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21 June 2007 @ 02:19 am
Fic: Animal  
Title: Animal
Rating: G! Maybe even S for "sweet"
Summary: Set sometime after Somewhere in the Night. Nicholas finds something quite unexpected in his chair. 1600 words
Notes: Seriously folks, this is pure, unapologetic fluff. Crossposted to pepperlandgirl4, fregg_love, sandfordpolice
Disclaimer: None of it's mine

“What is that?” Nicholas demanded as he stared at his chair.

“What?” Danny asked, coming into his office.

That.” He pointed as Danny looked over his shoulder. “What is that?”

Danny pushed by him and scooped up the tiny white and gray fur ball that had been sleeping in his chair. “It’s McClane.”

“McClane? Danny, you can’t have cats in the station. Where did you find that?”

Danny cradled the small animal in his hand and stroked the top of its head with his index finger. “He’s not doing any harm, is he? I found him outside the station this morning. He was hungry so I brought him in.”

“Are you going to keep him here?”

“Yeah, I thought I would. Look at him.” Danny pushed the kitten—McClane—into his face, but Nicholas ducked away, putting his hand up. “He’ll starve if we don’t keep him.”

Nicholas didn’t think the cat would starve. It looked like it was old enough to fend for itself, and god knew there were enough rodents in the area to keep any cat fat and happy. And for an abandoned animal, it looked awfully healthy. And fat. But Danny was looking at him hopefully.

“Well, you can’t keep it here. You’re going to have to find a new home for it.”

“I will.”

Nicholas glanced at Danny’s shirt. It was already covered in unsightly, white fur. It would probably have the whole station coated in hair before the end of the day. “And you better keep it out of Saxon’s way.”

“I will.” Danny moved to the door, but paused before stepping out. Turning around he smiled and added, “Thanks.”

Nicholas’ stomach dipped a little. “That quite all right, Sergeant.”

He watched Danny from the doorway for a moment before moving back from his desk. He had to bend and brush the fur from his chair, but it was hard to be annoyed when he was so amused. Danny had named the bloody thing McClane. Which was an entirely unsuitable name for a cat so small.

Nicholas had stacks of paperwork to work through. Some of it just required his signature, but he needed to fill out most of it. It would take all morning, and probably most of the afternoon. But it wasn’t anything he wasn’t used to. He listened with half an ear to the station as he worked. The occasional ringing telephone. The occasional braying laugh from Doris. The occasional mumbles from Walker. And Danny cooing at and playing with the cat.

Gradually, the sounds faded away completely. If he got the paperwork done early, he could knock off early and take Danny to lunch. Though the kitten couldn’t come. He didn’t think it would be sanitary to let a cat into the pub. Especially one that Danny had randomly found outside. It could be flea ridden. Which meant, he shouldn’t have let Danny keep it in the station to begin with. But it made him happy and…

Meow.

Nicholas looked up sharply. The kitten stood in the doorway, its little tail flicking back and forth.

“Go away.”

Acknowledging it had obviously been a mistake. Instead of leaving, it advanced closer, its stomach close to the ground. Nicholas tried to ignore it, hoping it would lose interest and go find Danny, but it slunk closer and closer. And he couldn’t ignore it any more when it gathered up its energy and sprung to the top of his desk, disrupting his pile of papers.

“Sergeant Butterman!”

No response.

“Danny?”

“He’s gone around to the shop,” Doris yelled from her desk.

“Why?”

“Cornetto, I suppose.”

“And he just left the cat here?”

“He said he couldn’t take McClane with him.”

Nicholas almost responded, but the little fur ball knocked over another stack of papers, drawing his attention. “Stop that,” he snapped.

The kitten didn’t give any sign it heard him at all. In fact, it made a beeline for his cup of pens. Nicholas quickly snatched the cup with one hand and the cat with the other, holding them both out in front of him like he didn’t quite know what to do with either. The cat moved its little paws, like he was trying to run in mid-air, and mewed again.

No, the kitten definitely could not stay in the station. He supposed Danny would want to take it home, but Nicholas thought they could probably find a good home for it. Maybe Doris would take it.

It squirmed and broke free from Nick’s grasp, landing on four small feet on top of his desk. It shook its head and opened its mouth wide, like it wanted to roar its disapproval and its shoddy treatment. It yawned instead. Then it circled the desk and slammed its head into Nick’s hand.

His brow furrowed. “I don’t want to pet you.”

It pushed its head against his hand again. Nick didn’t budge. It backed up a few steps and marched forward again, squaring its shoulders. This time, it put its cold pink nose against the pad of his thumb and burrowed its head beneath his palm. Nicholas resisted for another second before grudgingly rubbing his palm over the cat’s head. Its body vibrated immediately. Nicholas ran his fingers down its back and it arched beneath his palm, its tail sticking straight up into the air.

Nicholas looked around furtively for a moment before scooping the kitten off the desk. This time, instead of holding it out in front of him like it was some sort of alien life, he cradled it in his palm against his chest. It burrowed his head into Nicholas’ vest, and mewed again. He had never had a cat before. In fact, he had never owned any pet. His parents said they didn’t have the time or room for one, and then he couldn’t commit to anything more demanding than his peace lily.

He lifted the kitten in his hand until they were eye level. It stared back at him with unblinking green eyes, its nose almost touching his. “You don’t look like a McClane.”

It mewed again.

“I think you’re an Animal.”

“Like the Muppet?”

Nicholas looked up sharply. Danny was standing in his doorway with two Cornettos, one half-eaten, the other unopen. “I thought you were supposed to keep an eye on this thing.”

“I was only gone for a minute. Besides, he likes you.”

“He doesn’t like me. He was just lonely. Here.” He held it out and the cat immediately yowled in protest.

“No, he likes you.”

Nicholas shook his head and set the cat on the floor, fully expecting it to run over to Danny. He did not expect it to crawl up his leg, its sharp claws digging into his leg through his pants. He yelped, barely stopping himself from violently shaking it off. “You little bugger!”

“Told ya.”

Nicholas lifted it from his leg before it could draw blood, and it immediately scurried up his arm, coming to a rest on his shoulder. Like a bloody parrot. Danny laughed, delighted. Nicholas did his best to keep a serious frown on his face, but it was hard not to respond to Danny’s obvious amusement. The corner of his mouth lifted in a small smile, and the cat began to massage his shoulder.

“This really hurts.”

“He’s almost done,” Danny assured him.

As if to prove Danny right, the kitten immediately settled down. Nicholas didn’t know if cats sighed, but he thought this one did.

“I guess we can keep him.”

“For now.”

Danny crossed the room and handed Nicholas his ice cream. “You’re right, though. Animal is a better name than McClane.”

Danny stood close enough to scratch the soft fur behind Animal’s ear. It was also, coincidently enough, close enough for Nicholas to feel the warmth from his arm, and smell the faint scents of his aftershave and deodorant. Nicholas thought it would be difficult to maintain a professional veneer if Danny made it a habit of standing that close to him.

“Well, then, I hope it gets along with the peace lily.”

Danny moved quickly, before Nicholas realized his intention, and brushed his lips across his cheek. They had already talked about this. No kissing, or touching, or anything else, while they were at work. Even so, the slight contact warmed him more than annoyed him. Before Nicholas could say anything about it, Danny stepped back, out of reach.

“I’m sure he will. I’ll take him, if he’s really bothering you.”

Nicholas sighed and looked at the sleeping cat on his shoulder. “No, he’s fine. He’ll probably bite me if I try to move him.”

“I bought some cat food while I was at the shop.”

“I thought I told you I didn’t want to keep him around?”
“I thought you’d change your mind. I got him a little bowl, too. And some toys.”

Nicholas shook his head. This battle was lost. He’d probably never be free from the cat. But Danny was undeniably happy at the prospect of keeping Animal around—and he shouldn’t have named it. The moment he named it was the moment he lost the battle.

“I’ve still got work to do.”

“Want to do something later?”

“What you thinking?”

“Pub?”

“Fine, but the cat can’t come. And shut the door behind you. Oh, and Danny?”

“Yeah?”

Nicholas looked up and smiled. “McClane really was a stupid name for a cat.”

Danny returned his grin. “I know.”

The door clicked shut behind him, and Nicholas turned back to his stacks of paperwork—that were no longer stacks at all.

“Stupid cat,” he muttered, with a trace of real affection in his voice. The cat’s only response was a deep purr.

 
 
 
Nitesh: you hypnotized himnitesh_update on June 21st, 2007 08:38 am (UTC)
That was fluffy and everso CUTE. :D :D :D Nice one.

PS: I love your icon. Aww.
sammiface!: doctor who | the doctor loves his j.k.chibijelly on June 21st, 2007 01:49 pm (UTC)
HEEEEE. I'm giggling like crazy. :3
La Femme Crayola: Tedannlarimer on June 21st, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC)
Next: McClane vs Hedgehog in Live Free or Cat Hard.
laur: mmmmilurveyourmom on June 21st, 2007 04:04 pm (UTC)
oh, teehees. i like how danny went ahead and bought all the fixins for the cat x3
Pandonkey: Doctor + Kittenpandonkey on June 21st, 2007 05:35 pm (UTC)
So. Damned. Cute. I can't fight the goofy grin this put on my face. Everything's better with kittens! (And aww, hey, I kinda liked the name McClane for a kitten. ;))
pepperlandgirlpepperlandgirl4 on June 21st, 2007 07:30 pm (UTC)
Hee, everything is better with kittens. I normally wouldn't write kitten-fic, but I decided Nicholas really needed one, lol.
Hippie Geek Girl: random - fic - pointless fluffgypsyjr on June 21st, 2007 09:55 pm (UTC)
If it makes you feel any better, the puppy from this fic eventually gets named Bullitt. ;)

And I was planning a sequel that included a kitten, but I see I've gotten scooped slightly. Ah well. You can never have too many kittens.
pepperlandgirlpepperlandgirl4 on June 21st, 2007 09:57 pm (UTC)
No, you can't have too many kittens. If it makes you feel better, you can blame my cat for scooping you. She was so freaking obnoxious and needy yesterday, I was inspired to write a fic about a cute cat and not a cat who should be strangled (I keed, I keed, I would never strangle my cat. I might kick her though....:D).
Hippie Geek Girl: get fuzzy - cats in pantsgypsyjr on June 21st, 2007 10:02 pm (UTC)
Hee! My cat is the same way. She's so stubborn and obnoxious, she's damn lucky she's cute. ;)

And at least we're both in agreement that Nicholas needs a kitten. :D
Pandonkey: Dorkpandonkey on June 22nd, 2007 04:43 am (UTC)
Stubborn, obnoxious cats are the very best kind. Mine's definitely of that special breed. He's a cuddly little ball of evil.
Pandonkey: Nick and Dannypandonkey on June 22nd, 2007 04:38 am (UTC)
Aww! I can't believe I missed that before! So very cute -- and I love the puppy being called Bullitt.
alouette_sparraalouette_sparra on June 22nd, 2007 02:36 am (UTC)
Oh my God... that is so adorabe. I could always picture Nicholas with a cat. And the kitten just falling asleep on his shoulder. D'awwww...

I think Danny engineered it so Nicholas would keep the kitten. It's such a Danny-ish thing to do.

Wonder how Animal will get on with the peace lily?
Vviciouscats on January 23rd, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC)
Aww, so cute! :)