"Bring Your Spirit Guide to Work" Day

Blair was lying on the couch, book propped on his stomach. He'd found the book in one of the dusty corners of the library where it had apparently been sitting for years, unobserved. Blair had pounced upon it and was now happily immersed in what anyone but a grad student would consider obscure.

Grad students called obscure books "important research". His reading was, however, rudely interrupted by someone's landing in his lap. "Oof!"

Blair raised the book and found two blue eyes peering back at him. Blair's eyes narrowed, though he was happy to see the kitten. "What are you doing, Buster?"

"Mew."

"Ok, right." Blair nodded at the not-quite tiny meow, and settled his book back down to read. That lasted, as he'd expected, almost two seconds before a large kitten's head wormed its way underneath the book. Two big blue eyes peered at him, its ears caught back by the book giving it a definitively squashed appearance.

"Yes?" Blair asked patiently. He knew he wasn't going to get anymore reading done, but there was no point in letting the cat know he knew.

"Mew."

"You said that already."

Buster cocked her head at him, dislodging the book even farther. "Mew!"

"What? Food? Headrub? Toy? Clean litter pan?" Blair asked.

Buster blinked at him, rubbed her head against his chest, then flopped down. The panther cub was large enough to cover Blair's entire torso. Luckily she wasn't heavy enough to give him any trouble breathing. Blair was used to being fallen asleep upon, anyhow. Jim was a snuggler and he never stopped when he just had Blair glommed up *beside* him.

Blair propped the book on Buster's back and went back to reading. Buster began purring, and for a few moments all was right with the world.

Then Buster began kneading.

"OW!" Blair sat up, pushing Buster off his now-bleeding chest.

Buster looked woefully up at him from the floor as Blair pulled his shirt out and looked at the damage.

Bleeding, but of course not seriously. It *stung* though.

"I'm sorry, Buster," Blair said as he caught sight of the baleful look being sent his way. "But that *hurt*."

Buster continued looking at him as if she couldn't believe what a monster he was, to throw her mindless to the floor, just when she was getting comfortable.

"What?" Blair couldn't believe he was being guilted by a kitten. He couldn't believe it was working... he bent down and picked her up. It was a bit difficult, large as the panther cub was, but he managed to get her settled in his arms. "Hey Buster, I have an idea. Why don't you go bother Jim?" He scratched the kitten's head, trying to think of an *real* idea for amusing the kitten.

He blinked in dismay when Buster vanished.

"Oh shit. He's gonna kill me!" Blair leapt for the phone. He paused, for just a moment. Maybe Jim wouldn't know *he* was responsible. Unfortunately, the next moment the phone rang.

"Hello?" Blair's heart was pounding. Jim couldn't have found him out this fast.

"Blair! I need your help!"

Two minutes later Blair was out the door for Dana's place, all thoughts of spirit kittens and irate lovers, forgotten.


Jim was sitting at his desk, weeding through files, folders, various windows on his computer, and three post-it notes. He almost wished Blair was there, so he could foist off some or even most of the tedious work. But this *was* his job, after all, and he had to do it. Occasionally. He wished Simon would tell him to go out and track someone down, though. Get out in the sunshine and fresh air... dark alleys or sewers. He didn't care. as long as it didn't involve his desk, and his paperwork.

Something brushed against his leg, and he started. Glancing down, he couldn't believe what he saw.

"Mew?" Buster was looking up at him with the most adorable expression he'd ever seen on anyone besides his lover.

"What are you doing?" he hissed.

Buster just blinked at him then plopped down at his feet.

Jim sat very still. He had to get Buster out of here before anyone saw.... Oh. Right, no one else could see the young spirit guide. Moving carefully, so as not to disturb the purring kitten, he reached over for the phone.

Blair wasn't home. Jim frowned. How was he supposed to get the kitten out of here without anyone noticing? If he just picked her up everyone would be asking "Uh, Ellison, whacha got? Big bag of air? Need any help?"

Yeah, right. He glanced down at the kitten again. She was stretched out, now, and apparently falling asleep.

Hmm. Maybe he could leave her there. Asleep, she couldn't cause any trouble, and at lunch maybe he could rig some way to carry her out... wrap her in his jacket or something. He checked her more closely, listening in to her heartbeat and breathing, and verified that she was going to sleep. He very carefully moved forward again to resume his work.

Half an hour later he moved his foot and discovered there was nothing underneath his desk. He lookeed, and found Buster was gone. Worried, he began searching the bullpen. He couldn't hear her. Didn't see her.

Would he, though? If she was spiritwalking... maybe she'd gone home? He roamed the entire floor with his senses, pretending to be caught up in his paperwork. No sign of her. Maybe she *had* gone--

"Hey! What'd you do that for?"

"I didn't do anything," came Brown's confused reply.

"You knocked all my stuff off the desk when you walked by," Johnson accused him.

Jim closed his eyes. He had a very bad feeling....

Brown stalked off and let Johnson clean his mess up, muttering under his breath as he did. Jim searched quickly, and found Buster hiding underneath Rafe's desk. 'Buster, come here!' he called silently. He knew Buster could hear him, she always could; it was the same for Blair and the wolf pups.

Whether she would *listen* was another story.

'Buster! I have something for you to play with!' he called enticingly, trying to find something at his desk for her to play with. Finally he just grabbed a piece of paper and wadded it up. He tossed it towards the trash can beneath his desk, "missing" accidentally. Buster zoomed towards it, patting at the paper beefore it hit the floor.

Unfortunately Taggert had been in her path. He stumbled, dropped the files he was carrying, and looked at the floor in confusion. "What'd I trip on?" Jim heard him ask himself as he cleaned up the files.

Jim groaned silently. 'Hey, Buster, why don't you go home?' he tried. Buster, however, was busy stalking and killing the paperwad, over and over. Jim was about to grab her when Simon walked up. "Ellison, do you have my report on the Carradine murder?"

"Uh, right here, sir." Jim began shuffling through folders. He *did* have it. Somewhere.

Simon waited patiently, folding his arms and sighing down at the detective. "If you don't have it, Jim, just say so," he said a minute later when Jim was still digging.

"No, sir, I mean I know I borrowed it--" He saw it on the floor. Picking it up, he only noticed the teeth marks as he handed it over to the captain.

"Uh-" How was he going to explain that one?

"Thanks." Simon took the report and walked off, not seeing the kitten-damage.

Jim sighed and propped his head in his hand. Taking a deep breath, he turned back towards Buster... where Buster had been a moment before.

"Oh god."

Buster wasn't in the bullpen this time. Jim got up and headed for the break room and tried to cajole Buster out from behind the snack machine without actually getting down on his hands and knees. She ignored him until he actually got something from the machine. Then she was at his feet, begging for a corn chip. He dropped one, and was able to entice her all the way back to his desk by promising her another. Almost all the way. He tripped as she decided he was only toying with her and stopped right in front of him.

"Dangerous in here today, isn't it?" Joel said sympathetically.

"Looks that way," Jim agreed. Buster was looking at him innocently. She had the bag of chips in her paws. Jim left her to them and tried to call Blair again.

Still no answer.

'Come on, Buster,' he tried again.

He heard a scream from Conner. Everyone looked over, several already heading her direction before they even knew what the problem was. Conner was staring under her desk. "Something licked me!" Everyone stopped. There were a few snickers, Jim just groaned.

'Buster!' he called. There was no response. Brown was helping Conner search the area around her desk for whatever had 'licked' her.

"Oh yeah, I'd lick that leg, too," Jim overheard.

He wandered over to 'help' and found Buster climbing a file cabinet. Before he could grab her, Rafe walked over and put his hand on the cabinet. Buster looked at him, blinked, and swatted.

"Ow!" Rafe pulled his hand back. He looked at it, confused when he saw nothing.

"Something wrong?" Jim asked, giving Buster a very brief glare.

"Yeah, my hand.. it felt like something stabbed me."

Jim glanced at it, but there was no physical damage. Only spiritual. He was about to ask Rafe if he could get past him to the cabinet, ostensively to file something, when she swatted again, this time playfully. Rafe's tie swung. Two tears were left in the silk, each about an inch long.

Rafe hadn't noticed. Jim moved past him, pulled the drawer open and grabbed a file, watched as Buster tumbled off the cabinet, then went back to his desk. He tried to call Blair again.

Still no answer.

He was about to go fetch Buster when he felt a swipe at his leg. Buster glared up at him, then turned around and sat down where he could see her ignoring him. She flipped her tail angrily, and ignored him very decisively.

That was all right, Jim told himself. If she was sitting here, ignoring him, she wasn't creating more chaos.

"Hey! When did that happen?" he heard Rafe asking. Jim reached over and grabbed Buster by the scruff of the neck. He stood up and headed out, Buster meowing in protest, waving her paws but unable to get Jim to get her go.

"MEW!"

Jim kept his grip firm all the way down to the truck. It wasn't until he got in the cab and had to start the engine that he let her go. She glared at him from the passenger's seat. Jim quickly got the truck in gear and reached for Buster. She dodged, and tried to squirm under the seat. She found out there *was* no under-the-seat and remained in the floorwell, glaring viciously. He pulled into traffic, hoping he could at least get *away* from the station before....

Buster vanished.

Jim pulled into the parking lot of the cafe next door and headed inside.

He ordered a cup of coffee while he tried to locate the kitten. He wished Blair were here, not only to Guide him as he searched the entire area for one small spirit guide, but also because he could hand Buster over and let his lover take the kitten home. Blair would be able to keep the kitten out of trouble.

He heard a clanging of pans from the kitchen, but thought nothing of it until, "What are you doing? Clumsy oaf!"

"It wasn't me!" came the now-familiar rejoinder.

Jim sighed. 'Buster! I have a treat for you!'

Unfortunately, Jim was in the kitten's bad graces, where he knew he would stay until she felt he'd suffered enough. He wondered how he was going to get into the kitchen when he saw a small black streak leaving the kitchen and heading for the booths. There followed several squeals, angry shouts, and bewildered dropping of plates.

Jim left the cafe.

"Mew?" Buster asked, from the sidewalk at his feet.

"Oh, now you come with me?" he asked, mistakenly aloud. The man walking past gave him a dubious glance and a wide berth. Jim just headed back to the truck. Buster wrapped himself around Jim's feet, purring. Jim looked at her suspiciously. She rubbed against his leg, purring louder. Jim almost leaned over and pet her, when he remembered where he was.

'Come on, Buster. Let me take you home and you can play with Blair.'

The picture he received in return was a little fuzzy. But not to fuzzy he couldn't see Buster, sitting on the floor beside Blair. Or hear Blair saying....

"I'm gonna kill him."

Buster pounced happily on Jim's foot. Jim knelt to re-tie his shoe, picked up Buster with one hand as he stood. This time she didn't seem to mind being carried back to the truck. Simon was waiting for him, lunch-to-go in his hand.

"Simon?"

"Jim... would you care to explain how the carpet in my office came to have cat piss all over it?"

"Um, no sir." Jim stepped around him, got in the truck, and drove for home. Buster curled up in the seat, and purred.

As soon as he pulled into the parking lot, she vanished.


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