Spirit Babies, Three

Jim walked into the loft, and stopped. And sighed. "Blair...."

"It isn't what you think, Jim." His mate came bounding into the room, holding a kit in his hands.

Jim looked down at it briefly, rubbed its head, and said, "Hi, Mickey. Blair, I thought we weren't doing this again without asking me first?"

"We aren't--" Blair began, juggling the excited kit in his hands, before finally just handing it over to Jim.

Jim took the kit, gave Blair another glare. "It looks to me like we have four infant spirit animals. Now that says--"

"But we aren't babysitting!" Blair counter-interrupted.

"Then why are they here?" Jim distracted Mickey with the fingers of his free hand -- holding them carefully out of reach as he teased the kit.

"They aren't infants, anymore." Blair's tone was rather clearly saying 'god, are you dense?'.

Jim realised what he might mean, and looked up hopefully. "You mean....?"

"Yeah! They're old enough. Dads said we could help place 'em. Two each, Mickey, Chancellor, Hephestion, and Gomer."

"I still can't believe you named it Gomer." Jim sighed.

"He wanted that name. Is it my fault we had the TV on Nick at Night?"

"I can't believe you were watching Gomer Pyle." Jim continued, and went into the living room. The other three furry heads were watching him from over the top of the couch. Jim was about to greet them, when he stopped and looked at Blair. "I thought we agreed they wouldn't be on the furniture."

Blair shrugged. "We did; we forgot to tell them."

Jim sighed. He went around and sat down on the couch. He was immediately covered in happy, wriggling bodies.

None of them were Blair's happy wriggling body. He sighed again, and passed out head rubs to all.

"Mm... thanks." Blair smiled and shook his head. Then he returned to the business at hand. "So! Who do you think needs one of these guys?"

Jim began to consider the matter, then looked at Blair. "Um, Blair?"

"Yeah?" His lover was playing with a pup, grinning as it pounced him.

"They're spirit animals."

"Yeah?" Blair looked up, confused.

"We can't just give them away like we would regular pets."

Blair rolled his eyes. "So we pick people who need a little spiritual guidance. Come on, Jim, work with me here."

Jim snorted. "So we give them babies? Chancellor sent me a dream just last week, and it was all about finding a deli."

"It was clear, though, wasn't it? You found the deli."

"Fine. Fine, we'll give them away. So tell me who we should give them to."

Blair looked up again, ducking backwards away from a swiping paw. The pup -- Gomer -- began climbing his front to get a better aim at Blair's nose. "I'd like to give Simon one."

Jim was startled. He choked back his initial protest, that they shouldn't do that sort of thing to Simon. But Jim realised Blair had been serious in his suggestion, and that meant he was probably right. When he couldn't think of a serious objection, he asked, "What about the other three?"

"Well, I was talking to Daniel... you remember the guy I was telling you about?"

"The other weird anthropologist?"

Blair gave Jim a whap on the arm. "He's not that weird."

"You think he needs a spirit animal?"

"Actually, no," Blair replied. "But his lover, Jack... from what Daniel tells me about him, he could use a little spiritual guidance. And he's a dog person -- we could send him Hephestion."

Hephestion looked up at the mention of his name, gave a 'yip!', and leapt over to sink his teeth into Mickey's tail. The kit turned and swatted the pup, causing both to tumble off Jim's lap and the couch.

Blair watched them, shook his head slightly when Mickey tried to give them an expression of feline "I meant to do that" and turned back to Jim. "So that's two. What about the other two?"

"Who are we giving to Simon?" Jim asked. Gomer was a little too excitable, and Jim didn't really think Simon needed more excitement in his life. Chancellor, on the other hand, was still a bit unfocused. Delis, indeed.

But Mickey... Jim wouldn't say it aloud, but he had a soft spot for the kit. It's blue eyes were the exact shade as Blair's, and the way it tilted its head when it was looking at you....

"Mickey. He's perfect."

Jim nodded. "Yeah." Maybe the resemblance would occur to Simon, as well, and make him more receptable to the animal's guidance. Or perhaps it would make him more stubborn. Either way, it was almost like keeping the little panther cub in the family.

"What about the other two? Who can we give Chancellor to?" Blair picked up the kit and looked at him, seriously. "Who do you think can handle him?"

"I'm not sure," Jim replied.

"Who do we know that's used to dealing with someone who thinks primarily with his stomach?"

Jim and Blair looked at each other for a moment. Then, simultaneously, they said "Ken."

Chancellor mewed.

"So," Blair sighed. "Gomer?"

"Gomer."

The pup in question was still working his way up Blair's chest. His progress was impeded by Blair's pulling him back down when he got too close.

"Who needs an excitable wolfpup?" Jim asked.

"Excitable? I wouldn't say--" Blair broke off as Gomer broke free of his hands, and licked him on the chin. Mission accomplished, Gomer lost his balance, fell onto the couch cushion, yelped once, and jumped onto Jim's lap, yelping loudly. "OK, he's a little excitable."

"If I didn't think he didn't deserve it, I'd say we give him to Vecchio." Jim observed, trying to get the pup off his lap and back onto Blair's.

There was silence for a minute, then Blair asked, "Do you think he'd really mind?"

Jim just gave his lover a look.

Blair sighed.

There was silence for another minute, then Blair said, "I can't think of anyone else, Jim."

With a sigh, Jim nodded. "All right. But if he asks, we both deny it, agreed?"

"Agreed."

With the decisions settled, they sat quietly and watched the babies playing.

Then Jim looked over at Blair again. "Now what?"

"Huh?"

"Who's going to introduce them to their new charges?" Blair looked uncomfortable, and before he could say a word Jim shook his head.

"No."

"But, Jim--"

"No. I'm not doing it. I'm not going on some 'spirit walk' to take these..." He gestured at the four animals, who were all, at once, looking up at him with baleful, unblinking eyes. "Oh god. Fine."

"Are we doing this now?"

Blair checked his watch. "Well, I doubt any of them are asleep yet. Unless you want to just drop them off, without any introductions?" From Blair's frown it was obvious what the reply would be, if Jim said 'yes'.

"So, we wait, then. How do we know when they're asleep?"

"Um.." Blair thought it over. "I suppose we just wait until it's late enough, and try it. I don't know any other way. Not unless you want to call them each up and ask them to go to bed." He grinned.

Jim rolled his eyes. "So we are babysitting tonight."


They figured Ray Vecchio would be the first. Although Jack was more likely to be in bed early, on those night he was actually home, they couldn't be sure he'd be asleep. Ray, however, tended to fall asleep within an hour of going to bed. Blair had told Jim that Benny had once complained of it -- rather politely, but it had been a complaint all the same. Blair had told him to start in on Ray earlier in the evening, and his friend had merely shaken his head and said it wasn't usually possible.

Blair conducted the meditation, helping Jim with his breathing. (Jim's comment that "If I breathe any deeper, love, I'm going to think I should be fucking you" had delayed things only slightly.) Soon the two were standing in a wide, Canadian tundra. Looking around, Jim asked, "Are you sure we're in the right place?"

"Positive. Ray must have started thinking of this place as home."

Jim was about to say he didn't understand it, when he caught sight of Blair looking out at the snowy expanse. He *could* understand it. Anything Blair loved, he loved. Even if he complained.

"So where is he?" Jim searched the area, and was startled when his sentinel senses wouldn't work.

"Blair--"

"Yeah, man, we're in Ray's mind. Sort of. Anything he can't see or hear, we can't see or hear. It's normal."

"Normal for you, maybe," Jim muttered.

"You want to wait for me while I take Gomer?" His Guide asked, concerned.

Jim shook his head. "No, I'm fine. Let's just find him, and get this over with."

They searched again, then Blair pointed. "How about we try--" he stopped when Gomer began yipping, and jumped out of Blair's hands to try running over the snow.

"Maybe we should follow him?" Jim suggested, as the wolfpup began making a beeline for... something. They followed, and soon they saw a figure standing near a grove. His back was to them, but the recognised Ray Vecchio. Jim stopped walking, and grabbed Blair's shoulder to stop him as well. He held a finger to his lips, as Blair started to ask what was wrong. They watched as Gomer went bounding up to Ray, and attacked the man's foot joyfully.

Ray yelled, jumped back, and stared down at the pup. Gomer stared up, tail pounding the snow, tongue lolling.

Jim and Blair heard loud Italian drift towards them. It started off harsh and surprised, but suddenly broke off. Ray bent over and picked the pup up. Jim grinned. He motioned for Blair to follow him, to leave.

Jim looked back, once, as they walked away. Ray had put the pup back down, but it appeared the man was talking earnestly to the animal. Gomer, for his part, appeared to be listening intently -- in between chasing puffs of snow. Soon they were back home. Jim opened his eyes, and found himself looking directly at his lover's face.

He started to push himself up, to lean forward to kiss him, when Blair turned his head.

"OK, who's next?"

Mickey mewed hopefully, but Blair shook his head. "Simon won't be asleep for an hour yet, at least. Hephestion, I think you're next. If Jack's home."

The second meditative state was easier to get into, Jim found. Soon they were standing in a field near a range of mountains. It was warm, but felt... not quite right.

Jim looked up, and noticed the sun. "Blair."

"Yeah?"

"The sun's orange."

Blair looked up, shading his eyes. "Oh.. well, he probably has his reasons."

Blair seemed uncomfortable, and Jim had a feeling Blair knew what it was all about, and wasn't going to tell him. Jack was involved in some highly classified military project, and though Blair swore he had no idea what it was about, Jim had a feeling he did. It wasn't worth bothering him about, though, not unless it became important.

"Can you tell if that's him?" Blair asked, pointing.

Jim looked, and shook his head. "No, I can't."

"It looks... I can't tell either. It's him or Daniel. Let's go." Blair began walking.

Jim followed, with Hephestion. The pup was busily sniffing everything in sight, wandering slightly afield before running back to them.

As they drew nearer, they saw that the person they'd seen was standing over another person, who was lying in the grass. The one standing was Jack; he was visibly startled when he looked up and saw the two visitors.

"Jim? Blair? What are you guys doing here?" As he spoke, they saw Daniel sit up, shaking grass from his hair. His face lit up, and he scrambled to his feet.

"Blair!"

"Hey, Daniel! I figured you'd be here." Blair went forward and greeted his old friend.

Jack continued looking at them, suspiciously.

Jim hurried to explain. "We brought someone here... I hope you don't mind," he added, not sure if the man *would*, and what they'd do if he did.

"Brought someone?" Jack was obviously surprised. "I didn't realise you guys could get in here."

Jim looked at Blair, hopefully. Blair explained. "It's a special occasion. Normally we couldn't, unless you invited us. But bringing Hephestion gives us special privileges."

"Hephestion?"

The pup leapt between Jim's legs, and landed beside Jack. It jumped up, planting it's forelegs on Jack's thigh.

"Er, this is Hephestion," Blair added.

"I guessed." Jack said dryly.

Daniel knelt down beside the wolf pup, and rubbed its head. Hephestion gave him a quick lick on the hand, then turned its attention back to Jack.

"So, why exactly are you bringing him here?"

"We wanted to give him to you." Blair said simply.

"Ah."

They waited. Jack said nothing. Hephestion continued wagging his tail, and staring up at Jack.

Jack finally looked at Jim and Blair. "Thanks."


"How long are we going to wait?" Jim asked, leaning back against the wall.

They'd returned from Colorado -- or something like it -- nearly half an hour ago. They'd determined quickly that neither Ken nor Simon were asleep.

"Who knows? Why don't we grab some dinner, and try again in an hour?"

Jim looked at his lover. "I have a better idea."

Blair smiled. "Yeah, but we still have two animals here." To prove his point, Mickey rubbed against Jim's arm, while Chancellor began searching for his tail.

"As soon as we get them dealt with...."

"You're going to fuck me like there's no tomorrow?"

Jim closed his eyes. "Maybe we should have dinner."


An hour later they were standing outside an apartment. It was old, worn, and comfortable. Blair raised his hand and felt the top of the door. With a grin at his lover, he pulled out a key which he then used, to unlock the door.

"Shouldn't we just knock?" Jim asked, as the door swung open.

"Nah. They won't care. If they're busy, we'll just tiptoe back out." Blair grinned cheekily.

Jim shook his head. He waited as Blair took a step inside.

"They aren't here," his lover said after a moment.

"They're not?" Jim took a step inside.

"Where are they?"

"I don't know. I wonder why we came here, if they aren't?"

"Maybe they left a note," Jim smirked.

Blair rolled his eyes, and moved farther into the apartment. It wasn't obvious from the state of the place how long their friends had been gone, nor when they'd be back.

"Maybe he's still awake?"

"No," Blair shook his head. "We wouldn't be here at all if he were--" Blair stopped. "Uh... maybe we should tiptoe out of here."

"What? What's wrong?"

"I think... well, he might be almost asleep. You know... not quite awake, not quite asleep?"

"You mean he's falling asleep?" Jim asked, confused.

Blair rolled his eyes again, and tugged on his sleeve, aiming him back towards the door. "I mean he's not quite awake and not quite asleep. Come on," Blair tugged again. "Chancellor, maybe you should wait here? Oh... hang on." Blair scrambled over to the desk, and scribbled a quick note.

Jim watched him, totally mystified. Granted it was a feeling he was used to, when his partner was involved.

"OK, let's go." Blair joined him again, and led him out the door.

Jim waited patiently as Blair locked the door again, then asked, "OK, are you going to tell me where he was, now?"

"Jim, when are you ever so nearly asleep that you can't think, but you aren't actually asleep?"

"When I'm dead tired after a ten hour stakeout?"

Blair shook his head. "And when else?"

Suddenly the light dawned. "Oh. When I've just come so hard my brains are leaking out of my cock?"

Blair nodded.

"Maybe we should leave."


"I still think we should leave Mickey on the doorstep and sneak away."

"Jim! Simon's our friend."

"Exactly. Do you want him knowing we did this?"

Blair looked down at Mickey. They were standing outside a large house. Jim recognised it as the one in which Simon had lived, back when he had first gotten married and Daryl was very young. Jim didn't feel comfortable intruding on his friend, even though he suspected Simon wouldn't really mind. Much. "I don't think he *needs* us to introduce him, is all," he explained.

Slowly, Blair nodded. "You're right. Mickey can handle himself... and Simon."

He set the kit down. "OK, Mickey -- Simon's inside. You take care of him, OK?"

The kit blinked up at Blair, then at Jim. His big blue eyes seemed to be trying to say something, then he turned, and walked to the door. He disappeared through it, easily.

Jim watched him go, and laid an arm around Blair's shoulders.

"He'll be fine."

Jim didn't know for certain who he was referring to. It didn't matter -- they'd both be fine.

He smiled, and looked at Blair. "You realise what this means?"

"Simon'll be acting strange from now on? Seeing spirit animals that no one else can?"

"No." Jim shook his head. "It means the loft is empty."

"Oh." Blair's eyes got big. "Maybe we should go home."

Jim opened his eyes, and grinned. "We are home. And you are still wearing clothes."


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