by Rhyo




Warning : Sequel to Dolimir’s «Rebirth »





-- nudge, nudge --

If I had thought about it more carefully, I would have picked how and when I told Jim a bit more carefully. If, that is, I ever told him at all. But at the time I hadn't been thinking very clearly, distracted by the crying child in my arms, the heavy rain and the sure knowledge that my partner was going to kill me for going after the boy on my own, without telling him.

And so, as made it back to the ranger station and handed the boy off to the uniformed Cascade PD officers that Jim had roused to look for me since he had expected me to be lost in the woods, I told him exactly how I had found the boy. I knew Jim's reaction would be predictable, and I was thinking about counting down the time until he exploded, but, just as I was dithering between starting the countdown at 10 or 5, his short fuse met his powder keg temper and he went off.

"Squirrels? SQUIRRELS? What the hell do you mean squirrels led you to the boy? You talking to furry things now, my little forest elf?" Jim could maybe accept a black jaguar or a wolf as a spirit animal, but apparently small, cute and fuzzy was not going to cut it.

I caught the snickers from the two nearest PD uniforms. "Can we not talk about this here?"

But Jim was so far into rant mode there was no stopping him. He gestured to a nearby tree, his arms sweeping a broad, dramatic gesture. "How about those pigeons over there? They say anything to you?"

For someone with as many secrets to keep as Jim has, he has always been remarkably bad about keeping things discreet and quiet. I ran my hands through my wet and lank hair. I wanted a shower. I wanted a vente latte. I wanted my partner to shut the fuck UP. "Yes! First, they are not pigeons, they're doves, and, second, they are telling me what an asshole you are!"

"Oh, fuck, we can't have that now, can we?"