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Darling, what big paws you have...

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Will is not a cat person.

 

At all. Not even remotely.

 

But he can’t deny having a thing for strays.

 

----xxxx----

 

Will first finds it limping along the edges of the highway. It’s mostly hidden in the cover of the trees and bushes but Will made such a habit of keeping an eye out for lost dogs that it catches his eyes immediately. He turned off his headlights and made a u-turn, slowing down to keep pace with the animal.

 

In the darkness, even with that sliver of moon still out, it was hard to really get a good look at it. What he could see, very clearly, was the glint of metal off of the bear trap that the animal dragged with its left hind leg.

 

Will stopped and climbed out of the car, grabbing the leftovers of his lunch from the passenger seat. It was just half a turkey sandwich, but it’d have to do for now. It wasn’t hard to catch up with the animal, even without running.

 

It gave him a sidelong glare when he did, baring its teeth menacingly at him. Will squatted down and held out the sandwich in offering, keeping his head turned away. There was a long pause where, Will watching out of the corner of his eyes, the animal just stared at his face, eyes not once flicking down to the food.

 

When four full minutes passed, Will sighed silently. “Let’s not pretend you’re getting out of that on your own. Come here,” he said, tone low like an order but still gentle. After a couple seconds more, the animal slowly limped over. It slowly took the food from where Will had set it down on the ground and dug in.

 

After that, it was no problem at all getting it into his car and home.

 

----xxxx----

 

So it turned out that that thing was a fucking jaguar .

 

Once Will was able to see it in the light of porch as it allowed him to carry it inside, there was a moment when Will looked down at it and it looked up at him. At which point the type of animal he was staring at clicked his head.

 

His first reaction was to think, “What the actual fuck is this???” which immediately bled into, “You know what, whatever. I’m already fucking doing this.”

So he brought it inside, shooed the dogs out with a whistle, set the jaguar down on its side on rug by the fireplace and set about removing the bear trap and dressing the wound.

 

Thankfully, the (apparently male) jaguar was pretty compliant. Aside from some deep rumbles of discontent as he cleaned the wound, it seemed content to just watch him.

 

Constantly.

 

No matter where he was in the room, his eyes were on Will. If he went into another room for something, he’d turn around to find it at the doorway of that room watching him curiously.

 

Which was weird, but tolerable.

 

Attempting to menace his dogs? Not so much.

 

When he let the dogs back in, Will made sure to remain in the thick of things to introduce them. When one of the smaller dogs, Zoe, got up much too close to the jaguar, clearly wanting to play, he opened that large mouth and made as if to actually eat her.

 

Will swooped in immediately and handled it the way he normally did with his dogs: He used the heel of one hand to slam the jaguar’s jaw up and shut while he pressed the other into the jaguar’s spine, shoving it almost to the ground. He then leaned in nice and close, made full eye contact and growled, “No.”

 

The jag remained frozen under his hold, maintaining eye contact for a full minute before finally looking down and away. Will released him immediately and the jaguar huffed and limped back to the fireplace to curl up there, still watching him.

 

He didn’t bother the dogs again though, outside of letting out a soft warning rumble if they got too close, so that was something.

 

----xxxx----

 

Will didn’t normally consider himself to be a deep sleeper, what with the constant nightmares plaguing him, but he must have been that night.

 

Otherwise he would have to believe that he was dealing with jaguar quiet enough to easily sneak into his room and up onto his bed to nap beside him without waking him.

 

It hadn’t eaten him in his sleep though so...there was that, he supposed.

 

----xxxx----

 

“No.”

 

The jaguar simply stared up at him and then raised a giant paw and used it to bat his car door closed.

 

Apparently, the jaguar had responded to Will needing to finally go back to work after the three day vacation he’d spent at home with deciding that he needed to come along with. Or Will could simply stay home. Both were clearly the only options available.

 

“Seriously, no . I have to go,” he said for what felt like the fourth time, opening the door and quickly climbing in. Not quickly enough, however, said the blur of tan fur that resulted in there being a jaguar on his passenger seat.

 

Will glared at him and the cat simply stared back, having the gall to let out an amused sound that sounded almost like a chirrup.

 

“1, no. 2, fuck you . 3, this is absolutely not going to be a thing!” Will growled, getting out of the car and trying to pull it out of the passenger side.

 

----xxxx----

 

It turned out that jaguars were strong as hell in addition to being alarmingly limber and fast for their size. It meant that the jaguar could easily slip back and forth between the front and back seat to escape his grasp while letting out pleased laughter-like rumbles.

 

That , that shit right there was why Will was a dog person, alright?

 

Eventually, Will threw up his hands, muttered “Fine!” and just drove to the academy with a fucking jaguar in his back seat.

 

Cons to bringing an apex predator with you to work: Alarming the supervisor and coworkers that were already very wary of you.

 

Pros to bringing an apex predator with you to work: Predator is surprisingly well behaved so no one is in danger, still scares the hell out of your students, supervisor and coworkers (their expressions are hilarious).

 

Will spent the first hour studiously pretending that there wasn’t a jaguar following him around like it was a normal thing to do. Which led to him actively pretending that this was the case, to the alarm of everyone around him.

 

He had to stop pretending when a student looked ready to call to the police though, assuring them that, yes, he knows the jaguar’s there and no, he won’t kill you (probably).

 

The jaguar simply remains at his side, still as a statue and staring blankly and unblinkingly at whichever person is currently radiating the most fear.

 

The thing’s clearly a bit of a troll but Will’s starting to find that he kind of likes it.