It started with the orange tabby kitten they found on the fire escape outside their bedroom window.
After the third night of the little creature pawing at the glass, Jim had finally given in and allowed Sebastian to bring it inside. (“We’ll call him ‘tiger.’” “That’s your pet name for me…” “Your point?”) The kitten fit perfectly inside one of Sebastian’s large hands and he carried it over to their bed. Immediately, the kitten bounded onto Jim’s pillow and started kneading with its tiny paws, making a nest for itself. (“I think he likes you…” “Whatever, Siegfried. I’m going back to sleep.” “Fine then. Goodnight, Roy.”)
Over the next few days, Tiger followed Jim everywhere. If Jim was in his office, Tiger was asleep on a pile of forged birth certificates. If Jim was in the weapons supply closet, Tiger was batting an empty shotgun shell around his feet. If Jim was in the shower, Tiger mewed piteously and pawed at the bathroom door until Jim couldn’t stand it any longer and stormed naked and dripping across the room to let him in.
All of this was making Sebastian rather jealous and Jim rather annoyed.
A little over a week later, Jim was sitting on the couch with a laptop across his knees attempting to work through the more delicate details of the spy drones they’d be sending into Israel sometime next year. This was somewhat hampered by the fact he had to repeatedly extract a small puff of orange fur from the keyboard. Every time Jim plopped Tiger on the ground, the kitten would bounce back up and attempt to regain his rightful place between D and L.
Sebastian sat on a stool at the breakfast counter outside of the kitchen, watching the proceedings with a small scowl and all but ignoring the toast he’d made himself. After the seventh tabby kitten volley, Jim called to Sebastian, “Get your fucking cat out of here.”
“He’s your fucking cat,” Sebastian said under his breath, turning back to his breakfast.
Jim snapped the laptop shut. “Excuse me, what?”
“I said he’s your fucking cat.” Sebastian answered, a bit harsher than he intended.
Jim arched his eyebrows. “I seem to recall you were the one begging me to let the damn thing inside.”
“Yeah but…” Sebastian clenched his jaw. Then, unable to hold it in any longer, he spun on his stool and lashed out. “I don’t get it! I was the one that bought him his collar, his food, all his toys, his fucking litterbox and yet Tiger spends all his time with you and you can’t even stand to have him around!” Sebastian grimaced. He really hadn’t meant to say all that.
Jim’s mouth twisted into a grin as he stood up from the couch. “Sebastian Moran… are you jealous… of a kitten?”
Sebastian’s spine automatically stiffened. That grin was always followed either by something very, very bad or very, very good, but he could never tell which it would be. “No,” he managed to reply.
The grin widened. “You are!” Jim clapped his hands into an oddly prayer-like position beneath his chin. “You’re jealous of a little orange kitty-cat,” he said, advancing towards where Sebastian sat.
“I am not jealous,” Sebastian said unconvincingly.
“I can always tell when you’re lying to me, dear.” Jim was squarely inside Sebastian’s personal space now. “Has someone not been getting the attention he feels he deserves? Hmm?” Jim ran one hand up Sebastian’s thigh which resulted in a small sound escaping from Sebastian’s throat.
“Dunno what you’re talking about, Jim,” Sebastian said, though the way his pupils were dilating and his heartbeat increasing more or less gave him away.
“Well, we’ll just have to do something about that, now won’t we, Tiger?” Jim said with a smirk, his voice practically purring Sebastian’s pet name. Sebastian didn’t trust himself to speak, which only served to make Jim’s grin wider. Pushing himself up on tiptoe, Jim leaned in to whisper in Sebastian’s ear. “Bedroom. Five minutes.” And with a playful bite at Sebastian’s earlobe, Jim made a quick turn and headed for the hallway.
Sebastian swore out on a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. Sounds like this time the grin was a good thing. He slid off the stool, shoved the last bit of toast in his mouth and downed the last of his coffee.
He was about to head towards their bedroom when Jim poked his head around the hallway corner. “Oh, and Sebastian?” Sebastian turned to face him and Jim continued, “Wear your collar.”
A very, very good thing indeed.