Care and Feeding of Your Philip
1. Make sure he eats (and sleeps and bathes and...)
In some ways, Philip was the smartest person Shotaro had ever laid eyes on. He could pluck just about any piece of information out of the bookshelves of the planet with only a few simple keywords. He was curious and insightful, and he loved to learn.
And then there were the days when he got so deep into his research that he forgot to eat. Among other things.
Shotaro stepped into the hangar. “Yo, Philip, you think you could look something up for me? It’s for a case.”
There was no response. Frowning, Shotaro stepped onto the grating where Philip usually stood. There was his partner... lying facedown on the floor.
“Philip!” Shotaro crouched beside him and shook his shoulder. There was an unpleasant stench in the air, but he could deal with that after he made sure Philip was all right. “Hey, Philip, wake up!”
Philip stirred. He turned his head to look up at Shotaro, eyes bleary and unfocused at first. “Sho... taro?”
“Hey, what happened to you?” He tugged Philip up into a sitting position. “We didn’t transform today.”
“Hm?” Philip brushed his hair out of his eyes, frowning when he realized his hair clips were missing. “I’m not sure. I feel extremely tired...”
Now that Shotaro got a better look, he realized that there were heavy bags under Philip’s eyes. His hair hung limp, with a distinctly greasy look to it. And that smell— it was coming from Philip, too. Shotaro wrinkled his nose. “Uh, Philip... have you taken a shower today?”
Philip looked surprised. He shook his head. A sudden loud rumble came from his stomach and he cringed.
“...You haven’t eaten, either.” Sighing, Shotaro covered his face with his hand. “Have you been in here researching all day?!”
It was like the wheels were turning in his younger partner’s head. Philip’s eyes lit up and he got to his feet, swaying slightly. He headed toward his whiteboards. “Yes, I have! Shotaro, have you heard of this food called pizza? It originated in Italy—”
Scrambling to his feet, Shotaro grabbed Philip’s shoulder. “Whoa, whoa, whoa. You are in no shape to be doing any research! You need dinner, a shower, and a nap, in that order.”
“Can we have pizza?”
Shotaro sighed. “Sure. We can have pizza.”
2. Indulge his research habits...
Shotaro awoke the next morning to the sound of rummaging through the refrigerator. He rolled onto his side and pulled aside the curtain shielding his bed from the rest of the office. “What the...”
Philip turned. He didn’t bother to close the fridge door. “Shotaro, we’re out of pizza!”
“Well, yeah. We ate all of it last night.” Or to be more accurate, Philip ate most of it. Shotaro only got two slices.
Philip let out a pained whine. “No! I have to have more. Shotaro, we need to get more! I have to experience every sort of pizza there is!”
Oh, right. This was his latest research project. Shotaro groaned and climbed out of bed. He wasn’t going to be getting any more sleep today, that was for sure. He dug through the dresser for some clothes as Philip came up behind him and rambled about pizza.
“There’s Mexican pizza, and there’s Chicago-style pizza, and there’s kosher pizza! And there’s mochi-crust pizza! Some chains also have dessert pizzas, which sound wonderful. Hey, Shotaro, hey, we need to get more pizza!” Philip tugged on the sleeve of his pajama top as he shrugged out of it.
“We aren’t made of money, you know,” Shotaro pointed out.
“Then take some more cases. Sheesh.”
“Why don’t you try making some pizza?” Shotaro waved in the direction of the kitchen. “I think we have some flour...”
It was like a lightbulb went off over Philip’s head. “Of course! Why didn’t I think of that?”
Within minutes, Shotaro could hear the rustling of pots and pans. He hoped that suggestion wasn’t a mistake.
Shotaro had a lost kitten to track down, so he was out of the office for most of the day. When he returned, the office smelled wonderful.
“Shotaro!” Philip called. He poked his head out of the kitchen. He had on Shotaro’s apron and a pair of oven mitts. “Hurry, hurry! I’ve just finished.”
“Eh?” Shotaro went over to the kitchen area to see what was going on. There, atop the counter, was a strange-looking pizza. The crust was light and fluffy, it was covered in what looked to be two or three different kinds of cheese, and it was topped with what Shotaro guessed were the only ingredients Philip could find lying around: diced ham, tomato slices, and... scrambled eggs?
Still, it did smell really good. It couldn’t hurt to try. As soon as Philip cut the pizza, Shotaro picked up a slice for himself and took a hesitant bite.
“It’s good,” Shotaro said in surprise. It was a bit odd, but the tastes didn’t clash the way he’d thought they would.
Philip beamed and took a slice for himself. “Then my first experiment was a success!”
‘First,’ he’d said. Shotaro stared down at the remainder of the pizza warily.
3. ...to a point.
When Shotaro woke up the next morning, an overwhelming clash of scents washed over him. He blearily pulled back the bed curtain and got to his feet, which was a mistake.
He looked down and found that he’d planted each of his feet in a separate pizza. One appeared to be deep-dish, and the other wasn’t even pizza. It was okonomiyaki. The entire floor was covered in pizza, as was the table, the dresser, his desk—there was even one draped over the typewriter. Every inch of counter space in the kitchen was taken up. Even the reception area hadn’t been spared. There were pizzas all over the sofa. One even balanced precariously atop the basketball hoop.
“Philip!” Shotaro shouted.
The door to the bathroom opened. Philip stuck his head out, and the smell of even more pizza wafted out from there. “Shotaro!” he exclaimed in dismay. He carefully stepped out into the office proper, tiptoeing and landing in the tiny areas between pizzas. “You should watch where you’re stepping!”
“How was I supposed to know you completely covered the floor with pizza?! And the bathroom too?!”
“I ran out of room on the counters and tables,” Philip retorted. He made his way over to Shotaro and let out a noise of dismay. “You’ve ruined them! I can’t believe this, Shotaro!” He shoved Shotaro until he lost his balance and fell back onto the bed, dislodging his feet from the pizzas. He picked up the now-ruined deep dish pizza and moaned almost in agony. “I’ll have to make these over again.”
Shotaro let out an incoherent roar. After a few seconds he reined himself in enough to exclaim, “Not before you eat these ones, you research freak!”
4. Catch him when he falls.
It took days, but eventually the mountain of pizza dwindled to nothing. Shotaro went from being able to tiptoe from the bed to the bathroom, to being able to reach his desk, to being able to take cases again once Philip finally cleared a path to the door.
Not that any clients cared to stick around for very long with this much pizza lying around. Shotaro would never be able to forget that leggy femme fatale who’d come in the day after he’d planted his feet in those pizzas, her form-fitting dress showing off all those curves in the right places, who’d been oh-so-desperate for the famed detective Hidari’s (well, Narumi’s) assistance... and who had stormed out of the office in a huff after she’d taken a seat on the sofa and soiled her dress with some ungodly amalgamation of ham and coconut shavings on brie and white garlic sauce.
Finally, though, the pizza was gone. Shotaro was free.
(Or he would be, once the office had aired out enough to eliminate the stench that had sunk in.)
As he basked in the breeze blowing in through all of the office’s wide-open windows, it occurred to him that he hadn’t seen his partner in a few hours. He groaned. Knowing Philip, he was up to something that was sure to eclipse what he’d just inflicted on the office.
Shotaro made his way to the door that led into the garage, stepping carefully as an intinct honed over the past several days even though the need had subsided. “Hey, Philip,” he called through the door. “You in here?”
All he heard in response was a groan.
Okay, that was a little worrisome. “Philip?” He made his way in, keeping his eyes peeled both for his partner and for anything troublesome that might be written on the whiteboards. But the latter were still covered in Philip’s old pizza research notes. And the former...
Shotaro’s breath caught in his throat when he saw that Philip was curled up on the couch, clutching his stomach in agony. “Philip?!”
“Ugh... Shotaro?” Philip glanced up. “Something is happening to my body. My stomach hurts. I’m dizzy...”
Shotaro guessed that Philip couldn’t focus well enough to look up what was wrong. But he thought he had an idea. “You ate too much,” he sighed. He knelt beside the couch and put his hand on Philip’s forehead. “And some of those pizzas were laying around for a while before you ate them. You might have food poisoning.”
“It’s usually not serious. It just really sucks.” Ascertaining that Philip was warmer than usual, but not dangerously so, he moved his hand up to thread through his partner’s hair. This wasn’t a surprise, but Shotaro still felt sorry for him. At times like this, he was reminded of just how little Philip knew of the world—encyclopedia in his brain or not.
“This is unpleasant,” Philip groaned. He curled up into a tight little ball.
“I know it is.” Shotaro grabbed the blanket off the back of the couch and draped it over Philip’s body. “Don’t worry, partner. I’ve got you.”
5. If at first you don’t succeed...
Shotaro glanced up from the report he was typing. Philip was standing in front of his desk, book in hand and a bright grin on his face. “...what is it?” he asked. This was a nice change from the past couple of days of Philip lying in bed and moaning in pain.
“Do you know about Lentinula edodes?”
“Shiitake! I came across a reference when I was reading about mushrooms, which I looked up after studying food poisoning.” He glanced down at his book and flipped back a couple of pages. “They grow naturally around Fuuto and are said to have medicinal properties. They contain active hexose correlated compound, which has been shown to increase the body’s resistance to pathogens, protecting against influenza, various bacteria, and even prostate cancer. If I can get my hands on some—”
Shotaro buried his face in his hands. Here we go again.