hell.”
She glanced over at the kitchen and saw the mounds of dishes in the sink. “Is there anything edible?”
“Jambalaya,” he said. “Not by me, bought from that one restaurant you like. I figured after you were done talking to lawyers you’d want to take a break from everything, including cooking.”
“And you are correct. So tell you what. We’ll set the dishes up to soak properly, eat the food and then skip out on them to go get dessert somewhere, and then when we’re done I’ll keep you company while you wash the dishes. Deal?”
He nodded. “Deal.”
Afterward, they decided to raid the refrigerator for ice cream and make banana splits with some of the local flavours of ice cream, and she settled next to the sink on the worktop while Leonard got to work when they were finished. Soaking the dishes in scalding hot water an hour before had been a good idea, as the mess was coming off quickly.
“This is all going to be a headache, basically doing what they did in Lawrence,” he said, scrubbing at a pot.
“I know, but it needs to be done. Just because we were the first and there aren’t many of us now doesn’t mean there won’t be more. But we can offer some of our things to the public at large.”
“Not the apartments, though.”
“Well...not if we can help it. There are fair housing laws we have to abide by, but I think the lawyer said there was a way around it even if the apartments are unoccupied. But the clinic we can open to the general public. I see no reason we can’t take on local doctors to help with the caseload.”
“So how do we want to do it? Interview them separately? Together?”
“Together would be best. It’s our clinic, and we should present a united front right from the start. That way it’s clear you can’t get around one of us by going to the other.”
“Makes sense.” He put the pot in the drying rack and moved on to a pan. “Anything else we should be ready to deal with?”
“I haven’t seen hide nor hair of a demon but that doesn’t mean we can’t do some of the precautions against evil intent,” she said, tilting her head. “We’ve done some of it here at the complex, but I can do a few things to the clinic as well. It may not work quite the same but it would make me feel better.”
“I can imagine,” Leonard said with a smile. The pan was cleaned easily and he began on the last bit of dishes, the silverware. That took almost no time at all and soon he was letting the water out of the sink and rinsing his soap covered arms off. “Dishes are done.”
“Good. I think I’ve covered everything I learned today, so...trash telly?”
“Pair it with some more of the ice cream and you’re on.”
She smiled and hopped off the worktop to move towards the freezer. “It just means more dishes.”
“We’ll soak them and call a repairman in the morning,” she said. “Meet you on the sofa.”
Her smile got wider as she set about making some sundaes this time. It was good here, she thought. Maybe they could all make a real go at having a positive future in New Orleans...