"Ah! There it is, Renouncing Familial Relations, FI-062. Eh, might as well get everything together so you can fill it all out at once. All right, next up, adoption..." As the glasses-wearing woman works on getting all of the forms needed, a small printer near her has started spitting out several pages of densely filled paper.
As more and more pages are spit out by the earnest little machine, Lucas's facial expression keeps gradually sinking.
'No wonder they didn't bother formally disowning him.'
[I imagine more people would actually fill out the paperwork for things if they just streamlined it a bit. Though, at least the printed text is large enough to be legible. Chances are, a lot of the form is just a bunch of elaborate workarounds to prevent various loopholes that some bored intelligence-type supervillains theorized. You shouldn't have to actually write too much out yourself, probably. I'll start reading it all in advance just in case, as I doubt you will at all.]
'Guilty as charged.'
"Hmm, here we are, Adoptions and Fostering, FR-087. I don't even remember the last time I've so much as looked at this form, heh. Oh, are there any other immediate family members that are not present? I would need to give them absentee forms to submit within a week. Full consent and understanding of responsibilities, and all that." As she asks about any other persons that might be involved, Jonathan's attention had returned to reality just in time to start laughing. Lucas tries to give him an angry glare, but just ends up laughing too.
"He... Haha, he breaks everything he touches, how could he have a girlfriend, let alone a wife?" As Jonathan sells Lucas out entirely, the woman behind the counter has a rather understanding look on her face, bordering on pity.
From her position crouching nearby, Miss Masher lets out a snort of laughter. The man at the next counter over also gives a similar-sounding amused snort.
"Wha... Hey!" Lucas can't even bring himself to get mad, given how correct Jonathan is. As if to prove his point, he elbows Jonathan, shoving him several inches with the casual-looking movement.
Feeling justified in his declaration, Jonathan just continues laughing.
Willy even gives a muffled bark of agreement and then begins shaking his head from side to side, trying to make the diminutive Mind Flare budge at least a little bit. This change in attack does not bear fruit.
"Not you too! Who's side are you on anyway?" As Lucas gives Willy an accusatory glare, the pup in question pauses for a moment, then responds with a string of three muffled barks in a row.
"What... What is that even supposed to mean? Hah! I guess Willy's on his own team." As Jonathan voices his interpretation of Willy's answer, there's a happy bark of confirmation.
As Lucas is still ineffectively trying to scold Willy with a glare, there is a soft gasp and a rustling of clothes from behind the glass of the service counter.
Looking back up, he's greeted by the sight of the woman with her forehead and both of her palms pressed against the glass, trying her best to get a good look at Willy.
"HE UNDERSTANDS!?" As her breath fogs up the glass, Willy's wagging tail freezes in place.
"Hah! Keep your pants on Calc, you'll make him think you wanna dissect him or something." Now it's Miss Masher's turn to judge the other woman.
'Wait... Calc? OH! They're the Sisterhood of Evil!'
[You only just realized that now?]
'Eheh, it's not like I made a point of actually remembering any of that org stuff we read.'
"I WOULD NEVER! ...Well, maybe after he died of natural causes... But that's because it would just be a waste otherwise! Everyone should be willing to donate their bodies for science!" As Miss Calculated defends her honor, Willy seems a bit less stiff, though his tail hasn't resumed its playful wagging.
"Now now, don't worry, I won't let the scary nerd hurt you." As Miss Masher tries to soothe Willy, he can't help letting his tail wag a little bit.
'...That should have been my line! No fair!'
[...That's what you get for being slow to react.]
"How dare you!? You know I love animals every bit as much as you do!" As the family drama continues, Lucas clears his throat loudly to get everyone's attention.
"Well, while we're establishing a family roster, can he be included?" As he asks this, Willy releases his bite on the tormented Mind Flare chew toy and gives a triumphant bark, running a few circles around Lucas's legs afterward.
All of Lucas's recent grievances have been washed away with these few actions on Willy's part.
"Yes! Of course! If you don't, I will!" The woman's breath fogging up the glass of the protective barrier has also bounced back to fog her glasses as well.
'Well, that's a unique take on the whole mad scientist angle.'
"Oh, uhh, he doesn't have a chip right now, that's our next stop, that gonna be a problem or..?" As Lucas tentatively asks this, the woman has peeled herself off of the glass to climb back down off of her desk.
"Not at all, pets aren't required to have ID chips, though of course it's encouraged. Especially with such a special one. I can get some of the preliminary work done for you, the rest can be finalized by a service bot over at I4. ...I get to pet him while you fill out the paperwork, right?" As her very understandable motivation for helping with as much paperwork as possible reveals itself, Miss Masher snorts out a laugh as she gathers up Willy's three temporarily abandoned toys.
"As weird as she is, she'll be harmless enough." As she says this, Miss Calculated gives her an incredulous look that practically screams "Who are you to talk?"
"That's up to him. Heh. But yeah, apart from you wanting to steal my dog, your help would be appreciated." As Lucas answers, he can't help but notice her renewed vigor as she hunts down the relevant forms.
Appreciating the requests for consent, Willy gives a happy bark as he resumes enthusiastically wagging his tail.
With a soft smile, Jonathan crouches down near Willy's current position, reaching over to give him a few head pats.
"Wait... Does that mean we're gonna be brothers now?" As Jonathan freezes his movements mid-pet, he has an expression that is equal parts thoughtful and confused.
Without giving anyone else a chance to respond, Willy immediately barks once as he engages maximum tail wags.
Lucas struggles to stifle a laugh, and is even mostly successful. Hiding his smile behind a closed fist, he fakes a cough to try and cover his reaction.
"Okay, here we go; Familial Acknowledgment For Animals, FR-023. Is there anything else you need that I can help with? Anything at all?" As she fishes for extra pup time, Lucas does actually stop to think about it.
'Uhh, other than the ID update for Jon and getting a chip for Willy, all we need from around here is the org stuff, yeah?'
[For the time being, I don't believe you'll need anything else. However, you could perhaps get some of the red tape out of the way for the future orphanage and school? As I assume you're going to be doing it all by the books, even if no one else does.]
'Oh, yeah, good call.'
"Hmm... Considering my track record when taking in strays..." Lucas makes a show of looking at Willy and Jonathan after he says this, then turns his attention back to Miss Calculated. "I was thinking that I could maybe set up some sorta intern program through an orphanage or something? We're just starting our org today though, so that probably needs to be done first?"
"Oh..? Actually, you know what? I don't blame you. Maybe your luck will keep up, and you'll even get your pick from supes that were otherwise overlooked. Just a few good finds would make the whole project worth it. ...Technically you don't need a villain organization to start up a project like that, but the funding for everything at once would be a bit..?" As she puts serious thought into it, she's begun tapping on the desk with her right index finger.
Lucas has started grinning uncontrollably when she seems to think the sticking point is the money required.
[Hold up! Don't brag too much! There's no such thing as enough money when a researcher is involved!]
Lucas kills this chapter: 0
Lucas total kills: 7
Lucas deaths this chapter: 0
Lucas total deaths: 10
Lucas current GDV: 8.91 (+.01 net change)
Lucas's fame level: 2.5* (Mostly just local)
Lucas's hero suspicion level: 1* (Only highly paranoid people)
Jonathan kills this chapter: 0
Jonathan total kills: 5
Jonathan deaths this chapter: 0
Jonathan total deaths: 2
Jonathan current GDV: 1.92
Jonathan's fame level: 1.75* (Just local)
Jonathan's hero suspicion level: 1* (Only highly paranoid people)
Little character theater:
Jonathan, oddly pleased at the prospect of being brothers with a dog: Heheh, you want to have Lynn on your ID chip too, right?
Willy, also content with this upcoming change, though it's much less strange from his perspective: Bark!
Lucas nearly bites his tongue as he stops himself from inadvertently motivating Miss Calculated into joining the stalker, er, fan club.
427, incredibly relieved he stopped Lucas in time: [Seriously, if she got it in her head that she wanted to have you as a sponsor, she WOULD find a way of tricking you into it.]
Author, chuckling with a half-smile: Sorry, Calc, no research funds for you.
Mr. Quacks, a little disappointed he didn't get an invitation to the family, not that he has any need for an ID chip: Quack...