by Texas Ranger
Author's disclaimer: Awww, come on! We know who owns these luscious morsels of manhood, and tragically, it ain't me.
*The way he carries on, you'd think it was my fault* Blair groused to himself. He started pacing the loft, casting the occasional disparaging glance at Jim, who was scowling into space. *I didn't ask to wake up a wolf, you know.*
Blair paced over to Jim at the same moment Jim chose to stand up. In a kind universe, no unpleasant consequences would have resulted. In this universe, Jim stepped squarely on Blair's tail.
The anthropologist yelped. *Damn, man! Watch where you're stepping! Shit, that smarts!*
"Oh, Chief, I'm sorry!" Jim exclaimed, reaching down to stroke the offended appendage. "Did I hurt you?"
*200-plus pounds coming down on a small part of my body, Jim, what do you think?* He caught the look on Jim's face. *Aw, you didn't mean to do it, I know.* He nuzzled Jim's hand to show all was forgiven. *But just to keep out of harm's way...* Blair leaped up onto the couch and curled his tail under him.
Jim sat down next to him. *What are we gonna do?*
*Like I have a clue! All I know is, I didn't have quite this much hair when I went to bed*
The Sentinel started to pet Blair absentmindedly. "I mean, not that I don't love you the way you are, and I'm sure our friends would understand..."
Blair closed his eyes and enjoyed the feel of being fondled. *Oh, yeah! Right there-oh, over to the left...right there, ohhhhh, heaven!* He made a contented growling noise as Jim moved to scratch his ear.
"...but how do I introduce you to strangers? 'Hi, I'm Jim Ellison and this is Blair the Lycanthropic Anthropologist.' "
Blair glared. *Smart-ass! Oooo, I gotta pee! Hold that thought, Jim.* He hopped down off the couch and loped into the bathroom. *Okay, now the logistics of this is...maybe if I...nope, not going to work. Damn!*
Reluctantly, he abandoned the toilet and went to the front door. Jim seemed oblivious, apparently still working on methods of introduction. *Come on, Jim, I gotta go!* He whined and pawed at the door.
Jim looked over. "Are you nuts, Chief? You can't go out in broad daylight!"
*No? Then you better jump for the chandelier, Jimbo, because I'm about to burst here* Blair batted at the doorknob. *Shit! My kingdom for an opposable thumb!* He stared at Jim, then at the door. Jim. Door. Jim. Door. *Figure it out, DETECTIVE!*
Jim jumped up. "Oh, you have to pee?"
*He can be taught, ladies and gentlemen!*
Jim opened the door and peeked out. The hallway was empty. "Okay, coast is clear. Let's try to be inconspicuous, okay?"
*Jim, I'm a timber wolf in the middle of Cascade, Washington. Where the fuck do you see the chance to blend in?*
Blair took the stairs awkwardly, not yet used to balancing on four legs, and shot out the open door and into the empty lot. *Okay, now I guess I hike my leg...looks so easy...this fence should do...ahhhh! Man, I never peed this much when I was human. How does it all fit in now?* He lowered his leg and scratched at the grass. *Now, why the hell did I do that?*
Jim shifted nervously from foot to foot. "Uh, Chief? I think we should go inside now."
Blair padded over to Jim's side and followed him into the building. They were almost to the stairs when Mrs. Smith poked her head out the door. "Oh, hello, Detective Ellison!" the old lady quavered, lowering her glasses and squinting. "Lovely day, isn't it?"
Jim smiled sickly. "It certainly is, Mrs. Smith."
She tottered out of her apartment, completely missing the huge wolf at Jim's side. Her third step brought her clunky orthopedic shoe down on Blair's sore tail.
YELLLP! *Ouch! Damn! Damn!* Blair whined. *If this keeps up I'm gonna get the damn thing bobbed!*
"Oh!" Mrs. Smith exclaimed, finally noticing the wild animal in the hall. She leaned down, nose to nose with Blair. "You got a new dog. Niiice doggie!" She patted Blair's head. "Aren't you the cutest little thing? Yes you are! Yes you are! Oh, won't it be nice to have another pet in the building? Now Snookums will have someone to play with, right, Snookums?"
The fat. belligerent-looking Siamese strolled up to Blair, sniffed disdainfully, and arched. Hissing madly, it swiped Blair's nose with razor sharp claws and spat.
Blair yowled. *Oh, perfect! Now both ends hurt! Don't just stand there, Jim!*
"Bad kitty!" Mrs. Smith scolded. She scooped up the spitting feline and held it up to Blair's face. "Say you're sorry!"
Snookums took the opportunity to make another swipe at Blair's face, which he barely dodged. *You wanna play rough?* He bared his fangs and growled. Snookums retreated quickly before Blair could find out how one ate filet of feline.
Jim grabbed Blair by the scruff of the neck, made some mouth noises at the old lady, and pulled his mate upstairs. "Why don't you...I don't know...do what wolves do? I'm going to get some aspirin. And maybe a fifth of Scotch." He wandered off into the kitchen, rubbing his head.
*Do what wolves do? How the hell should I know what wolves do? I suppose I could see if I can lick my balls, but-* Blair cocked his head to one side as a police car sailed by under the window, sirens wailing. Before he could stop himself, he threw his head back and began to howl.
Jim came running in. "Chief? What the hell?"
Blair lowered his head. *Just doing wolf things, Jim* he grinned.
"You know, Chief-" Jim frowned at the door. "Who could that be?" He got up to answer the door before the visitor knocked.
Blair sniffed the air. *Smells like-* his ears drooped. *Oh, hell, it's-*
"Cassie," Jim muttered, underwhelmed.
Cassie smiled and batted her eyes. "Hi, Jim," she purred. "Can I come in?"
Jim sighed. "Cassie, this isn't a good time, I-" he blinked as she pushed past him. "-then again, come right in," he finished.
Cassie was staring at Blair. "Jim, is that a wolf?"
*Good guess, genius* Blair looked the wanna-be detective up and down. *Think you can buy a micro shorter than that, Cassie? I can almost see your...oh, you're not wearing any. Oh, that is something I did not need to know!*
Jim nodded. "Yeah, I'm, uh, keeping him for a friend. Did you need something, Cassie?"
She turned her attention on Jim. "That depends," she said, flashing a Pepsodent smile. "Where's Blair?"
"He's out of town for a few days," Jim said.
Cassie nodded. "Good." She advanced on Jim slowly. "That gives us a chance to be alone. You see," she lowered her eyes and blinked rapidly, "I know you and Blair are supposed to be 'together', or whatever," she waved her hand dismissively, "but I figure it's just because you've never found the right woman."
Jim backed away. "Blair and I are in love, Cassie. We're all but married."
She snorted. "Sure you are, Jim." She smiled seductively. She backed Jim into a corner and ran her hands up and down his muscled arms.
*Why you frizzy, dyed red, smarmy, backstabbing Police Academy reject!* Blair's hackles rose and he began to growl.
Cassie gasped. "What's wrong with him, Jim?" she whined.
"He's very possessive of me," Jim said ominously. "You'd best back away from me slowly."
Blair advanced on her, lips peeled back to reveal long, white fangs. He let a few drops of slobber drip from his mouth for effect. He trapped her in the same corner Jim had just vacated. *Whew!* he sneezed as he came within micrometers of her. *Did you fall in a vat of Chanel #5 on your way over here?* He snarled menacingly. *You're lucky I don't believe in violence. However, since my mother taught me the value of peaceful protest..."
Cassie shrieked as Blair lifted his leg and took a long, satisfying whiz on her bare calf. She spun on her heel and ran out the door, dripping wolf urine in her wake. "Call me when you get rid of that beast!" she shouted to Jim.
"Oh, I have a feeling he'll be here awhile," Jim told her retreating back. The Sentinel grinned down at his lover. "Good boy!" He sat down on the floor next to the wolf.
*Hmmm...guess there's an upside to this wolf thing, after all. I never could have done that legally before. We'll find a way to make me human in the morning, but in the meantime," Blair rolled onto his back, "rub my belly!"